MusicVita interview with The Fallen Drakes
The Fallen Drakes are a four piece indie/rock/pop band from Dublin, Ireland. The band consists of Brian McGovern (lead vox/guitar), Nabil Ali (drums/vox), Hyder Ali (bass) and Michal Bartolen (Mickey on lead guitar and vox). Last week the lads released their new EP, “Death of an Actress” and boy are we glad they did!
The EP opens with the song, “Masquerade”, which starts off with the sound of the electric guitar softly being plucked, quickly followed by vocals, the beat of the drums building up momentum, joined with the rest of the instruments for a more fast and upbeat chorus. The lyrics (which are a reoccurring theme throughout their four songs) touch on love or relationships, which everyone on some level can relate to. The words “she wants to lay me on the firing line” and “I convinced myself I’d never go”, makes you think of an explosive ending. The whole song makes you think of two people stuck in a rut, one wants out the other wants in letting go, forgiving, hiding secrets, walking away. Sounds morbid and a bit heavy, but it’s not, it’s rather poetic and in a strange way uplifting.
“Don’t Cry” opens with a strong and fast rhythm and then slowing down for the pre-chorus repeating the name of the song, “Don’t Cry” over and over again. They pick up speed for the chorus, you get to hear two very different style vocalists harmonise in a different key. A soft alto accompanied by a tenor, giving a variety of pleasing sounds to the ears and with the echo of the backup vocals it brings a nice mix to the music. Their vocals are crisp and clear, you can hear the lyrics perfectly.
The third song on the EP, “Lights on” is a real get up and go song. It makes you want to get up dance like a mad thing and maybe smash a few plates at the same time (MusicVita does not encourage plate smashing). Once again the instrumental is strong upbeat and like the other songs it has a pop/rock feel to it. This song is catchy and it is their shortest song on their EP, but it’s not too short that you’re left feeling the piece of music is unfinished. It ends abruptly and leaves you satisfied.
The final song, “Love Again” the music sounds like a faster version (only for a few seconds at the start) of Alkaline Trio-“Radio.” They are two completely different bands with two completely different sounds, but the opening has that vibe. In this song you can hear an Irish accent that has a kind of an American twang to it. You probably don’t know what I’m talking about if you haven’t listened to it, but if you have you’ll know what I mean (hopefully), especially when the singer sings the word “floor.”
Their lyrics are thought out, and you can really tell these guys put an effort and a half into their music. All of the tracks on the EP may stick to the same topic of relationships, but that’s the only thing they have in common. They all have a different instrumental and vocal feel. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree, that’s entirely up to you, after all YOU are the listener.
If you have already familiarised yourself with the review featured on our review page, and now wondering why you are reading this interview well, it's because I have found a new love. A new found love for The Fallen Drakes that is. After obsessively listening to their new EP “Death Of An Actress” I decided to chat to dummer and backing vocalist Nabil, to get to know more about the band.
So, can you tell our readers how you all met?
Well myself and Brian along with my twin brother Hyder were all travelling around America in 2009, Hyder and I met Brian randomly in some bar in Memphis. He was up on stage singing away at some open mic night and we became great friends immediately. We then decided to play music together once we had returned home from travelling.
Once back in Dublin we figured out we needed a lead guitar player and Mickey Mac had been playing in different bands in Dublin (since he moved to Ireland from Slovakia five years ago), and he was looking for a new band so everything just fell into place soon after
The Fallen Drakes great name for a band. How did you come up with the name?
During around Christmas time, when we first formed the band, that coca cola advert with the Santa slays and coca cola trucks was on TV. In the ad you here the chant, “the holidays are coming, the holidays are coming” and our guitar player Mickey thought they we're saying, “the fallen drakes are coming, the fallen drakes are coming”, so it stuck with us from there.
How do you brainstorm your songs, how do you go about writing them?
Basically one of us might come up with a riff, melody or idea and then we all try add to it and use all four of our inputs into the song. Sometimes it comes together quick, but sometimes it takes a lot longer with slaps around the face before we are happy, but we get there eventually.
Any musical influences?
We all have such diverse tastes in music, but bands we look up to right now would be up and comers like Two Door Cinema Club, Temper Trap and more established bands like The Killers, The Script and Snow Patrol.
Any weird fans?
Our parents are a bit strange. Especially when they throw knickers up on stage.
That's parents for you. What advice would you give others starting up a band?
If you are really serious about making a career in music, then it will take a lot of hard work. It's not just about playing gigs, nowadays you have to take into account how much exposure you can generate online. Being able to market yourself correctly and being different to make your band stand out, to build a solid name for yourself. This coupled with the ability to write great songs and play a solid live show is a winning combo! We are all willing to put 110% into the band and if you set your goals and stick to them you will see the results.
What's the best and worst gig you’ve played?
Well, any time you go to play a gig in a new area you have never been, it can be hard and disheartening. If not many people turn up and not many people know your name, but this is natural and happens to every band starting out. That's why you keep going back until you have built up a name, then it's great to see the progress in fans the next time around! So they would be the worst gigs rather than any one specific gig.
The best gig to date has to be our recent début EP launch we played in The Twisted Pepper, Dublin. We had the venue completely packed out and the crowd just went nuts. The whole night was crazy signing autographs and having our pictures taken, it was an overwhelming feeling and reminded us that our hard work does indeed pay off.
What venue would be your dream venue to play at?
Well being fans of the UFC, ( Ultimate Fighting Championship ) we travelled to an event in the M.E.N arena in Manchester last year, the place was just crazy. We loved Manchester,and we said right there and then, it would be a dream to play somewhere of that style of calibre........we are allowed to dream!
Any upcoming shows?
We are up and down Ireland for the next two months, trying to hit a lot of new areas with our début EP “Death of an Actress.” We are also playing a few showcase gigs in London on April 7th in The Hope and Anchor, Islington, April 8th in Native Tongue and April 9th in the Spice Of Life, Soho. We are really looking forward to the shows, London is such a great city!
- Jessica Riley
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