Over the Falls

Freedom of Press


Interview by Maggie Guevara view article here

[MAGGIE_ GUEVARA]: “Tell me the story of how OVER THE FALLS came to be! Were you guys all friends before you formed the band? Did you all grow up together?”]

[Bret Fontaine _ Guitar, Vocals]: “Actually, we’re all from different parts of Nor Cal. I moved up to Santa Rosa in 2001 and was in a stoner metal band with Chris [Vocals] called B.U.R.n’R. Unknown to us, there was a fella named Tim [Bass, Vocals] in town who was rocking out with bands like Plan B and Risen (and Fallen). A few years later, Tim and I met and formed a band called Captain Hashbrown. That was a prog-thrash-rock-just-about-everything-awesome band. Ryan [Drums] was out in Napa around this time with The Val Papadins. Fast forward a few years to 2008; Tim had moved back from a few blissful years in San Diego, Captain Hashbrown was rolling but then nullified due to “jailed drummer syndrome”. Tim and I hooked up with Chris and desperately searched for a drummer for about a year til we found the mighty Ryan on Craigslist. God bless Craigslist. We’ve been going strong ever since! We first jammed in April 2009, had our first show in June 2009 at The Stork Club in Oakland. The rest, as they say, is science.”

[MG]: “I’ll never forget the first time I heard you guys play at Chris’ Club in Vallejo. That was in 2010! Since then, you guys came out with another album. Thank you for sharing that with me by the way. It’s groovy! What inspired the new album?”

[BF]: “Thanks! Groovy is definitely part of what we were going for. I think the inspiration for the album was, as generic and corny as this sounds, us. It’s no small secret that we’re trying to fit more than one genre into this band here, and it’s no small feat to successfully tie all those sounds together. We really feel we accomplished it with this one.”

[MG]: ” I saw on your website that you guys were going to be performing in South Lake Tahoe at the end of the year! That’s so exciting! How did that opportunity evolve?”

[BF]: It IS exciting, isn’t it? OMG!!! We love Tahoe, being avid snowboarders (except for Ryan, who probably would be an avid snowboarder if he ever went). Credit for this show actually goes to Mike from The Business End (a killer punk band from SF), who asked us aboard. This club is a blast to play.”

[MG]: “How many shows did you guys have this year?”

[BF]: “25. This year definitely didn’t have as many shows as the last, partly because we’re trying to focus on bigger shows with more thought put into promotion of them. Promotion: that is by far the toughest part of being an relatively unknown band. But we succeeded, I think, considering we got to play some great venues this year. Quite a few really good shows. Big thanks to all the folks that have rocked with us this year!”

[MG]: “What other venues were you looking to perform at?”

[BF]: “All of them! We had made a goal to play at Bottom of the Hill this year and ended up playing there twice over the summer. Played Elbo Room a few weeks back. We just want to keep hitting these great clubs in the city… onward and upward.”

[MG]: “Do your friends, family and loved ones travel with you guys when you go on tours?”

[BF]: “Good god, no. They’re sick of us! Just kidding, our wives (and girlfriend) are incredibly supportive, and generally there’s one or two of ‘em at each show. But we play pretty often. They have lives, you know? Various members of our families drop in from time to time to hear how much louder we’ve gotten since they last donned earplugs.”

[MG]: “Thank you so much for chatting with me today. It’s always a pleasure.”

[BF]: “Likewise!”

METRO - Silicon Valley, CA

Vol. 27 No. 6 April 13, 2011 by Richard von Busack

"A better band than you'd think" claims this Sonoma County quartet named after a Primus tune. Boys, I like your attitude! Essential to the Santa Rosa sound, these talented foresters whip up that early 70's prog sludge into a creamy froth with many changes, shouted choruses and titles like "Too Tired To Sleep." Hocus Pocus' "Focus" would be a recommended cover, if they could learn to yodel. I am so glad to read that musicians of their age still listen to King Crimson, although I still have to turn the scary album cover of In the Court of the Crimson King to the wall so I can sleep. (Over The Falls, Thursday, April 14, Caravan Lounge, San Jose)

"Over The Falls at Red Devil Lounge, San Francisco"

Monday, July 5, 2010 by Schuyler Dean

Santa Rosa's Over The Falls ... seems to have a time machine hidden somewhere and they are able to use it to go back to the underground scene in the early Nineties to borrow riffs and ideas. Glaring influences include Primus, Victims Family, Nomeansno, and Faith No More (they do an awesome cover of The Gentle Art of Making Enemies)... Over The Falls brought their own style of Thrashy Metal to the stage and brought it well.

Think early 311 and Incubus (Music, Fungus Amongus) mixed with throaty screaming vocals delivered by Chris Rodgers, who is constanly moving around the stage and keeping the energy high. Guitarist Bret Fontaine plays his speedy, overdriven riffage though a Mesa Boogie Stilletto halfstack, solidifying that nineties sound. His vocals are a bit smoother than Rodgers' and a little bit Mike Patton.

The OTF myspace page appropriately credits Ryan Alderman as "Drums, Long Hair", his sticks and long hair were flying everywhere during the set. Alderman comfortably transitions between odd time signatures and plays with a respectable intensity throughout the set. Tim Bastianon gets an extremely warm sound from his Fender P-bass/Jazz Bass hybrid while effectively cutting through the mix and playing interesting yet complicated riffs. Unlike many rock bass players, he doesn't just get lost under what the guitarist is doing, he plays in his own style without trying to steal the spotlight. Come to think of it, all four members are usually doing something interesting enough to captivate the audience while at the same time staying in the pocket with the rest of the band, isn't that the definition of a good live band?

"Band of the Month: Over The Falls"

The Hit System Newsletter, June 2010

When a little jazz gets heavily infused between Riff Rock with a modern twist and Punk Rock to keep the energy charged, a new sound is born. This sound has that classic vibe you're familiar with but now presented with more adventurism than previously sought after. Over The Falls is more than just a sound on a CD (though, they would feel right at home on a vinyl LP), they have a live show to keep the interest of once a passing-by populace and turn them into devoted enthusiasts. Their prime hooks include strong matching guitar and bass riffs (observe the opening of "Too Tired To Sleep" in 5/4 timing), unconventional drum beats and fills that seem to be meticulously placed to match the previous, and a range of vocal styles and dynamics to please those always searching for more. Overall, pick up a copy of "The Sleepy E.P." from one of their live shows and prepare for an interesting trip back in time to see Daisy Duke coming out of a modern re-issued Dodge Charger.