OCTOBER 18, 2013
ROCKWiRED MAGAZiNE HiGHLiGHTS - SURRENDER THE FALL
ORiGiNALLY APPEARED iN THE SEPTEMBER 2013 EDiTiON OF ROCKWiRED MAGAZiNE
You've got a great album and a great single and now that they are both out there for people to hear, how do you feel about the finished work?
With the album I think it's great. We've been sitting on this for a while. We recorded this a couple of years ago. It took a little bit of time to put all of the pieces together and get everything ready to go. We released it September 18th of last year and we love the record. They say it takes a lifetime to write your first record and three months to write your second record and that is definitely true. We have a lifetime of material on that record and all in all I think we did great job with it. We're very pleased with it.
And who all helped you behind the mixing board?
We went to SONIC RANCH in El Paso with JEFF PRINGLE The main producer on there is LENNON MURPHY For those that aren't familiar with her she is an artist who
was sued by YOKO ONO over using her own name. YOKO tried to cease and desist all of her stuff and LENNON ended up winning which was good. We had a great professional team behind us and she kind of spearheaded the whole thing.
Talk about the formation of SURRENDER THE FALL. How did all of this get started?
Well I played in a couple of bands before when I was younger and when I decided to get really really serious about it I reached out to some friends here in Memphis who had been on the scene for a while. I was pretty new at that time and they introduced me to a lot of people. I used to work at GUITAR CENTER and the bass player and the drummer that I had at the time were from New Orleans. They moved up here before Katrina. We were looking for a guitar player and we couldn't find anybody who fit the slot and they told me that they had a friend of theirs that they had played in a band with for five years in New Orleans. They gave him a call and asked him to join. EDDIE - the guitar player - lost everything in Katrina. He lost his home and everything. They got out with pretty much the clothes on their backs and a couple of family photo albums. EDDIE told them that he couldn't do it and that his life was there in New Orleans and that he and his family needed to rebuild. Fast forward - my bass player and drummer go back to New Orleans to pick up some gear that they had left behind and EDDIE went to help them and see them off and when they got done loading everything up they played EDDIE the demo that we were working on. When he was done listening they asked him what he thought of them and he said "I'll be there in a
week." Sure enough he was therein one week and he has been a part of the band ever since. So that is his story. ANTHONY - the other guitar player was captain of the
football team and was working on a football scholarship and in one game he blew out his entire knee and his entire career as a football player. He had always played guitar as a hobby so from there he decided to make something out of it and move into that direction. As you know bands go through member changes like crazy. I had a guy quit on me on a Saturday morning. He called me up at 9 am and tells me that he can't do it anymore and this was when we had five shows booked and we couldn't get out of them. I remembered a conversation that I had with ANTHONY in a drunken stupor at a bar one night and he said he worked at GUITAR CENTER so I called GUITAR CENTER and sure enough it was ANTHONY who picked up the phone. I asked him if he was interested in being in our band and he said yes and I told him that he had a week to learn a full forty five minute set. He learned it in a week and he did the shows and he's been with us ever since. Throughout that process he was actually going to audition for another band in Memphis the same day that I called him. He went and told DEVIN HIGHTOWER who was a member of the other band that he was going to audition for us and DEVIN told him to do it. Later on DEVIN joined our band. He filled in on bass for a little while and we were looking for a permanent member. We recruited another guy from the New Orleans area. This guy came in and made all of these promises and something about him didn't feel right and he was a bit of a liar. Anyways we called DEVIN back and begged him. Our drummer RICK ANDERSON is our newest member. He used to be a member of the band JOAN REDD. While we were on tour with our last drummer we were in Tampa and RICK came out to the show and we hung out and the vibe was good and everything was good. Everything was unspoken at that point and when our previous drummer had to bow out RICK was the first person we thought about. I reached out to him and a week later he flew up to Memphis and he jammed on some of the songs and from there it was great. It's been
a blast having him. He is a great drummer. He is a great performer an a great showman and writer as well. That was how we got started.
And what's your story? How did music get started for you?
I grew up in a really musically inclined family. My dad was a singer and a guitar player and played a little piano. My older sister played piano and sang. My mother was a singer so I was always around music. My mother tends to say that I was born with a microphone in my hand and that I was destined to do something in music. I was around it for my entire life and I was exposed t all types of music. I picked up a guitar when I was ten years old and played it for about an hour having no clue what the hell I was doing. It was my dad's guitar and I pushed it back under the bed and I didn't touch it for another couple of years. Eventually I took it back out because I really wanted to learn how to do this. I learned three chords and I was told that if I learned them I could fake my way through any song. It went from there and I never stopped. I gave everything in my life towards music and I still do to this day. I think it was just in my blood.
