An Interview With The Alt-Rck Band, FALLING THROUGH APRIL On Their Forthcoming Album, ‘Zodiac’ and More!
Posted On 09 Jan 2018
Even though they are originally from disparate parts of the country, Charlotte, NC based Alt Rockers Falling Through April have come together to form a cohesive unit in a city that is rich in music history and has a thriving independent rock scene. Their energy is abundant in their live shows and in the music from their new album “Zodiac”, which will be released on January 19th through Page 2 Music.
Falling Through April released their first single and video “Desperate Measures” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kctQFU2d_-I in September and have gained significant visibility: Google Play Music’s Modern Rock radio channel and iDobi radio were early supporters and are playing the song. The video premiered @ Alternative Press and debuted @ #13 on the Youtube Alternative Hotlist playlist. The video will be featured on the Footlocker In-Store network in 1,835 stores in 23 countries starting January 1st as well as several other major brand retail outlets. “Desperate Measures” is playing in over 3800 Health Clubs worldwide, and has been added to syndicated shows like MusicMix USA and Sidewalks TV, among others.
The band performed “Coast To Coast” on CBS affiliate WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte, NC during the on-air telecast for the 2017 Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SspQnRy7k5w
The band’s founders (Jim Siani, Dave Piontek, Taylor Foster, Dan Candia) have weathered the full gamut of hurdles as a startup since forming in 2011, ranging from exploding transmissions and ghosting vocalists to nearby celebratory gun fire landing Taylor in the hospital. When charismatic front-woman Mikaela Salazar stepped into their lives in 2016, the road blocks were removed, and everyone found something to be excited about.
The 4 founders found each other while playing in different bands that were a part of the Charlotte indie rock scene. The band members came to music naturally, as they all had musicians in their family: Dan came from a long line of international musicians, and his dad always played guitar when he was growing up. Dave started in music early, and in his early teens he became enamored of the Electric Bass and that became his instrument of choice. Jim knew by the age of 13 that he wanted to be a professional musician, inspired by acts like Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, and his favorite band Weezer. Taylor grew up watching his Dad play drums, so you could say they are in his family DNA. Mikaela grew up in a house that was never silent, and the desire to be involved in music was second nature. She was inspired to become a singer by strong female musical role models like Alanis Morissette and Gwen Stefani.
The band has 2 previous independent releases: The “Take Flight” album in 2012; and the “Risk and Reward” Ep in 2015.
In early 2017 FTA packed up and drove to Nashville, TN for a several month’s long recording binge with producer and friend Jon King (Augustana, Darling Parade). The result is their new album “Zodiac”, a powerful alt-rock collection that melds influences ranging from Incubus to Halsey.
The band has amassed a significant touring resume, having opened for The Pretty Reckless, Pop Evil, Adelitas Way, Flyleaf and more. They have also performed at major festivals including the Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, Florida Music Festival, Sonorous Music Festival, Dewey Beach Music Conference and Celebrate Fairfax. Their touring has garnered them endorsements from PRS and Reverend Guitars, among others.
FTA’s goal is to have their music reach as many people as possible around the world and for their music to inspire and encourage listeners. Becoming a household name in the modern rock community drives them forward, and “Zodiac” promises to help them achieve that goal. A second single and video will be released in early 2018.
Upcoming Live dates (more dates being announced soon):
1/15/2018 The Pour House Raleigh, NC
1/28/2018 Amici’s (with Bobaflex) Concord, NC
3/29/2018 California University California, PA
4/07/2018 Cooper River Bridge Run Festival Mount Pleasant, SC
Connect with FTA Here:
Official Website: http://www.fallingthroughapril.com
iTunes pre-order link: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1308490780?ls=1&app=itunes
Google Play Music pre-order link: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Falling_Through_April_Zodiac?id=B6cybjgm4m6ulfbur4ssnhzyr3e&hl=en
Bands in Town: http://www.bandsintown.com/FallingThroughApril
Learn more about Falling Through April in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview you today? Is there music playing in the background – and if so – what is it? What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you disagree about loving right now?
