Today’s Feature – October 24-25: Fall Back Plan

October 30, 2008 at 1:54 am (Today's Feature)

Imagine this – you’re a huge football fan, and you’ve just heard national recording artist, Trapt, has agreed to play at your favorite team’s (*cough Ravens cough*) kickoff party the weekend before the NFL season heads into week one. While there, you’re distracted by the bubbly cheerleaders making their way around the show, when your attention is successfully grabbed by an opening act that is simply kicking the stage right in the ass. Now when you combine football with a band this good, it seems like something you could only imagine – but Fall Back Plan is the real deal. The band is like a match made in PensEyeView Heaven, complete with guys and girl from the Baltimore-DC area.

Fall Back Plan started in July of 2007 as a writing project between lead singer Donice, Geoff Gill (Bass) and Brian Shealey (Guitar) while on a break from their respective bands (Donice was fronting The Sikes and Brian and Geoff were members of the band KaliCeleste). Since joining forces for good and recruiting Ken Crawn, they’ve won the Los Angeles Area Musicians Network (LAMN) competition and an NYC showcase judged by real music reps with real experience. The band has also produced “The Starting Over EP,” which Geoff refers to as a “rock’em sock’em over the top in your face and around your brain experience that will leave you crying alone in a public bathroom begging for Daddy to do it again.” Whoa… well, all you really need to know, is that this local band is set to capture eardrums all over the nation. Period.

You can expect a lot from their live show; some killer hooks, provocative lyrics and Brian breaking something, somehow. Donice talk about their performance, “I think we pretty much deliver more than what you expect to hear.  Records are normally over produced, so the live sound isn’t always the same, but I think we do a pretty good job of replicating it and giving the audience the energy that the CD may not capture.” Sounds like you gotta get to a show. Check the schedule, check the EP, and get into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Fall Back Plan

PEV: When the band came together did the connection between band members come naturally or were things a little rocky at first?

Ken: There was already a good chemistry musically with Brian, Geoff, and Ken having played together in other projects. B playing with D briefly and writing together transcended into the whole mix.

Brian: We met as me, Ken and Geoff were playing in another band, and Donice was singing for her band at the time. I called her up and said “let’s write a song together” and we just clicked. We had a little musical ‘adultery’ from our respective bands with each other.

Geoff:  I’d say we had a natural connection, mostly because of our band policy to all sleep together at our first band practice; just to get the ugly stuff out of the way and focus on business.  We argued a bit about who would top and who would bottom, but once things get moving…let’s just say it’s a hard bus to turn around.

PEV: What type of musical influences did each member have that helped shape the sound of the band?

Brian:  U2, The Police, Public Enemy and the Smashing Pumpkins.  Also, the Far album ‘Water and Solutions’ is one of the great records I’ve ever heard in terms of sonic/production quality as well as material. Also, Radiohead’s The Bends, OK Computer and Especially Kid A are some of my favorites as well.  I can honestly say that Siamese Dream is the record that made me want to play guitar in a rock band.

Geoff:  I come from a strong opera and live stage musical background and I think it comes through in my playing.

Ken: I have a lot of classic and progressive rock influences with a blend of jazz and drum and bass. It allows for interesting grooves backing the driven guitar riffs and powerful vocals. Donice:  I’m pretty much all over the board.  I listen to a lot of popular music and take bits and pieces from whatever “moves” me.  This could be anything from R&B to Classic Rock.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your lives that made you realize music was going to be your career?

Geoff:  When I realized I was awful at everything else but at least mediocre at music.

Ken: I started playing in rock clubs at the age of 14. I knew early that this is all I ever wanted to do.

Donice:  Humm, basically when I looked at my options for majors in college.  I wasn’t interested nor good at anything else besides entertaining.  I think some people where just made that way.

PEV: What was it like stepping into a studio to record for the first time as a band?

Brian:  Well… Geoff and I are engineers and have our own Studio, where we recorded the Starting Over EP.  The project really started as a recording project with us just writing with Donice, so stepping into the studio wasn’t any different than any other day in the life of the band.

Geoff:  Sticky.

Ken: It felt like any other day to me. I love it.

Donice:  Awesome! Recording is cool because you get to actually analyze your songs and make changes for the better. FBP is the first band that I’ve been in where I’m actually excited about recording.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest work, “The Starting Over EP”?

Ken: Powerful vocals, driving guitars, and a solid rhythm section.

Brian:  Tightly written songs with big hooks that will stick in your head.

Geoff:  They can expect a rock’em sock’em over the top in your face and around your brain experience that will leave you crying alone in a public bathroom begging for Daddy to do it again.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Fall Back Plan concert?

Brian:  Me breaking something …(not on purpose.. and DEFINITELY not looking cool doing it…).

Ken: High energy, humor, and a real connection.

Donice:  I think we pretty much deliver more than what you expect to hear.  Records are normally over produced, so the live sound isn’t always the same, but I think we do a pretty good job of replicating it and giving the audience the energy that the CD may not capture.

