The Forgotten Falling have been pretty quiet in 2012, but if you haven’t checked out their new single, “Like A Thousand Wounds”, I suggest you do.  It’s a moving song dedicated to the memory of the innocent victims who lost their lives on December 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

While they may not have spent as much time in the studio this year as in years past, The Forgotten Falling has been on the road throughout the year; playing select dates on the Tour of Destruction, co-headlining Day 2 of Stonekrank’s “Party In Vegas Fest II”, and now sharing the main stage with a bunch of heavy hitters on Werewolf Concerto’s “Back From The Dead and Ready To Party” Reunion Tour.  To call them road warriors would be an understatement.  So what it’s like being on the road with The Forgotten Falling?  We asked for them for some “Road Stories” and the band’s lead singer Hayden Frasco obliged.

“It’s Hayden Frasco here, from the Forgotten Falling! So I was asked to tell about some of the crazy stuff that’s happened to the band and I over our various tours, or in general. Now, asking The Forgotten Falling to choose one, single interesting story is like having to choose one of your favorite songs and then listen to only that one song for the rest of your life. So, I decided to share a few tales with you. Where should I start?

Maybe I should begin with one that happened during the Aphelion tour. We had been in Bremerhaven, Germany the night before, and that day we had just played Halloween Fest in Massachusetts, because Werewolf Concerto had committed themselves to it before the tour. We had all been awake for more than 30 hours on a plane from Germany to the USA, and it was a miracle that we didn’t butcher our set at Halloween Fest. So, that night, we boarded our plane and left for Amsterdam, because that was where we had to be the next day (I’ve never been so stressed out in my life). We packed our shit and left, then fell asleep on the plane in minutes.

We woke up when we reached Amsterdam, and immediately Miyako started freaking out. I tried talking to her, but she just swore (I don’t speak Japanese, or Russian, but when it comes to swearing it’s hard to misinterpret people, especially Miyako, being the fiery little woman that she is) and freaked out. Then, I got a call on my cell phone from Yumishi.

She had fallen asleep at Halloween fest, and in our haste, we had forgotten her… She was still in the USA.

The entire band started panicking so bad. Miyako started crying (I’d never seen her cry before), Wayne started blaming me, and I was like “It’s not my fault man!” Then I made a really jerk-off comment about how Yumishi was so small and that was why we missed her.

That one earned me a kick in the nuts from Miyako.

It was Malcolm who calmed us all down. He told us all to shut the hell up, and then we started trying to find her passage to Amsterdam. No flights were booked until after the concert. She had no place to stay, no spare clothes; it was a bad situation.

It took us three hours to try and find a private pilot that would fly her to Amsterdam on short notice. Luckily Jacob Wolfman knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a pilot. He charged us ridiculous money, but then we got Wolfman over here to negotiate with the dude. In the end, we paid $2,000 for her flight, which was pretty cheap compared to his original price.

Oh man. When she arrived, the show was about to start. We barely had time to welcome her back before we had to rush out on stage, but she didn’t wanna go out with unwashed hair and smeary makeup, and I recall that she really wanted some food. So Miyako starts doing up some cyberlox on her head while I made her some salad (For those of you that don’t know, the Hayden Frasco signature salad consists of lettuce, tomato, fried egg, and little else). We played the show, and it all went well, and afterwards we laughed our asses off. We were so scared, but when Yumishi was here, safe, we couldn’t believe we had been tired enough to actually forget a member.

We smoked a ton of weed in Amsterdam, and then we joked about how Miyako had now kicked two of her bandmates in the balls: Me, and Malcolm a few years before. Damn, that woman is gonna be the death of me.

The next story is also from the Aphelion Tour. It was the last night of the Tour, and we had just played our last set in Tokyo, Japan. That night was legendary, and without a doubt one of our most famous gigs to date, and afterwards all the bands partied like we just didn’t give a shit. I refrained from drinking, because I wanted to be alert, even if I was partying my ass off. You see it’s kind of a tradition that my bandmates play a prank on me every time we accomplish something. After I participated in Prime! My bandmates cut my hair in my sleep, and after Miyako and I participated in Censored For Your Protection: Live, they gave me a pizza box… with a tarantula inside. They claim they play these pranks because they love me, but… ah never mind. They could have killed me a thousand times already.

Well, this night was going awesome. We walked into some random club and started raving to some J-Pop techno stuff. After a while Wayne wants to toast the band with me, since he and I are like brothers. He actually spiked my drink, even though I didn’t know it at the time, and then I passed out a few minutes later. I should have realized it in his smug little grin, ha.

When I woke up, I was tied to a chair. Now, before I tell this story, remember that weird shit happens in Japan. Have you seen their game shows? Their school uniforms? Anime??

So I was in some sort of café, tied to a chair, and then, once the waitresses came in and started singing to me, I realized: I was in one of those Lolita cafes that have been known to eat salarymen whole (An exaggeration).

They were all dressed like lolitas, with cute little dresses and voices, but man their eyes… their eyes were EVIL! For the next few hours, I was a prisoner of the Lolita girls. They fed me strange meals, which were always delicious, sang me karaoke to weird Japanese pop, and made me complete strange obstacle courses where I had outrun a Lolita dressed like Godzilla (I know… What the Hell was going on here?) They also massaged my feet, filed my fingernails, and combed my hair. At this point, I couldn’t tell if my bandmates (I KNEW this was their doing) had intended this as torture, or a vacation.

