Interview: The Fallen Electric Talk Origins, Inspirations, and the Future

SoCal rock quartet The Fallen Electric—consisting of members Jimmy Ganzer, Drew Barber, Joe Carrillo, and Charles Weetly—have a storied history, drawing from grunge and alt-rock influences of the 90s while still offering a fresh sound to the scene. 
 
Fresh off the release of their new song and music video, “Move to the Sound,” New Noise chatted with The Fallen Electric about their beginnings, the 90s rockers that helped to shape their sound, and the band’s preparation for the road ahead.
 
How did the band first get started?
 
Jimmy: The idea started in 2012 when I had a short batch of songs and started looking for bandmates to play them with. These songs had only been played during some backyard acoustic shows, and I wanted to do something bigger. After a short stint in college where I found a temporary bassist to jam with, he brought in a drummer. When the bassist faded away, I created a Craigslist account and ended up finding Drew, who has been our bassist since. We would be a three-piece band for the next four years. In 2016 and a few drummers later, Joe joined the band and filled in the needed sound that was missing, giving it a fuller sound. It took a lot of heavy lifting off of me to focus more on vocals. Fast forward to just last year, we recruited Charles to be our drummer bringing us to the present-day lineup.
 
What bands influenced you, and how would you define your sound?
 
Jimmy: As a kid, I grew up with a lot of the 90s music that came out of my dad’s record collection. Since I didn’t own CDs yet I was listening to what he had. It was a lot of Beach Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Kiss, and a lot of music from what the radio had been playing at the time. Pearl Jam, Nirvana (a huge influence), Local H, Sponge, Stone Temple Pilots, and Alice In Chains. It’s funny, when we brought in Joe into the band, we shared a lot of love for that type of music.
 
Joe: I came of age absolutely loving the grunge and alternative rock era of the 90s. Bands like Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Red Hot Chili Peppers shaped how I write musical riffs with the guys. What’s great is that, for the most part, they share the same love for a lot of these bands so it makes it that much easier to gel when we’re jamming and thinking of new song ideas.
 
Drew: Bands like Pendulum and Muse influenced my playing, for sure. Because of that I like to think that I have a warm and catchy sound.
 
Charles: Taking Back Sunday, Underoath, Emery, Deftones and a lot of Mudvane back in the day are what influenced my drumming. My sound is pretty straight forward and adequate. Just enough to fit the vibe of the song.
 
What about 90s rock inspires you, and why does it resonate?
 
Jimmy: A lot of the harmonies in 90s rock just makes it real and a lot of it comes from the heart. You can just feel the soul in it. There isn’t a lot of music that even comes close to it anymore. Not to say that there isn’t great bands, but the 90s were something special. The 90s just changed music so drastically, too— knocking all that spandex out of the scene, for one; it showed that you can rock out in jeans and flannel and still be amazing.
 
Joe: It was the most recent “great era of music.” Sort of the way a lot of people fantasize about how awesome the 60s music scene was, the 90s matched how great of a time it was to be alive if you were a music lover.
 
Drew: The sounds and energy of the 90s inspires me to write music with that similar kind of feeling.
 
Charles: I love how raw the 90s sound was. Often simple, yet catchy.
 
What contemporary bands are you listening to right now?
 
Jimmy: Aside from the popular bands that still rock like Deftones, Foo Fighters, Cage the Elephant, and Kings of Leon, I’ve been checking out a lot of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals who reminds me a lot of Heart, Koe Wetzel, a Southern rock alternative artist, Lucero, and The Pretty Reckless.
 
Joe: I’m really into this band called The Weeks from Mississippi who make some of the best rock music I’ve heard in years. They have a nice angsty Southern rock flavor about them. There’s also this Canadian band called the Dirty Nil who effortlessly tears it up and can do no wrong in everything they create. I guess I like them so much because I see a lot of us in them.
 
Drew: I’m currently listening to a band called The Neighborhood. Their song structure and their vibe pulls me in and I really like what they’re doing right now.
 
Charles: I’ve been listening to a lot of A Story So Far. I really like the rock, punk/pop type of music and that stuff really resonates with me. Fast and hardcore, but also has its soft spots.
 
What was the writing and recording process like for “Move to the Sound?”
 
Joe: A couple of summers ago, Jimmy came into rehearsal with the idea for the chorus and a few riff ideas for the verse. I really liked one of the verse ideas because it reminded me of a straight rock and roll riff like AC/DC or Jet. Admittedly, we were listening to a lot of that during that time. We liked the idea so much that we dedicated that day’s rehearsal to figuring out everyone else’s part. I had an idea for the basic funk riff that is heard throughout the verses and the solo practically wrote itself after I found inspiration from Slash’s work in Velvet Revolver and John Frusciante’s screaming solos with the Chili Peppers.
 
Drew: Jimmy came at me with the main riff. In the studio I used a different bass than what I was used to. It gave it a punk type of sound, on my end, much like Green Day. 
 
Jimmy: I really like that it has a bit of a southern rock vibe to it. I had a little bit of Skynyrd, AC/DC, and Jet in my head when I came up with it. I wrote the chorus first so I had that flavor in mind when I was writing it. It was definitely pretty different from anything else that we have written previously.
 
Do you have any other announcements about songs, videos or albums?
 
Joe: Well, we just released our single “Move To The Sound,” and three days after its release, we released the companion music video that was shot by us at a friend’s studio. I directed and edited it, which gave us a lot of control of the final product. We’re excited to get back into the studio and record a lot of the new material we’ve been working on during the pandemic.
 
Drew: The next song to be released is definitely a favorite of mine called Circles. We are likely going to release it towards the end of 2021. It’s definitely on the heavier side which will keep the crowds moving.
 
Do you have any tours or live streams coming up?
 
Joe: We just got a residency at The Canyon Inn in Yorba Linda. You can catch us there monthly along with all of the other shows we’re booking to keep us busy for the rest of the year. For any news, all shows will be posted on our website, thefallenelectric.com.
 
Where would you like to see the band in five years?
 
ALL: FESTIVALS! We would love to jump on as many festivals as we can. The experience one gets from attending a badass festival with great live music is like no other.
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
 
ALL: Get Electrified!!!

Check out The Fallen Electric’s video for “Move To The Sound” below:

For more from The Fallen Electric, find them on Instagram, Facebook, or their official website. Photo courtesy of The Fallen Electric.

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