Geoff: Most of our fans are “shoe gazers” so we really don’t have to do anything.  I don’t thing they even know what we look like.  Our last show we just played a cassette of an older show through the PA and tried to look sweaty at the end of the set.
PEV: How is “life on the road” for the band? Good parts and bad.

Geoff:  Ken is kind of competitive when it comes to car bingo…you know, when you check off things that you see when you are driving.  It starts innocently enough but after a couple bottles of Smirnoff Ice, Ken has a hard time keeping his erection to himself.

Ken: I live for the road.

Donice:  I like road trips as long as I’m not driving!  Long trips mean at least a few mood changes, so expect to hear an argument of some kind.  I’m pretty sensitive and emotional at times.

PEV: Any funny or interesting stories from your road trips?

Brian:  Yes… But nothing I can repeat as my mother may read this.

Donice:  New York, 3AM, White Castle!

PEV: Speaking of the traveling, your band has played up and down the East Coast. What has been your favorite city or venue to play?

Brian:   Personally, I like Fletcher’s in Baltimore, as it’s our home venue.  Also, anywhere in NYC is fun!

Geoff: My favorite gig was when we got to play a taping of the View in NYC.  Rosie had just started and was really nervous, I could tell from all the palm sweat.  Our music seemed to calm her down a bit.  She’s got this little spot right behind her ear and if you scratch it just right she moans like a lemur.  I think Donice got laid at that show.

Ken: NY is always fun, but I would like to play Boston. I personally enjoy Northern Virginia, seems like people actually come out to hear unsigned bands.

PEV: Fall Back Plan has done very well in various contests and “Battle of the Bands” shows. To what do you attribute your success?

Geoff: Ever heard of “Taking one for the team?”  Brian has.

Brian:  Actually, we’ve only been in 1, which was a ‘battle’ in the sense that we had to physically fight other bands.  We don’t really believe in traditional ‘Battle of Bands’ because they are just a popularity contest, which has no bearing on a bands musicianship, ability, or how appealing they are to the audience.  We did win the Los Angeles Area Musicians Network LAMN Jam NYC showcase we were in, but that was judged by reps from some major labels that were focusing on live performance and quality of material.

PEV: What has been the high-point for the band so far?

Brian: Our northeast tour that ended with us playing on the Barry Nolan show was pretty fun.

Geoff:  We recently found out in a medical journal that our music is being used in a hospital in Munich to treat Restless Leg Syndrome in infants born addicted to heroin.

Ken: Hard to say. Our expectations are high.

Donice: I think opening for national act “Trapt”.  That was, by far, our biggest show.

PEV: Is there a certain atmosphere the songwriters of the band need to be in when writing music?

Brian:  We write constantly.  We’re constantly trying to write better, more unique music.  We love music, and are always trying to perfect our craft.

Ken: Musically it varies from a jam to an idea we develop together.

Donice: Writing for me is a mood.  I’m either in the mood to write or not in the mood.  I can spend two months on a song, or write one at band practice.

PEV: Is there a band out there that Fall Back Plan would like to collaborate with?

Brian:  Timbaland or Missy Elliott would be cool.  Also, Trent Reznor would be a lot of fun.

Geoff:  This band is really a vehicle for me to fulfill my childhood dream to perform with the Boston Pops.  But Cannibal Corpse has been a huge influence on my early musical development so they would be a close second.  Plus they are really nice guys.

PEV: When the members of the band have some spare time, what does each member do to relax?

Brian:  I compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Geoff:  I spend most of my time working on Mad Libs and smoking pipes.

Donice:  Sleep.

Ken: Porn and ice cream.

PEV: What would your fans be surprised to hear about the members of Fall Back Plan?

Brian:  Donice was a Teacher.

Ken: We’re all very down to earth and easy going.

Donice:  All the guys in the band are virgins!

Geoff:  Donice was born with a tail.  Ken used to be a man.  Brian has 3 children but only knows about 1 of them.  I once dressed up as a cat and climbed a tree so that firemen would rescue me.

PEV: Is there another up-and-coming band that you have played with or know about that you think we should all be looking out for?

Brian:  Burn the Fields from Baltimore as well as A Freudian Slip.  Those are both GREAT bands.  Heavy, but unique and awesome at the same time.

PEV: What do you friends and family think about your music careers?

Ken: Supportive as long as it pays the bills…so not very supportive…

Donice: Supportive, I normally get my family to help sell tickets for shows… it helps us and makes them feel like a part of the band.

PEV: What is one word that would describe Fall Back Plan?

Donice:  Tenacious

Brian:  Driven.

Geoff:  Superawesomeradicalstereophonicblastermaniascreamingcool!

PEV: So, what is next for Fall Back Plan?

Brian:  World domination.

Geoff:  Well, we want to play shows and sell albums, so, I think, once the new record is done, one of us will probably have to die.  You know, something tragic like an overdose or hovercraft explosion.  Not cancer; cancer takes too long and people get sick of hearing about it.   So yeah, after that, look out Hollywood True Story!!  We’ll probably put a sick kitten on the album cover just for extra sympathy.

For more information on Fall Back Plan, check out:


1 Comment

  1. FBPer said,

    hahah cool dudes (:

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