Canadian punk rock band The Fallaways have released their second EP “Sunset Ave,” following three years after their debut EP “Skiddish” from 2017. Balancing party rock music with substance from their personal lives, The Fallaways pursue a musical style that has been recommended for fans of Fall Out Boy and Green Day. Based in the rich Vancouver punk scene, the band has thus far proceeded with a strong focus on single-based releases, having released five singles from “Sunset Ave.” before its complete release.
Already having toured with bands such as The Lazys and opening for bands such as Red Fang, The Fallaways were able to partner FIDLAR producer Zac Carper to produce three of the six songs on “Sunset Ave.” With a touch from Carper’s experienced hands, “Sunset Ave” sees a broad sonic spectrum in genres that range from pop, to punk, to 90s grunge in six short tracks. Singles from the album having already gaining traction on Spotify and other streaming services, The Fallaways are seeing growth in both their sound and their fanbase with the release of their second EP.
Vocalist Jason Koster and bass player Daniel Prince spoke with Sonic Perspectives contributor Samantha Buckman on the inspiration for the new EP, what it was like working with Zac Carper, and what the band is looking to accomplish in the near future. Read the full interview below, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow Sonic Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
I’m excited to be discussing the band’s just released EP “Sunset Ave”. To start off, how are you feeling about the reception? This is your second release after the 2017 EP “Skiddish,” so what’s the feeling in the house right now?
Jason: It’s good. I mean, we did this one a little bit differently. So what we realized with that first EP was just doing singles and kind of pushing each song itself for a bit first is what was more effective for us. So we’ve basically gotten five singles out from the EP for people to dig in. The sixth song on the EP was like the bonus to package it all together. But just seeing it all come together for the last year or so, it’s been a lot of work and it’s nice to see a wind down finally.
That’s one thing that I noticed. It’s an EP so it’s shorter by nature, but you’ve really went hard on those single tracks. What exactly made you decide that this was the best way to get your vision out there?
Jason: I’ve seen a lot of local bands, a lot of our friend’s bands that are amazing bands. They have great songs. They released like a full EP at once with maybe one single before it, and the rest of the album just kind of seems to get washed under washed under the current. You kind of need to push everything individually, so people get a full experience of what you’re all about. I feel like there’s not enough of an attention span these days in music. People that are listening to Spotify and stuff like that, they’ll just add a song that they liked to a playlist. Just having each song kind of exposed a little bit at first has just given us that much more traction.
When the time comes for a full-length album, do you think you’re going to take the same approach?
Jason: I think with a full-length album that’s going to be a bit of a different deal. I mean, I think that might be what’s next for us. I’m not a hundred percent sure yet, we’re still working on details, but I took the stance this is going to be our last EP where we can kind of do whatever we want and test the waters. And then after that, it’s go time. With a 10 song album, we’d probably do two or three singles and then the album would be out.I’ve seen your music described as a mix of Fall Out Boy and Green Day. What qualities do The Fallaways take from both of those bands and how would you describe yourself separate from them?
Jason: The youthfulness, if anything. We all kind of grew up on like the punk vibe, the punk scene and both bands have a little bit of that, but they also have a lot of their own flavors. I think the way that we differ is that we’re a modern approach to like older style music, but I’ve never really been able to tie down our music as a one band sound. It’s a hybrid of a lot of other music, which I think is cool, and it kind of sets us apart in that sense
Which bands have been the biggest inspiration to you, both in the present as songwriters and when you were younger?
Jason: I grew up on Sum 41 and Rise Against and bands like that, and that’s the bands that got me into just wanting to do music. But once I really started buckling down with songwriting, I was into bands more like FIDLAR, which was kind of my high school, favorite band. And then we ended up working with Zac from that band, which was really cool. When I got to college, I started really digging into older Green Day and a band called Highly Suspect if you know them at all.
Daniel: I grew up really enjoying Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. For Foo Fighters, I really respected the fact how the first album was just David Grohl tracking everything, and as a musician I can really appreciate that. Just knowing all the different aspects and angles of recording and songwriting, the lyricism. They’re both absolutely phenomenal. Highly Suspect is phenomenal, so is Royal Blood.
It’s fantastic that you were a fan of FIDLAR and now you get to work with the same producer. What has that experience been like, and how did that happen?
