Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Pete Falloon find out more about him…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from the U.K., born in Kent but living in Devon since 2004. Me and music go back a long way... I learnt piano at an early age briefly and trade that for trumpet to Grade 5 and then decided guitars were much more fun. I first seriously got into original music accompanying my brother Matthew on acoustic gigs round London, then started writing my own songs. From that, we made a few EPs and an album with our band Brothers Falloon which got released on a small indie label.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Some of them are the same and in many ways, I’ve gone full circle. My first real exploration of music was definitely indie to start with, around the UK Manchester scene (The Stone Roses, The Smiths...) as well as bands like The Cure and R.E.M. As I began to learn about what influenced some of those bands, that kind of led me back to stuff like The Byrds, and that rekindled a love for classic acts like Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Don McLean and James Taylor who were often on the record deck in our house when I was much younger.
How would you describe your sound?
I’d say it links well to the Paisley Overground movement that includes bands like Co-pilgrim and The Dreaming Spires. In a way, I’m kind of drawing a line through the classic folk/pop acts of the psychedelic era such as Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds and James Taylor, to modern greats such as R.E.M. and The Stone Roses and giving a nod to more contemporary acts such as Canadian Americana band The Barr Brothers. For all that Americana though, it also has a definitely English feel to it! I’d also say this definitely isn’t urban music - it’s been described as pastoral, and that’s probably because my music is also strongly influenced by my love for the natural environment, and inspired by living in Devon - the moors, coast, countryside, rivers and skies in the West Country are something very special.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
It’s called On A Foreign Tide. I think the drums behind it have a very Stone Roses feel; it’s very much a semi psychedelic drone that we loved playing as a band in rehearsals and could just get lost drifting on the waves of the rhythm and the thundering constant bass. I thought the guitar part had a bit of a janglier Police feel to it... my brother Matthew also added a mandolin part that almost sounds like a sitar... and finally to me the vocals at the end have a touch of Kate Bush to them. So it is a real mixture but I think it works, and it is one of my favourite tracks from the LP, Reed In The River.
What’s your local music scene like?
It’s very good in general, though I would say there is a bit of a lack of mid-sized proper music venues for original bands across all genres... there are plenty of great open mics and pub gigs and lots of opportunities for acoustic and folk artists... and of course festivals. But sadly I don’t think the issue of dwindling pure independent music venues is confined to Devon - a lot of the grassroots venues around the country are struggling - particularly with property development and so on. It is sad when these grassroots venues are lost - many of them supported my music in the South East growing up, and before that were places of inspiration!
The music scene itself is excellent and very varied. You just have to listen to a BBC Introducing In Devon Firstplay show to find that out - the first time I listened in there was everything from classical, jazz, folk, rock, indie and dance and more... and it was all top notch.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I’m planning some low key gigs to keep promoting the album that I released last year... and starting writing new material. It will be a while before I actually make a new record... it just takes me time to get the songs together, and work them into a shape I am happy with!
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Yes - lots of them. There are some great folk musicians in the area and that would be a lot of fun. I am also interested in remixes, and though what is on my LP is very much indie folk-pop/country-rock, I am exploring piano and keys so who knows what might happen next!
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Our first gig with the new material from my LP as a band was supporting The Blockheads. It was a bit of an unknown to us, as it wasn’t an obvious match of musical genres. But the venue was absolutely packed and our set was greeted with many “Oi-oi”’s from the crowd. I think it was a sign of appreciation... and at the London LP launch show at the Slaughtered Lamb, a birthday party came in part way through the set. It was quite a privilege to sing them Happy Birthday off the cuff, though I don’t think it was our best performance...
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Making the Reed In The River LP has been an incredible journey for me, and it has been really encouraging to get such great reviews and comments from the press, and supportive radio play including from Chris Hawkins at BBC Radio 6. So I just want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me and this album so far - I’m really grateful. That’s what I want readers to know - that I’m grateful.
You can find out more about Pete at his website or via Amazon, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.