THIS is not the first time I have interviewed Phalcons…
but I was keen to speak with the band about their new single, Swim Away, and how it differs from their debut cut. The quartet tell me about the song’s background and what they have coming up; how they all got together – I learn how Ben, Tom; Naomi and Alex spend time away from music; the artists they are compelled by and when the band will be touring.
Ben takes up most of the questions and takes me back to the band’s start; what they all have planned for the rest of this year; which new artists are worth checking out – the guys each select a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! Very good, thanks. It's been a busy week! Lots of reposting/retweeting and thanking people for plugging the new single!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
I'm Ben. I play the guitar and sing. Tom plays the bass and sings. We have Naomi on keys and vocals and Alex on the drums and vocals - and we are Phalcons.
Swim Away, your second single, is out tomorrow. Can you tell me how it came together and what inspired it?
I actually wrote this song in my head while working in a kitchen a few years ago. I had this melody stuck in my head for days and eventually figured it out on the guitar. I wasn't sure if I'd come up with it myself, or if it was someone else's song. But, I showed it to a few friends and I got the all-clear. At the time, I was moving house; out of the home I'd grown up in and was admittedly a little homesick.
So; the lyrics are a lot to with that; wanting to go back home. Then, the rest of the band came in and wrote their parts. It came together well actually. I'm quite proud of it.
Do you think you have learnt anything since your debut? Are you a more confident and ambitious band?
I've learnt that having an online presence is a full-time job! Twitter is hard to keep up with sometimes. Ha ha. You have to shamelessly promote yourself on every social media platform continuously. It can get tiring, but it's worth it in the end. I also learnt how to say ‘butterfly’ in Italian, which is pretty cool.
Can you take me back to the start? How did Phalcons come to be?
Well, originally, we were a trio: Tom, Alex and Myself. We played a few gigs in 2016, but we knew we needed another layer - and Naomi was the obvious choice. We were already good friends, so it came naturally. Plus, the keys and the fourth harmony takes it up a couple of notches.
But; we've always played in various other bands together over the years, so it was only a matter of time before we got together and did our own thing.
In terms of music; do you all share tastes and have similar favourites?
Absolutely! We're all big fans of Psychedelic music and all its sub-genres. We're constantly sending new music to each other, checking to see if the others approve. It's, literally, where we get most of our music. Obviously, we have listened to other music too; Tom and I are big Hip-Hop fans while Alex is a Bob Dylan man through and through. I love Bluegrass music, too - anything with twangy guitars and harmonised vocals is right up my street.
Also, Naomi sometimes turns into Stevie Nicks. It only happens every now and then, but any time we're out and Fleetwood Mac comes on, sh*t goes down.
What comes next in terms of material? Might we see more down the line?
Definitely. We’ve got a couple of releases lined up for the summer; another single and, hopefully, something a bit more full-length that we can promote with a tour.
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
Yeah; we’ve got a few coming up. We’re playing the Libertino Records showcase on 28th of this month in Cardigan, which will be the day after Swim Away is released, so really looking forward to that. We’re also playing Focus Wales on 12th May in Wrexham. Always a good time to be had there; the line-up is always great. Then, we’ll be touring during the summer to promote the next release.
During the summertime, we’ll be venturing over the border into England to play a few gigs. It’ll be nice playing to new crowds.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
To keep going! Continue to release material, keep playing gigs and, maybe, throw a tour or two in there somewhere. Same as any other band really. We just enjoy playing music.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
There was this one time last summer. Alex was playing for H. Hawkline at the time and they were supporting King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard on their U.K. tour. Naomi and I went to see them in Manchester and, when we arrived, we realised Alex had managed to get us on the guest list, so we got in for free. Bonus! The gig was amazing. Loud, fast and adrenaline-fuelled: exactly what you’d expect from a King Gizz. gig.
But, when they finished playing, Alex managed to get us backstage and we ended up having after-show champagne with the guys from King Gizzard! It was pretty surreal, actually!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It’d be amazing to play a gig with someone like Fleet Foxes or Crosby, Stills and Nash - someone with a big sound and loads of harmonies. We could do a seven or eight-part harmony! It’d be like a choir or something!
Alex: We’d have to have a big bowl of JUST brown M & Ms, too. Otherwise, we won’t go on stage.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Make the music you’d want to listen to!
Ben: Keep at it. Don’t give up. Contact promoters, venues and labels. Be a nuisance. Like I said before; you have to constantly sell yourself. Having a good online presence helps a lot too. That way, it’s a lot easier to promote yourselves on social media platforms…
Tom: ...and keep playing gigs! It’s a shame that bands can’t make a career for themselves solely off their live shows and releases anymore. I think we were born into the wrong decade. Ha, ha.
IN THIS PHOTO: Men In Trust/PHOTO CREDIT: Chaudière-Appalaches T-Shirt
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Ben: OMALOMA. He’s a good friend of ours that we still play with every now and then. Go check out his music! Psychedelic Space-Pop for your earholes.
Naomi: Men I Trust. They’re not that new, really: I think they formed in 2014 but their music is amazing! Dreamy, synth-driven psychedelia with sexy female vocals.
Alex: Barrie. They released their debut single (Canyons) at the start of the year and it’s so good. It’s really hard to find any other releases by them, though. I think Canyons might be the only thing they’ve put online.
Tom: Kikagaku Moyo. They’re a crazy, Psychedelic; Krautrock, Acid-Folk band from Tokyo! If you’re into bands like Acid Mothers Temple, Holy Wave; Moon Duo or, even, the Flower Travellin’ Band, then you’ll love these guys. They mix so many different genres into one. It’s amazing. It’s something I think everyone should listen to.
IN THIS PHOTO: Kikagaku Moyo/PHOTO CREDIT: WDZIEKONSKI
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Ben: Well. Actually, we all work full-time jobs: there isn’t a lot of money in the music industry for up-and-coming bands, so it’s actually the other way around: music is the escape from the mundane nine-to-five.
Tom works as a school teacher, Naomi in media marketing; I’ve worked in kitchens since I was fourteen-years-old and, even though Alex plays as a session musician for about twelve-thirteen different bands, he also has to work part-time jobs…
But; I do like a good box set at the end of a hard day...
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Ben: Redspencer – Ride It Out
Alex: Andy Shauf – Quite Like You
Naomi: Club Kuru – The Memory Junkie
Tom: Laura Marling – Sophia