The Falls Hollywood Interview
At a time when for most it would be the end of a relationship, for Sydney outfit The Falls this feels like just the beginning
The first single Home, is a bitter sweet tale of escapism and the search for clarity, and the final realisation that no matter how hard you try and avoid life's difficulties, in the end you must deal with them "it all comes back the moment I get home".
It begins light and airy but builds naturally with simple production and with a final lift from a stirring string arrangement from producer Tony Buchen. It is a stunning example of two perfectly complimentary vocals melding together.
Almost subconsciously The Falls have documented their whole relationship in their songs. The love, the betrayal, the heartbreak. While at times it is hard for them to wear their hearts so openly on their sleeve, for The Falls, it has been a huge part of their songwriting.
In the fallout from Valentines Day, The Falls decided that rather than wallowing in self-pity they would put their heartbreak to tape. So they pulled out their little tascam 4-track portastudio, which, with all its tape wobbles and noise, aptly captured the fragility of their hearts. These fledgling recordings were just the beginning of what has become their debut EP 'Hollywood'.
In late 2011, The Falls hit the studio with producer Tony Buchen (Old Man River, Andy Bull, WIM, Washington) to record 'Hollywood'. The Hotel Hollywood in Sydney, has featured so strongly in their lives that it was inevitable that it would manifest itself in this way. For most of 2010 and 2011, it was where they could be found playing each week at a little, somewhat undiscovered, night of free music that emerged from the back streets of Surry Hills called Folk Club. It is also where they met, where they found their sound and where they wrote these songs.
In this intimate setting, the connection between these two onstage was palpable. Their emotionally fuelled live performances are compelling to watch, sometimes heartbreakingly so, garnering reviews such as "intoxicating melodies and gorgeous harmonies" and "(their) strength lies in their ability to convey raw emotion and wisdom in their lyrics".
Buchen managed to imprint some of this Hollywood magic on each track, recording the reverbs for the EP down in the bowels of the hotel, in the downstairs men's toilets. So, each song has on it a little Hollywood porcelain reverb or 'pee-verb' as they've been calling it.
With an unmistakable sound, barefoot collaborators and best friends The Falls are gently making a name for themselves in 2012.
You can listen to The Falls new single Home here: www.musicfromthefalls.com/clipentryHollywood EP Track listing
4.Girl That I Love
6.HollywoodThe Falls Tour Dates
Saturday 4th of August: The Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 5th of August: Pure Pop Records, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 11th of August: Hellen Rose Schauersberger Laboratorium, Sydney
Thursday 16th of August: The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Friday 17th of August: The Hi-Fi, Sydney
Wednesday 22nd of August: The Rosemount, Perth
Thursday 23rd of August: Fowlers, Adelaide
Friday 24th of August: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25th of August: The Waratah Hotel, Hobart
Interview with Melinda Kirwin
Melinda Kirwin (vocals, piano, melodica and other cute things)Question:
How would you describe your music? Melinda Kirwin
: I'd describe The Falls as indie folk, sometimes we call ourselves sad core which is a phrase coined by a friend of ours, Emma Swift who hosts a show called In the Pines because our songs can be quiet melancholic at times and fairly heartbreaking. Question:
Is it difficult listening to your music, knowing that it documents your breakup? Melinda Kirwin
: It is sometimes, at the moment it can be a bit raw because it is pretty fresh. We broke up six months before we recorded this EP so the songs were written while we were together and while we were breaking up; we finished writing the last song on the EP in the studio. For us the EP really documents such an important period of time in our lives. The EP is an important piece of work for us. Question:
Why was it important for you both to still write songs, after your relationship finished? Melinda Kirwin
: We couldn't imagine doing this without each other; we didn't want to lose the one thing about us that really worked. We are still such good friends and we both wanted to keep making this music together and I'm very glad that we figured out a way to do that because it's not always easy (laughing) we are really working hard to make it work. Question:
What was it like working with Tony Buchen? Melinda Kirwin
: Tony Buchen is fantastic! We feel very lucky that we had a chance to work with him because we felt like he really got us and helped us make an album that is really The Falls. Simon and I do a lot of gigs together where it's just the two of us but we wanted to record with a band but we didn't want what we do live to get lost amongst the sound of a band and Tony Buchen really helped us capture what we do, he was wonderful. Question:
