Exclusive Interview: Friends At The Falls

New York based, Friends At The Falls, brings a feel-good, dreamy sound with their music. The group has been friends since they were young but have developed into a more serious band within the last few years. They have become a known local act in the New York City area.

They released their latest single, Graffiti, last week which introduces their next wave of music coming out real soon. Check out their interview below.

To get some more background, could you tell me more about yourselves?

To first introduce ourselves, we have Jake Stam (singer), Matt Montgomery (drummer), Dan Walsh (bassist), Nick Gennusa (lead guitarist), and Don Senese (keyboardist). We have all been best friends since we were young kids. We all grew up with each other in the same hometown of Mahopac, NY. We are now all 23 years old, but our friendships go back as early as preschool. We all have varying interests/hobbies, but we all undoubtedly love music, sports, travel, and adventure. We consider ourselves super lucky to be experiencing this adventure together and cannot wait for what the future holds!

How did the band form? What has been your favorite part about making music/playing together so far?

The band was formed by Jake and Matt about two years ago. When it came time to play our first show, we asked our master pianist friend Don to join the lineup. Dan was a bit of an anomaly, he wanted to join the band because he didn’t want to miss out on the experience, but the only musical experience he had prior to that was playing the trumpet in elementary school band. But he picked up the bass guitar and through disciplined practice has become an incredible player. We played with a touring guitarist for a while, but we wanted someone more permanent- so we pleaded with Nick to learn the guitar and join the band. Once Nick hopped on board, the lineup was officially complete.

Making music and playing together is an incredible privilege that we don’t take for granted. We always say that we are friends first, and a band second. We want this to go as far as it can go, but if this project ended tomorrow, we know we would still be best friends. We think that’s what makes the whole thing so special.

In what ways have you evolved as a group over the years?

This year we all graduated from college so there has been a big leap forward in our commitment to the band. We have spent most of this summer locked up in Jake’s basement with the window blacked out, practicing, writing, promoting, trying to do something everyday to advance the band. We also feel like we have all grown as musicians and songwriters over the past few years the more we’ve practiced and written together.

Who has influenced you as musicians? Who do you look up to as a band?

We are always gathering inspiration from artists like, The Killers, Coldplay, even Bruce Springsteen. When we are writing we usually notice touches of other artists here and there such as Walk the Moon, Two Door Cinema Club, etc.

Your last EP, We are Friends, came out back in 2016. What are some differences in the process of making the new EP?

What we tried to create was a mix of organic and electronic sounds that compliment one another. We feel like we are really beginning to find our own sound and it is an awesome feeling to experience. This is the first record we’ve made as a fully realized band and I think a lot of what comes up is the experiences we’ve shared and the music we’ve listened to growing up. Each of the songs on the record have their own unique aspects but the underlying vibe of all of the tracks fit together well on the EP.

What we have been hearing from the people who have heard the complete Wild In Our Ways  is a shocking amount of the word “nostalgic”. It isn’t a word we were expecting to hear when someone listens, but it is one we’ve really come to appreciate and one that feels like it defines this EP for us.

We were lucky enough to have the record produced by Eric Palmquist at Palmquist Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Eric has worked with great up and coming artists such as Bad Suns, Night Riots, and Knox Hamilton. We also had the record mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound in New York, NY. Joe is an award winning mastering engineer who has worked with some incredible artists including Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon, Phoenix, Foo Fighters, and The Killers.

Can you take me through a bit of your writing/creating process? Where did you draw inspiration from for this new project?

Each of the songs on the new EP have their own unique creation story (for example, the idea for Stay All Night came from working on a synth part for All The Things We Said) and come from different time periods since the release of We Are Friends. We have actually been playing two of the tracks on Wild In Our Ways live for quite a while now so getting to finally put them on record was fun process.

The way we generally write a song is by starting with an idea from usually Jake or Nick and then we try to get in a room together and work out a rough layout and build up from there.

Overall, while we try to stay true to alternative rock roots this project is probably just as much influenced by the more indie rockers of our influences.

What was your favorite song to make on this new EP? Why?

We discussed this as a group, and the collective answer was that overall, ‘Crash Collisions’ was our favorite song to make for the new EP. The song itself came together rather quickly, and it was the last song to be added to the record. Jake presented the song just days before we entered the recording studio, and we were all really pleased with how fast we pulled the whole thing together. We felt that this song in particular was the last missing piece to the puzzle, and we were thrilled to have it as the song that ended the record.

What song are you most proud of?

Collectively we agreed that ‘Streetlight Kids’ is the song that we’re most proud of off of Wild In Our Ways. It really nailed a sound that we were going for on this record, a good blend of organic and synthetic music. The acoustic guitar and live piano parts were particularly prominent for this song. We are really happy with how it all turned out, and strongly believe that this song has the potential to last.

Can fans expect you to be performing the new songs live anytime soon? What can they expect from you in the near future?

Yes! We have a couple of New York shows lined up for the fall at the moment. On 9/18 we will be playing at Mercury Lounge in NYC opening for Public and on 10/13 we will be opening for The Boxer Rebellion at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. We also have a few other shows lined up that are currently unannounced for November! With those, we are also working on booking for a tour for early next year.

Right now we are working on creating great content to support the release of Wild In Our Ways. We have three official music videos filmed that will be released over the course of the upcoming months as well as special outdoor acoustic performances for each song in locations we feel fit each specific song and give a good representation of the area that we are from. Lastly, we have recently started our own podcast and have been releasing episodes consistently and we’re looking to keep that up!

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