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[AltWire Interview] Leo, Adam and Rebecca of Falling From Trees

Falling From Trees are an English rock quintet hailing from Norwich, UK. Having already released EP’s On and On and Words, the band’s newest single ‘Dirty Footprints’ saw the group re-established as a full five member band, opting for a more rock orientated sound and less akin to the folk direction of previous releases.

I recently caught the band performance at Epic Studios (Norwich, UK), and members Leo, Adam and Rebecca were kind enough to chat with us here at AltWire!

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Hi guys, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! For those not yet familiar with Falling From Trees, would you mind first introducing yourselves to our readers and tell us a little bit about the band?

Leo White: Hi, thanks for contacting us! So, we’re a five-piece rock band from Norwich consisting of Rebecca White (lead vocals), Leo White (lead guitar/vocals), Adam White (rhythm guitar/vocals), Joey Scampion (bass/vocals) and finally, Sam Ball (drums).

Adam White: Our sound is kind of hard to describe as we all bring different influences to the band but it’s rooted in blues with soulful lead vocals and catchy rhythms. We’re also partial to a vocal harmony or two…!

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Where would you say it all started for Falling From Trees? Were you all already in contact before coming together to form the band? 

Adam White: Bec, Leo and I are actually siblings and so we’ve been lucky enough to play music together in various iterations since we were kids. We all kind of drifted apart for uni but eventually ended up in Norwich and basically picked up where we left off!

Leo White: Falling From Trees began as an acoustic folk trio and we released a couple of EPs under this format. In the last year or so we gradually introduced Joey and Sam into the band on bass and drums. Joey just so happens to be Bec’s fiancé and Sam, well, we just found him… he’s kind of like a pet that can drum. Poor Sam.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: I definitely get a bit of a Fleetwood Mac vibe from ‘Dirty Footprints’, and personally really love the moody alt-country direction on ‘Rainfall’; can you name any specific influences that have fed into the sound of Falling From Trees? 

Leo White: Honestly, I know it’s a cliché answer, but we really bring on influences from all over. Every member of the band comes from a different musical background and we feel like that gives us the edge when writing new music. With ‘Dirty Footprints’ I’d say that was a development from our former folky-selves mixed up with a heavy blues vibe. But then you get to the breakdown and that’s where we like to think there’s a Wishbone Ash influence.

Adam White: I think the main thing is we’re all just huge fans of music in general; we all listen to all kinds of stuff and it just naturally finds its way into our songs. It definitely goes back to our childhood though. I mean, one minute we were listening to Led Zeppelin and the next we’re listening to Jean Michel Jarre. It’s a great thing – we have no respect for genres – all that matters is if it sounds good.

Rebecca White: ‘Rainfall’ is actually one of our oldest songs and comes from way back when me and Leo used to play music as a duo in our teens. It was probably the first song we wrote together and then of course we developed it as a three piece. We’ve actually tried it as a five piece and it becomes a really powerful song.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Lyrically ‘The Dad Song’ from your On and On EP really stands out to me as a particularly personal track, would you say a lot of other songs draw from similarly personal experiences and influences? 

Leo White: Not necessarily. A lot of our songs come from characters and scenarios we invent. ‘The Dad Song’ was a bit different though – It was a birthday song that we wrote for our Dad, which in turn, we may have made overly obvious when we debuted it at a show a few years ago! It would have been okay if he hadn’t shed a tear at the end of the song. Oh, the guilt

Adam White: Yeah, sorry about that, Dad. It’s funny because I think for me a lot of the lyrics I write are pretty personal in the sense that the emotion definitely comes from within even if the subject matter might not. The great thing is that I can take those words, give them to Bec and she can channel a completely different emotion. So I guess what I’m saying is, yes and no.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: How would you describe the overall writing process for the band, from an initial song idea to eventually making it as a Falling From Trees track? 

Rebecca White: I guess generally Leo and Adam will come up with a riff or more and bring it to the band and we kind of just work on it from there. It’s a nice process that really gives more meaning to the songs we write because we are all involved and can decide where it goes next.

Adam White: In the past, we used to be a lot more, what’s the word… prescriptive? I think when all you have is two acoustic guitars and three vocals you have to be very precise. Bringing in a rhythm section and going electric has just opened up a lot of opportunities to experiment.

Leo White: Also, the fact we are now a five piece is still a novelty in many ways because we write to our strengths and know where a crazy drum fill will go or a super dark bass breakdown will fit in.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: It was really great fun seeing you guys live at Epic Studios on Friday 20th, you really seem to have a lot of fun up there; are there any really memorable performances throughout the band’s career that stand out at all?

Leo White: Glad you enjoyed it! That gig was really special for us. Mammal Not Fish are good friends of ours and we’ve gigged with them before, so it was an honor to support them at their EP launch.

As far as other gigs go, I would have to say The Revelation Brothers “Angrycultural Areas” EP launch at Open, Norwich in September last year. I think that was one of the first gigs we played with Sam as our new drummer and it really set the tone for what was to come for us as a band. It was the start of a new phase of Falling From Trees.

Rebecca White: Also, earlier this year we had our first London gig at Ninety One, Brick Lane! We were playing at a friend’s fundraiser for Bricoleur Magazine. Again, that was another special one because it was our first taste of London.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Are there any artists in particular that you would love to collaborate with, either live or in studio? 

Leo White: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sabbath, Wishbone Ash, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Nina Simone, Bowie, Weezer, Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers, Uriah Heep, Ray Charles, Amy Winehouse, Fleet Foxes, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, The Menzingers, Black Stone Cherry, Little Richard, Skindred – It’s a ridiculous mix of bands and that’s not even half of them.

Rebecca White: That’d be a wicked festival line-up!

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Let’s talk a little bit about the future for the band; you mention on your official site that your newest release ‘Dirty Footprints’ marks a turning point for Falling From Trees. Can I ask what might be coming next for the band? 

Leo White: Well, we don’t like to kiss and tell… but some Sleepless Nights have been had… (wink wink)

Adam White: I guess that’s the cat out of the bag! We have recently finished recording our debut full band EP with Justin Brand at NRSIX Studios in Norwich. It’s a five-track record and we hope to release it very soon. Like ‘Dirty Footprints’, expect more big, groove-laden tunes with huge vocals and maybe a cool breakdown or two! Other than that, we’re also looking forward to a bunch of festival appearances over summer, including Homegrown Festival, Harlequin Fayre and Trunchonbury.

AltWire [Mark Stoneman]: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us here at AltWire, on a final note was there anything else you would like to add, either to fans of the band or to our readers? 

Leo White: To anyone who has listened to our music, seen us live or come and talked to us after a show, we want to say thank you. We do this because we love writing and performing music. Your support means the world to us!

Adam White: Keep listening, spread the word, and most importantly, continue supporting local music.

Rebecca White: Thanks for having us – much love from the whole band!

Leo White: And Sam.

Listen to Falling From Trees ‘On and On’ here:

 

 

 

M. Stoneman

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