Interview: Cal Whittaker of Till the Fall

I recently reviewed a single by Crewe based band Till the Fall who reminded me of my roots in NWBHM, mixed with the likes of Skid Row and Motley Crue. My reputation as a death metal fan is now in ruins but we all had to get into metal some way right… right? Yes when I was a teenager I wanted to be Sebastian Bach. OK, you got it out of me now. Till the Fall also like to make sure that the listener gets to hear the power in the riff and can play as hard as the next band, as well as mix things up vocal-wise. With having four vocalists, there is something for everybody. I thought this would be a good time to catch up with vocalist Cal who tells us all about the band’s aspirations and goals for the coming year. Thank you Cal and best wishes to you and Till the Fall in 2019.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We all hail from the historic railway town of Crewe, Cheshire.

How long have you been playing together as a band?

Our current line-up has been active since 2017, after a few member changes.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Well you can listen to one of our tracks and think “okay so they are straight up heavy metal” and then out of nowhere, a hurdy-gurdy shows up, a theremin takes you back in time and we say “now we are going to play some strange scales”. It’s all very diverse.

Till the Fall was formed in 2012. Did it take time for the band to get the members it wanted before the songs developed?

Absolutely. In total I believe we have had 4 different singers, 3 different guitar players and 3 different bass players. The only founding members are Alex on drums and Ricki on guitar. Danny joined in 2014, Cal joined in 2016 after parting ways with his old band, The Wraith was summoned around the same time and then Joel joined at the start of 2017 – really helping to expand our sound and live potential.

Till the Fall are about to release their debut album in April, entitled The Seventh Circle. What can you tell us about it and do you think you have found the sound you want for the band or do you want to keep experimenting?

The Seventh Circle has been our baby since late 2016. We have almost released it twice before, however we decided to put the brakes on release until it was 100% ready in our eyes, being our first full LP release. The album itself is incredibly diverse; like stated before there is heavier tracks then there are tracks with progressive elements and then there are tracks with 80’s and power metal flavourings. In terms of our sound, we try not to stay inside the margins too much. Like we don’t say “ok so we should only write songs that start pits”, we just go with what feels right and that usually works out pretty well.

How does it feel to put in all your blood, sweat and tears and get a recording out there?

Till the Fall haven’t ever actually had a proper full on release until 2016, despite being around since 2012. So to now be in a position where we have so much to release, it feels very very exciting.

Where was the album recorded and where was it mastered? Did you use the same team or did you try something different with this album?

The album was actually recorded in two places. Parts were recorded at Spirit Studios in Manchester and parts were recorded in the space we use to practice; an attic. Aside from the use of Spirit Studios for recording every aspect of the album was developed in-house. Mixing, Mastering, Artwork, Sacrificial Rituals, Marketing etc etc. We are lucky to be made up of members with a large variety of skills.

Till the Fall try to be as active as they can on the live front. What should we expect from a live show and what is the experience like playing in front of a crowd for the band?

Live shows are what brings the best out of us generally! Our shows are always very high energy, we never pull any punches and we don’t believe in half-arsing anything. We arrive like a freight train adorned with filth, blood and sweat and we share this with every single person in the audience. The Wraith also has a habit of boring his gaze into our audiences’ minds even off stage. We also play a cover of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Nightmare” – which never fails to get a crowd going.

What are the lyrical themes of the songs from the new album? Is there a main lyricist?

For this album, the songs loosely follow a story of possession, duality, regret and redemption. The lyrics throughout are deeply rooted in the ideas of lust, avarice, pride and most importantly – Wrath. Hence the name The Seventh Circle. Cal writes the lyrics as he would prose – often starting with a dense idea and working it to fit with the melodies and rhythms the whole band crafts. Flesh to bone, so to speak.

How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio?  Where do you get together and record?

We are constantly in contact with one another via the “Internet”, and we try to get together at least twice a month. We practice and record in “The Attic” – But we cannot tell you where this is. The family we haunt would have us exorcised and we just can’t go through another hard break-up.

How were the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Till the Fall a band where all members contribute to the songs?

Our music, predominantly, come from the twisted minds of Danny, Ricki, Joel and The Wraith. They Craft melodies and structures that Alex ritualistically infuses with thunderous beating, topped off with Cal’s mad scribblings.

Being a sextet band and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?

We are lucky in the way that we are collectively influenced by the same artists, stories, films etc. We are all incredibly interested in tales of Horror and Suspense, and we have such broad inspirations from Chopin, Mozart et al. right the way through to heavier artists such as Slipknot, Opeth etc. right back to the likes of Iron Maiden, Skid Row and Guns ‘n’ Roses. We write what we like the sound of and have never really pandered to what is “in”.

How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2019?

The nicest thing about Till the Fall is that there is always someone available for the work it takes to keep the cogs turning. One of us has spawn and we have jobs – but we do what we can to ensure we are always bettering our music and performances. We are focusing so much on the release of The Seventh Circle at the moment, but we have a few things planned throughout the year to help spread our manifesto as far across the UK as possible.

How hard is it for a band like Till the Fall to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?

We are fortunate to live in an age of technological advancements such as social media, online streaming services and voice activated light switches. With this in mind, we are always able to share what we are working on with our audiences and potential new followers; something which back in the heyday of bands like Black Sabbath wasn’t possible. Money is something which eventually we would love to make, but for now we are enjoying sharing art for art’s sake.

Being from Crewe, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?

Back in 2012 when TTF started, there were tons of original bands in the Crewe area. Our big local venue, “The Box”, was always bustling every week with bands playing and audiences watching. Sadly over the years the music scene has dwindled in the Crewe area as far as original bands go! That said however, there are always a number of bands playing covers around the area. Also, most of Metal Hammer award winners Footprints in the Custard also hail from Crewe. Very good friends of ours.

A fun question to end this interview.  If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 6 CDs to the party, what would they be?

  1. America’s Least Wanted – Ugly Kid Joe
  2. Appetite for Destruction – Guns ‘n’ Roses
  3. Amaryllis – Shinedown
  4. <|°_°|> – Caravan Palace
  5. Hybrid Theory – Linkin Park
  6. Iowa – Slipknot

Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?

Stay Spooky, Ghouls and Harlots.

Le Cirque Des Damnes is out March 13th

Till The Fall: official | facebook | instagram

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