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Mikaela Salazar of Falling Through April talks “Zodiac”, joining the band and the big year ahead

Interview by Kristin Welcome

Alternative rocker’s Falling Through April, which originated in 2011; are slated to release their new album “Zodiac”, which debuts on January 19, 2018. With new vocalist, Mikaela Salazar, fronting the band, Falling Through April is set to deliver an inspirational and moving album, which will have listeners energized.  I had a chance to preview the album and catch up with Mikaela Salazar. Salazar is bursting with passion for the music she creates. We talked about the creation of the album, and the year ahead for Falling Through April.

Me: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, how are you doing?

Salazar: Awesome. I’m really excited to do another interview. It’s been a minute. Good way to start the new year.

Me: I had the privilege to preview the album “Zodiac”, coming out for release January 19, 2018. Where can we pick up a copy of the album?

Salazar: If you want a hard copy you can go to our website, simply, fallingthroughapril.com, I would totally suggest to even preorder it before it’s released. It’s coming up pretty soon; because we are giving away some freebies with that purchase. For 9.99 you get a wall poster that we signed, a guitar pick with our name on it, and stickers. So I would do that, otherwise on the website is a good place to go, or if you know you want it on your iPad, or your phone, or whatever, you can go to iTunes, that’s a good place, so you have some options.

Me: Having listened to the song “Desperate Measures” I can certainly tell that it will be a hit for Falling Through April can you speak about the direction of that song?

Salazar: Definitely, yeah that was the first song we picked because we felt like it was the strongest song for sure. One that represented the sound we wanted to portray for “Zodiac”, and the main story pretty much of finding yourself, staying strong to who you are. I know this world has a lot of influence on people just kind of … what you wear, how you act, what you do with your life, you know. For me I have always been brought up thinking that everyone has their own purpose, their own interest in this world, and we should find that. Just stick with that and not let anyone change us, so you hear in the chorus we come to life, fire burning in our eyes, it’s like keep that passion alive, and that’s what that song really means to me. I hope it influences others to stay true to themselves.

Me: That is such a strong message, I can see that coming across on this song. Can you speak about the goals that Falling Through April has overall?

Salazar: The guys are very passionate when they write, every track, every note, I came along to this band a few years after they’ve already been together; gave me a bunch of tracks to listen to and pick through to write to, and I just kind of let their music speak to me, so I know that they have so much emotion behind their music as well, and together we have been able to make a full package of different styles. I don’t know we have different styles on the album “Zodiac” something for everybody in it. They let me have the freedom to say what I want to say, but thankfully when I bring back my ideas to the guys they are like, “you hit it, this is exactly what we wanted, the mood in the song, you felt it, and now we feel it.” What we want from our music is to move people and make it that they can feel us, you know music is very impacting, we just want people to feel it in their heart. We all have the same mind set of what our music, how we want it to be heard and felt.

Me: I read that you joined the band in 2016, what was that like and how did that come about?

Salazar: They had a lead singer that chose another career path, they went looking online for a lead singer and I happened to be at the same time looking for a jam band. I didn’t think it would get this serious. I am so grateful it did. But its funny I went online to try to find some people, I looked outside of my city really, I live in Columbia South Carolina; I figured Charlotte might have some committed artists. I knew the music scene was hot. I found them on Craigslist, their producer, manager, friend in Nashville ( Jon King) screened me, I sent a link to my Sound Cloud, and it was some recordings from the Garage Band app from my phone; so that was enough for him to realize that I might have something they were looking for. I tried out a month later, maybe; I actually wasn’t picked as first. I was so shy and I didn’t carry myself strong enough, but after a couple months they called me back and was like, “Hey you want to give it another shot?”, so I was like, “OK”. I was denied at first, but I realized I had to step it up if I wanted to be in this scene and make a difference, I have always loved writing music, and I got to do something different. It was really cool because it kind of brought me out of my shell, ever since then, in the summer, when they called me back we have just been working together, and they have been helping me come out of my shell a little bit more, and find myself in the music scene, and its been wonderful.

Me: How has it been working with a band which has been pretty well established, instead of finding a guitar player, drummer, etc. and forming your own band?

Salazar: It was an awful lot of pressure on me, but also kind of just pushed me to try to be a good as them, or to get back on that level. It was hard, but with the experience it was very helpful they taught me so much. Each month I was feeling one area; and they were just teaching me, and I would learn from it, and we got stronger together. It was good, I enjoyed it, but it was a lot of pressure though. It was intimidating.

Me: So what has been your favorite part of the recording process?

Salazar: the writing, just being able to create with them (the band) and hear their different ideas and then kind of change up; the writing part was a lot of fun for me. Coming up with different melodies, mixing around the lyrics. The lyrics were changed a lot.  Our producer, in Nashville, said I had a mouthful of lyrics, I wanted to say so much, but he helped me put it into an easier way to sing it; and different melodies, that was the most fun I had.

Me: From other interviews I have read, it looks like 2018 is slated to be a very busy year for Falling Through April? Can you talk about what you’re up too, and what touring plans you might have?

Salazar: Oh, yeah, it’s going to be our busiest. All the hard work we have put in in 2017 is going to come out this year, which is so exciting. Our tour is kicking off the 28th, here in North Carolina actually, and not quite sure where we will go next. I do not have all the details but you guys can follow us on our Facebook calendar. After that we have some other shows, in California, Pennsylvania. We have a show at a college, they booked us, and we come up in March. We will have a lot of fun there. Then we are just going to do a few shows from all over in that area, visit some family, and then over the summer time who knows. I am hoping we hop on the Warped Tour honestly, and kind of go from there. Everything is last minute, but we do have so many shows coming up; so it will be really fun, we are definitely going to go around the United States. I know we have a few favorite places like Arizona, and California we have to stop by.

