The Falling Birds at Mercury Lounge

By | May, 12, 2015

This weekend, TMG brings you The Falling Birds.

The 3-piece rock group has a heaviness in the sway of their music, similar to that of The Black Keys, and melodic fluidity in their instrumental compositions, reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen with a possible nod to Hendrix. Their latest EP, Native America, received a 4 star rating. “You can’t help but feel pain and optimism, the kind of music that can only come from a rejuvenated veteran or a talented youth”-Troy Arnold, The Examiner

Check out our interview with them!

What’s your bands name? Where’d the name come from?
The Falling Birds. Years ago we booked our first show and we didn’t have a name yet. The club was putting the screws to us to come up with a name because they needed to list something on their website. We knew we wanted something with birds in the title because of some metaphoric stuff we were feeling at the time. Just before our first show an entire flock of birds fell out of the sky in Arkansas and they were found dead on the ground. It seemed like an omen. So naturally we took it. The more we thought about names the more we liked The Falling Birds as a sort of metaphor describing how we felt before we were really pursuing the rock thing. We felt like we should be doing what was natural to us, i.e. Writing music, and before we came together as a band we felt like Falling Birds. So we went with it.

The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
The biggest struggle has been exactly that, THE DAILY GRIND! Being a NYC musician is tough, especially as a full band, because we need to pay for a rehearsal spot where we can get loud & rehearse at full volume. There are no garages in NYC. There’s just s lot of things outside of making music that distract you. The biggest distraction is making enough money to support yourself in order to pursue your art. Our biggest accomplishment has been recording our new demo and EP all on our own and the acceptance that we’ve received from it. We produced the EP on our own gear in our little rehearsal space below the JMZ train. We released a 4 song demo and to our astonishment it has been getting selected for radio play in the UK as well as FM channels on the east coast. We’re really proud of the success of our demo and we’re looking forward to the full EP release.

What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play?
Stephen – harmonica, guitar, vocals. Nick – bass, mandolin, guitar, lap steel. Dave – all things percussion, piano. We like to strip our sound down, keep an eye out for our next project which will be an acoustic stripped down EP where we mix up these instruments more.

Why’d you start making music and why specifically did you choose your genre?
The genre chose us. It’s really just our blues, country and punk rock influences mixed together. Our favorite stuff is rooted in the blues which is just the most guttural and spiritual kind of music in our opinion. It’s just what flows out when we wrote songs, but I wouldn’t say that we try to write Within a genre. We just mix up all our influences and hope that it pushes whatever genre it lands in.

Do you have any memorable musical experiences that have shaped who you guys are?
Stephen – I one time caught a selfie photo that jack and meg white took of themselves on stage in Cony Island using a Polaroid camera. It was in the Get Behind Me Satin tour. Jack flung it out into the crowd like a frisbee. For whatever reason, out of the thousands of people there, it wound up in my hands. I sort of took it as a sign. I’ve got it framed on my wall.

What genre do you consider your/your band to be in and what instruments do you play with? Have you ever released any albums or are working on any now? Any special projects?
We consider ourselves rock but sometimes we get classified as garage, dirty blues, or cow punk. We don’t really care what you call us as long as we’re making good music. We released the Native America EP in 2014, we released The Falling Birds Demo this past March, we will release The Falling Birds EP this year, and we will record an acoustic EP this summer.

Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
We have not yet. There’s not a lot of bands out there that play the kind of stuff we play which is some really riff oriented blues rock. We’d love to work with some similar minded folks but we just don’t know anyone.

What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
We’ve been playing the NYC circuit for the last 4 or 5 years. Rough Trade, the Highline Ballroom, The Bitter End, Pianos, Arlene’s Grocery, and every other tiny club in NYC that has led up to those shows. Our favorite show was our last one at Pianos because the place was jam packed, sold out, and that created a lot of energy. We’re a really high energy act and the more connected you are with the crowd, the tighter the space feels, the more energy there is to create. I think that was the most connected we’ve been. It seems like the shows just keep getting better.

How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
We have the best booking agent in town, Turnstyle Music Group, they have really supported us and they’ve been easy to work with. Our advice would be: Follow through on your word. Never cancel anything. Your reputation is your biggest asset so make good on your promises. We’ve always been successful getting shows by just putting our stuff out there and reaching out to people. You have to be proactive. Don’t expect things to fall in your lap, you have to get out there and get after it.

Do you have any mottos?
The Falling Birds: We’re tight when we need to be.

What artists inspire you?
Too many to really mention and the list changes every time someone asks but: Hendrix, nirvana, NOFX, Cash, Joe Pug, Band of Skulls

What’s next for your band?
We’re setting up a tour of the north east and it also looks like we may have a tour set up in the UK for the fall. We will tour around the release of The Falling Birds EP

What do you do when you’re not listening to or making music?
Nothing really, those things take up all our time. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We like a good stiff drink though. Also sleep is nice… When we can get it.

What’s your favorite song right now?
Anything off of the new Alabama Shakes record.

Suggested Listening//Watching, “Sweet Things That Kill”:

The Falling Birds will be playing Mercury Lounge this Friday, May 15th. Get tickets for the show HERE.

Author: Danielle Grubb