Omaha-based hard-rockers release concept album
What: When Towers Fall, with We Be Lions, The Matador and MurderHouse
When: 9 p.m. Friday, August 14
Where: Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St.
By MarQ Manner
Progressive hard rock band When Towers Fall came on the scene in early 2013 and have already made an impact in Omaha. Starting off playing “New Music Monday” nights at the Waiting Room, the band has won over fans with its erratic live show and sound.
The band was nominated for an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award in 2014. After a couple of EP’s the band is ready to release their first full-length effort, The Mind Immoral, a character driven concept album about the battles with one’s sanity and regaining one's life again.
The band will be celebrating the release on FRIDAY (August 14) at the Waiting Room Lounge with a solid lineup that includes The Matador, We Be Lions and the debut of MurderHouse. I met up with Jay Stoa and Derrek Sammons of When Towers Fall to talk about the album, its concept and the band’s live show
MarQ - Give us some of the history of the band.
Jay Stoa - Tim (Johnson) was the original guitar player and a drummer and it was just the two of them. I came down, I was neighbors with Tim and told him I could play bass. I went out two weeks later and bought all brand new stuff. I played with them for a couple of months, and then was introduced to Derrek.
MarQ - What brought you to the band Derrek?
Derrek Sammons - I was at that weird phase where I had just broke up with another band. I came from a pop-rock band before this, and metal bands before that. I came back to practice with them a second time and it all clicked. It drew me in.
MarQ - When was all of this happening?
Jay - August of 2012, We had, I can’t remember how many songs we had. There were a lot.
Derrek - We picked out the easiest ones at the time and then would go on from there.
MarQ - What is the songwriting process for the band?
Derrek - I will take the music after all the instrumentals are laid, out, sometimes with the new songs I have some input in them. Then I will sit down alone in a dark room and pretty much pull any emotions out in the song and start writing, and it kind of writes itself.
MarQ - Do you find it hard to write in the style, or is that how you have always done it?
Derrek - When it comes to my writing style, I have never written words to a song where I have not put it in place. Usually, I will find words within the melody of the song. Listening to that over and over I found those topics within the music, which was different than coming in raw and having to flesh out the lyrics.
MarQ - This is a concept album, can you tell us a bit about the story?
Derrek - So the album tells the story of a character that goes through a series of sh*t that happened to him, and it delves into his mind and his sanity. There is a series of events that start to speak to him and bring him back to life. There are several things that are happening in each song. I kind of try to make things have multiple meanings.
MarQ - Is this your first album?
Jay - It is the first album, it has 12 songs. We did an EP before this, but it has two of the tracks that are on the album. We did the EP because we needed music to get people to come to our show.
MarQ - Where did you record at?
Derrek - DHM Creative Media. Ian Waters studio. We did our EP there, and then our album there. It was fun working with him and that is why he ended up as our choice as drummer.
Jay - He knew all of our songs from recording them.
MarQ - What has been the reaction to the band thus far?
Jay - I think it’s been received pretty well. I think when people first see us they don’t understand what is happening, people are like ‘you guys are all over the place!’
Derrek - Some people get jarred a little bit, there is a visual overload that we try for. We really try to do something that is one step outside of the box.
Jay - With the exception of Saturn Ascends you don’t see a lot of video work on stage.
MarQ - Derrek, you came from a pop-rock band into a progressive hard rock band, was that a hard transition?
Derrek - It was a different transition from the hard rock band to this. I like all sort of crazy music I am into hip-hop, hard rock avant garde experimental muisc. This band was the right music for me, and it is something that I have been looking forward to for a long time.
MarQ - What can people expect from the live show?
Derrek - Erratic, psychotic behavior. I get into this mode before the show. I spend a good hour or so before the show getting into the character if I do my paint, which I will be doing paint for this show, I make sure it is another form of expression for myself. I have an idea for this show. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that not even these guys know about. I hope it goes well and I hope I don’t hurt myself. I try to fit that character that is in the story. I do a tad bit of method acting, and get into that mindset.
MarQ - Will you be doing the album straight through at the show?
Jay - We are going to do the album as it is. We are giving the album away for free to anyone who comes to the show, just on this night though. We want to get into people’s hands.
MarQ - What is next for the band?
Derrek - We have really been scoping everything to this show. We want to get this out of the way, and then I think writing will be the next step. We want to get out there and play some more shows and and keep the momentum going also. We want to make sure we doing that, but writing is going to be very important. In my head I have a continuation of these stories.