Call Falck is a band of Willamette students that performs rock, indie and pop music around Salem. Tom Farley (‘19), the band’s guitarist and vocalist, and Andrew Weiner (‘19), the drummer, shared their band history, creative influence and changing avenues for aspiring musicians. Follow Call Falck on Instagram @callfalckband for info about upcoming performances and new music.
When did you first learn to play instruments?
Weiner: I started playing music in 2005. I played piano for two years and absolutely hated it. I tried guitar and bass, but I was bad at it. Then, I started officially taking lessons for drums around 2010. I think I found out around seventh grade that I’m a rhythmically-oriented person. In 2009, and this is going to say a lot about me, Beatles Rock Band came out. Now, I watch a lot of YouTube videos, so I would watch people play the game, and drums looked like something I could do. I got super invested in watching people play on drums. I started drumming with pencils on my desk, everywhere. I finally convinced my parents to let me get a drum set and started taking lessons. Despite all my experience reading music, I’m still just bad at it, but I learned quickly because I love listening almost as much as playing.
Farley: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12. My first instrument was actually violin; I played in elementary school because they make you play an instrument. It was either that or a recorder, so I played violin in orchestra all through middle school. Eventually I was like “Hey, this sucks,” and moved on to something cooler, which to me is guitar. I went straight to electric. My first guitar was a rental Fender Strat (stratocaster). They (electric and acoustic guitars) are different, but the skills are completely transferable. You kind of find different vibes for each one. I started playing piano senior year of high school, so pretty late. I was working at a summer camp and had all of these lead sheets in front of me. Learning piano for that was really helpful, and it came pretty naturally. I took a music theory class freshman year, which helped a lot too.
When did Call Falck form?
Weiner: We started playing together as a band spring of sophomore year.
Farley: Our first gig was at Wulapalooza. That was the only gig that we did sophomore year when we were first getting started. The whole spring semester we spent prepping for Wula. After that it dissipated a little bit, and we brought it back together last spring.
What do you like about playing in a group instead of playing solo?
Farley: Overall, I like playing in a band more because there’s more space to jam. It’s a long process jamming with myself, being able to solo and play chords at the same time. Accompanying yourself is a really high level for music, so it’s so nice to have a band where someone is playing chords and the other guitarist is soloing. Bringing that into songwriting is really fun for me. Solo sets are just kind of something I do to practice stage presence and to learn how to interact with a crowd. There’s the music aspect, how good your chops are, but engaging with a crowd is another art on its own. You want to give off an impression of who you are and what your music means to you. That’s why I do open mics whenever I can, to practice. Being a good performer means you can adapt to whatever crowd is listening to you.
Weiner: I’d rather accompany and write drum parts. I tried to write songs for such a long time and it always came out as sad, angsty poetry. I like creating drum parts for other stuff more. I was in cover bands my first two years at Willamette, which was fun, but whenever we’d do remixes of songs I’d have a lot of fun. Being in Call Falck is great because I get to create original music.
Are you a big believer in creative influence? Who has influenced your personal sound?
Farley: Definitely. There’s so many times where I write something and go, “Oh, this is just like so-and-so.” All musicians have influences. That’s why they’re able to create so much. They find something that compels them to make their own music. I think some people have more control over their influences than others. High-level musicians have really good control over what they put out and how they want their sound to be, and more amateur musicians aren’t as practiced in it.
Weiner: My biggest influences when it comes to music are the Beatles and Blink-182. Those two inform my music, and then I’ve expanded from there. So definitely Ringo Starr and Travis Barker. When I started playing drums there was this guy called Luke Holland, who was one of the first people to do YouTube drum covers. Luke Holland is who got me into metal. “Texas In July,” “August Burns Red,” I just took off from there. So he was a big influence on me. I was definitely a Warped Tour (music festival) kid. I went for five years, and every summer was absolutely incredible. I first went in 2012. One of the bands I really liked from YouTube was going to be out that year, so I bought the tour’s compilation CD. That got me even further into pop punk. I got to meet some of my favorite drummers, people I really look up to. I plan on getting a Warped Tour tattoo at the end of the year. It was definitely my aesthetic from when I was 15 to around 20.
If you or a friend are a musician, filmmaker, writer or visual artist and would like to be featured in The Collegian, contact <dcjohnston>.