Fallfiftyfeet are an eclectic metalcore band out West Virginia who manage to meld the menacing intensity of groups like Dillinger Escape Plan with mid-00s, post-hardcore melodicism in a way that is both cathartically sincere and punishingly real, on their latest album, Twisted World Perspective.
It’s pretty difficult to fit your head around everything that is happening on this album in a single playthrough, and close, attentive listens only reveal more layers and divergent paths of egress. Whether it be the Dr. Octagon-esque, obtuse hip hop interlude of “Commit to the Bit,” the arpeggiated jazz solos in the bridge of “Cell Dmg,” or the deep and apparent inspiration which they draw from both Dance Gavin Dance, and their ability to mix fluid grooves with Darkest Hour-esque hammer-riffs, the experience is almost overwhelming in its diversity and potency of impact.
We were able to catch up with guitarist and vocalist James Becca a little after the release of Twisted World Perspective back in June. You can now read the transcript from that interview and buy/stream Fallfifftyfeet’s fantastic new album below:
Interview conducted via email on June 15, 2021. It has been edited slightly for clarity.
How long have you all known each other?
So I, Jimmy, met Dave in 2011 on the website Tumblr, and we started our first band together that same year. So, about 10 years. I met Zac just from playing locally, which I started doing around 2013/2014. Dave and I didn’t know Zac that well until we were looking for a new bassist for False Accusations in early 2017 and he immediately hopped on the opportunity. We’ve all been a very well-oiled machine since.
How did the dissolution of False Accusations lead to the formation of your current project?
FA had been around for a long time, starting when Dave and I were 15 years old, so we had done so many things without knowing how to do them. We were pretty bad about saving money to promote our music or make videos, all we really were concerned about was touring, so we never had any money ever because touring breaks you a lot of the time. Our drummer had left the band at the end of 2018, and we had plans to start tracking an album. Then, after we had mishaps with a hired studio drummer and had to extend the recording process we just decided one day it was better to lay that band to rest and start something fresh.
How did you come into your current sound? Did you start wanting to play post-hardcore and metallic hardcore, or did you just naturally evolve in that direction?
I’ve always wanted to be a band that included as many styles of music into their songs as possible, without any barriers, permitting it sounded good, obviously. I really fell in love with chaotic music towards the end of high school, and just got into crazier stuff as time went on. I think the “metallic hardcore” kind of sound just blends well with a lot of subgenres of metal. You can play panic chord-type breakdowns and still riff like Darkest Hour or The Dillinger Escape Plan, and it just sounds good. The post-hardcore influence probably comes through most in the hooks/choruses because that was kind of my gateway into that world of scene music. Dance Gavin Dance and The Fall of Troy, to Glassjaw and At the Drive In. I love the way those bands can blend heavy and melodic together.
After watching your video for “Shortcut to Hell” I am curious who you would consider the greater influence on your sound? Sanction or Nickleback?
One-hundred percent Nickelback! Haha. Much love to Sanction, but I wouldn’t say they are something that’s influenced the music for this band at all. Nickelback on the other hand is an agreed-upon fave between me and Dave. I’d say guilty pleasure but there isn’t any guilt there. Their production was always so on point, as well as their riffs. Listen to “Side of a Bullet” and just tell me that shit does not go in.
How did you get connected with Greg Thomas & Chris Teti of Silver Bullet Studios or your new album, Twisted World Perspective?
Greg had recorded a band we were becoming friends with at the time, Voices in Vain, and then also was recording another band we were friends with called Homestead. We had just recorded two singles in Massachusetts and were playing some shows on the way home, and one of the shows dropped.
Homestead were having a show and we asked them if we could hop on. Well, it just so happened that Greg was there to check Homestead out because he’s a great dude who supports the bands that work with him as much as he can. Anyway, I chatted him up about recording and what not and it was a good conversation and so I started to consider him for our next release. It was a great decision because Greg is easily the best producer I’ve ever worked with. So thorough and so good at getting the absolute best out of someone.
Twisted World Perspective is dedicated to a number of people according to your Bandcamp page. Who are they and why is the record dedicated to them?
They are all friends of ours gone too early. Dylan Heaslip was a friend Dave had from high school in Illinois that always supported us and came to shows when we toured around him. Once after playing a show in IL we were on our way up to Wisconsin when a car pulled out in front of us and caused us to total our van, about nine hours from home. We stayed with Dylan for about two days while we figured everything out. It was such a stressful and messed up situation, but still had some great memories from those days.
