The release of a debut album is always a monumental occasion, and that’s no different for Fallen To Flux. Although the London-based alternative metallers had already put out two EPs before making Transitions, the four-piece – vocalist/guitarist Oli Clipsham, guitarist Björn Gugu, bassist Luke Walley and drummer Declan Brown – took their sweet time to make sure that every aspect of the record was absolutely perfect. After all, as the old wives’ saying goes, you only get to make your first album once.
“We were convinced that this was so much better than the stuff we’d done before,” says Gugu, who’s originally from Austria, “so we wanted to give it everything we’ve got. That meant investing as much time as needed to get everything right.”
“We definitely rushed our first two records,” adds Clipsham. “I remember with our first EP we got the mixes back and were like ‘Quick! Put it on YouTube!’ So we wanted to do it properly this time. We definitely hold onto those EPs as part of our development and as a sign of where we’ve come from, but we also like to see this as a step up. It’s nice to have those things as a legacy, but in terms of something that’s very much us – as opposed to us trying to sound like our influences – this record is what Fallen To Flux is. It’s truly a milestone for us.”
Written towards the end of their stint at university, Transitions isn’t specifically about that time in their lives, but it nevertheless draws a lot of inspiration from that state of flux and uncertainty - hence the album title - and transposes it onto larger, more universal and philosophical situations.
“Most of the lyrics on the record are motivated by these perspective-shifting moments you can have in life,” explains Clipsham, who wrote the lyrics to all but two of the album’s songs. “I changed a lot during uni, and I realised a lot of things about the typical working world and the typical progression of life - that it was all a big misconception and quite hollow in a lot of ways. So it started there and extended to all these preconceptions people have in life that can get turned upside down pretty quick.”
Formed in 2012, it’s still early days for the band, but with the release of Transitions comes a whole string of hopes and ambitions, both inn terms of the band’s hopes and aspirations and also within the fabric of their songs – combining aggressive metalcore with nuanced, gentle melodies, Fallen To Flux weave those two elements together in a delicate and intelligent manner. Much of that, it seems, is down to Gugu’s background in classical music, but also the band’s desire to break and defy conventional boundaries with their music.
“A lot of bands try to be as brutal as possible,” he says, “with ever more ridiculous breakdowns. Sometimes it sounds really good, but I often wonder if there’s any meaning or emotion in it, or whether bands are just trying to one up one another. That’s where we try to be different - we want there to be an epicness to our songs and a sense of harmony, instead of just butchering everyone’s eardrums as much as possible.”
“I’m never going to put a cap on our ability to continue to develop and explore,” adds Clipsham. “I think I would be afraid to say ‘Great! We’ve found something – let’s stick with it forever’ but we certainly think that as a band we’ve found something that worked very well for us on this album. We found a really great balance and we worked really hard to find it.”
Of course, that ambition extends beyond the songs themselves and into their goals for the band itself.
“We’re ambitious types,” admits Clipsham. “We’ve got a lot better at taking it one step at a time, but if you want to zoom out and go big picture, this is definitely something we want to be making a living from. We’re not kidding ourselves abut it being a long way to go, but we’d love to be able to play shows and write music and tour the world as a profession. So we’ll see what traction the album gets and go from there!”
Fallen To Flux are on tour now. The band’s debut album Transitions will be released in August.