as you might have heard, we have found a new rehearsal space. Our last sanctuary was destroyed by evil forces early in November and we were homeless for nearly two months with gear stored at Dave and Marty grandmother’s garage. On Christmas day, our friend Vítek notified us about new rehearsal spaces being build in Prague. We acted immediately and moved in the first week of the New Year. It’s funny that the new haven is located near a bridge, which was closed two days after our first rehearsal. Such is the price for playing heavy metal too loud. We all agreed it was Roman’s fault that the bridge had nearly collapsed.
Bridge destruction aside, we’re finally renting our own heavy metal bastion again. And a new place means new stories, which leads us to one story we wanted to share with you. It happened this Wednesday. The place is build like a punk fortress with the ultimate purpose to serve the bands. It’s both inconspicuous and impenetrable, so that all the valuable cargo rests in peace while the bands are away. There are several rooms providing shelter for numerous bands, therefore there are many keys to different doors and bars to achieve the desired status of ultimate security. If you want to get to the toilet, you have to pass two locked doors and two bars. Be quick or be dead from the Iron Maiden has a unique meaning at this place.
Hold the door, hold the door…
Every band plays really heavy, metal at its best, and you can usually hear and feel whether or not there is a band behind the wall. Nevertheless, we had been instructed, that it was mandatory to check the place before locking it all down. We were soon to find why.
We had our regular rehearsal, polishing our new song, the King of the Hill, and we were banging the stuff pretty loud. Roman is punching his kit like a madman, so the rest of the guys usually turn the volume knobs to the right until you hear Davey’s bass shaking your junk. It was impossible to overhear us. Well, after the rehearsal, we unlocked the door leading out of the building, and we were shocked: The door would not open. There was a steel bar on the outside, locked by the band leaving before us. The door were opening to the outside and the bar was attached to it so closely, that it was impossible to move the door at all. Hence there was no way to open it from the inside. We tried calling the landlord, but it was 10 p.m. and no one was answering. No other exits we knew of and every door was locked anyway. There was only one window with another bar attached. We were slowly accepting the fact, that we might have actually spent the night sleeping on the floor of our rehearsal room.
What would Bruce Dickinson do?
We started making fun of the whole situation and since Marty was talking about reading the Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography, Dave taunted: “So, Marty, what would Bruce Dickinson do in this situation?” First there came some jokes about tearing the place up by building a battering ram or something, but then Roman suggested unmounting the window bar from the inside. There were some solid heavy metal screw-threads bolt on the wall, so Marty put the Leatherman knife out of his pocket and after several moments, we unmounted the bar with pliers. We had Marty sneak out of the window to open the door bar from the outside. We then spent several more minutes mounting the window bar back again and soon were on our way across the broken bridge.
Our landlord received two messages that night:
“Help, we’ve been locked in the building.”
“Nevermind, we got out, but you might wanna tighten the nuts on the window bar.”
We felt like we just did a pretty MacGyver stunt, Richard Dean Anderson would be so proud. This story is a confirmation of the popular musicians saying, that every problem on earth can be solved using a pocket multi-tool, WD-40 or duct tape.
just wanted to tell you that we’re not slacking at Falcar. Au contraire!
Well, Roman is on a trip to Slovakia to visit his relatives and Patrik has some important business, too, so we had to skip our rehearsal today, but anyway… Continue reading
Last Saturday, we played an immense show in the heart of Brno. The event was held by the goblin tribe Snaga and we must admit that they managed it to be really impressive! Upon entering the venue, two goblin mannequins clad in full armour were guarding a subtle guy, who was checking our tickets. The merch table was full of boar tusks, wood and metal and the stage was decorated by a pair of beautiful totems made of animal skulls and other epic stuff, each placed on one side of the scene.
Last weekend, we were shooting our very first music video.
And guess what? It was AWESOME.
We spent quite a while looking for a perfect place to take the moving pictures and, as always, deadline was our biggest motivation. Our director, Martin Čumpelík, insisted on Přední kopanina, a beautiful quarry not far from Prague. He and Davey went to the owner, found he was a good guy and managed to get permission to film there.
When the day had come and we came to the place, we were gazing at the quarry, eyes open wide. It was a great place indeed. And it rocked. And most of us got sunburned, as the light was not only good for shooting, but also for shining upon us all day like mad…constantly and without boundaries.
The ringing of the division bell had begun early in the morning. The gate opened at the dawn and the crew immediately started to prepare the scene. It was awesome to have someone experienced by our side. Both our director Martin (a.k.a. “Daddy”) and the camera operator Korálek (a.k.a. “Momma”) were leading us towards our goal and we were really happy we had confided ourselves to them. They were the brains, we were the muscles. It worked well.