Nicholous Thomas was the vocalist of a band called Feverwar. Great band full of great people. Only got the chance to play with them a few times, unfortunately, but they were from a few hours south of us and were always grinding. Every time I ever saw Nich he was always in a great mood and would lift the spirits of everyone around him up. Feverwar played False Accusations’ last show and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Tyler Bennett was someone who threw shows in the absolute middle of nowhere Indiana. Literally an hour from pretty much anything. But the shows were still so awesome, and he was always willing to help you in any way he could. He threw a yearly festival at his house called Fried Fest, like I said, middle of nowhere, in his yard, surrounded by cornfields. It was always amazing to be a part of. He was another one of those people with such a positive and uplifting energy about him. We’ll always cherish the memories we had with him. RIP Dylan, Tyler & Nich.
How much do themes of betrayal come up as a subject matter for your songs, and why is this feeling a fruitful source of inspiration for you?
I’d say not really so much. “Parting Gift” was heavily inspired by a feeling of someone close just giving up on something that you had created together. It’s about a sense of relief of not having the tension between them being around anymore, but also being mad at the amount of time you wasted, and the bad memories with them you’ll always have.
Why do you think betrayal is such an important theme in hardcore music more broadly?
I mean, everyone gets screwed over in life some time or another. We all feel betrayed at some point. But I’d say that almost everyone has also betrayed someone else’s expectations at some point as well. Whether it was intentional or not, we acknowledge our mistakes, we learn, we grow. The problem is that there are some people who just don’t do that, and deny, or push the blame away from themselves, and those people will not grow outward in any way.
What did you learn from making Twisted World Perspective that you will never forget?
You can’t really rely on other people for anything. You have to surround yourself with like-minded people that care about what you care about and whose values and morals align somewhat with your own. Because if you don’t, then the people around you will never be giving 100 percent of themselves.
We had multiple people let us down during this album recording process, people that we thought would come through for us because we trusted them, or because we gave them money, but many times these people just bailed. But we always had each other in the band to rely on, and also, Greg and Chris from Silver Bullet. If they hadn’t believed in this album so much and given their all to finish it and make it come to fruition, we might have given up on it too.
What has been living through a global pandemic in a state like West Virginia been like? Pros/Cons? Upsides/Downsides?
I think it was pretty terrible everywhere no matter what state you were in. I can’t speak on what it was like anywhere else, but I definitely saw so many people never even try when it came to following COVID related guidelines, and that can be pretty upsetting when you don’t wanna be in a pandemic anymore and think that if people sucked it up, it’d be a little better for all. But there are people like that everywhere, so I’m sure city folk saw plenty of that in their neck of the woods as well.
How have you been managing your anxiety during the pandemic? Do you have any concerns for your mental health, and the mental health of others?
I don’t really struggle with anxiety particularly, but I’m already having some sort of panic with things going back to “normal.” I haven’t booked tours in almost two years, I haven’t booked shows in almost a year and a half. It’s honestly been somewhat nice having a normal schedule at my shitty restaurant job with nothing else going on, but I know soon my days off will be scattered between playing and going to shows and everything else in between.
Having a little bit of a set schedule gives me some sanity, it’s nice to know you’re actually gonna have time for your brain to rest after a hard day, or week. When we used to play shows endlessly, I would work two jobs, get off a job and go to another, or get off a job and go straight to a show, get back at 2 a.m. from that show and wake up in the morning and go back to work all day. And people at work don’t care or understand why you’re tired from that. They don’t see playing shows as something that is actual work, they see that as your free time, like it’s relaxing to you, and don’t really understand how draining it all is. It’s frustrating.
What does the punk and hardcore scene look like in Wheeling, WV? Who are some of the big bands in your scene at the moment, and who are you excited to get out there and play again with?
There’s not a lot around here, to be honest, and I’d say the scene was already going through a lot of change before the pandemic started. But there are some cool pop-punk bands from the area; Stage Moms, and the Overlooked. Which are cool. Then if you go a little south we have Vulgar Royalty, and Crown Vic. Some sick heavier, sludgy bands. Then if you go up to Pittsburgh, which isn’t far away, you have a lot of talented bands like Hazing Over, 156/Silence, Windchimes, etc. The list goes on.
What is the farthest distance you’ve fallen (in feet)?
I’ve fallen off my amp plenty of times, and that’s got to be at least like a three-foot or so fall