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Love & Sin
A Conversation With Forever The Fallen
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
One of the things I love about the live music scene in the Fort is the variety. No matter what your taste in music is, there's always a band just waiting to trip your trigger on one local stage or another. Punk, psych, classic rock, metal,...you name it and some local guys or gals are doing it and doing it well somewhere in town.
If your thing is hard rock and metal, look no further than Fort Wayne's Forever The Fallen. These guys have been hitting stages all over the city playing their own brand of intense, hard driving metal. Forever The Fallen is Jason Downs on vocals, Brandon Francis on lead and rhythm guitars, Mike Clevinger on lead and rhythm guitars, Dan Edwards on bass and Alex Waters on drums. The guys took some time out from promoting their new EP Love & Sin to chat with me about their music.
EA Poorman: How did Forever The Fallen come about? What other bands were you guys from?
Dan: As a band, we were born out of the remnants of other bands. Myself and Brandon (Francis, guitar) were in a band together called Contender Rising. After the dissolution of that band we decided to form FTF. We found Mike (Clevinger, guitarist) and Austin our original singer. Alex (Waters, drums) came in a bit later. Austin had to leave the band due to a medical condition. Thatís when we found Jason (Downs, Vocals). as far as bands we have been in.. As I said Brandon and I were in Contender Rising. I was also in Rains, Pheen, and Thematic. Alex was in Shadder, and Jason, who is originally from Indianapolis, was in a band called NO More Goodbyes, who was a very prominent band in the Indianapolis Scene.
EAP: Tell me about the music. What artists help to inform the sound of Forever The Fallen?
Mike: Well, between the five of us there's a lot of influences to list... But personally I have a lot of metal influences that drive me, anything from Chimaira to Metallica to even bands like Born of Osiris. But I'm also a big fan of bands like Breaking Benjamin, Bullet for my Valentine, Sevendust, Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold etc. I don't exactly have a sound to aim for when I try to write material, but it kind of naturally leans into the rock/hard rock category.
Dan: I am into a lot of different kinds of rock music as well. I love bands like Breaking Benjamin, Nonpoint, and Three Days Grace, but I also love bands like Memphis May Fire, Of Mice And Men, Nothing More, and Asking Alexandria. I believe that our music covers the gamut of all of our influences, you can hear a bit of everything in our music. For instance, alot of the electronic stuff that you hear in our music comes from mine and Brandon's love for bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Linkin Park. Mike's guitar playing shows his love for bands like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. Basically what I am saying is that we don't restrict ourselves to a certain category of hard rock. We love it all.
EAP: You have an EP coming out called Love & Sin. Tell me about it. Where was it recorded? How many songs are on it? Where will it be available for folks to pick up a copy?
Mike: Cherry Pit Studios in Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin. The producer/engineer was Eric LaBrosse. Absolutely fantastic guy to work with. He's good about letting the band be the band and pushing you to do the best you can while he captures it all.
Dan: The record was also mastered by Joel Wanesek (Trapt, The Veer Union, Asking Alexandria). (MIke) It's a 5 track EP, and when we release in May you'll be able to download it on basically anywhere you can buy digital music. iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc... But if you're interested in a hard copy CD you can contact us on Facebook to order one, or the best option yet, come to a show and see us at the merch booth!
EAP: Let's talk about Forever The Fallen's songwriting process. Does the band write as a band, or is there a main songwriter that brings the tunes to the rest of the band to work out? Do you guys just get together and hash it out during practices? Every band has their own process, I'm just curious as to what yours is.
Mike: Honestly it all depends. It could happen at any time. Sometimes we just jam nonsense at practice and if something cool happens, we'll all be like "whoa do that again" and then all of a sudden we're onto something. And other times, someone will come to the band and say "hey check this riff out" and if we all dig it, we'll work together to make a song out of it. But usually once we get something relatively solid, we will record it into a DAW at home and work with it there until it becomes a song. We usually end up producing our own demo tracks which get used as scratch tracks (a reference model) when we get to the real studio.
EAP: What's the hard rock/metal scene like in the Fort for original hard rock bands?
Mike: As for the hard rock scene around here, it feels to me like it can be very rough on new bands. But to directly contradict myself, the support that we have behind us is overwhelming. And that's a huge deal to me. I try to meet and thank everyone personally that comes out to see us, wherever we may be.
EAP: So what's a Forever The Fallen live show like? Are there any places in the Fort you guys love playing? Any places you'd rather not play again?
Mike: An FTF show is loud and intense. All the members of this band recognize and address the need to engage with the crowd, and we always will do so whenever possible. So come see us and I just might come play a guitar solo in your lap!
EAP: What was one of the best shows you guys ever had playing live? What was one of the worst?
Dan: I cannot really pinpoint one in particular. Every time that we as a band play together, there is an overwhelming feeling of togetherness and synergy between the five of us. I personally get lost in that and kinda forget my surrounding for that time, ya know? So like I said as far as pinpointing my favorite show, i really can't tell you.
And as far as the worst venue we have played. I can honestly say that there is not a venue in Fort Wayne that we won't play again.
EAP: Got any upcoming gigs you want to share with us?
Dan: We are still in the process of booking out our summer/fall string of shows. One in particular that really has me excited is the one that we are doing in Shelbyville, Indiana. Its the Butch Ellis Battle Of The Bands and it is a benefit for Rupert's Kids. I am really excited about this one because it is an amazing cause and we are extremely happy to be a part of it and hopefully make a small difference in some kids lives.
EAP: In a year from now, where do you guys want Forever The Fallen to be? Could there be a full-length album in your future?
Mike: I think in a year from now my only goal is to be playing shows and having a good time with the people who follow us! As for a full length album, there's no official plan for that yet, but writing is a process that doesn't really stop for us. So you never know.
Dan: The plan is to get to a full length for sure, but for now we are truly happy and excited about "Love & Sin" so we are for sure going to ride this record out for a bit. We are very proud of this record. It took what seemed like forever to get this out. Alot of hard work and stress, now I think we would like to reap the rewards of our hard work. At least for a little bit.(laughs)
Keep up with everything Forever The Fallen at facebook.com/foreverthefallenmusic.
And get to a show and snag a copy of Love & Sin.