We took a few pics on our phones during shooting. You may want to check them on our Instagram account.
Apart from those two, we also had Rikka, the clapper loader, and a bunch of fellow Keepers standing by our side. Each one of them proved to be an indispensable part of the crew. They pushed their own limits for the sake of the shooting and we simply can’t thank them enough, especially our good friend and Keeper Monťák, who spent all day in armor acting as the crusader. He’s looking really impressive in his metal dress, isn’t he?
The shooting was divided into three sections – the day part, the dusk part and the night part. The day part was the easiest one, we had plenty of time and the shots were not difficult. However, as the night was slowly approaching, we had to be effective and the number of takes was limited. The most tricky shot in the dusk part was the one, in which Marty had to destroy his guitar. We had no more than a single attempt, so we rehearsed it a lot. Luckily for us all, it went well.
The night scene was probably the most emotional experience of all day. A game of shadows. The Keepers were moshing, covered with flames. The stones were burning and Martin and Rikka were spitting blazing fire everywhere. And the four of played like there was no tomorrow. We will never, ever forget those wonderful moments.
The Big Thanks
We’d like to give thanks to the Metal Crusade Crew one more time. You guys were absolutely awesome! This wouldn’t have happened without you and we are really happy, that you keep Falcar alive.
So, to sum it all up: The Metal Crusade music video has been shot and is right now heading to the cutting room. No worries, we’ll let you know when it will be out. Oh, and don’t forget to follow the Metal Crusade 😉
Did you miss us?
Here comes the second part of our studio report. In case you didn’t read the first part, you may view it under this link. Just a brief recapitulation: Up to this point, we managed to record drums, bass guitar and some guitar parts. There was no need for Roman to arrive in the very early morning, therefore it was decided that he and Patrik would arrive before noon.
We expected the vocals to be recorded by that time. Oh, how foolish we were! That was probably the most valuable of all the lessons we were given in the studio. Since it was really, really early, it took Marty and Dave a bit of time to make their voices function properly. When you’re used to singing in the evening every single day, it’s a severe violation of your biorhythm if you strive for the maximum performance right in the morning. The guys were both aware of this fact, yet they underestimated the impact.
Therefore when Roman and Patrik arrived, Marty and Dave were nearly in the middle of the recording – dozen of takes had passed and they finally started to be warmed up and ready to rock. We still had some time left, so we did a lot of takes of Marty’s vocal lines to save Štěpán the pain of editing every single note in the software later. As usual, after the thorough warm-up, it only took Dave two or three takes to make it plausible.
Not long after lunch, Patrik started to record the rest of his guitar parts. The process was almost exactly the same as in Marty’s case; the rhythm parts went well and the solos needed some time to finally sound great. Patrik actually had two of them in the ballad. First of them was fairly easy to record, since he’d known it by heart and had played it the same way all the time, but the second one consisted partly on improvisation. But when you have to improvise in the studio, you either play it awesome or play it again. So we set the recording to an infinite loop and together we tried to dive into the atmosphere of the song.
After a while, we found ourselves in a dead end. It was pretty obvious that trying over only makes things worse, so we halted the process and let that perfectionist singer of us have a couple of additional takes of the vocal line. In the meantime, Patrik was fine-tuning his solo in the control room.
The dusk was slowly approaching and Marty and Dave had to return the borrowed car. They packed everything and headed back to Kladno while Patrik and Roman were recording the last piece of our puzzle. For some reason, it all worked like a charm and our axe man nailed it after few attempts, unconstrained by the constant trying.
Half of the band was already home when the recording officially ended. The second half of the band packed all the stuff and set sails into the harsh winter weather. The recorded tracks had been laid to rest and they were to be resurrected the following week when Štěpán and Marty entered the mixing session. More on that topic in the nearest future. Keep on!
Greetings! Our new single is getting polished right now and we’re about to decide how and when to launch it to the outer space and change the history of metal. There is still a lot of work to be done, time is flying like mad and few weeks have passed since the recording session. Here’s the story of how it all went in the studio.
As usual, it all started with a pretty tense situation; the studio we had booked before let us down exactly ten days before the planned recording. There was an excuse like there was no sound guy to take care of us or something like that and we were offered another session in the future. It would have been an easy task to give up and obey, but Marty felt betrayed and went berserk instantly.
