By Andréa Rojas
They play Super Nintendo, go to hip-hop shows on the weekends and their lead singer also plays the ukulele. All the characteristics of your quirky next-door neighbour kid are, interestingly enough, the eclectic elements that come together to form the endearingly aggressive metalcore act Fall City Fall.
To the untrained ear, it might seem as if metalcore, a delightfully belligerent fusion of metal and hardcore, does little more than channel pubescent angst into spastic snare lines. However, Fall City Fall’s purposeful appropriation of distortion makes their riffs as elegant as the algebra they did in high school, and this type of irony is the kind with fangs. Having commenced a nationwide tour this past Friday (which includes 12 shows in cities as far away as Montreal, with a stop in Saskatoon for the travelling hardcore festival MazzFest), Fall City Fall is preparing to sink their teeth into Canada while promoting their first full-length album, 1629.
The Calgary sextet, consisting of vocalists Keenan Pylychaty and Nathan Zorn, guitarists Scott Olyphant and Jordan Storey, bassist Rick Griffiths and drummer Andrew Higgins, has collected over 2,000 fans on Facebook, many of them in their early-to-mid-teens. When speaking of what draws a predominantly adolescent crowd to their sound, Pylychaty considers their subgenre an emotional outlet.
“I can’t really classify metalcore; it’s just music from the heart to me,” he says. “Personally, I got really involved in music because it took the stress right off. I got into a little bit of trouble when I was a kid [and] this music just helped me stay focused. I could . . . go to a show [and] forget everything that was wrong. You can lose yourself in it. That’s what really pulled me into [metalcore]. You can just feel it.”
Fall City Fall favour the inclusiveness of the metalcore subgenre to the exclusivity that has characterized the two genres to which it owes its existence.
“I think a lot of people are turned off by metal and hardcore,” explains Zorn. “It doesn’t matter what you listen to, what you like, [or] who you are . . . no one’s here to judge you. I think a lot of people in hardcore are very judgmental so that [turns] a lot of people away, but the people who come [to our shows] have a good time.”
This is further reflected in the band’s own name. “[Fall City Fall] is just a group of people coming together to face a common evil, like ‘we’ll tear this city apart, we’ll do whatever, we’ll stand together as one,’” explains Pylychaty.
Interestingly, their barely-into-their-twenties aggression seems to add a certain lightness to their heavy sound, although this hardly detracts from its substance. It’s more of an indication that it’s impossible for them to go anywhere but forward, musically.
“Even in our scene we’re pretty different because we’re not a monotonous fret-one-chug breakdown band,” says Zorn. “A lot of stuff in our genre is really generic and overdone and boring, so I think we try to set ourselves apart from that.”
And although that neighbour kid might be trying to beat Super Mario World while serenading you on his ukulele, he has a singleness of purpose.
“If you’re having fun, [the] kids will be having fun too,” says Griffiths.