Falling Red return with new album and headline date in Carlisle
A hometown show is always 'the big one' for Carlisle rockers Falling Red, but even more so when they've got a new album to launch.
Their headline date at The Brickyard later this month also kicks off their 10-date UK tour, and will be the first local show they've played since 2015.
On the outside, things have seemed quiet for the four-piece outfit, once hailed by Classic Rock magazine as Britain's next big thing, but behind the scenes they've been building up to this return and making sure their first record in four years is the strongest to date.
Lost Souls won't actually be released until March next year, but it's all done and dusted, and those that make it to one of these upcoming gigs will have the chance to be among the first to get their hands on it.
"We decided to keep the Carlisle show as the album launch, but it won't be released until next year," says drummer Dave Sanders.
"The original plan was to release it this month, but we've had to move the date because our PR people need a good three or four months of clear press to build up to it.
"These shows will be the only chance that people will have to buy the record before March, because it won't be released anywhere online until then."
Fans will be treated to a sneak preview this Friday, when the first single from the record, My Town, My City is released.
With a fan base that reaches around the globe, there will be many who are eager to hear how Falling Red have progressed since they last put out a record in 2013.
Dave continues: "When we released Empire of the Damned in October that year and we spent most of 2014 touring the UK, Europe and Scandinavia, playing all the major cities, then the next year we had our co-headline run with The Burning Crows - we probably toured the life out of it, if I'm honest, so last year we wanted to have a little break.
"We started writing the new album, but it wasn't until the beginning of this year that we said, 'are we doing this or what?'."
Dave and the band's frontman and guitarist Andrew Roze worked on a few rough tracks throughout 2016, but once they stepped up the recording process, the album came together pretty quickly.
In a break from tradition, Falling Red decided to work with a new producer this time around. Dave recorded all the drums with Mark Broughton and Dean Thompson at Blast Studios in Newcastle, while all the guitars and vocals were recorded by James Stephenson at Stymphalian Productions in York.
"We went about this album in a totally different way to what we've done before - all the last three we recorded with Matt Ellis in Doncaster, so each time we went back, we knew what to expect.
"This time we shopped about, sound-wise, and it was actually our ex-guitarist who recommended this guy he'd known for years, James Stephenson. We listened to some of his work and we realised he was good, but we also found out he didn't have the capacity to record the drums, so I recorded all the drums in Newcastle and everything else was done with James in York - it was all really DIY this time, but from the masters we've heard, we're absolutely thrilled. They're all sounding huge!
"All of us were a lot more involved in the experience, and I think that comes across in the recording.
"We've had two tracks from the album in the set since the start of last year, just testing the waters, and one of them is this first single.
"I think the fans will love the record, and they'll probably be quite surprised as well. We used to get labelled as 'sleaze rock', though we never really have ourselves - Empire of the Damned was quite a lot heavier for us, but we had the break and we didn't really come into this one with any pre-conceived ideas of what we wanted it to sound like, which we maybe have in the past.
"They're just songs that we like playing really, so that's a good mix of ballads and heavy metal songs - in fact, some are the heaviest we've ever done - then there are some that are probably closest to pop rock.
"My Town, My City is what I think of as what Rockstar is to Nickelback.
"When Rozey played me the bare bones of it, I said, "there's no way that will ever be on a Falling Red album". A week later, and it was still in my head.
Dave Sanders (photo by Mark Regan)
My Town, My City - as the name may imply - is Falling Red's tribute to Carlisle, and how proud they are of being from Cumbria.
Dave is the only member who hails from the city itself, but bassist Mikey Lawless has also made it his home since moving down from Edinburgh, while Andrew is from Penrith and guitarist Shane Kirk is down the road in Wigton. However, Carlisle is where everything happened for the band in its early days, and a chance to play a local show is always that little bit more special.
"We always like to put Carlisle at the beginning or the end of a tour, but it's been two-and-a-half years since we've played here. It doesn't feel like it, but even in that time The Brickyard has changed quite a bit.
"When we play gigs, we like to make it a big line-up, so we've got Fahran, who are phenomenal live, and Fragile Things, who I only saw for the first time recently, but they absolutely blew me away. Then there's What We've Become, who are a young, local band, to open - and I really like what I've heard from them.
"To be honest, I can't wait. We've only done three or four shows this year - in fact I've played more gigs standing in for other bands - but we wanted to wait until this album was ready.
"Carlisle is always a big one for us, and album launches always feel like a special occasion - I'm sure the fans are going to love it. I do."
A crowdfunding campaign for the album is currently running at www.pledgemusic.com until Tuesday October 17, where pledgers can get an exclusive copy of the album this month as well as limited edition merchandise.
- Falling Red appear at The Brickyard, in Carlisle, on Saturday October 28, and tickets are available from the venue. Lost Souls is set to be released worldwide on March 16, 2018.