And what was your experience with bands before SURRENDER THE FALL?
I never really jumped from band to band. I stuck with a group of friends of mine and we did some shows and we did a couple of out of town shows and a few recordings but
nothing that really pushed the envelope. It was more of a hobby than an actual career minded move and I wanted a lot more. When the demise of that band came I made it a mission to seek out theses players who would want to do this for the long haul. I've never been a band jumper. I've always tried to stick it out. From the transition from that band to this one I spent a lot of time writing and a lot of time formulating songs on my own and playing acoustic gigs here and there and just trying to get the materialheard and looking for musicians. Nothing was full blown until everyone came together for SURRENDER THE FALL.
Explain the songwriting process int his band. How do youguys go about it?
It's very unorthodox. We all do the writing on our own time or come together as a band whenever we are together but most of the times some one will have a riff or I'll have a lyric line or an idea for a song or a vocal melody. Sometimes it comes out of a drumbeat. And we all kind of listen to it and fall into the fold and we workout a song. The drummer will come in and bang something out and the guitar player will come in and throw a riff on top of it and that will spark something. We all write as a collective and I don't think any of these songs would happen without the next person and that is what is so special about SURRENDER THE FALL. We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us are from the metal side and some of us are from the rock side so there is no specific genre that you can pin us too. It's more of a melting pot of everything that we've ever come up with and everything that we've ever listened to. It's all throw together and it works. That is basically how the songwriting goes.
With that being said, what songs off of the album stand out for you the most and why?
Really, all of them. Like I said this is my entire life up to this point pressed on a record. As far as songs SOME KIND OF PERFECT resonates pretty huge with me. It's about some of the things I had to deal with and had to go through with past members of this band and their own personal struggles getting in the way of what we were trying to do.
With all bands you get really tight and it becomes a brotherhood and a family and it's very hard sometimes when you have to cut that cord. It was at a point where I had to say that enough was enough and the crazy thing was that person quit the band and expected me to go with them and I didn't go. My heart was still with this band and I had to see it through. I saw a movie one time and in it someone said Sometimes in life you have to update your faery tale. It doesn't always go the way you planned on having it go and that is the perfect description of this situation. I had to update my ending or what my next chapter was going to be and I had to push through it. It was really hard. This person had introduced me to everyone that I knew in the music business at that point so it was hard for me to step away from that and really do it on my own. SOME KIND OF PERFECT is a song that says that just because it's not what you think it was or what it was supposed to be doesn't mean that it isn't perfect. So that song really speaks to me. There is an acoustic track on the album called FORTY AND TWELVE and it was about a relationship where I had to come to grips with the realization that it wasn't exactly what i thought it was and that person wanted more than what I had to give them. That song is a big one for me. It's really hard to pin point just one or two specific songs because all of them have a really deep meaning. There is a song on the album called UNDESIGNED and its about a dream I had years ago that came true the next day. Or rather a nightmare that I had. I called this person up and told them that in the dream I couldn't get in touch with you anymore and your car was packed and you were leaving. And then they were like “that is kind of weird because I've just decided to move to California.” So the whole dream kind of came true right there so that is what that song is about. Every song on this album s a testimony in my life and everything that I've gone through.
With this album behind you what is next for the band musically?
We've always been writing and we've always been building up our catalog. We just recently took a trip to Nashville and started writing for record number two and have started demoing for it. I've started doing some writing with a good friend of mine SKID MILLS who is based in Nashville but is from Memphis so I was excited when he got in touch with us and was interested in writing with us. We're excited that it was another Memphian that we could draw into the fold. If everything goes the way it seems to be going this new record is going to completely trump the first record. It's heavier. It's more aggressive. The first record was very typical sex drugs and rock n roll and that was something we all went through. That was something that I went through especially and since then life has happened and when we started talking about the next record. I really wanted this record to really say something. I want it to be more than just a feel good record and more than just a catchy hook and some cool lines. I really want this upcoming album to challenge peoples minds. Someone told me a long time ago that the best songs you write are the ones that you don't want anyone else to read and it really hit me hard when I found that out because those are the hardest songs to write. We are really pushing the envelope with this new material that we are putting together. We're taking the whole thing up quite a few notches. It's going great and I can't wait for people to check it out.