Interview: SURRENDER THE FALL’s Jared Cole talks to Upstate Metal

This is the band that is not afraid to speak their mind and sing out what everybody in the venue is thinking. Their music has a very fresh rock sound, with catchy tunes that will haunt you for months, maybe more. This is the kind of music that loosens you up after a long day or week. The words that melodically leave their lips are very interpretive; their style is very edgy and rough, in a very good way. It’s that good-time feeling kind of rock, the kind that is also very blunt. Say hello to the hard-rockers of Memphis, Surrender the Fall.

Formed in 2005, band members consist of Jared Cole (vocals), Eddie Tyre (guitar), Anthony Pitts (guitar), Devin Hightower (bass), and Rick Anderson (drums). Surrender the Fall has been to hell and back; Tyre, being a lifelong resident of New Orleans, lost everything in Hurricane Katrina; Pitts was promised career in football until a knee injury. Of course, there was the case of their loved ones succumbing to sicknesses and passing away. Through all of the tragedy, Surrender the Fall strove for greatness. Before showing off their amazing talent, they took the necessary precautions to make sure everything sounded absolutely perfect. Eventually, they booked killer gigs such as in New Orleans, and with a great turn out, and they soon signed with Rum Bum Records. Rum Bum sent Surrender the Fall to Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX (Taking Back Sunday, ZZ Top, Madonna, Devildriver) to record with producer/artist Lennon Murphy (Lennon, Devil’s Gift). After a five and a half week period, the band recorded what is now their debut 12 tracked record, Burn in the Spotlight, filled with songs on “love, hate, pain and everything in between.” The album was released September 18, 2012, with leading singles “Love Hate Masquerade” and currently, “Some Kind of Perfect.” Upstate Metal’s Kate Drexel had the chance to interview the band’s front man, Jared Cole.

Media Credit – Kate Drexel

UM: How did you come up with your band name?

JC: Surrender the Fall…we sat down, and took paper and pen and started writing ideas about band names. It was the hardest thing in the world to do; meanwhile people come up with names like Alien Ant Farm or Butthole Surfers…we set out to figure out this name and, to be honest, we didn’t have the meaning right off the bat. We kind of put the words together that sounded good, and we sat down and thought about it for a while and it’s like “Surrender the Fall”…it’s liking giving up the fall. You don’t fall, you don’t fail; if you don’t fail, then you’re still going and that’s success, that’s following your dream, that’s doing it in a diligent way so that nothing and no one can tell you not to, like they can’t keep you from it. Giving up the option for failure. That’s what it means. And well, we’re five stubborn assholes who refuse to stop doing this…one way or another, we’re going to figure out how to piss everybody off with rock and roll music. I forget now who said it, somebody called us “The Bastard Stepchild of Rock ‘N’ Roll”…it was not in an interview, but it was something along those lines…The Bastard Stepchild…the Assholes That Refuse to Quit Playing.

UM: Who are your biggest influences?

JC: Biggest influences…Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, U2, Metallica, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash…again, we’re all about music without prejudice, we take influences from everything and everybody. Anybody that would do it, no matter what, anybody that would get behind the mic and say it, and didn’t give a fuck what anybody else thought. Those are our influences.

UM: How did you get to become a part of the My Darkest Days tour?

JC: I think it was a package deal; we sent some of our stuff to their management, kinda worked the details out on the business end and joined with them. Obviously we have never met before or anything like that but they’re some of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet. We love those guys…we actually saw Matt Walst not too long ago, they were…of course you know that he’s filling in for Three Days Grace right now, and we talked to him over at the Shinedown show out there, and they were playing a Battle Creek show same night we were.

UM: What’s the story behind “Some Kind of Perfect”?

JC: Well, I’ll answer that by saying this: “Some Kind of Perfect” and quite a few other songs that we have are very open to interpretation. Sometimes when I write, I draw from a couple of different scenarios to influence me to get me the vibe and “Some Kind of Perfect” is basically about having a goal and having dreams and then thinking this is what’s going to be perfect, which in this case, a band trying to make it and trying to make it in this music business and then they decided to leave it and expected me to go with them and I was at a crossroads in my life where I had to say “You know what? I can’t go” I believe in this enough to see it through and just to keep pushing on and we parted ways. I saw this movie…I forgot what they were talking about but the lady said to another person, “You need to update your fairy tale.” At that point, I had to update my idea of perfect and that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t the perfect that it began with, it was at least some kind of perfect. I think it’s all about following your heart and doing what you know you were born to do, regardless of anyone else in your life. That you can have the strength and the will and the determination to follow it through and see it through no matter what, and it can mess up along the way, get some scrapes and bruises along the way but it’s still perfect because it’s exactly what you set out to do and you didn’t let anyone push you away from that. Like I said, it’s very interpretive so people can pull their own feeling from it and relate to it in different ways and I think that’s the best thing about music in itself is that when people write, it’s not always what the listener thinks it is, and the listener can…I know I found myself growing up, hearing songs and then being able to meet the guy that wrote the song and I was like “I had no idea the way I felt about that situation in my life until I heard your song and that’s exactly how I felt about it.” I think it’s cool to be able to connect with people in that way.