Jason: Wow, it’s a great story. Essentially I’ve been following the band since grade nine or grade ten. I graduated high school in 2012, so that’s 2008, 2009, when I started. They were getting bigger on YouTube, that’s kind of how they blew up, but they weren’t really a big band yet. And it’s only two years before we started working with Zac when they started really getting big. Essentially what happened was we wrote this song “Dumb.” We didn’t even have the song finished, but halfway through writing it, I was like, ‘guys, Zac Carper from FIDLAR needs to produce this.’ This is such a Zac song and this is just has to happen. So I ended up sending him a message on Instagram and he got back to me right away.
He was like, ‘hey man, send me the song, I’m stoked to check it out.’ I didn’t even have a demo recorded at this point. So I just spent like the next hour vigorously getting together a really shitty demo. It was like maybe the first verse and the chorus, but like that’s what I sent to Zac. And then he was really stoked on that. This was like a week before they played in Vancouver, so we ended up going for dinner before they played that night. And he was like, ‘I’d love to come and do three songs with you guys.’ And we just booked the date we made it happen.
Would you say that’s the most exciting thing that’s happened with you for the band so far?
Jason: There’s a more exciting thing in the works right now in terms of what’s coming after the EP. I can’t honestly talk about it, but it’s exciting to see that those things keep getting better and better. It shows that the work that we’re putting in, it’s going somewhere and it’s worth it, it’s paying off for us. That’s probably the most exciting thing, honestly.
I’ve seen a lot of growth between the first EP and this latest one. So how would you say that “Sunset Ave.” differs from “Skiddish?” Where have you seen the most growth for yourself?
Jason: I think just in terms of a songwriting, it’s more honest. I think “Problems” from the first EP was a very honest song and like it had some substance and that’s what I wanted to carry through to the next EP. I just wanted to make the songs more real, more true to ourselves while still being relatable. We love writing party rock songs, and people love those songs, but writing a party rock song with good substance is kind of hard to come by it. And that was the goal.
So what did you really focus on as musicians and as artists in those three years, and how long have you been working on this material for this season?
Jason: Some of the songs, probably three years. Sometimes you write a song and then it gets put on the back burner until you have the rest of the songs. Essentially what happened for this EP was we recorded three with our old producer. “Alive,” “Let Go,” and “I’m Electric” were done with another producer and then “Feeling Low,” “Dumb,” and “Still Alive” were done with Zac of FIDAR. So they were done at different times. I think we finished the first three songs a couple of months before we did the other three. It was never really envisioned to be on the same EP, but the way we looked at it was all these songs were written at the house that we were living at. They were all from the same experience. So we just figured throw them on the same collection and we’ll call it that part of our lives.
You described yourself just now as you do a lot of party rock songs, but you said you wanted to have them to have substance. So when I came to the EP, what do you want your listeners to really feel? Who do you want to be attracted to this music?
Jason: I’ve always wanted a wide range of people to be able to listen to our music. I think in a sense we do have that because a lot of the older classic rock guys that we know quite well, they love our stuff and that’s kind of hard to come by, for older guys that really connect with a young band. So we’re trying to be as wide as we can in that respect, and that’s why we have songs like “Feeling Low.” “Feeling Low” is in my opinion, a pop song with a bit of grungy, nineties roots. We don’t want to have the same song six times on an EP. We want to be able to change it up. Still keeping that Fallaways sound, but a song for everybody in a sense.
What parts of your personality do you put into your music the most?
Jason: I guess the thing that comes out the most is just the hardships in life. I think for me it’s always more natural writing things in life that have kind of brought me down in a sense, and that came through and conquered and moved forward from. I feel like a lot of the times these days that’s what the world kind of needs in a sense, because it’s a very toxic world we live in. Just kind of having music about coming through that, I think it’s very needed.
What are some of the big concepts and narratives that really drive this EP?
Jason: “Dumb” is basically a song about wishing you didn’t care about the little things and that they didn’t affect you and that they didn’t bring you down every day. Then you’ve got songs like “Feeling Low,” which was essentially written about the band being in a weird situation. We all basically hated each other after this long Canada tour, and “Feeling Low” was basically a breakup song for the band in a way. In a weird way it brought the band back together because we were all like, ‘this is awesome.’ Then there’s songs like “Alive,” which was mainly written by me. And that’s just about my struggles with drugs and alcohol, and trying to just push that side out of my life. “Let Go” is kind of the song about getting through that. So it’s all got its purpose and its own inspiration behind every song. It’s all a journey about life and living through the band life.