I later realized, however, that the Lolita girls were just prepping me for the day’s main course.

They started braiding my hair, and one of them unveiled this ridiculous dress, black with red lace, my two favorite colors. Then one of them tied me up and started putting makeup on me. Now, being in a Goth band, I wear makeup all the time; you know, a little guy liner here and there. But I hadn’t worn primer, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick before since I had gone through my Marylin Manson phase when I was 15. The entire while, they were giggling and speaking Japanese, but I had a pretty good idea what would happen next.

When they untied me, they threatened me with squirt guns and forced me to put on this dress (The sight of a Lolita girl with a super soaker may seem cute, but trust me; it’s so evil and terrifying in person that it could have been the cover of a Living Monstrosity record).

What choice did I have? Wearing a dress wasn’t so bad if no one ever knew, right? So hey, I put on the dress and the lolitas all laughed with glee. They danced in a circle around me for a while, and then one brought out this teacup. Apparently I was supposed to drink the tea, and then I would “Become one of them.”

At this point I had given up resisting the lolitas, so I drank the tea. They celebrated and gave me this pink, little certificate, which Yumishi later translated for me. It said I was an official Lolita.

I’m comfortable in myself; I could endure the lolita’s trials with only a little humiliation, but then Miyako walked in the door, laughing her ass off. I froze.

When I got back to our hotel the band took some pictures of me in the dress and put them up on the band’s website. Hell, I was mortified. The whole thing had been Miyako’s idea, and when I freaked out at her, she just shrugged. She thought it would be nice having the Lolita girls treat me “With such honor” or so she said. I just think she has it out for me, ha ha. By the time we left for the USA, we were all laughing at it. And yes, Cafes like that one are pretty common in Japan. They’re on YouTube if you search hard enough.

So there you have it; two stories from the road, glimpses into the crazy life of The Forgotten Falling. I hope you enjoyed them! Thanks for supporting the band, and listening to me rant about forgetting Yumishi and being the captive for a café of crazy lolitas!”


Cover-sation is a new feature here on Figment News where we’ll post an album cover from Figment and ask you what you think of it.  Good, bad, indifferent?  What do you like about the cover’s design?  What don’t you like?  How might you have approached the same cover?  In short, we’ll have a conversation about an album cover design…a Cover-sation if you will…

Pragmatica’s “The Grace Parade” is to this date the band’s most successful album.  While the band remains popular, “The Grace Parade” clearly struck a cord, and I think the cover has a lot to do with it.  The question is what do you think?

 

It’s the holiday gift giving season again, and while the latest rock memoirs from everyone from Neil Young to Pete Townshend are hitting the shelves, I would suggest you dig a bit deeper and look for these two books – “Bad Vibes:  Britpop and My Part In Its Downfall” by Luke Haines, and Gentlemanly Repose:  Confessions of a Debauched Rock ‘N’ Roller” by Michael Ruffinoif you’re searching for that perfect gift for the music lover in your family.

Why?  Because most rock ‘n’ roll memoirs focus on artists who are famous and achieve at least some degree of notoriety and/or success, but these two books do just the opposite.  Both “Bad Vibes” and “Gentlemanly Repose” focus on artists who got close to the brass ring, but never hit it big.  So why would you want to read a book about bands that didn’t make it?  Well, because most bands don’t, and both Haines and Ruffino are clever, articulate, and funny writers who know exactly what that experience is like because they’ve lived it.  Like Tommy Womack’s “Cheese Chronicles”, which we reviewed in our last installment of Music Lit 101, these two books are a blast to read, because they really do take you behind-the-scenes, and instead of focusing on the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll fantasy they describe the  day-to-day lunacy that is part of being in a working band.

Luke Haines’ “Bad Vibes” is a chronicle of the rise of Britpop, a genre he refers to as “the idiot runt-child of all music genres”, and the pioneering role his band The Auteurs played in it’s rise.  Don’t know The Auteurs?  Haines wouldn’t be surprised, but his inside look at the hype that built the Britpop genre is one hysterical ride.  He has a dark sense of humor and never argues the fact the he was his own worst enemy, but it’s interesting to read about a band that was so clearly ahead of it’s time and yet received so little credit, especially here in the States.  I guess that’s what happens when you name your latest pop single, “Unsolved Child Murder.”  You can almost see the label reps becoming apoplectic trying to figure out how to market that one right?

Michael Ruffino on the other hand, was in a band that seemed almost hell bent on never making it.  His band, “The Unband”, named their first and only album “Retarder” (cue crazed label reps again), and managed to tour with everyone from Dio to Dokken, Fu Manchu, and Def Leppard.  His writing is part Lester Bangs and part Nikki Six, and he never once seems to take a minute of his wild ride seriously, but by the end of the book you almost want to see him and his band mates succeed if only because they seem to care so little if they do.  Better yet, “Gentlemanly Repose” is one of the most interesting and funny books I’ve ever read about life on the road.  Ruffino describes it perfectly when he says, “It seems so simple:  here’s some money, here’s a tour bus, go play.  It’s not.  It’s not simple at all.”

So don’t take the simple way out and buy yet another tome by an arena rock legend (you can check them out of the library), but instead plunk your hard earned cash down on one or both of these books, and learn what it’s like to succeed at failing.