Flying with Falcons: An Interview with the Red Falcon Projects

What gave rise to the Red Falcon Projects?

RFP: In early 2007 I(Warren) relocated from Ohio to South Bend, Indiana and met up with Steve through some mutual friends. After hanging out and realizing we shared very similar music taste we started collaborating with some early sound experiments. after a couple months we were jamming one night and made a particularly nostalgic/nes influenced electro cut(Theme from Red Falcon). And after that the path was clear.

What was the goal of the project when you started it?

RFP: Once we established our identity of RFP, we were mainly trying to tap into our early adolescent music influences. Early 90’s electronic music, 80’s film and synth music and 80’s culture.

What have been your inspirations as artists?

RFP: We are both highly influenced by early 90’s electronic music(Instict, Warp, Rephlex), 80’s b-boy culture(Mantronik, Afrika Bambaataa, street art), obscure 80’s synth music/synth funk, 80’s/90’s film and television, and the exploration of sounds through the use of synthesizers. Just turning on a synth is almost like looking through a telescope and searching out new constellations in the sky. You never know what you might find out there.

You seem to make many references to the 80s, either through song titles or the cover art. What have you found inspiring about that time period?

RFP: Really it’s just both growing up through the decade. It was what we lived through childhood, so it is ingrained in our minds. The mentality of the 80’s seemed to have a different outlook on technology and culture. There was a lot of weirdness and experimentation in sound/art and film. It seemed normal at the time, but looking back there is so much more imagination and uniqueness stuffed into even the simplest of things.

Do you feel that the term “Retro-futurism” fits your style, or, do you think that term is rubbish and really is not accurate?

RFP: Labels like that usually make sense even if you don’t necessarily fit into the mold. Really if you look at it, culture is constantly changing, so hearkening back to nostalgic ideas and concepts is almost an anchor for some. Not even on purpose, but it just is inevitable. I suppose that term fits us well, we take the idea of our own retro past and make it ideal for our own future.

Describe the creative process you use to create the tracks you release.

RFP: We usually get together and hook up our machines while having a beer or two. The initial recordings are captured like an improve jam session using Ableton and then we go back and structure the tracks out, while adding more overdubs in the process.

I’ve noticed that at times, you use a visual format to release your music (“Adventures in Video” and “Falcon Visions”). How important do you feel it is to have a visual experience to go along with your music?

RFP: While we love putting together visual collages to mix with our music (as an enhancement for our live shows or just as a way to integrate visual influences into our audio), we definitely feel like our music is very emotionally visual and can conjure imagery in the listeners mind on its own merit.

I’m kind of excited to see that cassettes are still a thriving format and that you’ve released one yourselves. But, do you see yourselves perhaps exploring vinyl in the future?

RFP: If we had the resources all of our music would be released on vinyl. In the future we would love the see the Falcon grace the wax format in some way or another. Only time will tell.

Can we possibly expect more cassettes from the Falcons?

RFP:  Cassettes are always a great option in our minds. We definitely see ourselves using the cassette format on future releases.

Do either of you find yourselves adding elements from your solo projects into the Red Falcon Projects?

RFP: As musicians we tend to bring our own individual concepts of rhythm and melody into the Falcon mix. Neither of us feel necessarily genre specific in the music we make. The sounds we come up with are on an almost primal level, so it just flows and never feels like a conscious decision to pull from our personal influences. That is what makes the RFP sound so unique for us. Our own styles have a way of just meshing together to form a very cohesive groove that is equal parts both of us.

What was your favorite part of your tour with Black Moth Super Rainbow?

RFP: Definitely starting out as RFP we just wanted to get together and see what kind of music we could make. So to really enjoy the music you create and then get positive feedback from a lot of different people is very humbling. Getting to hear your music pumped from a good sound system for a few hundred people is truly a great feeling. On top of everything, being able to play along with such a great group of talented people who you respect as musicians and friends is a real treat as well.

What are the future plans for the Red Falcon Projects?

RFP: We just plan to keep making tunes and see where it goes. We are currently sitting on an album of material which will eventually surface one way or another.

What’s your opinion on independent music?

RFP: When we think of independent music, the idea of a bedroom producer is really where it is at. In the last decade what was originally thought of as independent music has drastically changed. When we were growing up you had the major labels who were pushing the top 40 type musicians. And then you had smaller labels where the drive was more leaning on the music as opposed to commercial success. It seems like lately musicians are required to promote and plug themselves to become relevant. At the end of the day pop music is what drives success. But pop music has lost its term, you don’t necessarily need to be making top 40 hits to be a pop musician. There are people in all forms of genres, from ambient to indie rock who almost have the same pop star like status. The main plus of it is a lot more musicians have the ability to get there music out there and for that it is a good thing, but it also leads to over saturation.

Do you feel social media and the internet has helped or hindered independent music?

RFP: In a sense it has done both. The internet has run the collapse of the traditional model of the recording industry as a whole. The major labels have a larger stake in the industry, thus taking a huge hit because of having a lot more capital invested in physical format. The independent scene seems to have fared better due to the allure of exclusivity/limited pressings, etc. But because of the internet being so accessible to everyone, the music seems to have become devalued as an art form in a sense.

What advice can you give to other aspiring artists/bands out there?

RFP: It always depends on your goal. If you are in it to make a name for yourself, you need to network and push yourself to get yourself out there on a larger scale. Otherwise, if you just are in it for the pleasure, just stay true to creativity get your groove on.

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Big thanks to Steve and Warren for taking part in this.  You guys are awesome!

Please check out their Facebook here! ( Link  )  Here, you can check out updates on the band and perhaps grab the last few copies of “Microtonal Acid Dub” and “Falcon Visions.”  Seriously, go there, you know you want to.

 

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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