Photo by EM Creative

FallRise: Capitalizing on Moments & Seizing Opportunities

Since 2010, Sacramento’s FallRise have been turning heads with their unique brand of heavy rock. Starting out like any other band, guitarists Dave Gorman and Matt Thomas had the duty of finding local talent to round out their roster. They recruited powerhouse vocalist Sammy Karlin, bassist Anthony Grant and drummer Isaiah Abdul-Rahman into the fold. The group quickly realized the importance of having a sound work ethic and used this strength to write and structure material that would blend styles of fierce metal and catchy popular rock ‘n’ roll.

With a debut EP and full-length album already under their belts, FallRise have spent the better part of a year focusing on writing, recording and producing their new record, Territories. Drawing obvious comparisons to Pantera and Alice in Chains, the mere fact that FallRise possess the ability to play ferociously heavy metal and stripped-down alternative rock on the same record is quite impressive. The group has also had the luxury of performing with legendary groups Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots and Bush at the 2012 Aftershock Festival.

Though gaining much popularity in the last couple years, the group has remained humble, citing that they owe everything to the undying support of their fans, to whom they’ll be giving a long-anticipated album release show on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at Ace of Spades in Sacramento. Submerge had the pleasure of meeting with Gorman and Karlin to discuss the inception of the band, lessons learned in the studio and their future goals.

How did you begin to gain notoriety on a local level and how has work ethic gotten you to your current status?
David Gorman: Matt and I started the project in 2008 and went through so many musicians, finding a specific attitude and style. We were specific in finding the most dedicated individuals as possible. We debuted in Sacramento in 2010 and have worked tirelessly ever since. In order to get where we want to be, we have to keep the ball rolling as a unit and as individuals within the band. If there’s any stagnant time, depression sets in. We always set deadlines and goals for what we’re doing to prevent hopes and dreams from remaining on the shelf.
Sammy Karlin: We strive to rehearse three times a week for about three to four hours at a time, honing in our sound and polishing our craft. We devote time to the band on a daily basis by coming up with new musical ideas, ways to tighten our sound and methods of marketing our band.

At what point did FallRise start to realize its potential?
DG: I knew we had something good going when we went to play at the Cedarwood Saloon in Grants Pass, Ore. It was our first time playing out of state and played in front of people we’d never met or connected with on a personal level. We left it all out on the line and got a great response, especially after showcasing some new songs. The crowd was fully engaged and turned upside-down when we busted out a cover of “Walk” by Pantera.

How do you effectively promote your shows and keep the attention of your fans?
DG: We pound the streets, make phone calls, put fliers out and use Facebook. But I believe a key to our success is to remain exclusive by playing shows less frequently and not exploiting our fans. We believe that does happen with oversaturation to the point where your fans and friends aren’t going to want to tell you no, so we want to have mutual respect with by not taking advantage of people. So we try to book every four to six months in Sacramento. When I was a kid, going to shows was a mystical experience. Nowadays, you can get on the Internet and instantly check a show from any band. We strive to make our shows a special experience that leaves fans with a lasting impression.

What can listeners expect from upcoming album Territories?
DG: A great mix of heavy riffs and catchy melodies, similar to our first full length, Back From the Dead; but we’re much happier with the outcome of the new record. We recorded the drums at Pus Cavern with engineer Matt Hyde, who has an impressive resume of working with bands like Deftones, Slayer and No Doubt. We then went to Hyde’s studio in L.A. to cut a few of the singles and returned home to work on the rest of the album in our own studio. Once the recording was finished, we sent it to top dog David Bendeth to mix the album, who is known for his outstanding work of getting the drums to sound tip-top. All of us, especially Isaiah, were very stoked on the recording because of how huge the drums sound.
There is a goal to stay away from being cookie-cutter. We’re trying to round out a commercialized sound with a sense of taste and creativity. We feel as though the vast array of sounds and styles, from metal to alternative rock, will go a long way for how this record is received.
SK: We’re happy with every track on the new record. Some of the songs are heavy and true to our signature sound, but we’ve also explored some new territory, hence the album name.

What are your plans for promoting Territories?
DG: Our album release show is set for May 3 at Ace of Spades in Sacramento. We’re relentless with promoting our events, but try to remain as tactful as possible.
SK: We gave a promo copy to Andy Hawk from 98 Rock to pump it on the radio and get some feedback. The hope is that they’re not going to throw your record in the garbage. We also have a solid fan base in California and Oregon, so our plan is to make our way up and down the West Coast in support of the new record.

How have your loyal fans boosted the presence and morale of your band?
DG: We’ve been fortunate enough to have the help of our fans with selling tickets, promoting our shows and blasting our music. It may sound cliché, but we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now if it wasn’t for our fans voting us into playing the Aftershock Music Festival in 2012. Ever since that performance, we’ve had much more recognition and attention from radio stations and promoters. This was a great time for us to capitalize on the moment by seizing the opportunity.

Check out FallRise for their release show at Ace of Spades on May 3, 2014. Tickets are $12 – $25; doors open at 6 pm. For more info, visit