We speak to The Fallen State guitarist Jon Price ahead of the bands Rock City gig this month:
Hi Jon how are you?
Hi. I’m all good thanks. Surviving the winter apocalypse and looking forward to the spring!
Can you introduce our readers to The Fallen State are?
We’re a modern rock band from the South-West who’ve been honing our craft for just under five years. Ultimately we live for writing music and putting on a great live show.
What made you want to put a band together? Who was your inspiration?
I like loud noise! I was the last guy to join the band in summer 2013. I’d been playing professionally for a few years doing covers but joining this band gave me the opportunity to write and perform and write original music again which I just couldn’t turn down. Like everyone I have loads of artists I love from the whole hard rock pantheon. However for me, artists like Rise Against, Pantera, Propagandhi and Sick of It All were a huge influence. The other guys have their own loves ranging from Papa Roach to Alter Bridge and many others.
Why rock music?
I love listening to, playing and making loads of different styles but nothing gives me the visceral thrill of a tightly locked roaring wall of guitar. I think it goes for the other guys too. It’s a primordial sound that just grabs you in your chest.
You guys are returning to Rock City on the 31st of March, what is it that makes it such a special venue?
It’s a classic venue that is perfect for the music we play. It’s the fact that it is made for live performance for bands. There are some superb venues around the country but Rock City is super special. We have really fond memories of playing to a packed out main room with Halestorm a couple of years back. For me it takes on an extra resonance. I lived in the NW midlands for a while and use to go there a lot to see acts I loved so getting to play there is fantastic experience.
You guys have exploded on the music scene how has that impacted you as a band?
It’s been really positive. Having an audience for what we do gives you that kick to push on and do what you do better and better. It’s like an insatiable drive to give the very best to the people who follow you and your music and gives you purpose.
When it comes to the song writing is it collaborative or just one of you?
There’s no point of being a band if it isn’t collaborative… otherwise you may as well just hire people to play your songs. We all write stuff for ourselves that never sees the light of day because it doesn’t fit the collective vibe. The band is a democracy which can make discussions tough because people invest so much in what they create. If something isn’t right it can be heated… but, it makes for even better music and the fact that you create it together means you can share the experience with others. I think the big thing is that we don’t just see ourselves as writing for our own instruments. A guitar riff is nothing without groove.. I can’t imagine writing tunes without starting with tempo so will always lay down grooves with Rich before I start. Likewise you can come at something from melody or harmony first. It’s an incredibly rewarding process. We have been working on an album since our last release (The View from Ruin) in 2017 and the lessons we’ve learnt mean it is a cut above our past. Can’t wait for people to here it at the back end of 2018!
Who and what inspires your songs?
Because we are a five this is a personal thing to everyone. For me it’s about sound. It’s taking a feeling or concept you have in your head and the joy of working it into something other people can experience. Playing guitar is such a brilliant tactile feeling… it feels good pulling that bend exactly right and hearing the note soar.
What has been your proudest moment while on tour?
Exciting first.. Rock City main room to a full crowd was something else! Internally, how damn well we get on. We come out stronger together. For a lot of bands it is a challenging experience. We usually don’t want it to end.
How would you describe your job to a kid?
‘Hey kid… you know how much you want to be a footballer? Hold on to that feeling because you might just be able to do it.’
Which band were you star-struck meeting in your whole career?
I don’t know if I’ve ever truly been star struck. I like to gas with people and it’s great getting to meet people who have been successful playing music. However, I do remember making an idiot of myself. I was in the guitar shop Mansons and some guy was watching a video of a luthier making a guitar. I asked him ‘Are you learning to make guitars?’. He just smiled. I walked out of the shop and my mate goes ‘You know that was Hugh Manson? The guy who built Matt Bellamy’s iconic guitar with the Kaos pad built in…’. I felt a bit stupid after that.
What final bit of advice do you have for our readers?
Make playing fun. Know you can do it. The journey will be longer than you think. However, if you focus on enjoying what you do the rest may follow. And check us out on our tour in March and April of course! Can’t wait to meet you all
The Fallen State play Rock City on Saturday 31 March 2018.
Interview by Geri Patterson