MUSIC INTERVIEW: As December Falls

Photo Credit: LJR Photography

We sat down with As December Falls ahead of their set on the Total Rock Stage at At Takedown Festival 2023. We discussed their new album Join The Club, manifesting success and the impact their supportive fanbase has had on their career.

Hi As December Falls, we’re at takedown festival today. How are you feeling ahead of your set?

Bethany:  I’m super excited because it feels like a really long time since we last played. And my favourite part about being in this band is playing live and just being with the audience.

Ande: Well the last festival we played was last summer. So, it’s been nearly a year since we’ve played the last festival.

B: It’s been a couple of months since our last gig as well.

A: Yeah, so I’m very excited.

For people who don’t know the band, can you sum yourself up in five words? I love the panic which goes across people’s faces whenever I say that.

A: You have to count the words too! That’s the problem.

B: Energetic.

A: Energetic alt-rock with bangers. I’m going with that.

B: No, you can’t do that. Energetic alt-rock with bangers doesn’t count!

A: Is alt-rock one or two words? It’s two words. Alternative rock.

We’ll accept that as your five word answer. This is already a really exciting year for you, you’ve got your new album Join The Club coming out in July. Can you tell us a little bit more about it the recording process and why should we look forward to it?

B: I will take this one. To be honest, this is the album that I feel the most proud of and I’m so excited to get it out because I do love our first two albums but this one feels like we’ve sort of consolidated our sound. It feels more us, it feels kind of like we finally sort of know what we’re doing. But yeah, I am so stoked. It’s got a bit of everything on there. We’ve got our serious tracks a little bit slower mellower, but we’ve also got our pop punk anthems and we’ve also got slightly heavier tracks like Mayday and Carousel which is to be honest, probably the route we’re going to continue down because everyone seems to be absolutely loving those two tracks. But yeah, so I’m super excited to get Join The Club out there for the world to finally hear it.

You’ve kind of mentioned some of the tracks already but do you have a favourite track or one which sums up the release?

A: I feel like this album we’ve really tried a lot of different genres and a lot of different styles. I don’t think there’s one song.

Timmy: I think if you go into it thinking it’s going to be one sound, I don’t want to use the word disappointed but it’s not going to be that.  It’s kind of a bit all over the place. We’ve kind of got some modernization of our older stuff and then we’ve got stuff where we’re experimenting a lot more like Carousel and Mayday and all different bits and bobs.

A: I think Carousel is my favourite song though personally.

B: I think Mayday is my favourite.

A: Interesting.

B: I think the reason Mayday is my favourite is because we’ve had a chance to play Mayday live and I love seeing everyone’s reaction. As soon as you play that first riff. You see everyone like YES! and that’s what I want every day of my life.

T: Yeah, I think my Mayday is my favourite.

A: Really? Over Carousel?

T: But the intro to Carousel is my favourite.

B: We’re going to have a full band domestic here.

A: We can’t break up right now.

So essentially, we’re stepping further away from the Home and ballad side of things, into more of the here’s a mosh pit?

B: Yes, absolutely 100%.

A: More riffs, more pits. New band slogan!

Perfect! How have you found it since the release of your album Happier? The fanbase changing? The experience?  Obviously, we had that big massive event, which everyone knows about and we don’t talk about too much. But how has that been for you?

B: I’ve found that without that awful event, I don’t think we could have made our second album any better because we got to spend so much extra time on it which we wouldn’t have had if not for it, because we are all-in full-time jobs. We all have to make it work around holiday time and all of that lovely jazz which comes with working in the corporate world. So, I think it actually kind of helped in regards to being able to write the album that we wanted to create at that time. In regards to how I think it’s affected the fanbase. Well, I’ve always been one for believing we’ve grown up with our fans. So, our target audience is basically us and we know that we write songs that we enjoy and it translates hopefully most of the time. I think it’s nice that we’ve had that growth with them. They’ve seen us from when we were drunk teenagers with no money in bars, all the way up to

A: being drunk adults with no money.

B: Yeah, but we had, you know, we’ve matured with them. It’s nice. I like that.

A: And also, like we came out of COVID and we had the brand new album ready. We did a sixteen date tour, and it sold out pretty quickly and I feel a lot of that growth was because we were coming out of that COVID period. No one had been to a show for eighteen months, everyone was absolutely ready to get back to a show and I think that was actually quite good for us really.

T: Yeah, people kind of felt ready to embrace the album then just run with all the shows and music videos and the support was just there out of the gate for it. That was awesome.

A: When did lockdown hit? Was it like March April, time? I can’t even remember! We were on tour the October, like the year after.   

No lockdown rules broken here!

