Interview with FALLING STILL April 15, 2013April 21, 2013 by: Shauna O'Donnell
April 15, 2013
Eric Podnar (Vocals/Guitar)
Brett Hamilton (Bass)
Los Angeles, CA
By: Shauna O’Donnell
Thanks for talking with me today.
Eric: Thanks for calling.
I think it is cool that you guys have known each other since middle school. How long have you been in L.A.?
Eric: I have been here about ten years. I moved out here when I was sixteen. I got signed with an agent and manager because I was an actor originally. The other two guys graduated in 2005, which was about two years after I moved to L.A. and then they came out here.
So you went to school out here?
Eric: Yeah I did home schooling and got like a cracker jack diploma. I graduated, but I don’t know if it would hold up in a court of law.
Did you guys all take music lessons together or are you guys self taught?
Eric: I took vocal lessons for a year or two when I was a kid, but I don’t think it necessarily shaped how I sing now. I taught myself guitar.
Brett: I taught myself. I did take piano lessons when I was a kid.
Eric: I took piano too. I can play piano now. I have little songs that I have written, but I don’t know much about piano anymore.
It’s cool that a band can keep the same three members for so long.
Eric: Yeah, it actually hasn’t always been us three. It is kind of an interesting story. We started the band in eight grade and we kind of met each other in sixth grade, but Brett and Jeremy knew each other before that. We grew up in the same school district that is called Norton. I lived on a hundred acres in farm country, so they had this little school for us kids fifteen minutes away from where they went to school. In middle school and high school, we all went together. It was only in grade school that we were separated. When I came to middle school there were so many kids that I didn’t know including these guys. In eighth grade, Jeremy and I were looking for a band to play in. Brett was already in a band and actually set us up to play. So for a long time we were a two piece. Brett joined when they moved out here.
You guys released your six song self-titled EP on February 26th of this year. Do you feel like you have come a long way since your debut record and that you have found your sound because I read that this is the album you have always wanted to make?
Eric: Yeah I think it was the time that I felt the most comfortable singing. We did two records before this and I think that was sort of like a boot camp for ourselves. I definitely think this is the album we have always wanted to write. I wrote the first song on the EP when I was fourteen or fifteen, so that song has been kicking around for a long time. It was a real accomplishment to actually nail it and get it out there. What we are working on right now is what we are most proud of. We just recorded three new songs. They are being mixed and we are going to release them really soon. We are so excited about it!
You guys work hard!
Eric: We have to keep up with it I guess.
You definitely do! For those who have not heard you, how would you describe your sound?
Brett: It’s unique, grungy, rock music. We like the 90’s music a lot, so I think it is a modern day 90’s era sound.
What song would you tell someone to listen to first to get a good idea of what your sound is like?
Eric: When we play shows we always start with “If U Stay.” It’s always first and I think it is very accessible. I think if you want to see into the future of what we are going to do, then I’d say “Thin Lizzy.” We are still doing big three course rock songs, but these songs that we have written are very melodic, atmospheric and a lot like “Thin Lizzy.” It is the most unique song we have. It doesn’t really have a chorus and the song changes halfway through, but it’s acceptable. I think it encompasses our youth. These are the songs that we really enjoy playing.
What is the lead single “If U Stay” about?
Brett: The song has been around a long time, but then we just started fucking around with it at practice and realized we could turn it into a really cool song now that we are a little more experienced at putting songs together.
Eric: The main thing that stayed was “if you stay.” The melody has always stayed and the chorus was basically the same except we just added new lyrics. I started writing songs in sixth grade, so I have honestly written hundreds of songs. I have Ipods full of just demos, so it was really exciting to know that at any point we can kind of reach back and I’ve already done such a good outline of all these songs.
I watched the video for the song and it looks like it got pretty damn crowded in that van.
Eric: I think Trent Haaga did a fantastic job filming three ugly guys in a van. I was shocked because we had a different idea for the video at first. We finished recording “If U Stay” at about 2 a.m. that morning, we drove home, showered and at about 4:30 a.m. went were at Trent’s house to film the music video. We didn’t sleep at all that whole shoot. We were shocked that the video actually came out because we were wrecked.
So that is your tour van then.
That is awesome. Who designed the inside of the van? It is pretty cool.
Eric: We don’t keep it like that. We took all the set decorations and literally threw them away last week. We had them for months.
Most performance videos give you a pretty good idea of what you would see on stage at the show, this one was different and I like that.
Eric: Well thank you!
I also like the video for “Stupid Girl.” At the end of the video where you are all suspended by strings like puppets reminds me of a band called….
Eric: That would be N Sync. I really like the video. That was a really “out there” idea that we had.
Will you be making a video for each song?
Eric: I think we are going to move on actually from the EP. We had planned on doing a video for “Thin Lizzy”, but we figured why do that when we can go record these three new songs. We are actually doing a new record. We are doing them in three’s, which is new for us as well as exciting. We are doing this idea where we release a single and a video. We will release six videos and six songs and by the time the summer comes out we will release a record with three extra songs you have not heard. We are just kind of going full steam ahead with our new material and we are going to be filming a new music video in a week or two. We are really excited about this new video. We are doing all of this pretty quickly because it seemed like we got some really great attention from the EP. I think in this day and age in this industry, especially because we are doing it ourselves, we can get our art out there at a quicker pace. I think it is a good and a bad thing growing up at this time in the music industry because you can say that it is dead, but it is also being revived in new and exciting ways. I don’t know if anybody has figured it out just yet, but that makes it fun and exciting for us because there are no rules. I’m able to take my time and create the best, most unique and true art that I can possibly do. The most freeing part of my career so far has been in the last two weeks where we are recording ourselves. A friend of ours who did sound for us at Hemingway’s during our residency has a studio and he started lending it out to us. Brett and I are tracking and editing everything. It just feels right now. Hopefully musicians will follow that lead and just do it themselves.
It is really about finding out what works best for you. Are there any plans for touring or shows?
Eric: We always do. We have been playing San Diego and we are trying to make our way up to San Francisco, but it ended up not working out. We have a show coming up at Boardner’s in Hollywood on April 24th.
Thanks so much for the interview. Was there anything you’d like to add or say?
Eric: Like us on Facebook, buy our album on Itunes and please come to a show! Support us! Tell a friend, tell your grandma and take a moment out of your day to show us some love.
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