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Fazeley 92
21st June 2005, 05:43 AM
So there I was doing my first celebrity interview and was I nervous? There's no question about it at all! They say UB40's bassist is the silent, resilient man of a group and I would almost agree. But then things got pretty good. It was tough getting through the nervousness and the thick British accent sprinkled with Rastafari terms but in the end it was a great interview and some urban myths about the band got put straight. Like the man himself said "'twas wicked man", says RJ Pearly on her interview with Earl Falconer.

Pearly: It's been an incredible journey for UB40, from filling out unemployment forms to making it a household name in reggae so what else do you have to say about this?

Earl Falconer: Well you know it's been... we've had basically a good life out of this, making music together and its basically you know our friendship 'cause like we knew each other before the band and everything. The privilege of playing music and going around the world. You know we really appreciate it basically and then we really feel lucky thatthings have like kind worked out good for us. We just love touring and making records and it's like a really good life, so we really appreciate it.

Pearly: The cover of UB40's latest album certainly showssigns of UB40's former, radical self so is that what the band is trying to get back at?

Earl Falconer : Well, you know we've always been the same you know, we've always written the same kind of albums. If you check out our albums, except of the Labour of Love projects. There are always political nuances, though we write love songs as well. But we've always been a political band and we're always watching what's going on in the world and that's always what keeps us going when we write new lyrics and stuff . So it's just a continuation of what we've always done you know. We're always writing stuff about things we're interested in and if we think something's wrong. Yeah! We kind of pride ourselves on being political. That's part of UB40 and it's always going to be that way.
Pearly: But the social and political activist stand was extremely evident in the first few albums we got from the band taking for example the very first album Signing Off and the album that followed it (Present Arms). But then we saw UB40 easing away from this and coming out with much mellower albums, for example, Promises and Lies and for that matter all the way till Homegrown and we didn't see much evidence of the original stand which the band was so famous for. So what do you have to say about that?

Earl Falconer: Well like I say, if you really check the lyrics, you know like in there are a lot of political songs in there and Promises and Lies, there's a lot of political songs on that as well about things that were happening at that time. It's probably because we're known for our covers, probably more than our own stuff. People seem to thinks that or they might think we've kind of moved away from that political and social side of the lyrics. If you really check it out I think you'll find that it's just a long line... a continual line of protest songs all the way. They might not be like upfront and in your face. They're subtle and have double meaning or whatever, but I think you'll find that most of our stuff is always politically motivated when it comes to writing lyrics.

Pearly: Well frankly speaking, for a lot of people, reggae as an active voice for social and political protest died out with Bob Marley and the Wailers so do you think there's some truth in the matter or is it closer to the truth than it should be?-

Earl Falconer: Well you know it's just what people are interested in really. I mean you can only do what's good for you. I mean like we want our music and certain things motivate us to write our stuff, but if people don't want to listen to it or are not interested in it.... then you know that it..(laughs)...ain't much you can do about it really. Obviously Bob Marley is always going to be played because his songs are bad (rastafari for Real Good) he's still relevant today. Obviously we've seen changes in our musical career. We've seen the Berlin Wall come down and we've seen Communism ended in Russia and it's like a lot of things have improved over the years in the life of the band. But obviously there's more things that need sorting aye!. So the subject matter's there and Bob Marley's songs will always be relevant as long as the world is not a perfect place. So the same with us, we'll always be writing about stuff until things get better (ironic laugh) and hopefully we won't have to write about things anymore.

Pearly: Well we have to just hope for that. Going down to your latest album, you've managed to depict all the world's major issues from wars to starvation to terrorism and even economic imperialism so how did you get these images together and what effect do you expect from it?
Earl Falconer: Well you know, obviously the name of the album is Who You Fighting For and obviously it's about the war that just happened. It's hard to find images sometimes to sum up what you're trying to say, and we're just lucky cause we did look at a lot of images and then the guy who actually came up with the idea... suggested these different people that made up for a lot of other people on the front of the album and we just kind of fine-tuned it and said what we wanted to say basically. And it's pretty obvious when you see it. It's quite a simple thing but it's very, very powerful at the same time and you can't always get that, you can look for it but you don't always find it so it's just luck at the time. We're really happy with it and it says a lot.
Pearly: Well going back once once again to the reason behind the band having worked with so many covers. You certainly emphasised more on working on covers than your own original numbers at one point of time. So what was the reason behind that?

