Just under two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat to Alex from Fallujah before their show with Carnifex. We chatted about the new upcoming album, their writing process, his new method of writing lyrics, his vocal style and his advice to new upcoming bands.
Thanks to Claire at Nuclear Blast for organising and Alex for his time.
You’re currently on tour with: Carnifex, Within the Ruins and Boris the Blade. How’s the tour been going so far?
It’s cool! We played in Birmingham for the first time which was a little weird. For us coming to the UK is something you need to do frequent enough to build up your fan-base, we always have a good time in Scotland. The first few shows have been great but it’s a little early to say how it’s been going so far.
You guys were here just over a year ago with Dying Fetus, what have been up to since then?
What we did when we got back was we did a tour in the States which was really good fun. We then went and did a headliner tour and had an amazing time on that. All that shit was tight man! We signed to Nuclear blast and they wanted a new record and we wanted to make a new one. We took the whole summer off and wrote the album. This is our first tour since finishing that album.
The most recent album, The Flesh Prevails came out around 17 months ago. How do you think the fans have responded when you play these newer songs live?
So far it’s been really cool. I think the songs are more catered to live audiences in my opinion. The new song we’ve been playing on this tour has been received really well and we’ve had a lot of folk coming up to us afterwards and saying they really liked it. I just hope it doesn’t end up on the internet anytime soon!
How did the writing process for the new album compare to the previous album?
It was kind of the same shit actually. We’ve found that we don’t write as effectively if we are all in a room together. Mainly everything is done on the computer and Scott writes most of the songs. He’s the main songwriter and after he writes the main parts we all come in and compose them as songs.
Did you work with the same producer as last time?
We don’t really work with producers per se. We work with Engineers. We split the duties up this time. We worked with Zach Ohren last time so we had him do the guitars, vocals and bass. We took all of that work and sent it off to Mark Lewis at Audio Hammer where we tracked the drums. He’s also doing the Mixing and Mastering. We’re actually waiting on the masters so I’m nervous but excited to hear them at the same time!
Lyric wise, what do you guys normally sing about?
Previously we’d taken on the stance of it being personally driven content. What I wanted to do with this new album was take that same idea and talk about real things and not have too many outer-worldly things in there. I wanted to take the same emotions we explored in The Flesh Prevails but tell it more of a third person way. The way I found that to be most interesting is to have the songs each pertain to a certain film. I take not just the themes of the dialogue and how the characters are feeling but also the cinematography and the whole atmosphere of the movie. I don’t know, for some reason I’ve found it much more interesting to write these lyrics. I found them to be much more fun to write the lyrics when you don’t have to dig into your brain as much. When you can see something that has manifested itself into something, which I can see eye to eye with but also having other characters tell the story. There are two songs on the album that don’t follow this but the rest of the album does. I’m intrigued to see whether any of the fans will work out which movie’s they pertain to.
That certainly sounds more exciting than lyrics about: “I lost my girlfriend!”
Exactly! You know, stuff like that or cutting up your girlfriend and aliens. Aliens is a huge one that I can’t fucking stand any more and that sudo-scientific stuff. For me it’s just boring and stale and doesn’t mean anything. Sure it may be interesting but you’re not tapping into anyone’s emotions. Reading lyrics like that is sort eating a bowl of uncooked rice. It’s sort of nourishment, but it could be so much more.
What’s the sort of vocal style you use?
I use all exhales and I kind of have 3 to 4 ranges that I’ll stick within. As vocal influences go, I look at it less from a vocal performance style and more from a lyrics perspective. When it comes to doing metal vocals, I feel like I can only do them the way I do them. Vocals are a weird instrument that way in that you can’t easily replicate another person. You can sort of replicate a tone, but for me I have my style and I try and be the best I can within my range.
What sort of set can we expect tonight?
It’s a mixture from the other albums. We have 35 minutes to play so we’re making it a blend from all our albums so we need to get people attention.
And finally, what advice would you give to a band that is just starting out in the industry?
So many things man. Firstly, I’d say keep up on your bookkeeping and watch your money. Count in all your merch at the end of the show. Money will make or break your career. The money you spend on your vehicle as well. You can be the best band in the world but having a shit vehicle will screw you. The vehicle is almost more important than the band. Having knowledge of road vehicles and keeping on top of money will save you a lot of misery and trouble. Also attracting the right team which will take you to the right place. We’ve thankfully had a great relationship with our manager but some bands have shitty managers which have really fucked them over. The first few years of the band is the hardest but don’t be afraid of it. Summing it all up, I’d say learn what a real work ethic is.
Thank you for your time!