I first met Fall From Grace at a Silverstien concert where I thought they were the opening band. Fame was written on their foreheads in my eyes, even though they were still a band struggling to make it. They have become great friends whose success is greatly deserved. I was beyond stoked when they won Bodog's Battle Of the Bands, beyond flattered when Kenny B asked me to shoot his wedding, and beyond excited to see them in "Studio X" during the recording process of their new album. Here is my own quote when I interviewed them the first time shortly before they entered Bodog's Battle Of the Bands.
"They believe in their work, music, fans and each other. I am telling you right now, keep your radar on for them, cuz I can guaran-damn-tee they will be household names soon enough. You heard it here, first, and from yours truly."
Nothing has changed since that quote, except that they actually DID become household names. After FUSE began airing the contest, people were given a little taste of how these guys are. Talented, real, humble, crazy, devoted, inspiring, hilarious and never willing to give up. Their dedication is outstanding and despite winning the whole damn thing, they remain very humble .
Lead vocalist Tryg has always had a natural rockstar swagger and was definitely born for this. Kenny B broke his hand shortly before the recording process and still managed to play like the talented animal he is. Big Ken and his bass can be somewhat intimidating at 6 ft 6, but this big boy is not as scary as you might think. Although it's very possible he could be, especially during the salmon run. Brian or B-Town will rock your socks off and always has a smile on his face. That's probably because he is lucky to be alive after a very serious accident he had years ago. All these guys transform into a collective and cohesive unit once they step on the stage. Each bringing something different and unique to the table.
Terry Date, who has worked with a number of artists,including Pantera, produced the band's new album. The band told me that this album will be a blended mix of their older stuff along with the new material. I am both curious and excited to see where they will go next after the album is released. Warp Tour is already on the list and I'm sure more will follow.
What made you decide to enter Bodog's Battle Of The Bands?
Tryg- Actually what happened was, their myspace had added us as friends. I looked at their page and it said, if you want to take part in battle of the bands, send in your song. So I did and didn't even tell the guys. A couple months went by and they called me and said "You guys have made it to Round One." I guess it was all done by internet voting, but I had completely forgotten about it. So I called the guys and said "I entered this battle of the bands thing and I guess we're in Round One." So of course I got a bunch of shit from them saying stuff like "You entered us in a battle of the bands contest? Dude!".
Kenny- We didn't know who Bodog was at the time, and we were playing any and every gig we could.
Big Ken- Actually the first show was the day we before we went on tour.
Tryg- There were 3 shows of the first round and we won the show we played. After that, we went on tour and continued with the process. After a bit, Big Ken did a huge amount of research on it, because he can sit at a computer for hours researching shit. Anyway, as we did the research we realized how legit it was and the money that was going into it, and we were stoked.
So how has winning the whole thing affected your lives personally and as a band?
Tryg- We all quit our jobs a year and a half ago to do this even on a minor professional level with no backing, it was probably one of the biggest risks we took collectively and individually as well. We all walked away from careers to do it. When we decided to devote ourselves, we hit it as hard as we could, but there was always a shadow of a doubt. It was a scary time because we were getting deeper in the hole from touring. We hoped from the beginning we would win, but we prepared ourselves for not winning. It was a 1/730,000 chance. When we won, it was the weirdest thing that's ever happened. We were used to the TV cameras in our faces all the time and we did what we do . But right after we won the cameras were following us everywhere, and I had to tell them, "Look, I'm in really weird place right now and I would appreciate if you could turn those things off".
Kenny- We hung around for like maybe an hour and then it was like all 4 of us at the same time were like "Let's go!". It was us and the Fear Nuttin Band both darting out to get back to our hotel.
Big Ken- Anybody who knew us before, would turn their noses up at us. After we won it was completely different, we were hot and sexy and everyone wanted to be with us.
Tryg- I think the one major thing that happened to us all, was that we mellowed out a lot. We chill a lot. This record is really important to us cuz everyone knows you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. So right now we're really focused on the album and we're buckling down to get ready for what's next.