It was a totally ridiculous plan to make call to every single plausible studio and ask whether they had available sessions for next weekend, but it worked like a charm. We had three studios on the way by end of the following day and Soundyard studio was the choice number one. Good gear, location fairly close to Prague, fair prices and a guy named Štěpán, who Marty knew before and turned out to be the co-owner of the studio. We stroke a bargain in a minute and were really looking forward for our very first studio session.
Late for the Funeral
This was it, the Day of the Judgement, our moment in the sun, the D-Day. We had waited for so long…and yet we were able to arrive late to our very first studio session. When we left the rehearsal room, the delay appeared to be more than an hour, therefore we hit the gas and occasionally didn’t pay much attention to the speeding limit. We arrived fifteen minutes late. Everything in the studio was ready, the guys were cool and we all had a good feeling about it. Our new home for the weekend had been introduced to us while we were getting familiar with the equipment, Roman started with the construction of his siege equipment.
The construction of the drum set took quite a bit of a time. The original plan was to record one song every day, but when we saw how difficult it was to wire every piece of Roman’s gear, we decided to record one instrument at a time and it did pay off. Our recording engineer Kryštof turned to be a drummer as well, therefore they both fine-tuned every single detail of the drum sound. The monitoring system was hooked up with Dave playing along to the song from the control room – those two are inseparable. The recording started…and was finished in less than half an hour. Each song took no more than two or three takes. Roman just did his best, packed his gear and was free for the rest of the weekend.
You Shall not Bass
Few minutes later, Dave was sitting comfortably in the control room, ready to rock. But he had to wait for nearly two more hours, because…his bass was humming and we didn’t know where it came from. We tried everything – different sound card slot, different cable, different amp, we even tried different bass – but it just kept humming. The strange thing was, that when anyone else had touched the bass, there was no hum. We assumed it must have been something with Dave. Perhaps he was so metal that his body corrupted the electrical field or something. We were eventually able to set all the elements to the point where the hum almost completely disappeared and the session was free to proceed. Dave aced it the same way as Roman did before – two takes and the thing was done. Unbelievable.
Quick setup and the guitars were almost ready. This time the recording was not as fast, as Marty wanted to try his new axe first. After few attempts, he stuck to his good old guitar and finally began recording. It took a couple of tries to get all the lines recorded a few more to get the solo right. Actually, there was one unplanned mistake played during the last take and Roman liked it so much he eventually persuaded all of us that it sounded great and it should have been used on the actual single.
For Inn of the Last Home, the acoustic guitar was required and we took it the most acoustic way possible – only condenser mics – no pickups whatsoever. We had an electro-acoustic guitar as a backup but made no use of it.
Halfway to Hell
Patrik’s guitar parts were the last tracks to be recorded on the first day and we all knew from the beginning that we wouldn’t be able to finish it until the end of the session. After some takes, we were able to record all the Metal Crusade lines and the majority of rhythm parts for Inn of the Last Home. The solos however had to wait until Sunday. But he was both prepared and determined. And metal.
Okay, that’s all for the first day. We left everything where it was and were heading home to enjoy a short slumber. What happened next? Wait for the second part of the Falcar Studio Report!
Bad news – Christmas is coming.
Christmas has always been a very painful time for all the workaholics in the band. The rehearsals are cancelled, there’s absolutely no chance to grab the axe and smash some chords or spend the whole day working on new material, because you’re supposed to be with your family and celebrate…
Well, enough for the sad part. We just wanted to tell you that we’re all having a great times with our relatives, partying hard and enjoying our holiday to maximum.
And – we have a gift for you. We didn’t want to post stupid pics of the band in silly red clothes tagging virtually everyone on Facebook nor did we want to rape some carols by metalizing it. Not this time. This year, we decided to share with you the chords for Hic Sunt Leones pt. I – The Lion Within. It’s a very special “campfire edition” similar to what Marty is playing on this 2-year-old video.
The way how it’s played at Falcar shows is totally different; the song is transposed to different scales and is full of additional instrument lines, harmonies orchestral arrangements etc., but that’s not was not our intent for this gift. Most of you don’t even have the orchestra like we do! Therefore we’re just sharing the very raw chords in a very simple scale (with, to your great relief, only one barré chord), so that you can grab a guitar and try to play it at home, ace it around the campfire with friends and so forth. It’s only about your voice and your piece of wood. No additional instruments required (but highly recommended, when you’ll be sitting around the campfire).
So, have a great Christmas, enjoy playing Hic Sunt Leones I and see you next year!
If you click on the image below, you’ll get the PDF version of the chords, so that you might print it and play it one day.