Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview With The Falcon

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass guys. I really appreciate this. It's been 5 years since "Unicornography" came out. When will we be seeing a new Falcon album?

Brendan Kelly: I don't know man, it's kinda hard to say. The thing about The Falcon is it's sorta, well it started out as a way for me to write songs that weren't going to be Lawrence Arms songs. Which was to kinda work in an environment that was different from my day job, which is The Lawrence Arms. But now The Lawrence Arms really isn't my day job because we don't really play that much anymore. So the fundamental purpose of The Falcon is sorta been undermined by my life. And I'm about to make a solo record that doesn't really sound like The Falcon enough to call it The Falcon, so I'm doing something completely different. Right now it's gonna come out in March, which is a full band project. But it's not The Falcon. So that's sort of in a way taking the place of what The Falcon was doing in my mind. But that being said, since the beginning of The Falcon, Dan, from The Alkaline Trio, has been in the band. And he and I had been talking about writing a Falcon record. So even though it's like the mechanical purpose of The Falcon is more useless than ever, the wheels actually are sorta in motion right now, however slowly, to actually make a record. (Looks at Neil and Eli) Are you guys down with that by the way?

Eli Caterer: Totally.

BK: So the whole bands into it so. So, maybe this year. Maybe 2012.

CM: So is this the officially line-up now? Or is Dan gonna be coming back if there is a new record?

BK: Well, you know, Dan was the actual reason for me to even consider writing a new record. He was like "Hey man, lets write a new Falcon record." And I was like "Well, I'm just finishing writing a record right now. So it might take a second." But yeah, you know like Dan's obviously a busy dude, and tonight we got Derrick from The Alkaline Trio playing bass. Derek is a multi-instrumentalist. Dan, if he is available, is always down to playing Falcon shows. In fact he thought there was a chance he would be in town for this show. And he was like "Well, show me the set list and if I'm around I'll play." You know he's always down, but he's a busy dude, and he lives in Florida. But Eli's been playing with The Falcon. I mean Eli's for sure the guitar player for The Falcon as much as anyone else can be. He's played 95% of all the Falcon shows we've played.

EC: And I actually guitar teched at the show I didn't play.

BK: I think you only missed like 1 show, no 2 shows. 1 because you had to go home for a wedding, and our roadie played. So he's easily replaceable, but we don't wanna replace him. (Laughter)

CM: Will we be seeing more Falcon shows in 2012 with or without a record?

Neil Hennessy: It's safe to say there will probably be a show or two. We always seem to play around Riot Fest. There are certain times of the year where you might see The Falcon fly by!

BK: It's kinda weird because at this point The Falcon hasn't really done anything in a real long time. We've only got really one album. And it's like when we play it's like we're just coming out and playing this one increasingly obscure album. (Laughter) So it's weird, it's a weird thing. And when they asked "Hey, do you wanna play with Naked Raygun?" I was like "Fuck, I LOVE Naked Raygun." I grew up loving Naked Raygun. There's just no way I'm turning down playing with Naked Raygun. It's like I guess we'll dust off that one record again. (Laughter) Because that's all we have to play. But that could all change.

CM: And that all goes into the next question which is, growing up in the 80s we've all been Naked Raygun fans. We've all been in this fucking venue watching Naked Raygun play. What's it like for you to be in this venue, on this stage, with them, playing with them tonight?

BK: It's awesome. You know I used to go see Naked Raygun play every time they played in Chicago, but it was always at the Riv. Which is where they played back in those days. And I never saw them at the Metro. So I'm really excited about that.

CM: You didn't catch one of the final shows at the Metro in '96?

EC: I was at one of those shows.

BK: I didn't. I think I was on tour with maybe The Broadways. Yeah, I wasn't around for that one. But, when I was in high school I would go see Naked Raygun play like every month or when ever they seemed to play at he Riv. Which like NOW, looking back on that, it's mind boggling to have that dedicated of a fan base to play.

EC: And they easily sold that place out every time.

BK: Yeah, it was incredible. But yeah, you know it's an honor to be able to play with Naked Raygun here tonight.

EC: It is an honor.

BK: I mean those guy's are a big part of the reason why I think we're all doing this kind of thing.

CM: Alright, I have one more question. And this one is directed at you Brendan. Recently you reformed Slapstick and played in San Francisco as part of the Asian Man Records 10th Anniversary concerts.

BK: Yes, that's correct.

CM: Why didn't you guy's play in Chicago? And will we be seeing a Slapstick reunion in Chicago at some point in the near future?

BK: Well, to answer the first part first, the reason that Slapstick reformed was because Mike Park, who was so integral in the development in launching all of our musical careers in that band. He asked us as a favor to do that. And he asked all of us individually and we all said yes. It wasn't like we all got together and said "Dude, you know what we need to do? Slapstick reunion!" (Laughter) I mean it's like it wasn't even remotely on the table. But it's like when one of your best friend and mentor like....I don't wanna sound cheesy, but Mike Park is like this lighthouse of friendship and sincerity in a world of uh, you know, increasingly fabulous motivation as soon as it is to get higher and higher up the food chain and make it easier. And Mike Park has always been there for all of us you know. He's always been like the coolest guy. And he was like "Hey man, I wanna get all the bands together who have ever been on the label." And Slapstick was the 3rd band to get signed. MU330, Less Than Jake and Slapstick. And Slapstick was the 3rd record he put out. So I think we all just figured like, I don't wanna say  it was a big deal to him, but it was a fairly significant piece of the puzzle pulling this whole thing together, with every band he's ever put out. So it's like a no brainer to do it for him. So, Chicago didn't ask the right way I guess is the answer to your second question. But we're gonna do a Chicago show. There's no 2 ways about it. There will be a Chicago show.

CM: In 2012?

BK: Definitely in 2012. I've actually been approached. And I've put the feelers out to everyone and everyone has said "Yeah, sounds like an awesome time."

CM: That's all I've got for you guys. I wanna thank you again for talking with Critical Mass. And I hope you guys have a great show.

BK: Awesome thanks for talking with us. 

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