The Fall Of Troy don't do diplomacy, they don't do as they're told, and they sure as hell don't do quiet. But they do do a nice line in, er, pop-prog-hardcore. Rock Sound meets the trio and wisely leaves the book of genres behind...
When The Fall Of Troy rehearse, they do so at exceptionally loud volume. Their venue of choice used to be a storage warehouse near their homes in Seattle. They rented a unit to house all their equipment and late at night they would go there to crank out the jams without fear of reprisal from any disgruntled neighbours. For seven months it was perfect â€“ a second home for the trio, a creative enclave in the city, a nook available whenever the urge to write or play came to them. It was the band hub. Yep, it was perfect â€“ until the owner came down one night.
"The owner was a little crazy and one night we got into it with him and he kicked us out," recalls drummer Andrew Forsman. "He was an ex cop and one night he came down at two in the morning and we were practising loud as usual. We had been there every night for the previous seven months doing the same thing and never had a problem with him but this night he came down and complained about the noise. We were honest and told him that we were not gonna turn it down and whilst no one was being mean per se, the tone of our voices escalated to an angry level and he lost it and kicked us out. He told us the cops were going to come down and everything, it was a bit unnecessary."
Not the most diplomatic band on earth, perhaps, but The Fall Of Troy are nothing if not honest about their undiluted desire for decibels.
"We now practice in a place that is a long way from where we live but it has a really good vocal PA which is something we never had before and I think it has helped us out," remarks Forsman to Rock Sound before vocalist and guitarist Thomas Erak chimes in with a sagely note.
"We usually practice stuff through once, we don't like to over-practice anything," says the frontman. "It takes away from the spontaneity of the band when we are playing live. It is exactly the same when we write songs, we write a lot of songs but they don't all get heard, some songs just don't work so we pull them apart, drop them or rewrite a section into a new song. Most of what we write ends up on record but never usually in the form we first wrote it. For us when it works it just works, and we try to feel that stuff out rather than labour it out."
When it works, it works. Simple. And when it doesn't? The band give up and go home â€“ and that is exactly what happened in May last year when tensions reached their limits. The band went home because they wanted to, because they were being told not to, and because it had stopped working.
"We were on tour forever and we had wanted to go home and write a new record for two years," remembers Erak as Rock Sound probes deeper into the events of last summer. "We did not have the opportunity to do what we wanted to do so we went home, collected ourselves as friends, and did what we had wanted to do for so long. It got put out there in an overdramatic way and all the break-up rumours were insane, we never said we were going to stop doing music, but it got blown up into this huge thing. I feel like bands are always afraid to say they are sick of something; especially in America, bands are into riding a record for every ounce of success they can get. 'DoppelgÃ¤nger' was fucking done for us and people wanted us to ride that wave for longer than we ever intended to. We were done and the record was done. It was as simple as that."
Erak, Forsman and bassist Timothy Ward stepped back from the brink and into a properly equipped and professionally managed rehearsal room to create new, third album 'Manipulator', the latest stage in The Fall Of Troy's musical journey. But what does it sound like?
"It is more of the same but a little different," comments drummer Forsman with a statement so aloof, vague, and non-committal it could only come from a full-time musician.
Fortunately for Rock Sound, he goes on to elaborate: "The new record is a mix of staying true to our punk rock roots whilst pushing new musical ground. We definitely wanted a more poppy sound; we love good pop and we wanted to explore what we could do with that kind of sound. Other than that we wanted to make the songs flow a little better; instead of riff after riff after riff we wanted something that would be more cohesive regardless of the specific style."
"There was never a memo that said pop-rock was not good," Erak replies, gently chastening Rock Sound's scepticism. "Weezer, Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids were all great bands. I am not afraid to venture into that world as long as the creativity and the art is still preserved as part of it. ('DoppelgÃ¤nger' highlight) 'F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.' was us wanting to write a poppy song and there are a bunch of songs on the new record that are poppier than that to be honest."
The new record is ready to go, but are the band ready to go back on the road in support of it? Yes, with a little help.
"We are ready to tour again as we have a road crew now," laughs Forsman. "Back then we were super unorganised; we are musicians first and not particularly good with the other stuff that you have to deal with on the road. Now we have some help I think we are good to go. I mean, it was definitely rock 'n' roll, but far too chaotic to be sustained for any period of time. We are good at playing instruments and not the best at staying on top of the other stuff. We have finally learnt that."
The album 'Manipulator' is out now on Equal Vision.