Mikaela : I’m at home, enjoying the outdoors and silence at the moment. If I were to be playing anything right now, it’s normally something heavy and loud!
– I can never pick one song but I always love cruising to “My Number” by Foals. Gets me in a good mood.
– I disagree with everything Taylor Swift. Too much drama and sappy songs. They’re really catchy, just not my preference.
How did this group first come to be? Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you could all agree on? How did you come up with your band name?
Dave : Falling Through April was the end of an old band I was in; I wanted to start something new. We knew a couple of other musicians from the local scene but felt like we needed a 2nd guitarist. So we actually picked up Dan on Craigslist. The band had an ad and he had one posted so it just seemed right when we both responded to each other’s ads. The name comes from 2 of the band members having a birthday in April, combined with the feeling of everything in the old project I was in falling apart. We just kind of mashed the ideas together and “Falling Through April” seemed to stick immediately.
How do you think this band has been influenced by Charlotte, NC? How does the Charlotte music scene affect you all?
Dan : The Charlotte scene is both diverse and tight-knit. There are really heavy influences and followings of Metal and Hip Hop but across the board everyone is really supportive of each other regardless of whether or not your sound fits into one of those particular genres. I wouldn’t say the style/genre of the scene has influenced us as much as the community of the scene has. We’re all about building that strong relationship with every band/person we meet.
How does 2017 compare to last year? What all are you most excited about for 2018? Will any of you make New Year’s Resolutions?
Mikaela : Well, last year we spent most of it writing for this album. Lots of prep work and cycling through ideas. 2017 was all about recording and starting to get back out there performing the new material. 2018 is going to be a very busy year for us and we’re all excited about it. This has been a long build-up process, but we are ready to share the new music and hit the road! Of course New Year’s resolutions are happening but I can’t say what they are or they won’t come true… right? I guess I’ll have to follow up and let you know how it goes! ;o)
Let’s talk about your forthcoming album, “Zodiac” that you will be releasing on January 19th. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
Mikaela : I enjoyed every bit of it. I had more than enough instrumental tracks to work with from the guys and by the end of writing process I had several notebooks completely full of lyrics. I really love working with these guys, it’s easy for me to find inspiration for lyrics from even the rough ideas they work out. I really love this band’s style and energy, we all shared the same vision for “Zodiac”.
– I didn’t expect that we would end up dropping one of the tracks we had recorded. By the end of the process there was one song that we tracked all the way through and had every intention on putting it on the record but it seemed to really stand out in the wrong way. We made a group decision to cut it and replace it with another song. Who knows, maybe we will release it later as a B-Side or a random ‘surprise’ single!
– Any time you go into the studio there is a lot of pressure to make sure everything is ‘perfect’. I kept getting sick when it was my turn to track vocals. It felt like no matter what I kept catching a cold which made it difficult to get the vocals done as quickly as we wanted to
What was the inspiration for your lead single “Desperate Measures”? How did this song go from being just an idea to a full-blown song?
Mikaela : “Desperate Measures” was written in hopes to encourage and enlighten all of our listeners. To maybe inspire them to keep fighting to live outside of your comfort zone. Everybody is unique, so why are we are competing against each other when the real problem might be that we aren’t thinking for ourselves. We were meant for more, and it’s going to take “Desperate Measures” to achieve it. And that’s where I found my voice and idea for the lyrics. Once I heard the track that was previously written by the guys, I knew the dark but energetic rhythm was perfect for this song.
Can you describe how a few of the other songs on this collection were created? Generally, how do you all go about writing your music?
Mikaela : The guys had countless tracks for me to pick from. I’d listen intently for hours, and sometimes weeks to interpret the mood by every note which would help me have a better understanding to perfect the sound that Dan, Jim, or Dave imagined for their music. It usually starts with one of them coming up with a riff or chord progression and then everyone kind of jams it for a bit. If it evolves naturally and feels good we continue to explore it even if we end up dropping it later; we have to have that starting point. We wrote over 50 songs for this album and then slimmed it down to the strongest tracks. If we didn’t have enough for a full album of solid songs we wrote more until we did.