A: Like, we came out the gate quite quickly after lockdown was lifted and everyone was like ready to go back into it.

T: I remember we booked the tour and it was still in lockdown. We were just kind of like, well, we think this is what everyone’s saying about when it’s going to end.

A: But it might not.

T: We thought we might have to reschedule the whole tour and book it again.

B: That’s why we split up the tour though. Rather than doing 16 dates back-to-back we didn’t want to have a whole entire tour cancelled so we split it up. So, we did like five in November, five in December, six in February.

A: But it was also in case any of us got sick from the first few dates as we wouldn’t have to cancel the rest of the tour because we’d have like six weeks in between each run. But yeah, that was a wild time and that was back when we were booking all our own shows and we were doing all the promotion ourselves.

B: The other reason we split it up was because out the gate every band was booking all the venues and we were like ‘where can we go?’ trying to fit ourselves in.

A: It was a lot of fun trying to work that tour out but it worked and we sold out every date.

B: We got there and it was incredible. I loved that tour.

Hopefully for this album release It’s going to be plain sailing. It’s been just over four years since release of your debut album, do you have a standout moment from the time since you released the album?

B: A huge standout moment for me is playing Slam Dunk Festival last year. And that’s because I have attended that festival since I was 15. And so, it was a huge moment for me to finally be announced on the artwork and seeing your name up there. I was like, little teenage Beth would be so happy right now. So that’s my standout moment. I feel like I’ve just stolen that moment from you guys sorry.

T: To be fair, Slam Dunk was like the first festival I went to when I was growing up. It was also very cool being on the same bill as people like Fall Out Boy and stuff in the Czech Republic and I ran into Joe Trohman so that was cool.

A: And we hung out with You Me At Six and that was a great time. It was good festival. I’m going to say my stand out moment is gonna be July when the album drops and we chart for the first time ever.

B: You can’t have a stand out moment that hasn’t happened yet!

It’s manifesting it

A: I’m manifesting it right now; we’re going to chart.

T: Positive energy and confidence.

A: We have no label. There’s no management. We’ve done this album entirely on our own. I want to chart for the first time. I absolutely know we’re going to chart for the first time. We’re calling it now.

B: Okay, we’re in.

We’ll look back on this and say you did it.

A: Yeah, we did it. Yeah, that’s the plan. I’m hoping for top ten, if we do top twenty I’ll be okay. I’ll be happy.

B: ‘I’ll be okay!’

Okay. So not top forty, it has to be top twenty?

A: Top ten or top twenty, that’s my aim. I’m aiming high!

Your fans have to do it or you’ll be let down.

A: They have to help us chart or I’ll look terrible. I’m just aiming high.

T: You’ve got big dreams.

B: I feel like it’s because we have done everything ourselves. So, if we do that, that’s an accomplishment and that’s really really cool.

T: It would be huge.

A: Yeah, I feel a lot of bands just kind of get sales figures from a label, maybe six months down the line where because we run everything ourselves through our own store and we see every single order, we see every email. It means a lot to us.

T: We started doing everything ourselves. We don’t have a label, don’t have a manager or anything it’s all very much us doing anything and we’re kind of growing ourselves really. You know we’ve got a small team, but you know in terms of actually putting stuff out we are our own labels so.

A: Yeah.. Terrified.

T: But also if we do it, it’ll be amazing.

You will do it, no ifs. Let’s go with the manifesting!

A: Yes when we chart in July as I’m manifesting it.

T: Popping the champagne already.

B: We’re gonna have to rerelease this interview in July, when we’ve charted.

A: Yeah when we’ve done it. If we don’t, we’ll bury this interview forever.

Don’t worry, we’ll edit it out and pretend it never happened.

A: Amazing, thank you.

Now, for something a little different. Which lyric out of all your back catalogue or even your new album? Is your absolute favourite or means the most to you?

B: Do you guys have any? Any favourite lyrics?

A: We don’t write the lyrics!

B: But you might still have a favourite which you hear and think ‘that’s my favourite’

You do hear them every show….

A: I bet Timmy couldn’t name 10 lyrics right now.

T: Erm, round and round like a carousel?

B: I’m now scrolling through my phone and it’s not very professional but I keep all of my lyrics in my notes on my phone.

A: I really like Happier to be honest. I think that lyric ‘we should all be happier’ was just so simple but so beautiful.

B: It came at the right time.

A: It was literally both of us just sat home in lockdown having a shit time.

B: We wrote this one at like three in the morning. I remember going to bed and waking up and singing this and I remember crying as I was singing it trying to explain, it’s about this and it’s about that.

A: It just happened. I’ve had that music and I probably wrote it when I was about 17 for an old band, and I literally just played to Beth then the lyrics and the vocal line just came into it. I think that’s probably my favourite lyric. We should all be happier. Simple.

