Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baker's Dozen: Interview with Reversing Falls

I'll be the first to admit, I've put knives in some strange places (sorry grandma) but this prior experience didn't prepare me for the shock I would receive when I came to the Reversing Falls Tumblr Page. Why had I never thought of that? Reversing Falls are a Canadian trio made up of Tyler Crawford (lead vocals, guitar), Jesse Ash (bass/drum machine programming/backing vocals) and Charlie Neufeld (lead rhythm guitar/backing vocals). Their track "Little Goodbye" kicked off our One Ring Mix. Recently I had the chance to interview, via email, all three of them where we discussed things like the aforementioned knife, Saint John River and convoluted inside jokes. We also talked a little cooking and music. This is the latest installment of our Baker's Dozen Interview Series.

TB: If you were at a stuffy dinner party and had to stand up and introduce Reversing Falls, what would you say?

Jesse Ash (JA): ...and to accompany your charcoal seared wild Atlantic salmon for our main course may I please bring your attention to the pile of white hot riffs and anthemic melodies served atop a swirl of churned bass and stewed tight fresh drum machine beats. Careful-its hot!

TB: Whoa...that sounds pretty intense. The band name, Reversing Falls, does it have anything to do with the rapids on the Saint John River? Why does this make a good band name?
JA: The name certainly is a reference to the reversing rapids in Saint John, NB, Canada. When Reversing Falls formed we were initially a trio made of guys from around the Saint John area, living in Montreal. There was a collective interest at the time in putting a regional stamp on the name and that, along with the fact that the words Reversing Falls sounds pretty okay together whether you know the area or not, pretty much sealed the deal.
TB: You are in the process of recording your debut full length. How is the recording process going? Is the full length in the same vein as the Recorder EP you released last year or are you trying new things?
JA: We're thinking of it as an expansion on the EP..the next logical step from the LGB/DB single we released in February. So not a departure. We're taking a lot of time in pre-production to really flesh it out as a whole album. Adding a set of outside (golden) ears belonging to our bro Mark Lawson, who's taking on actually producing the record has really helped that out a lot. So expect some new tones and timbres with a slightly new approach, and hopefully a more focused and developed sound overall.
TB: Let's talk about Mark Lawson. You are reuniting with the Grammy Award Winner (Arcade Fire, the Unicorns). What do his (golden) ears bring to the table?
Tyler Crawford (TC): I think the main thing he brings is a lot of experience making records. He makes little suggestions that have substantial results. Most importantly, what he literally brought to the table during the last session was a delicious BBQ meal with sweet potato fries and his signature tapioca. Boom.
TB: There's a photo on your tumblr page which features a knife sticking in a guitar and has the caption "recording." Are knives a big part of the recording process? Any sort of symbolism we should take from this photo?
JA: Its important to note that this occurred in an old Masonic Lodge, very close to the square and compass on the floor. If there is any symbolism to be taken from the "sacrificial tele incident" its probably to do with re-inventing the way we work...but the reason it came about is in fact a hair brained scheme to cook up some sick new tones. I think it worked.
TB: A few days ago you posted a video for "Curse this Place" which will be on the new album. The video seemed to have been filmed at a playground. Did you have to fight off a swarm of kids to get that spot? Who are the kids featured in the video? If you, as a kid, were watching the you of today perform what would be going through that kids mind?
TC: Haha. Those two kids were the only ones. We were filming that at a playground in Hamilton and they watched as we did the video for "Party Martyr." We didn't know them before...they were just there with their mom. I really like that in the video one of them seems to be having a great time and the other girl appears to be catching some bad vibes. If I was a kid watching me in that video, I'd think I shoulda shaved the day of the filming.
TB: On May 19th you'll be playing at Casa Del Popolo with Un and Nightwood. If you were a promoter, how would you promote that show?
TC: We If I was a promoter, I'd actually just pass the work off on my friend Noah at Passovah Productions. He is the one promoting our show. I'm pretty bad at that stuff, if I'm the only one promoting your show you are in trouble.
TB: I've heard rumors of a show at an Armory with naked friends and smashing pumpkins. Is this the weirdest place you've played? Any other live performance memories that stick out in your mind?
Charlie Neufeld (CN): Playing all the way out in Halifax with one of our favorite bands, Cousins on their home turf was awesome. Other great memories include all different sorts of people in different sorts of mental states approaching us after shows with compliments (or criticisms).
TB: You guys currently call Montreal home. What makes Montreal special?
CN: It's the kind of place where people who fell the need to leave wherever they are can go to and meet people with similar interests and hit it off (i.e. Reversing Falls).
TB: Any local Montreal musicians we should know about?
CN: Under appreciated MTL bands in no particular order: Daddy's Hands, The Witchies, Matt Perri, Mavo, Nightwood, Play Guitar, The Lockettes, Hand Cream, Cotton Mouth and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
TB: Outside of music, taking over playgrounds and stabbing guitars with knives, what does Reversing Falls like to do?
CN: Read books without using bookmarks, watch movies on mute, watch the streets, hang out half-awake, crack convoluted inside jokes.
TB: Does Reversing Falls get the chance to do much cooking? Any special recipes you care to share?
JA: As a group, not so much. Still waiting on that band BBQ to show up. But I'm personally a big fan of Breakfast Gnocchi these days. Just think of it as a replacement for hash browns in a typical North American style breakfast. You can pretty much do whatever you want but my fave is probably:
-get some fresh whole wheat gnocchi cooked and rinsed at the ready and add some nice olive oil so it doesn't get sticky icky
-chop up some green onions, diced smoked pancetta and mushrooms and fry em for a couple of minutes
-once the fried stuff is nicely browned add it to the gnocchi with some cut up kale, fresh chopped fennel, diced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and a crushed/diced clove of fresh non-Chinese garlic
-add olive oil, fresh ground salt 'n' peppa, and maybe a bit of citrus or red wine vinegar to taste.
Serve with a couple of eggs, nice sausage or other delicious breakfast-ey meat, toast and cheese. Also good just as a regular old salad with any old meal.
TB: Final thoughts?
TC: Would kill for a hamburger right about now.
The two newest Reversing Falls singles:

Video for "Curse This Place"

Video for "Party Martyr"
Other places to find Reversing Falls: Myspace, Facebook, Twitter