How did The Fallaways get started?
Jason: I broke up with a girl and also in the same week broke up with a band that I was playing drums for. They wrote great songs, but they could not keep it together ever. I was the drummer who wasn’t part of the songwriting, but I was the only one who was on it. Essentially I just wanted to start my own projects, and then I wrote three songs under a band called Toxic, which is essentially what formed into The Fallaways. Devin who plays for us now and our drummer, Josh were part of that line up. And then we essentially just rebranded from that about a year into the project as The Fallaways.
How did each of you get interested in music and specifically being creators and musicians?
Jason: I grew up in a small town. Music was the only thing that really got me excited about growing up and pursuing that. That’s just the only thing I could really see myself doing. I know it sounds stereotypical or cliche, but you can ask any of my teachers in high school. I’ve always said that I was going to do this, and now I’m doing it.
Daniel: I grew up kind of sheltered, so I didn’t really grow up listening to the crazy big rock and roll bands. I think I finally discovered it when I was 16, but I started playing guitar when I was around 11 in my church youth group. Then throughout high school I put music on the back burner, playing football, you know, life happens. And then I ended up going to this show where one of my old high school buddies was playing with this kickass band. And I’m like, what am I doing with my life? I want to do this! Two weeks after the show I went, ‘I’m singing up for guitar lessons and drum lessons.’ And now I’m actually roommates with that person and we’re actually both in The Fallaways. It’s worked out.
What’s the music scene been like in Vancouver?
Jason: Honestly, the Vancouver scene at first for us was very hard to get into. There’s one promoter I called from an agency called Live Acts Canada. He kind of gave us our first few shows and that’s how we started getting up and running and Vancouver. There are a lot of punk bands, but there’s not really a band that’s exactly like us. So essentially what we started doing last year is that we have this house where we rehearsed at all the time. It’s Zac from FIDLAR’s idea when he came up to work with us, he said, ‘why don’t you guys throw house shows here, get five bands on a bill, get a hundred people out here, let’s say you start your own scene.’ And that’s essentially what we did. I think the first house party, we had brought over 150 people, which was crazy. We were not expecting 150 people. It kind of kickstarted the scene for us in the way that we wanted it to, which is really cool. We kept doing those. We’ve done another two house parties since, and they’ve all been great. People respect us more on the scene for it because, because you can’t really get a show like that anywhere.
It seems like this has been a very much hands-on, DIY project. When did you start to realize that this was more than just a group of guys ready to jam?
Jason: I’ve always had the passion behind it to kind of make it more than that. There’s definitely certain situations where you feel like you’re growing. Moving to Vancouver was a big step for us, and I knew the rest of the guys in the band were taking it seriously because they moved to Vancouver for the band. It’s a big move and we all live together at a band house. Realistically, we probably don’t want to, living with a bunch of guys is not always the greatest thing, and you start to bicker. But the fact that we stuck it through, I think that shows more dedication than most bands around.
You’ve had the chance so far to support some pretty big bands and take a few good tours. What is the biggest thing that you’ve taken away from touring so far?
Jason: Pick and choose your moments. We’ve done a little run with The Lazys last year and that was only two shows. And then the third show they opened for Sum 41 – we didn’t play that, but I made some connections out of that show because I was guitar checking for them. We didn’t make any money on that run, but that run was huge for us because The Lazys are fairly well known down in Canada. Now they have some great radio songs and everywhere that we play with them, we some lifelong fans and people that are like genuinely stoked on everything that we put out. So in that sense, pick your battles.
We did that cross-country Canada tour, where we had our own buses. That was just own headlining tour per se, even though it was based around Indy Week in Toronto, but a lot of those shows were chaos. We lost money, we ended up losing our bus at the end. It was a lot of shit hit the fan. I say pick and choose your moments wisely. We’re at the point now where we’re not going to do that kind of a run again where we’re the headlining band. We’re gonna wait until we get a support slot for a good enough band. That’s going to be worth it for us.
What’s the next big milestone you’re looking forward to as a band?
Jason: Radio, I think. Not this EP, but the stuff that we have ready to go record with somebody in Toronto whom I cannot name. I think it’s absolutely so many times better than what we have right now. Even radio people that support some of the biggest bands in Canada has spoken out about it and said that they’re really excited for these songs to come together because they think they’re above all else. So that’s really exciting to hear, and that’s a great goal to work towards.