UM: What does your music reflect about you guys?

JC: That we have a really good time on stage. Our live shows and our music go hand in hand. When we did this record, we wanted it to be big, we wanted it to be loud, and we wanted to write these songs that people could grab a hold of and sing with us, because it’s a party. When people pay money and spend the time to see us do something, they want the connection and that’s all about that for us, it’s all about connecting with the audience and connecting with each other on stage and everybody is looking at everybody having a good time. Our music, it reflects us as people; we’re the band that says what everybody else is thinking but they’re afraid to say it. All of our music is honest, it’s real, it’s not a over-fabrication of anything, and I think that’s why we’ve related so well on these tours that we’ve done so far, and the fact that our first major tour was with All That Remains and Nonpoint, they’re metal bands, and I’m sitting there going, “Holy shit, these guys are helping us with our launch…” And I love metal, my guitar player Ed was in a metal band and I used in a metal band, so I mean, it’s sort of blunt but we’re just rock ‘n’ roll. We got up there and every night after night after night, everybody got it, and everybody dug it. We never got a bad review, we always went up and gave it 110% every single night and I think people gravitated towards it because it was honest because we talk about it on stage and we get off stage and we live it. And it’s real and it’s…I think that’s what it is: it’s live, it’s loud, it’s honest, but hopefully it’s catchy enough to where it sticks in your head a little bit.

UM: Favorite venue and why?

JC: Oh, man! It’s a toss up, actually, and I’m not saying this because I’m biased but Rams Head is one and The Machine Shop is the other, and they’re for the exact same reasons: the stage, the sound, the atmosphere at both venues are incredible. The fans that come out and the people that come out are so ready to go. It’s not like they show any prejudice towards any other band, it’s not like the crowd that comes and sit in the back until the headliner comes on. These guys are fucking ready. Both places and we loved it; man, and we were…it’s actually the first time we played at both of those places on the My Darkest Days tour. We had five, six hundred people at Rams Head and I think The Machine Shop sold out, so it was amazing. Those are the two of the ones that stick out. I still watch YouTube videos of the Rams Head show; it was one of my favorite shows I’ve ever played. It’s just the energy and the crowd, we got off stage and everybody was so cool, everybody wanted to hang out…it’s what we live for, it’s what we love to do.

UM: What do you guys do during your down time?

JC: I sit around and write a lot, plus seeing new cities, we’ll go and see different things. My drummer plans on seeing every capital of every city, we’ll go see the sites and what not, if we have time. A lot of times we’re hanging out at radio stations and going to get set up and…this and that, but a couple of the guys like to hit up the casinos and blow a little money, some of the other guys like to get a little bit of their drink on and hanging out, meeting some of the local people. We sit on the bus for long enough; you’re around everybody, all day so sometimes we like to split up; sometimes we go in pairs, sometimes we don’t go out. At the same time, it’s kind of like whatever; it depends on where we are. We’ll sit and write, we like to play Black Ops, I don’t ever play video games…I’m not good at it at all. I’ll sit around and play Black Ops and…I’m big into movies so just normal stuff. Stuff to pass the time when you don’t have anything going on.

UM: When composing a song, where do your ideas come from and how do they evolve?

JC: I just write about life…I write about my life and the things going on and things that I’ve learned, thing’s that I’m feeling; sometimes it’s in the past, sometimes it’s present, sometimes it’s things that I want later on in life and it’s a product of what that moment does to me right then. We sat down and said we were going to try and write good songs. We weren’t going to stick to any kind of genre or anything like that, and we were just going to write, to write good songs. I personally feel like that’s what we did. I don’t know what the rest of the world thinks, I hope they think the same thing but it’s just…I don’t know…it’s just life and stuff that we care about and stuff that happened to us. We’re musicians, we’re all artists and we’re all just a bunch of crazy fuckers.

UM: What does music mean to you?

JC: Ah, man…music…it’s a hard thing to say, you know, ‘cause I don’t know if there’s a word that…it’s a paramour, it’s a drug, an addiction; music is life and it’s a living and breathing thing. It’s the opiate of the masses. No one that I have ever met that does not connect with music in someway, you know, that it affects their life…it’s the energy. Sometimes it’s food, sometimes you get lost and that’s all you need is music. Sometimes you don’t need physical food; sometimes it quenches the thirst or solves your problem…I don’t know…it gives people hope. I mean it’s all the same things to us too. We got into this because we love music and we love the creative process of music…it’s the only thing we know. This is the most important thing to me, this is the only thing I know how to do and for me, it’s life.