|Fall From Grace|
February 7, 2012
FALL FROM GRACE
Road 2 Hell Rekkids
Tryg Littlefield (Vocals, Guitar)
By: Shauna O’Donnell
Fall From Grace out of Seattle released their third full length album titled The Romance Years on January 24th. The band has had its share of ups and downs during their career, but they have found a way to keep the message to their fans positive. Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates to be announced and go out to a show.
Shauna/AR: Hi Tryg, thanks for talking with me.
Tryg/FFG: Hi, how are you?
Shauna/AR: I’m good, how are you doing?
Tryg/FFG: I’m great!
Shauna/AR: You released your third full length album The Romance Years on January 24th. How did the CD release party go at the historic Neptune Theatre in Seattle?
Tryg/FFG: A lot of people that I grew up with that I have not seen since high school came out, which was really remarkable. We damn near sold the place out and it was great! It was a really good experience.
Shauna/AR: Did you end up filming a video for the song “18 & Out”?
Tryg/FFG: We did, yeah, we filmed it with Ryan through King of Hearts Productions. We are going to finalize the storyline stuff here in the next couple weeks. We will hopefully service it March 1st.
Shauna/AR: Oh cool that you will have a storyline to go along with it too, I was thinking it was just going to be a performance video.
Tryg/FFG: That is how it started, but then it evolved into this treatment. I don’t know exactly how it is going to be finalized because Ryan is still brainstorming ideas for it, but we are going to stage us going to the show with the van and trailer. We are going to be driving, he is going to be filming, but it is going to look like it is being filmed with kind of like a hand held Iphone. He is going to incorporate that as we come to a stop light, we look over at another car and people are going to be singing the song. It should be pretty comical and fun. I’m pretty excited. Ryan and I have worked together in the past in 2009. He did three videos for us. We filmed that in two days and that was something that both his team and all of us decided that we would never do again. It was so incredibly hard. We were all laid out for a week.
Shauna/AR: You guys were with Bodog Entertainment and left. Now you are with Road 2 Hell Rekkids. Tell me about this new label, I have never heard of them before.
Tryg/FFG: That is actually my label. It was a dream that I had about ten years ago, to have my own label. Ten years ago I thought the answer was signing with another label, which I came to find out is a double-edged sword. There are certain things about it that are wonderful and certain things that are horrible. Our experience was more on the horrible side. They did work us a lot and tour us though. We signed to a label and then the actual label was fired and so we had a record contract with the company. What they did was they hired a management company to manage our success and then they created a label. When you have a record label and management in one, it is really messy because it is conflict of interest. Management is supposed to work the band and be liaison to the label to make sure that the band is working. They were the label, so it was like we were constantly fighting with our management, when we should never have to fight with them. Management should be the middle man. Our management was doing some really shady things, but long story short, I caught them putting their hands in the pot. I represented myself as legal counsel for a year, all of 2010 and part of 2011 actually. I got our closeout agreement and got our masters. I got everything that we signed away, we didn’t get any money, but we at least got our lives back. They owned us as individuals, so if we did anything that was outside the band, we couldn’t put it out with our name on it. It was a really bad record deal. After fighting that I put together a proposal for outside investments and I solicited an investor who is investing into my record label, which is Road 2 Hell Rekkids. The cool thing is that all the members of the band, all five of us, are officers of the LLC. The one thing I have definitely learned in this industry is how to be a businessman. If you do not know anything about business, you will get screwed.
Shauna/AR: Yeah in my opinion, you never want to have management and label in the same pocket.
Tryg/FFG: Our situation was the exact reason not to. That is not to say that other labels haven’t figured it out. A lot of people are signing 360’s, but we were not affiliated with a real label, we were affiliated with someone who was figuring out how to be a manager at our expense. It was difficult and we lost two members because of it. It was a really hard road, but at the end of the day we ended up bringing people into the band that were really good friends of all of ours. There was already a previous relationship with everyone. We are now acting as a record label and management. We are going after things like PR, music video servicing and we were going to do radio, but we decided to hold off because there is a really big tour confirmation that we are waiting on. It’s all about timing, but we are really excited that things are working out the way they are.
Shauna/AR: It has to feel good to be able to put out another record and be free to do what you want with it.
Tryg/FFG: The record has been done for over a year, that’s the thing. We went into the studio to record some demos for the label and while we were doing the demos, I started digging. That is when we found out that there was some shady stuff happening. I had made relationships with half the people that serviced all of our stuff. Long story short, we are happy to be where we are at.
Shauna/AR: I assume you are the lyric writer. What are some of the things you write about in your songs?
