Featured Artist – Falloch

6 05 2012

A SPOT OF POST(ish)-METAL GOODNESS WITH SOME CELTIC ROOTS

For the second feature in a row we’re staying in the more rock/metal side of the genre bracket I focus on. This time I am focusing on a band that have been in my sights for a good while, mainly thanks to the guys in Thula Borah informing me of them. Glasgow 4 piece band Falloch bring a Celtic twinge to their pulsing metal sound which really does set them aside from most other metal bands in Glasgow, even Scotland. Heavy guitar and bass tones and powerful drums mixed in with breathy and winding clean vocals give Falloch a sound akin to that of bands like Katatonia but Falloch bring their own little twist to their music to sweeten the deal. Incorporating not only acoustic guitar parts to keep their Celtic link alive the manner in which it is played evokes this sound they are going for even further and certainly gives the listener something different to wrap their ears round.

As previously mentioned it was the talented chaps in Thula Borah that put me onto Falloch and I have to say thanks to them for that. I gave Falloch a look and right off the bat I was interested. Simply from the description of “Celtic/Rock/Metal band” I was kind of wondering what exactly this would sound like and if it would work in all honesty. For me, it did. I really enjoyed listening to Falloch’s release “Where Distant Spirits Remain” as it did something for me that I feel is sorely lacking with most metal bands in Scotland. It broke down a few barriers and tapped into some areas of music that some may not feel belong in metal. However, I feel that Falloch use this to their advantage. The 7 track album is chock full of surprises and memorable moments that produce a rel gem of a listening experience. The tracks blend together very well and interchange between motifs of gentle calming passages of acoustic filled ambient music into bone crushing metal sections that take your breath away. Seriously. Check this album out. NOW!

There’s not enough space in this blog to do a track by track so I’m going to hit upon my personal favourites of WDSR. “Beyond Embers and the Earth” and the amazingly epic “Where We Believe”. Beyond Embers and the Earth kicks into life and, in my case, pins you to your seat. Massive guitar passages and some fierce double bass movements on the drums are accompanied but some clean and smooth vocal patterns. I really love the fact that Falloch choose not to have their music passages filled with screams and roars but instead opt to use clean vocals to add a different dimension to their music. It’s a breath of fresh air. Then comes a wee curveball in the track. Woodwind instrumentation. Where the feck did that come from guys? It’s quite a strange aspect to add into a track that is as heavy as this one but it’s all about braking barriers with Falloch in my opinion. And they’ve done that with this track.

“Where We Believe” (video can be found above) is just sinfully epic in every sense of the term. It contains a simple yet effective hook that rides its way easily through the track and the added elements of guitar bass and the already loved clean vocals make this track a serious epic. For me, the real treat of the track is the last minute and a half of the track where after a blisteringly heavy 6 or 7 minutes of rock/metal it descends into an ambient broken down section with a haunting vocal pattern accompanying the synth track that it laid down. This track was a joy to listen to and really put the cherry on the cake of this release.

INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT MCLEAN – GUITAR/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF FALLOCH

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

 

Hey guys. For those reading this blog who don’t know much about you, introduce yourself to us. How long have you guys been going for and how did you guys initially form as a band?

Falloch was formed by Andy Marshall and myself (Scott McLean). We started writing music for Falloch towards the end of 2009/start of 2010 and then wrote and recorded our debut album throughout that year. Once the album was complete we then searched for a full line up so as we could play live and now have Steve Scott on drums and Ben Brown on bass.

 

Now, the name Falloch has a Gaelic background. Do any of you guys have a Gaelic background yourself at all or was this idea something that was just thought up when deciding on a band name?

Yeah it does have a Gaelic background although the main reason we chose the name was because we particularly like the Falls of Falloch and that area of Scotland in general so we thought that Falloch would work well for the name of our band. Neither of us can speak any Gaelic but we do hope to incorporate some of the language into our lyrics in the future.

 

Since forming, what has been your biggest/most successful gig? Have you guys got any big gigs coming up during the remainder of 2012?

We haven’t really played a huge amount of gigs so far. We’ve played around 12 since we started playing live towards the end of last year. Our biggest gig was probably support Alcest/Les Discrets when the played in Glasgow in February but I would have said our most successful gig was our headline slot at Nice N Sleazy in March, which was great fun. We’re hoping to announce some more shows towards the end of the year but up until then we are mainly concentrating on working on our second album. The only show we have confirmed at the moment is at Dark Bombastic Evening in Romania, where we’re playing with some amazing bands (Alcest, Solstafir, Hexvessel, etc…), so we’re really looking forward to that.

 

Have you found that there is a decent market in Scotland and the UK for your specific brand of alternative rock/metal?

Yeah there does seem to be quite a decent market around the UK for our music. It seems to be becoming more popular at the moment as well. I would say though that in general our music seems to be most popular in mainland Europe and in particular we seem to have quite a lot of fans in Germany.

 

How has your album, Where Distant Spirits Remain, been received since its release? Have you had an overly positive response from the music industry since you launched it?

Our album has been received extremely well, we’re really pleased with how everything has went especially considering we recorded the album ourselves using 3 microphones in my garage so to see it do so well is really nice. Obviously there are things we can improve on in the future which have been pointed out in a few reviews but overall it’s had a great response.

 

Now, Facebook seems to be a stronger and stronger force for fans keeping track of their favourite artists. You guys seem to have garnered a decent amount of likes on your page. Do you feel Facebook is a good medium for keeping in touch with your fanbase and letting them know about upcoming releases/album?

Definitely. It’s probably the easiest way on the internet to connect with so many people and it also allows you to be much more personal with your fans rather than just posting up a general news item on a website every so often. I think as a band it’s important to use a number of the available services on the internet. I definitely think that YouTube is one of the most useful websites on the internet for bands which when used in combination with Facebook it really is a great way of updating your fans and providing them with interesting content.

 

So, what’s the plans for the rest of 2012? Any huge news that you can let us know about?

We will mainly be concentrating on writing and recording our second album but we will hopefuly play a few more shows this year as well but nothing at the moment we can announce.

 

Are there any bands that you guys have played with or seen live, in Scotland or the UK overall, that have really caught your attention?

We’ve played with so many great bands already it really has been great. I would definitely have to mention Junius and Altar Of Plagues as two of the best live bands we’ve been lucky enough to play with. The two local Glasgow bands we had supporting us at our Nice N Sleazy gig were also great, Thula Borah and Suplex The Kid, which I’m sure people will be hearing much more off soon. The only other band I will mention is a band called Lanterns on the Lake, although we didn’t play with them, I was lucky enough to see them twice last year and have to say they are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, really worth going to see them if you get the chance.

 

Before I go, you guys were due to play with *shels on their upcoming Glasgow show with Thula Borah but pulled out. I realise you must have been quite gutted about that. What was the main reasoning behind not playing the gig?

We had been asked to play that show but I think there ended up being some crossed wires or something as we hadn’t confirmed we were able to play before we were announced. We would have loved to play that show as *shels are great but unfortunately not all of us could get time off work for the gig.

That’s all from me. I’m completely shattered from work and Vasa related stuff. Keep your beadies peeled for the next feature.

John


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