Discover thrilling artists/bands in 10 questions…
29 May 2018
FALLING MAN is a boisterous 4-headed groove machine turning the inflammable combination of intoxicating riffs, kick-ass licks, battering drums and a riveting vox into absorbing songs with a lasting impact. Slow/fast, loud/quiet, haunting/ecstatic. Different paces, different moods. But always sound-exploring and highly fascinating. Last year’s second album GHOST showed/shows a tight band at the peak of its rousing game. A captivating work of mixed emotions, gripping sentiments and electrical reflections about life’s daily struggle. A record for bluesy hearts & troubled souls. Enough reasons to learn more about this blustery quartet. But let’s start the sonic acquaintance with one of the highlights of the new LP. Here’s ‘Beach Blues’…
Hello Falling Man,
Welcome at Turn Up The Volume!…
1/ What’s the story behind the band’s name and the group’s sonic identity?
“Is there a story? Our guitarist Paul came up with the name after reading Don DeLillo’s novel ‘Falling Man’, written shortly after the 9/11-attacks. People often ask us whether the name of the band refers to the man falling down, like a contorted modern dancer, from one of the WTC-buildings. But it doesn’t. It’s a reference to a character in DeLillo’s book: a street performer in Manhattan who lets himself fall from the sky, over and over again. As to the sonic identity: we play sharp, angular and edgy guitar music, echoing sixty years of rock noise and pop music. It is often loud, harsh and ugly, it can be delicate and melodic,
it always has a groove going on.”
2/ Lou Reed said in his final interview back in 2013 that the bass is
a crucial instrument in pop, rock and classic music. I suppose you don’t
agree as FALLING MAN has no bass player. Why is that?
“Falling Man has no bass player because there’s no need. Not more than five people
in 10 years time have told us they were missing a bass player during the live-shows.
A couple of bass players have asked us whether we needed one, because they were
keen on joining the band. But we never felt the need. Influenced by bands such as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and also Dÿse – they use an octaver-pedal, which lowers the
guitar tone with an octave – we tried the set-up with 2 guitars and it worked right away. Both our guitarists Paulie and Lode both wanted to get rid of their bassplayer-history
and focus on the guitar. In fact, we both have a style of playing guitar that mixes
bass loops and guitar chords or noisy stuff. We also get deep bass-sounds out of
a foot-triggered sample unit.”
3/ Which song do you consider as the band’s signature track so far?
“The band has been through some changes recently; I think that the signature track
before the release of our second album – Ghost’ – was ‘Stripper’, a song that we don’t play any longer. Ever since vocalist Sander joined Falling Man, our sound has slightly changed, has become a little more ‘poppy’; someone once called it ‘industrial blues’ of ‘Ruhr Area Rock’. A song that fits that description perfectly, would be ‘Robot Kaput’, as it combines both the poppy aspect and Falling Man’s love for noise and tearing guitars.”
4/ Your new album is called ‘GHOST’. Who is he/she?
“No one in particular. It was Paul’s 10-year old daughter who came up with the name, and it kinda stuck. Throughout the recording process we noticed that many songs dealt with the theme of loss, people disappearing, leaving loved-ones behind. The ones who leave become ghosts or the ones who are left behind become a half the person they were. Hence, the name.”
5/ The LP’s artwork looks mystifying in accordance with its title.
Who or what inspired the image?
“It was Paul’s idea, coming from his great love for geometrical design and figures. The photographer is Kaat, guitarist Lode’s sister. Thing is that this picture almost never existed: we took it in October, and the sun almost did not cast any shadow. We took this picture in a parking garage; it’s Paul’s shadow, combined with a ventilation grid.”
6/ Any rituals before going on stage for a show?
“Not really. The drummers tend to get on everyone’s nerves while practicing rudiments
on any object he can find. There’s a lot of bantering too, taking pictures, laughter and
the occasional beer. Well, we try to keep stay focused on stage. When we first started
we played a drunk show once. It got the girls dancing, which was nice.”
7/ Which movie would you pick to visualize FALLING MAN’s
music on a big screen while playing a concert?
“Well, actually: none.”
8/ If the band were an animal, which one would it be?
“A wolf, maybe? Or a hyena? Once we get the attention of the audience, we don’t let go. Or even cats? Cats do what they want, they’re unpredictable. And when they’re horny, they make noise. We are horny cats?”
9/ If you could go back in time on which artist’s front
door would you knock and ask to have a selfie together?
“Oscar Wilde, while writing ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
That could be fun.”
10/ Next step for FALLING MAN?
“The idea is to keep on playing, cause that’s what it’s all about. We don’t plan, we play. There’s no outline, no direction, no strategy. Playing brings us to places we could never plan on going. It makes things happen.”
Thank you for the chat, guys.
May the road rise with FALLING MAN!
Stream/purchase GHOST right here…
(Concert photos by Turn Up The Volume! / Other two pics via FB – Falling Man)