Interview With Fall Like Rockets

Where are you from?
Wheeling, WV. About an hour outside of Pittsburgh and two hours from Columbus, Ohio.
Members and their instruments?
Richie Greene – Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Bass (Also doing the whole interview)
Ethan Greene – Drums
Nicholas Triveri – Guitar, Vox
What does your band name mean?
For starters, it’s Fall (the season) like Rockets. More often than not, people think the fall in the name is referencing the verb. It’s not!

As for what it means? It doesn’t really have any definitive meaning. I could make up an elaborate story behind the name, but in all honesty, we made it up in a bedroom one night and it stuck.

For me?

Fall is my favorite season and always has been. It’s my favorite weather and starts the best time of the year (about mid-September-December 30th), but more than that, I think Fall is a pretty accurate metaphor for life, with all of the grey and cold days mixed with the beautiful, color-filled days. It also represents new beginnings for me, but I think that’s because from Kindergarten all the way to college, the new school year starts, you have a chance to become whatever new version of you you’ve been working on over the Summer, etc.

And the Rockets thing came about because we all are fascinated by space. Just that great, infinite, terrifying but amazing unknown ready to be explored.

So that’s what it means to me! But really, we just thought it sounded cool, ha.
What genre do you consider yourself? Why?
I hate labeling yourself as one genre, because I feel like that’s the easiest way to get stuck in a mindset where you have to stick to that genre. With this project, I want every record to be noticeably different and progressive from the last…musically, lyrically, themes, all of that.

But if I had to say, there will definitely always be elements of huge-sounding arena rock guitars and catchy melodies.
How long have you been together?
We’ve “been together” since 2009, but didn’t really start seriously writing until the last 3 or so years.
What brought you together?
Ethan is my little brother and Nicholas is one of my best friends. He’s actually the older brother of my longest friend, whom I met in Kindergarten.
What drew you to music?
It’s so cliche, but it was always just my “thing”. Some of my earliest memories are just my dad playing R.E.M. in the car on drives and I just loved singing along with it. And then when you get a little older and start to find the bands that you really connect with, you want to be like those guys. Music and football (Carolina Panthers fanatic) have always been the two things in my life that grabbed me immediately.
What are some of your most influential bands? Why?
Oh man, I’m going to try not to spam this part with a million bands.

Blink-182 was the first band that ever hooked me instantly and kind’ve guided me on my path. I remember hearing them on the radio in like 3rd grade, and just being like “what is this!?” It introduced me to the world of punk rock. So they get a special shoutout.

Alongside them, my favorites are Coldplay, Thrice, The Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, Angels and Airwaves, Caspian, The Boxer Rebellion, Jimmy Eat World, and The National. I’d say any one of these bands is always in rotation on any given day. These are the in my elite tier.

But I’m also into NOFX, Bad Religion, The Cure, Springsteen, The Front Bottoms, Turnover, Now Now, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Moving Mountains, Lord Huron, Kings of Leon, Japandroids, Lorde, Green Day, Daughter, PUP, Rage Against The Machine, Noah Gunderson, This Will Destroy You, Best Coast..I could go on and on.

Aaaand I basically spammed the question. Dammit.
What was your first song together?
There’s a song called Liberators that was actually the first complete song we wrote that will be on the next record, which we are currently writing. It just fits the theme better.
What is your song writing process?
It’s very rare I start from scratch. I’m always thinking of melodies in my head or drum beats or a line or words I want to build a song around. Usually the hardest part is finding a way to sing it. Once I’m sold on a good vocal melody, the song typically comes easy.
How has your music evolved since you began playing together?
I would say that I just know how to write now, compared to when we first started. When you first start, I think you’re kinda trying to do it blindly almost. You wanna play it a little safe because you don’t know what your true sound is yet. You’re trying to sound like other bands, almost. It takes writing songs, throwing them away, and then rewriting or coming up with brand new things before you land on a sound you’re comfortable with. And lyrically, oh my god. Night and day from then to now, haha. I know how to write what I want to say now as opposed to writing what I think someone would want to hear.
What songs do you perform the most often?
We actually don’t currently perform and never have. We stick to just writing and recording.
Do you play any covers?
I’ve always thought it would be a cool little tribute to do a cover of a band/song that most influenced your current record, but I don’t think that will happen. But I do love playing covers. That’s how you learn guitar.
Is there a secret meaning in any of your music?
Nah, I’m not into cryptic writing. Pour your heart on the page or don’t write. I wouldn’t know how to even write cryptically.
What is your favorite part of working in music?
My favorite part is either that moment when the idea you’ve had starts “working” and three hours later you have the skeleton of something good, or that moment when you first finish a song and you play it back for the first time. Sometimes, these things can live in your head for years, so that first moment of hearing it all together and playing back is always a goosebumps moment, it’s one of the best feelings ever. It always sounds slightly different than what you imagined, but it’s also better than you could have imagined.
What is your least favorite part of working in music?
I mean, we don’t do this professionally, so it’s not like there are deadlines we have to meet or anything. I’d say recording a part over and over and over again or finding a good sound are the worst parts. That can take forever. Writer’s block may actually trump both of those. That’s the thing that makes you want to question what you are doing and declare yourself an idiot.
How old were you when you started playing your instrument?
I was in middle school when I got my first guitar after begging. I’m 27 now, so I’ve been playing for probably 14 years.
How do you describe your music to people?
I never know how to describe it, so I either say “if you like (insert band), you may like this” or I just tell them it’s rock. Keep it as generic as possible so expectations aren’t set, ha.
What image do you hope your music conveys?
We don’t necessarily have an image we are going for, I don’t feel like. We just want people to like it and feel whatever they wanna feel when listening. I guess I do want people to say that it has heart. If they could say it has heart and that we try to always change or be dynamic, that would be ideal. There’s so much god damn white noise at the forefront of what is big today. I just want people to be able to say “hey, this definitely has something to say”.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Just completing that first record. That was years and years of having ideas but never having the conviction to put them to the test, of having the desire to record but never having the money or ability to do so, etc. So when I finally got that thing done and listened to it all the way through for the first time, I was like…fuck, I can’t believe it’s done! It was a really proud accomplishment kind of moment.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band?
Just having the means and methods to record. Like I said, we don’t do this professionally, so there’s been no true challenges.
Are you happy with the current success of your band?
I write for me, and I’m happy about the first record for reasons I stated above, yes. But I always want to get better and try new things, and I would not complain if we were able to do this and make a good living. Be the headliner at Glastonbury, that kind of thing.
What is the ultimate direction for your band?
I’ll never stop doing it, because I’d be unhappy if I did, and I always have something to say. I just hope to continually make music that I wanna hear and that people wanna hear. And I will definitely be active in getting people to listen!
What steps have you taken to get there?
Well, the music is all out on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, etc. I go on Reddit frequently to post about it and get surprisingly a good amount of people praising it or liking it or whatever, which is a good confidence booster.
What steps do you still have to do?
I have to “accidentally” run into Chris Martin or Tom DeLonge or someone like that, befriend them, have them take us on tour with them, and hope to god they don’t see through my ruse.
How do you feel about the internet and the music business?
It’s good and bad.