Brian- We know that once we're done in the studio, things are going to change. But that's what we signed up for. We're looking forward to traveling, meeting new friends, it's what we've always wanted.
Is there any particular inspiration for the new album?
Tryg-" Covered In Scars" is about how hard things in life happen, and this album is about rising above it and overcoming those hard things . Which is also the message of Fall From Grace. Kenny came up with a line in a song called Burn "..sifting through the wreckage..." which might become the title of the album, we don't know yet.
Kenny- We addressed the hard issues on the first record and now we're addressing how we're getting out of it. It's kind of like we're writing about a character that has no name or face yet.
Brian- It's pretty much our lives basically.
Tryg- There's a song that's called "Who Will Save You Now?" that is inspired by a couple of bands that unfortunately are no longer together, the whole idea is about standing up for what you believe in and standing your ground. Being able to look someone in the eye who has deceived you and say to them "You made the choices that have put you where you're at, and I'm not gonna be that person, at the end of the day your gonna be alone."
So has everyone participated in the writing process of the new album?
Kenny- We had so much fun writing this album!
Tryg- After the finale, we came home, Kenny got married and when he got home from his honeymoon, we sat down and wrote 20 songs in 5 weeks. We just pulled out all the bells and whistles. We took the best of those 20 and the best songs we had prior to this album and then Greg , who worked with Sum 41, came and helped us. We were skeptical about bringing someone in at first and then it became total polar opposite. It was amazing.
Kenny- We were freaked out because we had always done this on our own, and I feared that he would want to change everything and not let me play like I do.
Big Ken- Ya gotta remember when Greg came in, Kenny had a broken hand, so he couldn't play like he usually does.
Kenny- But after we met him that all changed. He thought we were relentless working 12-14 hour days, even with me having a broken hand. We were telling him we couldn't quit, there were still hours in the day left to work.
Big Ken- Poor Greg would ask us if we ever eat, and we'd say NO.
So what would you say has been the most challenging and rewarding part of making this album?
Kenny-Being able to work at Studio X.
Brian-The most challenging would be, letting someone in on our writing process. We did all the last songs at my studio, so letting people in to work on our music was hard to do.
Big Ken- Yeah, it was hard giving up the reigns a little bit.
Tryg-There was definitely a learning curve, but after Greg warmed up to us, ken started fucking with him everyday.
Brian- I would say the greatest reward of all of this is working with Terry Date.
What's it been like working with Terry Date and what do you feel he has brought to the album?
Tryg- It's been the most relaxing recording experience we've ever had, it's just chill, Terry is such a chill guy.
Kenny- Yeah, we jelled with him instantly.
Tryg- We are beside ourselves having the opportunity to work with him, one of the things we said while we were doing battle of the bands was, if we happen to win, we would want to work with a producer that's from the northwest. Someone that has worked with bands from the northwest. We wanted to represent Seattle, so it would be best to use someone from here. Because of the risky people we are and the genre we are, we didn't want something that was perfectly polished. We wanted to keep it raw,with a feeling of it being live. Terry did that.
Brian-Terry's whole idea is to capture the energy of the band.
When do you think the album will be released?
Tryg- July 22nd is the approximate date for it to drop.
Big Ken- The reason it's approximate, is because we're timing it for the salmon run. (Laughs)
Are you going to do Warped Tour this year?
Tryg-Yep, we are doing the last 7 dates of Warped Tour. We did a couple dates last year and met Kevin who told us we could have 7 dates on the tour this year. So we picked the west coast dates, emailed him with them and he said cool, you got 'em.
Describe the perfect day for Fall From Grace as a band.
Tryg- Everyday since we won has pretty much been the perfect day. I mean our dream has come true. Bodog has been wonderful to us and everything is falling into place. So I'd have to say the perfect day will always be tomorrow.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone or say anything to your fans?
Kenny- Our fans are first and foremost and we love them!
Tryg- We're not gonna disappoint you.
Brian- Sorry we've been reclusive lately, we'll see you soon.
Kenny- And thank you to everyone at Bodog for helping us out as well as everyone who helped us make this album.
Big Ken- Thanks to all our sponsors!