Interview with Brian Fair of Shadows Fall

Shadows Fall is one of those bands that never seem to take a break. I have seen them live countless times, and I have to say, they just keep getter better over time. Their set at Mayhemfest was the best I’ve had the pleasure to watch yet, and I am really looking forward to seeing their new dvd, Live in Manilla, coming out this fall. I was lucky enough to be able to sit and hang out with Brian for a bit before the show, and here’s what he had to say:

Amanda: I know you guys have a new dvd Live in Manilla coming out in the fall- Give us fans a little idea of what we can expect from that.

Brian: It was shot at a festival in the Philippines, and I think it was about 25,000 people or something like that there. There was a huge stage with tons of pyro and stuff, and none of which were practiced or rehearsed beforehand, so we’re literally just blowing shit up during the show; so you can definitely see us on our toes. There’s a little fear in everyone’s eyes.

Amanda: I take it you can get away with a little more over there, than you can in the states?

Brian: Exactly, they built this huge skull out of paper mache that would’ve been a fire hazard anywhere else in the world, but they don’t give a shit. We put some bonus footage or our first trip there, and of our first trip to Korea as well.

Amanda: When does that come out, sometime in the fall, right?

Brian: It was originally coming out the end of this month, but we found a bunch more footage, so we just wanted to include it- Now it’s looking like the end of September, maybe October now, but I don’t actually have a date yet- We saw the first edit yesterday though, and it looks pretty awesome.

Amanda: Can fans find any previews of it on you tube, or on the Shadows Fall website?

Brian: Not yet, but there will be soon though.

Amanda: How difficult is it to not have any crew to help you guys set up/tear down, and what made you guys decide to do it yourselves this time around?

Brian: It’s a little hectic with this tour, there are so many bands, and the pie is getting split so much smaller than usual, that we really just wanted to try and cut as many corners as we can. What’s good is there are a lot of either local dudes, or dudes on the tour that help out, and for a ½ hour set, it didn’t really makes sense to bring a full crew. There are also ½ hour change-over between each band, so you really have a decent amount of time. The only days that really suck, is when you do your home/off day headliner shows, because that can be a little more of a pain in the ass. We’re at the point now, that just with the economics of the music industry, any corner you can cut, and any penny you can save is good. With the gas prices, and everything in general is costing more, we’re still trying to keep ticket prices low for the kids.

Amanda: You guys seem to be doing well this time around, in fact I believe the Mayhem tour just had another sold out date today here in Detroit.

Brian: This tour has been awesome, and that’s the thing; trying to keep it to where its 40 bucks for 11 bands is a great way to do it, but unfortunately then you can’t give each band as much as you’d like to, but it’s worth it. We are also splitting a bus with the Winds of Plague, so we’re kind of teaming up with them, so between the two bands, we just try and get everything done together.

Amanda: So it has to be pretty cramped quarters in the bus here then, right?

Brian: Yea, there are a lot of people in here.

Amanda: The tour is pretty coming to an end now, right?

Brian: Yea, I think we have about six more stops left.

Amanda: What are you guys doing after this?

Brian: We’re taking some time off- We’ve got the new dvd coming up, but that’s about all we have going on in that area. We may do one more tour before the end of the year, but we’re still working that out. We have a few offers; some are overseas, some here in the U.S. We just have to figure out if we want to do anything, or if we just want to start writing. We’re going to start writing in September when we get home anyway, but we don’t know if we’re going to be able to write, and then take a little tour, and then go to the studio. I see us getting into the studio early next year at the latest. The last few have been about 2 years in between releases, and we want to kind of cut that in half.

Amanda: I know that Jason has another band called Burning Human; does anybody else have any side projects going on right now?

Brian: Yea everyone really does- Jason has Burning Human, which is a band he started in the early 90’s; they just kind of got back together in Albany, and have been playing some shows, and re-recorded a bunch of old stuff. I jam with some dudes in a band called Transient, which is really just mellow kind of ambient stuff, that I play guitar for. Matt and John have a cover band called Kobra Kai as well as a new kind of rock/metal project, that’s a little more melodic and straight forward rock than what Shadows Fall does, and Derek from Unearth is on drum, so they’ve been kind of working on that for a little bit. We’re all just musicians, so when we get home, everyone just keeps kind of playing. Some are more serious than other. I know for Jason with Burning Human, it was more to kind of wrap up stuff that they never got to finish while they were an actual active band.

Amanda: What are some of your favorite visual or literary artists?

Brian: I was a literature major at Boston University, so I’ve been reading a lot of Monagan again recently. As far as visual artists, you know I don’t really know a lot of names, I’m not that schooled. My girlfriend is an amazing artist, so she’s been taking me to museums, but it’s usually just me going, ‘wow, that’s cool’ and not really knowing who it was. So right now, she’s my favorite artist.

Amanda: Oh nice, trying to get some brownie points with your woman – I’m sure she appreciate that!

Amanda: If your house was burning down, and you only had time to grab your loved ones and ONE cd from your music collection, what cd would that be?

Brian: I can’t burn my entire collection on to one dvd?

Amanda: Haha no, and no ipods, hard drives, or laptops either, just one single album.

Brian: Damn and would’ve just grabbed my hard drive too. You know, I’d probably have to go with Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire, because that would help set the mood whenever; although, I would love to have Reign in Blood with me too, for like those moments, but I that if all I had was one SLAYER cd, I’d probably just be pissed off all the time.

Amanda: What band would you most like to see live, that you haven’t gotten a chance to see yet?

Brian: Muse. I’ve never gotten to see them live yet. I’ve seen almost every metal band that I love, live. We’ve gotten to tour with the likes of Maiden and Sabbath, but I have not gotten to see Muse yet, so that would be pretty cool.

Amanda: What question are you most sick of being asked?

Brian: Well just in my life in general, it would have to be ‘how long have you been growing your hair?’ I think I get asked that about 15 times a day at LEAST, at the signing booth. I should just get a shirt that says it on it; but to answer the question, it’s been 17 years.

Amanda: Wow that is an insanely long time! Moving on to booze… If you were a cocktail, what cocktail would you be?

Brian: Oh I’d have to go with the only one I really know, my go-to drink, which would be belvedere and tonic. I don’t know why, and I don’t know if it really fits my personality, but that’s my go-to drink. I’ve always been a vodka and tonic guy, although usually on this tour it’s been cheap or free beer instead.

Amanda: If you could dig up one dead person and bring them back to life for a day, who would it be?

Brian: Oh let me see, that’s a tough one, there’s a lot of cool folk I’d like to dig up…You know, Bon Scott from AD-DC, because that would be on hell of a party!