OC Hard Rockers BEHIND THE FALLEN premiered their haunting new video for “Revenant”, directed by Robyn Reinstadler of Paradyme Pix. Music Madness had a chance to speak with the band’s new frontman Nathan Spades.
Music Madness: Congrats on the new video and music. Did you enjoy making the video?
Nathan Spades: The video shoot itself was a very different experience, only because this was my first time working with Robyn (Reinstadler of Paradyme Pix), who had worked with the band previously. He’s a really good guy and knows what he’s doing which made the process easier. Honestly, man, the whole experience was great. It was a lot of fun and I was really excited for it to be released.
Music Madness: Do you find it challenging going from producing the music, writing the music, singing the music, to filming the video? Is it a more difficult process?
Nathan Spades: Not really so much. I think for me it might have been a little more natural only because I was actually singing during the video, which I don’t really know how that stuff is done. Maybe some people prefer to lip sync it or maybe some people actually sing it, but I was singing the whole duration of every shot, so it was pretty much in my natural habitat. As for Eric, Chris, and David, they had to kind of air guitar it. Dylan (drummer) and I were definitely doing our thing like normal.
It was a lot easier than recording the song vocals because I think recording takes a lot more out of me, doing it continuously for hours as opposed to me just naturally doing it live, not really having to worry about every single detail the whole time.
Music Madness: I can’t imagine what it’s be like in a studio where you are starting, stopping and then you’re breaking it down into parts. It has to get tedious at times and stressful.
Nathan Spades: Yeah, it can be a little tiring. It’s not like singing a 30-minute set. You’re going for hours … it just really depends. My vocals can get a little husky after the fourth hour, so it’s a lot harder recording than it was shooting this video, for sure.
Music Madness: Is it a difficult process coming in and being the new guy in an existing band? How are you settling in?
Nathan Spades: Yeah. I believe Chris and David were original, but Eric and Dylan have both been in for quite a while. It’s been a long time for them, enough to where I think they are considered original members.
There’s a lot to that, I felt like coming into this, they already had built quite a reputation for themselves. I’ve seen videos of them on stage with their last singer and there’s people screaming their lyrics back to them. They were making a dent in the scene. They were definitely making themselves known. I had no idea who they were when I joined and how big they actually were compared to a lot of other bands around here. They know a ton of people, which made it a little intimidating for our first show just because all of a sudden, there’s a packed house and everyone is expecting to hear the other vocalist.
Music Madness: Expectations can be tough…
Nathan Spades: Yeah, coming in with those expectations were a little nerve-wracking at first because I wasn’t ready for it, but the second show was phenomenal and I couldn’t be happier with where it’s at. So now, it’s definitely a lot easier and I think people are settling in with the fact that there’s someone new here, which is a great feeling.
Music Madness: Very cool. What does the band have coming up? Now that you are settling in, are we looking at a bigger tour this summer?
Nathan Spades: I can’t really say much, but, yeah, there is a bigger tour that we’ve talked about, or a couple of them, actually. We’re kind of looking right now at what the best opportunity’s gonna be. As far as right now, yeah, a tour has been in the conversations, as well as we’re just pumping out material. We’re trying to get new songs ready and really get a hold of what the new sound is gonna be, so it’s been pretty much just material and then, yeah, looking at possibly touring.
Music Madness: You’ll really settle in once you get on the road and tour together. You had better buckle up, man, buckle up.
Nathan Spades: That’s what they’ve been telling me. Oh, I will, man. I live life on the edge so I’m sure it’ll be awesome.
Music Madness: That’s not a bad thing, you’re not gonna be like Ozzy snorting a pile of ants?
Nathan Spades: No, nothing that crazy. Nothing crazy. About the craziest thing I might do is maybe shower in a Starbucks restroom or something, but I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.
Music Madness: Who were some of your influences growing up? What aspired you to get into a metal band?
Nathan Spades: My childhood upbringing was a complete contradictory of where I’m at now, I’m starting to think. I was pretty much raised a Jehovah’s Witness, so I wasn’t allowed to have birthdays or Christmas or tattoos, and the whole life style that comes with metal was pretty much like Satan. It was completely looked down upon. My mother kind of took me away from that beat. We grew up in L.A. and I grew up on gangster rap, old school stuff like DJ Quik and Spice 1 and stuff like that.
