Phoenix Falling was started about a year ago when long time friends Kevin Leman and Colby Peters set out to create “the” band. They wrote a couple of songs and went around South west Florida looking for the best musicians. Both Christian and Colby, friends since high school, work at Morning Star Music in Naples. This aided them in the search for talented musicians. Christian joined the band and slowly other musicians followed. Mitch Clark had been a member of another band that Phoenix Falling had previously played with and which was about to break up, so the two bands merged together. The band met Ben King while constantly asking around Naples about a “great” bassist.
Each of the band members come from varying backgrounds of musical expertise: Jazz, Classical, and formal Rock. Phoenix Falling is actually Christian’s first Rock gig: before he joined the band, he was playing Classical and Jazz music with friends, including Colby Peters. Some are surprised that the band’s main influences are from Jazz and Classical music. Guitarists Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, and Jazz kings Pat Metheny, and Allan Holdsworth are all major influences on the guitar work and musicians of this band. The band is also influenced by Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Pop, and Indie Rock.
In spite of this eclectic background, Phoenix Falling describes their sound to be more of a “Pop-Rock genre mashing.” Christian tells me that their main goal with this band was to appeal to fans who appreciate more complex music, and to everyday music listeners, so they can still make simple pop songs, but keep the music complex enough for musicians and others to appreciate.
Kevin Leman came up with the name, Phoenix Falling, to describe their music. The music, he says, is like the mythological bird which, when it rises, is beautiful, calm and peaceful but when it falls, can be explosive, energetic, and chaotic. Leman, Peters, and Clark write all of the lyrics, although Kevin Leman has the strongest influence on their writing. Colby Peters says that their lyrics are becoming more poetic due to Kevin’s strong writing talents.
“The Beginning,” the band’s new EP, was recorded in Valdosta, Georgia, with producer and sound tech Lee Dyess. Lee Dyess also worked with such bands as First to Last and Mayday Parade. To prove the virtuosity of this band, they actually recorded the album without playing the songs together as a band, or even live. They all went into the studio and played the songs separately, and came out with something innovative. Each member of the band would play their own part, with much improvising, to produce an album that sounds different from their live shows. The band is also in the process of writing a new full length LP in addition to performing at numerous shows and venues they have lined up in the fall.
The band is currently planning a tour in September and is already booking gigs all around Florida. After the Homegrown Fest at Germain Arena last month, a music festival that featured local bands, they sold all of their CD’s and T-Shirts, and are now hoping to create new merchandise for their upcoming shows, such as new shirt designs and other smaller accessories. After they promote their new tour and have everything set up, they’ll be hitting the road with a small Florida Tour.
In order to increase their fan base, when anyone posts something on the Phoenix Falling Facebook wall, or emails the band, they get back to their fans as quickly as possible. In this way, they keep up with what the fans want to hear. You can easily find Phoenix Falling on their Facebook page. (Their myspace.com page is currently under construction.) You can also download their new EP, “The Beginning,” for FREE on their website, www. PhoenixFalling.bandcamp.com. Support local bands. Check out this band of classically trained musicians who are as thrilled to be playing music, as their music is exciting and fresh.
Phoenix Falling will be playing in Naples at South Street City Oven and Grill, on Saturday, August 28th.