B: That’s your favourite lyric? See, I know. I know what song I love the most lyrically but I don’t know what specific lyric. My favourite song lyrically is One Last Song.

A: Fair, you do like that middle eight.

B: Yeah. It’s just it’s kind of a big FU to the world. And just we can do this on our own, it goes back to the whole, we’re independent we are doing this ourselves. And that’s why I love that song because it really felt like we were doing all these things and no one cared industry wise, no one cared. It was me saying, even if I’ve only got this one last song, I don’t care, I’m putting it out there and doing it my way. I’m doing what I want and that’s what the whole song is about. It’s just a huge FU to the music industry basically, and saying that things should be changing. Artists need to get on this independent hype and you can do it, you can do it. It’s hard work, but you can do it. And that’s what One Last Song is about.   

We’ll take that answer, not a lyric but it had a very nice story behind it.

B: The whole song and all the meaning! I was reading through the lyrics to see if there was one specific lyric. I was like it’s not, it’s all great because every lyric was how I felt when I wrote that song.

A: Except like the first one or two songs, those were terrible.

B: They were awful.

A: But we got better!

B: Honestly, I did a whole blog post on our Patreon the other day about how awful my lyrics were when I first started this band, they were atrocious. It’s every stereotype of lyric in one song, just all at once and yeah, highly recommend listening to those.

A: We took them down – well Cross My Heart is there but everything else is down. Sorry, we’ve gone on a massive tangent, it’s all three of us in a room. We just cause chaos! 

It’s a nice casual chat. I mean, it’s nice vibes. You’ve got a very supportive fanbase, what message do you have for your fans?

A: For me, we fucking love you. We literally wouldn’t do this band without you, our fans are our label, we can’t afford to keep making music unless they keep coming to our shows, buying merch and buying our CDs. So the fact that we are able to make a third album without any label, any management and any financial backing is absolutely insane. But they are the only reason we still get to do this so we love them. That’s it. I got quite passionate there, I’m sorry.

B: But it’s the truth. Without them we wouldn’t be here. We make such a fuss about them being here and I feel like obviously all bands love their fans.

A: I feel it’s so easy to say when you’ve got a major label bank rolling and everything so like ‘oh it’s the fans’ when actually it’s some massive corporation paying for absolutely everything. We couldn’t have made this album without them pre-ordering it.

B: We get them very involved in what we do. Like every decision, it’s even things on our Patreon like we put up two different music videos the other day and we were like which one? Which one do we put out?

A: Literally and if in the end they’d have gone with the other version, it was by like 1% but if they’d gone for the other version we would have done it you know, they are very much involved in this band.

B: It’s like our whole entire fanbase is sort of the fourth member of our band.

A: They are the label.

T: They’re a big, old family and I spend my evenings streaming video games on my Discord channel and just talk to them to see what’s happening and I know what’s happening in their lives and they know what’s happening in ours. It’s just like having loads of friends, all the friends I didn’t have when I was a kid.

*BTN, Ande and Bethany letting out a huge aww*

T: Look at me now, I’ve got a Discord!

A: You’re going to make me cry in an interview. Timmy I’m tearing up.

B: You’re making Ande cry!

A: I love you man, I love you. But yes, going back to the original point away from Timmy’s sad, sad life. The fact that we literally couldn’t be this band with our fans it’s that simple because we don’t have anyone bankrolling this,  no one’s putting money into this, it’s literally just the merch sales and tour ticket sales, pre-orders. So literally if we release a bad record and they fucking hate it and don’t buy it then that’s it.

B: The fans will be the reason we chart in July.

A: You know, there’s no huge PR campaign. There’s no one putting us on tour with massive artists, no one buying us onto a TV show, if we chart it’s just because our fans are that incredible.

Finally, is there anything you haven’t announced yet which fans can look forward to aside from the album release?

A: Keep November free.

B: I was gonna say, I may have mentioned this already very sorry. But you know what everyone’s gonna know, I did the same thing last year at Slam Dunk when I just announced the fact like ‘oh, we’ve got an album next year’ and everyone was like, ‘what!’ and I was like ‘no, no we don’t!’. Yeah, keep November free.

A: if you’re Europe keep November free. If you’re in Australia, maybe keep January and February. Again manifesting.   

And on that note, thank you so much for your time As December Falls, and we can’t wait to hear you’ve charted in July.

A: We will!

Interview By: Nicola Craig

As December Falls’ new album Join The Club is set for release on 21st July 2023, available to pre-order HERE

You can read our live review of Takedown Festival 2023 and check out our photo gallery HERE.

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar