Exclusive interview with guitarist, Jim Hocking from For The Fallen Dreams.
Today, I had the opportunity to have a talk with For The Fallen Dreams guitarist Jim Hocking about their new album, “Back Burner”, which dropped today, May 24th from Rise Records. He provided some awesome insight to the band, as well as information their new record (“Back Burner”). Read below to see what all Jim had to say…
First off, Jim, I want to thank you for taking some time out of your busy tour life to talk to me. Why don’t you tell us more about yourself and what do you for “For The Fallen Dreams” (FTFD)? Where are you from?
I play guitar and co-write the music for the band. I was born and raised in Charlotte, MI, a small suburb outside of the capital city, Lansing.
What is the current lineup for the band? I know there has been quite a few changes since the release of “Relentless” in 2009. Is this lineup just a “tour lineup” or is it official?
The current line-up stands as Dylan – Vocals, Kalan and me (Jim) – Guitar, Jordan – Bass and Arvin – Drums. This line-up is actually the MOST official we have had in a long time. After losing some core members following the release of Relentless, we took a step back and had friends fill in.
You guys just dropped the album “Back Burner” today via Rise Records, how does it feel?
It feels great! I woke up in the van on the way to our show in Des Moines, saw the date on my phone and felt a weight lift from my shoulders.
Readers, please support music and go buy the hard copy or purchase off iTunes. Its not about the money (that we won’t see from record sales anyway), its about the units sold!!! The industry pays close attention to these things!
What is your favorite song, personally, on the new record and why?
That is a very difficult question. I might say I have a few favorites for different reasons. Deep Down Inside is one of them. The song structure and chorus are just appealing to me, also hard-hitting. Bottom Feeders is a favorite for the fact that its our softest song to date…something I have always wanted to do. We really wanted to show every side and influence of the band on this record and I feel we did. Another song I’m really into is Fist Fight. The intro to the song is sick, and its just a pissed song all the way through.
What role do you play in the studio?
Kalan and I threw the guitar back and forth recording parts or changing things up. Its an all-over process. You never really doing EXACTLY what you plan on doing day by day. If we weren’t feeling a song one day we wouldn’t force it. We would go down the list and find one that grabbed us.
What was a typical day like in the studio?
The band would wake up early every day…like a real job haha…get into the studio around 9 with our coffees and breakfast, and discuss the plans for the day before diving in. Things were really easy-going while at Tom’s studio. We became pretty good friends, so when we weren’t tracking we were messing around or talking shit to each other haha.
Where did you guys record?
Are there any guest appearance on this album? I know “Relentless” had featured Jeremy McKinnon of “A Day to Remember”.
Mike Duce from Lower Than Atlantis sings on “Yellow”. We are all very happy with how this turned out. FTFD and LTA toured Europe and the UK together in December 2010, where we became good friends, as well as huge fans of LTA. Their albums Far Q and World Record are on regular rotation in the van. They were touring the U.S. for their first time while we were in the studio and happened to be passing through Ocala. We stopped them and dragged Mike into the studio, bribing him with a bottle of gin haha. It was a great time, as it always is. Miss those dudes!!! Check them out if you haven’t already.
Which do you prefer, studio life or tour life?
Tough question! They are very different. Studio life was almost like I moved to Ocala and made a bunch of new friends. We were always partying at our friend Andy’s house after we would leave the studio. It was nice to be comfortable in one spot for so long. Tour life is just so constant that sometimes you feel like you’re in the same place everyday…that may be because I’m going on 7 years of travel.
Where can everyone purchase “Back Burner”?
Hot Topic, Best Buy, FYE, iTunes, Rise Records, MerchNow, Merch Connection, among a slew of other online sites.
You guys are going on the road to Europe soon with Bury Your Dead, right? Are you stoked on that?
Absolutely. We have toured with BYD a few times in the past, never with Matt Bruso on vocals, but it was always a good time. (Except the time I watched them flip their van 5 times across an interstate).
Who was the best lineup for a tour that you ever were apart of?
Too difficult to say!!! I usually get close with a few people on every tour, and get along with everyone else.
How does Rise Records and FTFD match up? There has always been a bit of controversy on the line up that Rise Records has and who they should keep/recruit.
Craig hit us up in the summer of 2007 with a message saying he really liked the music and wanted to sign us. We were ecstatic. I don’t care what controversy there is around the label and it’s bands. Rise has been on the ups over the past few years and is a very successful label. I am stoked for Craig and the exponential increase in album sales he and his bands have accomplished. That’s a tough thing to do these days in this industry.
What do you see for the future of FTFD?
It’s looking bright right now, as it always does to me. Being a founding member I have always kept my head held high. The positive outlook has kept this band alive.
So, I got to ask, what is the deal with you guys and Legend, specifically with ex-FTFD vocalist Chad Ruhlig? Is there any “real” beef there or is it more a joke between you guys?
OHHHH YEAH, THEY BETTER WATCH THEIR BACKS…no. There is no beef. We love those dudes. We did a tour last summer that was supposed to be named “Squash the Beef”, but it was renamed. Chad and everyone else are still great friends of ours. Go pick up their new album, “The Pale Horse”!
Again, thanks so much for talking with me. The album is a huge success and I think you guys should be very proud of all your hard work. Anything else you would like to mention or say?
Thanks to everyone that has supported us in the past and present, and to those that never gave up on us. You mean the world to us and we are grateful for the opportunities you (the fans) have presented us with. We hope you pick up a copy of BACK BURNER and come see us at a show! See you soon, world.
FTFD’s new album “Back Burner” is available TODAY via iTunes!
“Back Burner” Track List:
- Say What You Will (3:10)
- Deep Down Inside (3:06)
- Complicate the Situation (3:50)
- Only Unopened Arms (3:07)
- My Anthem-Like Symphony (2:47)
- The Big Empty (3:52)
- Bottom Feeders (2:42)
- Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In (3:13)
- The Human Collective (3:06)
- Let Go (3:02)
- Yellow (featuring Mike Duce of Lower Than Atlantis) (3:19)
- Fist Fight (3:23)