There is so much over saturation at this point, which benefits my band since without the internet and all of these platforms, we wouldn’t have any way to get these songs out unless a record exec spots you somewhere. But at the same time, that means 10,000 other bands like me can do the same. It’s overwhelming how much music there is to listen to. And I feel like streaming and downloading has killed the art of the album. I can just grab the single that I want and not listen to you again, when the artist may have put all this work and thought into creating 10+ songs for you to listen to in succession because it conveys a mood or a story or whatever. So that kind of sucks from an artistic and money standpoint.

As far as the business goes? It’s pretty evident rock bands and guitar-driven bands aren’t exactly at the forefront of any record exec’s mind, so it’s almost like you better just really just love writing music if you want to play rock-influenced stuff, because that’s just not what the business is in demand for. But I don’t think people are making money anyway outside of touring. I read something recently that said out of all the revenue an artist can generate, they are only keeping like 12% of it. The rest goes to the label. That’s insanity!

But as I said, I’m going to keep writing until I die, I don’t know how to stop creating in my head. If we get lucky, I’ll be stoked. If not, I’ll still be stoked.
What is your favorite concert you’ve attended?
I’ve seen so many amazing shows. I saw Blink on their 2009 reunion tour and the energy at the show was just massive. That was like seeing my idols come back from the dead, so that one was up there.

The first time I saw Coldplay in 2016 was a life changing experience too. The show they put on is incredible and was something I’d wanted to go to since I fell in love with that band after watching them perform a Glastonbury set on TV once. I didn’t know half the songs, I just thought they had such good showmanship that I gave them another chance after I’d kind’ve written them off being the punk kid that I was, and now they are easily a top 3 influence. They’re incredible and they don’t get enough love.

Bruce Springsteen made me a big fan, too. My uncle is a huge fan, and I was a casual listener (Brian Fallon and Gaslight had actually gotten me into Bruce), and he had a free ticket and we went to see him in Columbus and I was like “oh my god!”. The dude is like in his 60’s and played for 3 hours straight, never slowing down. I learned why he was The Boss.

But I’ve seen Thrice, Alkaline Trio, Gaslight, The National, Jimmy Eat World, Caspian…I’ve seen all my idols at least once. Every show just kicked my ass in one way or the other. There’s nothing I like doing more than seeing a band I love.
What do you do besides music?
I love reading, watching good shows (Game of Thrones fanatic), doing stuff with the fiance, watching my Panthers on Sundays. I come from a big family so I could be with one of them or hanging with some friends. I also like to be active so I could be throwing football or shooting basketball or hiking or going to the gym. Or eating. I’m a foodie.
What is something you would like to tell your younger self?
Read more. Reading is like the gateway to infinite wisdom.
What is your favorite song? (not by your band)
Ahh, this question is impossible, man.

My current favorite song of the moment is Beyond The Pines by Thrice. It’s off of their new record, Palms. The lyrics are some of Dustin’s best.
What do you wish you spent more time doing 5 years ago?
Learning piano. My fiance got me a keyboard for my birthday in June because I’d been complaining for months that I’ve wanted to play piano. And since then I’ve been learning, and I love it, but I would like to be 5 years ahead of schedule.
What advice do you have others wanting to start their own bands?
Do it for the right reasons..aka, do it because you truly love it. Do it for yourself. If people want to listen to it, they will listen. If not, at least make something that you can bring up when you’re shuffling songs and be like “fuck, I love this and I am proud of this.”
Any last words?
Thanks for letting me do this interview!

Please go listen to our band, be kind to one another, and Keep Pounding!

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