I think when I was eight years old and the movie Dracula 2000 first came out, Linkin Park’s One Step Closer was at the end of the credits and when I heard that, some part of me feel in love with it and I figured out how to use Google on the computer. I found out, okay, this is Linkin Park. I started Googling all these bands and I just came across all these bands after Linkin Park. I would say my top two influences are Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance, it has to be. Avenged Sevenfold is a really close third for me. Underoath is another big influence and Panic at the Disco is another big influence of mine.
Music Madness: So is that direction you would to see Behind The Fallen take?
Nathan Spades: It’s really hard to say because to be original, you can’t really. It’s hard for me because when I first started singing, I had a habit of mimicking people and then I had to break that habit. I think it still shows. A lot of my vocals that come out, I tend to act a certain way because I was looking at people, watching them live for years … everything they did, everything they said. It just melded in my brain, so I think some part of that still comes out.
People were telling me on Revenant, the second verse really sounded like something Gerard Way would do. It’s a very My Chemical Romance-y verse. I was like, “I’m not gonna be mad at that at all,” because he puts so much emotion into his vocals and so much emphasis on the words he was saying. There was so much madness and craziness and I think that’s really what made the band for me it wasn’t about being perfect. He really had a message and he had words to say, and he didn’t care how you heard them. That’s what I can honestly hope for this band, that we go in a direction that’s gonna maybe follow in our influences’ footsteps, but still kind of create something new for people to enjoy at the same time.
Music Madness: The metal scream…is it as painful as it sounds?
Nathan Spades: I think I screamed a lot more in my earlier bands and I was doing it completely wrong, so I took a long break and decided to figure out how to do it right. When you’re using the amplification, you get from the microphones and the P.A.s to back you up and you’re using a specific technique, it’s affected my vocal a lot less over the years than it used to when I first started doing it.
I think it’s just a matter of seasoning and knowledge. I studied Melissa Cross pretty closely and her methods that she uses on people like Matty Mullins from Memphis May Fire. She’s a professional rock scream vocal coach. She studies all that. I think it really just depends on your experience and what your technique is. Everyone’s gonna develop a technique if you put the time and care into learning how. It’s affected my vocals less over the years, just through knowledge. You have to know when you can and when you can’t. Sometimes if you’re going too hard, you kind of gotta settle yourself down, ’cause even with your in-ear monitors, you could still hurt yourself. You just have to know what you can handle and when you can push yourself and when to kind of settle down.
Music Madness: Right on! So I played the new video and my 11 year old was like, “Oh. It’s perfect, Dad, ’cause it made me want to punch somebody in the throat.” I’m guessing that’s a good thing.
Nathan Spades: That’s funny. That’s actually really cool to hear. That’s awesome. That’s kind of like the demographic we need to hit. It’s like the younger generation, to inspire them to do something big and I’m all for it. That’s awesome to get that.
Music Madness: You guys definitely have a great unique sound and I’m expecting to hear a lot more of Behind The Fallen.
Nathan Spades: I don’t want to sound like anybody and I know we don’t want sound like anybody. We just do something new. We want give that nostalgic feeling, which a lot of people have told us that we do, but it’s new, it’s modern, it’s evolving.
Music Madness: So there is an abundance of kick-ass all female metal or female-led bands out there right now. Do you have a favorite?
Nathan Spades: There’s a couple off the bat I can name, but one I was really intrigued by was Baby Metal, they’re so intriguing and nobody can explain why. It baffles me how they do what they do and you have to admire it, whether you hate it or love it. I would say there is a band called Courage My Love I saw but it was years ago. They have the support of a lot of heavier bands, too, and they’re not extremely heavy. There’s two females. There’s a drummer and then the leader singer-guitarist is a female and I think they’re sisters. Courage My Love is definitely a female kind of band that I am really supportive of at the moment. Evanescence used to be one … Fireflight, which was another one back in the day. I was around 12 years old when Paramore was coming out, so I was kind of always a fan of them. I always will be just because of that. It’s my childhood.
Music Madness: Are you guys doing any Warped tour dates this year? I know the band was a part of that in 2014.
Nathan Spades: All I can say is maybe.
Music Madness: Is there any Behind The Fallen news that you want to share?
Nathan Spades: One thing I guess I could say that I’m really excited about is, like I said, just the new material. The new material is definitely something we’re really stoked on so far, so just for people to hold on and look out for that ’cause we’re coming.
Music Madness: Awesome. Nathan, I appreciate your time. Best of luck to you, man, and I hope the next time we talk, there will be a new album and tour.
Nathan Spades: All right. Appreciate that, man. Have a good night.
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Interview by Steve Carlos