Shadows Fall | Interview

Shadows Fall

Shadows Fall

Shadows Fall Interview By Nowak

Start your clicking and scrolling to read this interview with the metal icons Shadows Fall. 

Automatic: How many interviews does Shadows Fall have to do, and where does this one fall in line?
Brian Fair [Vocals]: I think I got about eight of ‘em or so; you’re about the end of the first third.

Do you tend to get asked a lot of the same questions over and over again?
It can happen. It all depends on… Some of these today are for like certain areas just to promote the show. So they just kinda cover their points. Whereas a few today, I actually talked to a kid who used to book my old band like 15 years ago and stuff, so we got a little off the beaten path on that one.

So I imagine it has snowed quite a bit in Boston lately. You ready to get back out on the road and get Shadows Fall into some warmer climates?
Definitely. Unfortunately, we stay up here for a little while at the beginning. Shadows Fall just came from Australia, so I had my 90-degree weather for a nice two weeks. Now it’s back to the freezing tundra…

Shadows Fall hosted Headbanger’s Ball on MTV2 recently, right?
Yep. It was cool, I got to fill in for my good friend Jamey Jasta. It was a cool experience; I got to debut a bunch of my friends’ videos. It’s cool that they’re letting people from within the scene kinda have control of the show, not just either like some random dude who doesn’t know anything or just some hot girl that’s just there to look at, you know?

So you had some creative input?
There was a bunch of videos that came down the line, and they kind of tailored it towards my taste, as well as bands that I was either friends with or familiar with, to make it more interesting conversation-wise. If it would have been up to me though, it would have been all old videos, like old Death Angel and Testament videos all night.

Setting up this interview, your publicist mentioned Shadows Fall a big “skateboarding enthusiast”, is that right?
Oh, yeah, I’ve been skating for even longer than I’ve been into hardcore. I’m almost 30, and I’ve been in hardcore bands since I was 13, but I’ve been skating since I was like 10. It was great, because in Australia there were tons of concrete parks, so I got to skate a decent amount, and actually do it outdoors since the weather was so nice. In Boston I’m pretty much stuck with skating this one indoor spine ramp at the underground skate shop, which is awesome, but after awhile you gotta get out in the sun, you know?

So you does Shadows Fall make time on the road to hit different parks?
Whenever I can. It’s somewhat of a strict schedule during the day, but I’ll try to sneak away and at least do some street skating. I definitely tone it down a bit on the road because, I mean, a sprained ankle wouldn’t be a big deal if I was at home, but on stage it’ll pretty much ruin the shows. I gotta kinda keep it within reason. I know the other dudes [in the band] always freak out when they see me skating a pool or something like that. I gotta take it down a notch. No 15-stair handrails on the road…

Holy crap!
No, no 15-stair handrails for me ever. Figured I’d throw that in there to look cool, haha!

I gotta ask about the hair, man – how long have you been growing those dreads?
About 13 years or so. I forget the exact day I threw away the scissors and comb, but it was a while ago. I think I got my senior picture taken for my mom for the yearbook, and was like, alright, that’s it!

Even though you’re the frontman of a bad-ass metal band, do you often get mistaken for a dirty hippie?
Yeah! Haha, I am a dirty hippie, that’s why.

How do you keep your voice in shape, screaming and growling every night?
Well, you gotta kind of find your comfort zone. I’ve been singing for so many years, I manage to expend all the energy and air I want without actually damaging the throat. Some people when they first start out, they’ll just tear their throats to pieces. I was kind of similar to that, and I’ve just learned throughout the years. Also, now I take it a little more seriously because of the amount of time I’m on the road, and I do warm up before I go on. Things like that, try and avoid smoking too much herb before the show.

About the music, this isn’t really a question, but I do have to extend a big thank you to the whole band Shadows Fall  for you guys being at the forefront of putting guitar solos back into American metal.
Haha, no problem, man! We’re blessed with one of the best guitar players right now in Jon; there’s no way you can hold that kid back! We just gotta let him rip. We’re definitely much more on the traditional side of metal; we definitely have a hardcore and kinda punk rock influence, but we’re a pretty metal band, you know? Metal always had guitar solos. We don’t force them in, they just fit in so well with our style.

You’ve gotta be stoked -Shadows Fall has like the best band of metal musicians this side of Mastodon.
Oh, totally, man. We’re lucky enough to have an incredible drummer, a ridiculous lead guitar player, and our rhythm guitar and bass players are just amazing songwriters, as well. I’m lucky. I’m just a dude who screams.

You’ve toured with tons of up-and-coming metal bands. If you had your ‘druthers, who would be the next band that kinda “breaks through” like you guys or Lamb Of God have recently?
I’d love to see a band like Unearth kinda take over, you know? They’re well on their way; they’re doing great, the record’s selling well. They’re a band that I’ve seen since their demo days, and been friends with forever. They have all the right attitude, and definitely all the right skills to get it done. Also, a band you mentioned, Mastodon is gonna blow this place up soon. Such a different style, and such amazing musicians; I have a feeling they’re gonna be taking over.

Our theme for the magazine this month is the “Inner Child”. I assume your is probably pretty healthy, being able to indulge in childish behavior out on the road all the time with Shadows Fall.
Ah, dude, I’m still doing the exact same thing I was doing when I was 15, 16 years old. I stay forever young, you know? Pretty much just skating, playing shows, and probably hitting on underage girls… Haha, nah, I’m just kidding about that. But, it’s awesome because I haven’t had to give any of that up, and it is basically our lifestyle now; it’s great because it keeps you energized. Our audiences definitely give back that energy, because a lot of them are still young.

It’s rad to see that Shadows Fall are bringing the old-school thrash to a whole new audience. You know, I’m the same age as you, so I also grew up on like Testament and Anthrax…
Totally, man. If we can at least kinda bring the sound to their attention, and make them go back and check out these bands, then that’s a huge accomplishment right there. Whenever we’re interviewed those are the bands we’re always dropping props to, because they’re the ones whose riff we stole! If it weren’t for like Testament, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, early Metallica, and all that stuff, we wouldn’t be anywhere. We’re just carrying the torch into the 2000s.

To find out more about Shadows Fall including tour dates push here.

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