Me: Now will this be your first time if you play a festival like warped tour, performing on a stage that large?

Salazar: yes definitely, I have done a few performances, and have had a big crowd, but doing it like a couple times a week, every day or something, that’s definitely new to me. I am preparing now.

Me: It definably sounds like a lot of exciting things are coming up this year for you. Can you talk about some of your favorite songs off “Zodiac” and why?

Salazar: yeah, let’s see, I think “With You in Mind” is definitely one of my favorite tracks, one of my strongest ones I think too. It is one you can listen to if you preorder the album on iTunes. It is one of the freebie tracks you can get before the release, and it really just talks about being present in the world rather than kind of living a facade. You know, kind of how people online portray an extravagant life but they are not really living it, or they show off like they are happy in their relationship or something and really they are not; and it just talks about living through a camera lens and you making these memories that don’t last, and instead of just looking at where you are and kind of just taking, or walking through life at a different pace, or perspective. That to me was really important. A couple of years ago I was in a dark place and it kind of helped me just to stop, slow down, look where you are, and find the happiness with that. So “With you in mind” it gets deep into that topic.

Me: Are there any other songs on the album that speak to elevating from a dark place?

Salazar: I tried to keep it as light as I could, there are a few for fun, kind of punky songs, talking about how I will never fall in love, you can’t keep me down, that type of thing. It was called “Better Off alone” that for me was a lot of fun. Then we have “Seven Tries” which was actually, I guess as light as it sounds, and as poppy as it feels, still talks about when you slip up in life, people give you even more chances and opportunities to fix that, and how important it is for me, in my life as a young adult it saved me. People gave me more chances to do better, to be better. “Seven Tries” is about that. I am sure many people can relate with. Most songs are hopeful uplifting songs. There’s a song called “Heart Sails” which kind of talks about coasting through life in a positive way. There are not too many dark songs, but we all get there some times.

Me: So to me the album seems thematic, is the message of Falling Through April, to help people up and find a place of strength?

Salazar: one of them definitely. We still like to have fun and live life to the fullest. This is just the beginning. A little introduction so we can connect and grab our listener’s attention. I think the next album will be much more fun I hope.

Me: So are there plans for another album already?

Salazar: We haven’t as a whole just because it’s so chaotic right now. I know personally I am always thinking of different songs and I know Jim (Siani, guitarist) is always having fun on his guitar thinking of different leads, and stuff like that. So I know a few of us like to play around on our own but together, as a band not just yet.

Me: What else are you working on creatively, have you done any videos?

Salazar: yeah, there is a link to our You Tube video for “Desperate Measures” which we filmed in Georgia, where they filmed “The Walking Dead”, so it kind of has that vibe, a post-apocalyptic feel to it and it was a lot of fun filming. I guess they said it has gone viral, it’s crazy in the first two weeks when we released it, in September, already like it has had 40,000 views, so people are obviously digging it. So definitely check it out. You Tube, “Desperate Measures” by Falling Through April. It was a lot of fun to film too.

Me: How does that feel that it’s gone viral, and over 40,000 viewers have watched the video?

Salazar: It was surreal. I stay humble though of course because I am just happy people really like what we are making. This is an art to me, and means a lot to me to share with people. I was a little nervous at first, but it is so great to get to know that people enjoy it, and I am inspired by people hitting me up, quoting from the lyrics. I’m like, “That’s what’s up, I love it that it speaks to you too, that is cool.” But I didn’t believe it either, at first I was like, “really 40,000 that’s insane”, but it has getting around. It is also playing at Footlocker, so if you’re out shopping for some shoes you might see our video pop up, it’s also at some gyms, and bars, and restaurants, going through the rotation of music videos. So that’s crazy exciting. It just means I am doing something right, and I am not going to stop here, and I can’t wait for the rest of this year to see how it goes.

Me: How did that come about that the video came available in places like Footlocker and other retailers?

Salazar: We have an amazing team working with us and pushing it out. I know our guitarist in the band, Danny Candia, he does a lot of the business for us, kind of like getting us shows booked. We also have an amazing publicist who pushes our album, our songs, and our music videos too; and they either approve or disapprove and so thankfully we get put up on their playlist.

Me: Will there be any other videos coming out in the near future?

Salazar: We think our next one will be for the song “Seven Tries” we are still trying to fit that in our budget right now, but probably by spring time hopefully. Nothing immediately.

Me: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about today, anything that you would like to tell the Totally Driven Readers?

Salazar: I would really just love you guys to follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and just stay up dated when we come in your area. So we can have some fun, play some music, and dance around, I’m really excited to get on the road and meet everybody and to get on the stage really. I am just excited. I love to travel. It’s been a while.

Me: Hopefully we see you on tour on some of the festivals this summer, and in the Pennsylvania area.

I wish you the best of luck with your touring and hopefully I’ll catch a couple of shows

Salazar: Thank you that would be awesome. Can’t wait to see everybody.

Me: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Salazar: No problem hope to see you and talk to you again. You take care.

 

Connect with FTA

Official Website: http://www.fallingthroughapril.com

iTunes pre-order link: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1308490780?ls=1&app=itunes

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077725FXK/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp

Google Play Music pre-order link: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Falling_Through_April_Zodiac?id=B6cybjgm4m6ulfbur4ssnhzyr3e&hl=en

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3nEKacGg0c9YYnMAhhQVFQ?play

Pandora: https://www.pandora.com/artist/falling-through-april/desperate-measures-single/ALJwrvZZ5h9jd7c

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FallingThroughApril

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bandfta

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fallingthroughaprilofficial

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FallingThroughApril

Bands in Town: http://www.bandsintown.com/FallingThroughApril


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