It’s hard to keep a group together, with the infamous “creative differences” constantly rearing its ugly head and breaking bands up. But when you’re a family, it may be even harder. While it makes it easy to get rehearsals together when everyone is in the same house, it certainly lends itself to allowing arguments and disagreements that come up from other parts of your life seep into the music, and vise- versa.
But one group has managed to overcome familial difference, and seem well on their way to a long and successful run as a family band. Legend Of The Fall is made up of five brothers. That’s five, count ‘em, five, ranging from ages 14 to 22. They’ve managed to create a unique sound they call “pop-core,” and it’s led them to quite a bit of notoriety in a relatively short period of time.
Coming out of Ridgefield Park, the group includes J.D. Alam on guitar and vocals, Skyler Alam on drums and vocals, Levi Alam on keyboards and vocals, Madison Alam on bass and vocals, and Casey Jones Alam on guitar and vocals. The band was inspired by their musician father, and it was something they always wanted to do. When someone booked a show for them, before they had even had one rehearsal, they crammed to learn as many cover songs as they could, so they’d have enough material to play the show. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The band has recorded two independent albums and then their national debut Sell Outs, last summer, which was released through Island/Def Jam Digital. They also started more extensive touring, with opening slots for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Candlebox, George Thorogood, Framing Hanley and Emily Osmet, among others. As one might guess, their touring has to be worked around their school schedule, due to the ages of some of the brothers.
Their unique soundscape stems from a variety of influences, which include Led Zeppelin, Panic At The Disco, Paramore, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, Brand New and A Day To Remember. Most of the songs have their genesis with J.D. and Levi. Madison has contributed several songs, and Skylar and their father wrote the song “Hard To Get” together.
“Usually it started with me and Levi sitting down with an acoustic and a keyboard,” explains J.D. “Then I’ll write a guitar part, and Levi will critique it. And he’ll write words, and I’ll critique them. When we’ve finally finished a good song, we’ll bring it to band practice. At this point everyone will critique the whole song while writing parts for themselves.”
One of the more popular songs is “Beethoven’s Symphony in Drop D.” Despite the unusual name, and the fact that it starts with the famous Beethoven’s fifth symphony, instantly recognizable musical figure, it soon morphs into a mix of rock, pop, punk, hardcore and southern rock dueling guitar parts. “It just has so much energy in it,” exclaims J.D. “It’s so much fun to play, especially during the last breakdown.”
Other favorites include “I Think I’ll Wear A Hoodie Today,” and “I Know,” which is about fighting for something you really want.
“Another big fan favorite is ‘Green Is Not Your Color,’ which is actually about one of my ex’s and her jealousy,” adds J.D.
The name, Legend Of The Fall, came from an all night session of sitting around the kitchen table brainstorming. “Our dad said how about ‘Legend Of The Fall’?” says Skyler. “We decided to take all of the names that we had come up with and put them in a hat. We pulled out a piece of paper and it said ‘Legend Of The Fall.’ Well, it was ‘Legend Of A Fall,’ but we changed it because if we used the first letters, we didn't want to be called LOAF!”
J.D. always felt the group had to have meaning, both in the songs they perform and in the name of the band. “I had recently done a research paper in my English class about the Bible,” he recalls. “And I read this passage in 2 Timothy 4.4. It says that people will turn their ears away from the truth and they’ll turn aside to myths. So putting two and two together, you figure if people turn to myths and legends then the truth will be considered the myth. They’ll refer to God as the myth of the creator, and the fall of man the myth of the fall. But Legend Of The Fall sounds a whole lot better. It really had nothing to do with the Brad Pitt movie.”
An unusual occurrence took place recently that actually garnered the band their first endorsement. They recorded a video of themselves eating Warhead’s Sour Candies. They did it simply for fun, as a funny video to put up on YouTube. Lo and behold, a few days later their manager got a call from Warheads saying they wanted to sponsor the band. They were given t-shirts, hats and mugs. “Just an insane amount of stuff from them,” laughs J.D. “Now at every show we make sure we do the Warhead’s challenge with people and bands. Red Jump Suit Apparatus just did a challenge with us.”
You can find more information about Legend Of The Fall, and about their upcoming shows and CD releases, at legendofthefall.com and facebook.com/legendofthefall.