Mother Falcon Soars On to Greater Heights

Mother Falcon is an act unlike any other. This massive collection of musicians can build and create a solid source of music. They go and talk to me about the song writing process, what inspires them to do what they love and much much more.

1. Mother Falcon is it where does a name like that come from?

"Mother Falcon" is a band name I've always enjoyed because, while we have grown into it and brought a level of respectability and presentation to the name, it ultimately originates from not simply a TV overdub for a vulgar catch phrase (Die Hard's "Yippee kay yay, ____"), but a misremembering of that overdub (it was actually "Mister Falcon").  I'd like to think that says something about our own balance between taking ourselves seriously and not.

2. What is your music background?

Our members come from myriad musical backgrounds.  About half have studied or are studying instrumental performance in college, either classically or in jazz.  Most of the rest of us were competitive on our instruments on regional and state levels in high school, but chose other paths in our education.  It makes for an interesting balance, having half the band as music majors and half as shifting multi-instrumentalists.

3. What are your songs about? What specific themes do they cover?

Because the group is so large and our songwriting process passes through so many different hands, our songs rarely tell one person's story.  Many songs are specific references to literature (The Great Gatsby, Rabbit Run, for example),  and the songs that come from our own experiences end up an amalgam of many different situations.  The songs on Alhambra focus on nostalgia, death, and watching your community age and change.

4. Do you write your own songs? Can you discuss the songwriting process in more detail.

Yes, in fact the only songs we've covered in my tenure with the group are "All the Small Things" by Blink 182 and "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.  Because our arrangement process is usually so lengthy, we tend to apply that focus to our own songs.  The process of songwriting is lengthy as well, often taking 6 months or longer to settle on a final version.  The seed of the song will usually originate from one or two people, typically Nick Gregg, Tamir or Claire, and then a group of roughly 8 will take stabs at that premier idea over a period of a few months until a few more ideas emerge around it and a playable structure coalesces.  Even then, though, the song is far from complete, and it usually takes another few months of practicing before each section (strings, horns, etc.) finishes writing their own parts.  Often we'll work the song up, play it out once, and then return to the drawing board with a whole new set of criticisms that we only discovered on the stage.  Needless to say, when a song is finally done, we feel quite accomplished.

5. How do you describe your music to people?

We discussed genre names for a long time, and we've received some very flattering comparisons to other bands (my favorite was "if young Arcade Fire were orch dorks"), but I think most of us have given up on straight descriptions.  Now, I tend to just list the instruments; once you finish with the strings and get on to horns, people start to form an idea.

6. What image do you think your music conveys?

In terms of our own image?  I hope that we manage to convey the seriousness of an orchestral performance with the extroverted energy of a rock show.  We take a lot of care in balancing our reverent moments with fist-pumpers.

7. How do you rate your live performance ability?

We're a live band first, studio band second.  Everything we do is built on the live concert aspect of music.  I think that we, when we're at our best, have a lot of synergy on stage, so that the sheer number of moving parts on stage functioning properly and excitedly is thrilling to the audience in and of itself.  I think that it really helps engage the audience to see sixteen people on stage rocking out.

8. Have you recorded any previous CDs or posted any audio files on the Internet?

Our first release was an EP titled Still Life, which we released in February 2010.  We released Alhambra locally in 2011, and nationally in 2012.  The only other recording out there right now (besides youtube videos) is a digital single of a song called "Pennies."  It's a staple of our live show, but didn't really fit on any album, so we've been giving it away to folks who sign up on our mailing list.

9. What type of recording process did you use? Who produced your recording?

We self-produced both Still Life and Alhambra, with me acting as the main helmsman, so to speak.  Recording Alhambra was quite a production: the instruments were recorded live in Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin over three days in August 2010.  We had an amazing crew of engineers who placed mics all over the main sanctuary to capture the specificity of our sound in that space.  Then we took those tracks to a home studio and tracked vocals and a few other instruments over the following months.  Including preproduction and location scouting, the whole process took about 8 months.

10. How did you sell your CD’s/Audio Files?

Alhambra and Still Life are available on iTunes,, and Amazon, as well as Waterloo Records in Austin, TX and--of course--our shows.

11. Where can the fans access your music and is there anything else you'd like say or add?

Besides the aforementioned sources, we also have a large number of live videos on youtube, many of which are produced by some talented film friends of ours.  Check out or our Facebook page for updates as we start laying down new tracks later this year.

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