Since forming in 2011, how do you think you all have grown through the years? How have you remained the same?
Dave : If you listen to our 2 previous records compared to “Zodiac” you can hear a drastic evolution over the years. We’ve matured in the way that we write music. Better foundation and more organized. We’ve not only become better musicians live but in the studio as well – which is also apparent on the recordings. Having a male vocalist previously; we were able to introduce a whole new range we could explore with a female lead singer. It’s also something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We finally found the right fit with Mikaela and couldn’t be happier to have her with us!
You have toured with so many incredible bands and performed at lots of major music festivals, so I am curious what is your ideal show experience? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past?
Dan : This is always such a great question but one of the most difficult to answer. We’ve had an incredible journey and played so many awesome shows that we have favorites for different reasons. If I had to choose just one favorite though it would definitely be House of Blues in Dallas. Texas brings the party every single time.. They really know how to throw down! Anywhere Texas is the ultimate rock show, hands down.
Jim : Agreed, House of Blues in Dallas rocked!
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Mikaela : oh geez, the list is ridiculously long but I’ll mention my dream to tour with or collaborate with Paramore, Tonight Alive, Pvris, or LIGHTS. They are all so creative and have deep messages or stories in their songs, which I love.
In addition to those rockin’ ladies, I keep it old school so I’d have to add on my all-time forever favorites like Emarosa, Brand New, Incubus, Panic! At The Disco… it’s all over the place.
I’d like see FTA do some metal tracks like those “Pop Goes Punk” cover albums; “FTA Goes Metal”. Maybe get Dream Theater or Mastodon involved. Haha.
While this may be difficult to answer, where do you think you are all happiest: On stage performing, in the studio recording or elsewhere?
Dave : I love small shows with a ton of character (The Milestone in Charlotte NC, for example) I like the grit and emotion you get from being 5 feet away from the fans.
Where I’m the happiest is on stage. I love performing. Always have since I was kid. There had never been a feeling that compares to hitting the first note on stage in front of a live audience.
Jim : I’m happiest interacting with the fans and seeing them smile.
Mikaela : As much as I enjoy the creative process in the studio and being able to effortlessly sing my heart out in the booth, I love jumping around and getting loud in front of a crowd much more for the same reasons the guys mentioned.
Dan : I can agree and appreciate what Dave said. Smaller intimate venues always provide a really different vibe and atmosphere. I love playing big shows and big stages so we can get wild but it can feel a little disconnected sometimes. Being able to literally reach out and snag someone’s beer while playing or hear people talking about having fun is a memory we all share forever
Do you have any other touring plans? Where can people see you perform live next?
Dan : We played a few shows in December regionally, but we have a ton in the works for 2018. Festivals are already starting to reach out and plan, we have plans to tour to support the release, and we have a surprise announcement coming out very soon for a set of shows in March. So much cool stuff happening, we’re excited to hit the road! We will post all dates as soon as they are confirmed, so follow us on social media and Bands In Town. Our next show is on 1/15 @ the Pour House in Raleigh, NC.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect this difficult time?
Mikaela : Singing original songs is therapeutic for me. I might not even feel like singing or even talking but once I start playing around with our music, I feel free and at peace when I get into it. I would hope new music has a more relevant message than influencing violent or shallow behavior. I believe music is the language to our soul that speaks to our heart and mind. I don’t think anybody takes the time to process these worldly issues, not enough to make steps to influence each other. Not saying I’m not guilty of standing back and just observing. We all have a voice and music is where I truly feel “heard”, in every sense.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Mikaela : I wrote every song with the intent to positively influence our listeners. Like you said before, we are living in a crazy world and it’s time to refocus and commit to saving ourselves and future. I’ve written songs for ‘Zodiac’ based off my philosophy and ideology along with personal experience in relationships and testing my limits.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about this band or your music?
Mikaela : We just want to thank everyone for taking the time to check us out. We hope you enjoy the new album when it comes out January 19th and we hope to see you at a city near you very soon!