What's your inspiration when writing? Melinda Kirwin
: A big inspiration when we were writing these songs in particular was music from the mid to late 60's and early 70's. We were listening to a lot of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and without realising it I think those artists have a big effect on the way we harmonise together and our sound. It was very interesting, for us, looking back when we began recording because we then saw how big of an influence that music had been on us. Question:
What's next? Tour/Album/Single? Melinda Kirwin
: We're launching our EP on Saturday 4th of August at The Empress Hotel in Melbourne and in Sydney on the 11th of August at the Hellen Rose Schauersberger Laboratorium. Then we are going to be joining Passenger on his Australian tour throughout August in pretty much every capital city. Question:
Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel? Melinda Kirwin
: I don't think we've ever contemplating quitting, we love doing this more than anything. There are times were it's really hard, we are self-managed artists and we do everything ourselves as well as holding down day jobs; there are days were you think 'am I crazy to be doing this?' Then, all it takes is to get to a gig and play a great show and it all comes back as to why you are doing it. We'd never quit for the world. Question:
Do you prefer performing live or recording? Melinda Kirwin
: It's funny because we go in cycles. When we're in the studio we really love being in the studio but playing live is what I enjoy most and I think I realised that, last time we were working in the studio with Tony Buchen and I wasn't feeling like myself. We took a break from shows for a month while we were recording and when we returned to our first gig I realised what was missing, I realIy missed doing live shows. For me, performing is definitely the best part.Question:
What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry? Melinda Kirwin
: I always wanted to do music, as a kid music was my thing - I played in every band I could! When I left school I went to University and I wasn't doing music and I was very lucky because I had a lecturer who I was working with who knew I wanted to peruse music and he encouraged me to and helped me record an audition tape. I actually went to Sydney to study music at the Conservatorium and it was because of this lecturer that I did that, once I got in to the Conservatorium there was no turning back, my decision had been made and I moved to Sydney to do music. Question:
What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success? Melinda Kirwin
: Juggling all the different things I do! I have a day job, I play in The Falls and I manage The Falls as well; trying to have a social life in amongst all of that is a big challenge. Question:
What's a typical day like? Melinda Kirwin
: Very, very busy! I teach Saxophone and Clarinet so in the morning I get up and go to school to teach all day. Then, when I get home I have interviews (tomorrow is a radio interview) and then I have a rehearsal, in the evening, after that. Every day is packed and it's always a variation of those things: teaching, gigs, interviews, rehearsals. I have another day job, which I juggle as well which I try and do on the weekends. It does get a little bit crazy! Question:
What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist? Melinda Kirwin
: The best part is being able to do what I love, every single day, I feel very lucky to be in this position even though things do get a little crazy and busy, I feel so lucky!Question:
If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be? Melinda Kirwin
: I've actually been talking about this lately because I am a huge fan of Beck and we would love to work with him at some point, whether it's from a production perspective or writing - I really love his work. Question:
Do you have a website fans can visit? Melinda Kirwin
: We do, it is: MusicFromTheFalls.comQuestion:
What message would you like your music to say to your fans? Melinda Kirwin
: The underlying theme in our songs is always that there is a hopefulness about our writing even though the content can be quiet heavy, I think there is always an underlying element of hope. Question:
What is the story behind the band's name? Melinda Kirwin
: I grew up in Darwin and we'd always talk about going to The Falls which are the waterfalls a couple of hours out of Darwin and when we were trying to come up with a name for the band we wanted something with a warmth and naturalness to the sound and words that didn't have a strong meaning and fit with our music. The Falls was something that came up after we'd thrown around so many names; part of the challenge was finding a name that fits for the music but also isn't the name of another band, that already exists. When we found The Falls it felt right and there aren't any other bands called The Falls out there which is why we stuck with it!