Garage rock duo, The Falling Birds, have been hard at work, writing and recording for their latest and newest EP "What Is There to Talk About". Frontman vocalist, guitarist, harmonica player as well as the song writer, Stephen Artemis, discusses this EP and some band insight.
1. What role do you play in the band?
Stephen: I write the songs, I play guitar, harmonica and I sing.
2. The Falling Birds is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Stephen: We scheduled our first gig before we had a band name. As the gig date drew closer the venue was pressuring us to tell them what our name was but we still hadn't come up with anything good. Then right before the gig an entire flock of blackbirds fell out of the sky over Arkansas. We felt like it was an omen. So we settled on The Falling Birds as a metaphor. Sort of like being a black sheep.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Stephen: A lot of stuff. I'm a real music junkie. I like blues and blues-rock like Chuck Barry, Howlin Wolf, Jimi Hendrix mixed with 90's post punk like the The Breeders, The Pixies & Nirvana.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Stephen: I'm up to the same old tricks as anybody else. There's nothing new that I'm talking about. Life, love, apathy, frustration, happiness, money, success and failure seem to creep up a lot. It's all in the way you say it.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Stephen: Yeah I write all my own songs. People ask me this question all the time. I think it's important not to develop a "process" because that implies that it is repeatable. I don't want my songs to come across as repeats I think they should each have their own character. So I wind up playing a lot of music & trying a lot of stuff before it becomes a song. I'm constantly writing. It is never ending. My process is simply to be devoted to songwriting and to listen for those little moments that stand out as unique, then I try to develop that into a song.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Stephen: I tell them that it's not bad and they should check it out if they like rock n roll.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
Stephen: I'm not really sure. Dave and I just try and write the best songs we can. Whatever people want to make of it after that is their own interpretation.
8. What's your take on "What Is There to Talk About" EP as a whole?
Stephen: I'm really proud of it. It's the first time we were able to go into a studio and work with a producer to capture the sounds that were in our heads. Before this record we recorded our first EP on our own in our basement and that was challenging. I think being able to focus on just the musical aspects of the record allowed us to put together a really solid EP with a lot of dynamics.
9. What is the concept behind the EP and how did the idea come about?
Stephen: The only concept is the name. Everything else is just random. I mean, at least in terms of the songs it's completely random. "What is there to talk about" is a lyric from one of the songs on the record. It's tongue and cheek. There's so much going on in the world right now it's hard to know where to start.
10. What is your favorite title on the EP and why?
Stephen: I'm partial to Let's Rewind because it's a fun song to play live. It's a fun song to sing and I like the riff.
11. What can fans expect from the new EP?
Stephen: Higher production quality, a lot of dynamics and a lot of detail. Same old The Falling Birds though.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?
Stephen: Writing was a mixed bag, Keep it Up And See What Happens was written in a day while I had Cinders In The Breeze for like 4 years before I recorded it. We recorded the record as well as four or five other songs in 3 days. It was pretty quick.
13. Why do you think people should check out your new EP?
Stephen: Same reason I wrote the damn thing. Because they love new music and they think the crap that they're forced to listen to on the radio sucks. That's why.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Stephen: I think what makes us different is that we're able to mix the blues and folk with punk and have it come out sounding like it's the same band.
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Stephen: We want to be the biggest band in the world so that everyone is forced to listen to us on the radio causing them to eventually turn on us and call us sell outs when we've become fat and lazy. Also, we want to have a fantastic low point for the "Behind The Music" special.
16. What does next year hold for The Falling Birds?
Stephen: Next year we'll probably release another record and tour more. Hopefully we'll get out further than the Northeast. Write your congress person.
17. Describe The Falling Birds in three words.
Stephen: What. the. Fuck?