Tryg/FFG: This record was a fun one because we had the opportunity to write about personal things that we have been dealing with. For instance, the song “So Long For Now” which was about the hardships of tour and what really happens when you are on tour. We were dealing with so much emotional trauma with what was going on in the business side of things that it was really hurting the dynamic of the band. That is the last thing you need when you are on the road. “Stand Alone” is a shout out to all the people who are fighting for our country. “Your Majesty” was actually an argument that I had with an ex-girlfriend. We thought it would be funny to put really happy, pop/punk music to really disturbing lyrics. It’s funny because that is the song that girls say “We love that song.” We tried to incorporate a lot of experience in ourselves. For instance, in 2009 after we came home from tour and everything fell apart, I was reaching out through Myspace to talk with a lot of fans about physical, sexual and verbal abuse. I talked to them about how they should talk to their family and what they should do. I was coaching a lot of people and that kind of inspired the feeling behind the record.
Shauna/AR: What is cool about your band is the connection you have with the fans. What are some of the ways you keep that close connection?
Tryg/FFG: It’s mostly through social media. The band has a Facebook and all of the band members monitor that, but my personal Facebook is almost like the band’s Facebook. I sit and talk with a lot of kids about stuff that is going on in their lives and see what I can do to help. You have to keep your head in the game, stay positive and pick yourself up when you fall down. That is kind of the whole idea that we try to convey.
Shauna/AR: How does it make you feel when someone walks up with a Fall From Grace tattoo on them?
Tryg/FFG: It floors me! Having someone get a tattoo of our band is completely flooring to me. The first time I heard someone sing our songs was the same thing for me. It’s one of those things where no matter what you do in life, there is nothing that can prepare you for that. For me, that is huge. It is really cool to see that we have that kind of impact on people.
Shauna/AR: Do you have any tattoos of your favorite bands on you?
Tryg/FFG: Believe it or not, I only have one and it is not directly a band, it is the influence. It’s the Danzig cross because I was such a huge fan of Danzig. It was the way that he would take punk music and sing about horror rock before it became super cool to have that kind of a band. I thought it was great and I thought it was hilarious. I grew up with the Misfits, so I was always influenced by his style, but then when we went solo, I loved blues. The first original line-up of Danzig after he went solo, was very pocket oriented rhythm and blues rock n roll. I loved it, but now I listen to it and I find his stuff a little bit more cheesy because I have come into my own as a musician, but I still love it.
Shauna/AR: Who did you work with production wise?
Tryg/FFG: We had our very good friend Mike Caviziel in Seattle do the record. While we were on tour in 2009, we contacted him. We were in Atlanta, Georgia playing with CKY, I called Mike and said “The rhythm section of the band is going to walk away after this tour.” Brian my guitarist and his brother Ken’s father had passed away while we were on tour. Management was like “You guys got a job to do! You guys have to go out there and finish it.” Things like that were happening and Ken was just done. Brian wasn’t quite done. He came up to me and said “Look, I don’t know what we are going to do, but I’d like you to stick around because I’d like to keep going with this.” At that point we were all done until he came up to me. I said “You know what? I will! I will stick this out and we will see this thing through until the end.” I called Mike and said “Do you want to be involved as a songwriter on the next record?” He helped us with a little of the pre-production on the last record. He said “Would I? Heck Yeah!” We started doing demos at his studio. We got home in August of 2009, took a month off and then we started doing the record. It took over a year, but it all worked out.
Shauna/AR: What is going on in the way of touring in support of the release?
Tryg/FFG: There is nothing in concrete unfortunately that I can talk about, which is sad because of all this exposure of the release. However, I can say we have two fairly huge tours that we are waiting to hear back on. If they come to fruition, we will be getting massive exposure. It’s a different time right now with the economy and a lot of bands are having difficulty drawing. Everything has changed and everything is always going to change. That is part of the beauty of it right? We are doing what we can to keep fighting the good fight. It’s a really hard gig, but the thing about it is I look at it kind of like organized crime. What you can get away with, people will and that is the key to success in Capitalism, but what you can do if you are a musician out there trying to make it and doing what we all thought was the right way to do it, is pay attention to the way things work. Once the record label became part of it, I started paying attention to everything they were doing and what was going on. I have no college experience, but now I know how to do a proposal, a budget and be able to show profit and loss statements just from learning what I did on the road. If you want to be a good musician, learn how to be a good businessman too, in anything that you do because then you can also find out if people are ripping you off. It is unfortunate but we do not live in an environment where anyone takes care of their own. We have to look out for ourselves. You just really have to watch yourself.
Shauna/AR: You have played on the same stage as some remarkable acts such as Katy Perry, CKY, Alesana and many others. Who are some of the bands you have not yet played with that you are dying to?
Tryg/FFG: Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Daughtry and big acts like that. It would be an amazing experience.
Shauna/AR: Thank you so much for the interview. Before I let you go was there anything you’d like to add or say?
Tryg/FFG: I hope that when we come to Los Angeles, you come and hang out with us.