Earl Falconer: Well ... there are four covers and six original tunes (in the latest album) and then when we were putting it all together, we kind of went back to basics. We all got into rehearsals and jammed a lot of numbers. We actually came up with forty different pieces of music and then we started to write lyrics to them and then it was like people suggested different kinds of covers. So by the time we recorded everything, then we demo it first and then pick and then work on stuff. Then we have to cut it down, which is a good thing (hearty laugh), you cut it down to your best numbers whether they're original or whether they're original cause obviously you want to give quality.

UB40's bass player, Earl Falconer, in an exclusive interview on Spin Sessions, June 3, 2000 hrs.... Tune in!
Pearly: Ok changing topic again, we've seen bands with as little as three members having fallouts on different issues whether they've been friends or not, so how on earth has UB40 and their brotherhood of eight managed to work together for so long and so well? It's been twenty-five years now.

Earl Falconer:Yeah! It's because we actually knew each other long before the band. We've actually known each other for thirty years now 'cause we actually met up at secondary school when we was like eleven years old.Our friendship was long before the band was even thought of. It wasn't until we left school when we was nineteen, when we found ourselves unmployed, that we decided to get the band together. We used to go see other bands and we'd think now 'they aint that brilliant a musician'. It was good staying together and that gave us the confidence to get our band together.

Pearly : But I thought you guys met at an Unemployment Bureau (UB, of the UB40 is reported as derived from there) like I've read in a lot of biographies...

Earl Falconer: Nah! That's kind of an urban myth really. There's a little bit of truth in it, but like I said we went to school together. Me, Ali, Jimmy, Bryan went to the same school. Robin is Ali's brother and Mickey, the keyboard player was married to his sister and Jimmy the drummer is married to Mickey's elder sister. Norman Hassan again was Ali's best mate from the neighbourhood.

Pearly: A question we cannot leave out of course, is how was your experience with India when you last came and when can we expect UB40 to come visit again?

Earl Falconer: Yeah! We'd obviously want to come back cause we had a fantastic time when we had done the Bollywood Awards. I loved it. I fell in love with India, I think most people do. When you come to India from abroad you can't help but fall in love with India. We was treated really well. The music over there is fantastic. I was watching MTV all the time basically, in my hotel room. All the Pop songs, it was wicked man. I was surprised just how modern the music was. It had all the types whether it was Hip Hop or whatever and it obviously had the Indian flavour in it . It was wicked man, I just loved it.

Pearly: What about tour plans for Who You Fighting For? Is India included in the list?

Earl Falconer: Well we're just kind of starting up now. We'd just been to St. Lucia where we've done a Jazz festival. We're in Turkey next week and through the summer we have festivals in Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark and then going in for November, we've got our own British tour all around England. After that is still being put together. Hopefully India is going to be there. We want to come over and do one in Jakarta, Hong Kong and that side of the world. But at the moment it's still being put together. So hopefully you'll see us there next year, in the new year.

http://www.worldspaceasia.com/modules.php?name=WS_Home&art=readfeature&sid=342

sandyub404
21st June 2005, 05:51 AM
WHAT A GREAT READ,CHEERS FOR LETTING US ALL SEE IT. graemlins/beer.gif graemlins/beer.gif

Julio Marchena
21st June 2005, 07:26 AM
It was wicked 'n wild!

Thanks a lot! graemlins/smokin.gif

Just like the motto if you is jamaican!

Lord F
21st June 2005, 07:32 AM
Great read mate cheers graemlins/beer.gif


graemlins/bounceblue.gif graemlins/bouncered.gif graemlins/bounceblue.gif graemlins/bounceblue.gif

MAYBETOMORROW
21st June 2005, 07:36 AM
Thanks for that :cool:

*Cookie*
21st June 2005, 07:50 AM
cheers for posting that :)

gaynorubfan05
21st June 2005, 07:53 AM
thanks
it was a very good read


from gaynor :)

ubs4me
21st June 2005, 08:50 AM
CHEERS :)

monie
21st June 2005, 09:27 AM
great!!thanks!

elaine2005
21st June 2005, 09:36 AM
Thank you for that !
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Carlene Lydia
21st June 2005, 09:38 AM
Thanks for that! :D

Omodumbi II
21st June 2005, 04:40 PM
Very good read, thank you! graemlins/beer.gif

cheryl-anne
21st June 2005, 04:52 PM
thanx for taking the time to type all that out for us.
it was a good read graemlins/beer.gif

Fazeley 92
21st June 2005, 05:09 PM
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Good Ambition
21st June 2005, 05:10 PM
That was an absorbing read. Thanks Faze. :cool:

Jolene
21st June 2005, 06:19 PM
Thanks for that!!

graemlins/love.gif Jolene

Dutchess
21st June 2005, 06:44 PM
thanks was a good read!! i know someone is gonna LOVE this one graemlins/bigwink.gif