We’ve had to wait a friggin’ decade for it, but The Falcon will finally soar again on March 18th with the release of their second full-length, “Gather Up The Chaps”. While Brendan Kelly’s project was already a punk rock supergroup before, with both Brendan and Neil Hennessy playing in The Lawrence Arms and Dan Andriano in Alkaline Trio, it has now become even super-er with the addition of The Loved Ones’ Dave Hause. Here's what Brendan had to say about the new album. And about dick pics. (Photo credit : Mat Stokes)
PRT: It has been largely quiet around The Falcon for a while now, other than a handful of shows and the release of a new song on the Red Scare 10 year anniversary comp in 2014. So what prompted you to record a new album?
Brendan: Well, once we cranked up the machine to do the track for the Red Scare comp, we were lucky enough to be able to bring Dave on board for the show, which was a blast. The four of us playing on stage together felt real good and added a fresh dynamic to the whole thing. When we got off stage there was no real question. It was kinda like "oh, shit. We're a real band now. This is cool. I guess it's time to make a record."
PRT: Did you already have a bunch of songs written over the years with The Falcon in mind? Or did you start from scratch once you decided there should be a new album?
Brendan: Nope. I started writing immediately after the red scare show. Before that, I was working on Lawrence Arms and Wandering Birds stuff.
PRT: Since the release of “Unicornography”, Dave Hause has joined the ranks of The Falcon. How did that come about? And was there any hazing involved?
Brendan: I tweeted out some goofy nonsense that said something like "yo, the falcon needs a guitar player. Serious inquiries only. Must already be famous." and Dave texted me with a "yo, do you guys really need someone?" I was hoping we could get someone we liked that was a decent player, but I didn't think we'd get someone who's already a super good bud who also shreds. The only hazing we really did was play that show. That was the first time the four of us had ever played together, including practice. Kind of unnerving to do that for the first time in front of 1200 people with expectations.
PRT: With all of you being involved in other projects and living in different time zones, how hard was it to get things organized?
Brendan: It wasn't that hard. The way I write has always been demo based, where I share acoustic skeletons and let everyone else just fill ‘em in and make it cool. Texting demos to Florida is exactly the same as texting them to your roommate.
PRT: Past Falcon songs have always been pretty varied. The new album however, while equally diverse, feels a lot more cohesive at the same time and everything blends together perfectly. Did you use another approach when it came to writing songs?
Brendan: You know, I don't really know how to answer this. I guess I see the identity of the band a little more clearly, if that makes any sense. I just sit down to write with my idea of what the falcon is in my head and what happens happens. And during the course of writing, earlier songs tend to inspire the ones that follow. I dunno...I think cohesion is good in this case. I guess that, consciously or not, that's what I was going for.
PRT: Both Dan and Dave wrote a song each for “Gather Up The Chaps”. How did you cope with no longer being the sole songwriter for The Falcon?
Brendan: I mean, when you can get those two guys to contribute to your stupid record, you sit back and let them do their thing. You're talking about great songwriters. I'm so stoked.
PRT: The lyrics on the album are as funny as they are dark. Do you think there is any truth to the phrase ‘misery loves comedy’?
Brendan: I've said it before, man: laughing and crying are almost the same things. Without humor...and there's a difference between humor and comedy...there's no humanity. There's nothing more wooden and boring than people who are dead serious. You can't have any sort of poignance without humor. It's the spot of light that highlights how dark the darkness can get.
PRT: The album cover of “Gather Up The Chaps” is a play on Minor Threat’s album cover. Which made us wonder, how different would your average day be if you were straight edge?
Brendan: It would be different but not by a lot. I don't know if I'd do quite as much hanging out in bars, but a lot of my friends hang out in bars, and i play shows in bars. I'd generally probably spend less money, and my mornings would likely involve more clarity and less cobwebbiness, but i don't think that overall it would be all that different. I'm a songwriter, a writer, a dad and a husband and that shit all operates independent of any sort of inebriation that actually moves any sort of needle. What I mean is: will I sit down with a cocktail and write a song or play a board game with my kids? Yes. Will I get shitfaced and do either of those things? No way. Take away the cocktail, the experience would be pretty much the same.
PRT: The cover also looks like Rancid’s cover of “…And Out Come The Wolves”. Which also made us wonder… Minor Threat, Rancid, The Falcon ... Who is most culturally relevant and why?
Brendan: Well, both of those bands gained huge amounts of relevance putting out those respective records. The falcon maybe just hasn't put out our genre defining album featuring some sad man on some steps yet. Seriously tho, the cultural relevance of Minor Threat can't be overstated. Rancid is also a very important band. We're just a bunch of perverts with guitars. At least for now. We'll see. Heh.
PRT: You will be taking The Falcon on the road this year. Where can people spot The Falcon and how many beers should you have consumed in order to best experience you live?
Brendan: We're gonna go everywhere that will have us. You don't have to drink at all to come party with us. Dave doesn't drink. Neil goes back and forth between sober tours and drinking. Dan and I like the occasional glass of wine with dinner, so we ain't gonna be mad at you when you show up boozy or anything. Just don't get so wasted you bum everyone out, get kicked out or black out the show. That stinks for everyone.
PRT: Last question… you recorded the album with Dan Tinkler and encourage people to tweet him dick pics. Just to make sure, does he prefer his dick pics flaccid or erect?
Brendan: Dan Tinkler loves all dicks. It absolutely makes no difference to him.