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Coasting : Issue 15 September 2010
COASTING MUSIC 4 By DAVID STEWART After the Fall on How Central Coast band After the Fall trumped Cold Play and U2 with their Commonwealth Games anthem. As if to prove the point, After the Fall front man Ben Windsor interrupts our interview mid-sentence. "Hey, look. It's just come on the television now..." Even if you don't recognise the band's name (which is taken from the title of an Elvis Costello song, by the way) you're likely to have heard their song, Desire. In fact, if you're just an occasional viewer of TEN Sport and ONE HD, you will definitely have heard the song. And in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October, you'll be hearing a lot more of the power- pop tune. The network is using the song as the soundtrack to a series of 33 inspirational ads, featuring a range of Australian athletes, to promote its coverage of the games. The ad featuring champion marathon runner Rob de Castella is the one that interrupts our interview. Windsor admits it's still a surreal experience to walk past a TV and hear himself belting out the anthem. "It's strange. I wrote that song in my little lounge room in Terrigal one Saturday night after a few beers," he said. The song was inspired, in part, by the band's dire predicament at the time. They'd been dropped by their record label, and the money had run out. "It was just me in the lounge room in front of a microphone. There was certainly nothing glamorous about it," he said. But from the swirling storm clouds of emotion came some honest lyrics, and clarity of message. The result was a song about single- mindedness. Determination. Desire. "Sports people often focus on that one thing, that one goal, and they work so hard for it," Windsor said. "Sports people need that desire to make it to the top. "And it can work the same way in the music industry. Sometimes you realise that you can't depend on anyone else. Only you can make yourself happy." The creative director of TEN Sport and ONE HD, Rob Rosenberg, said that After the Fall had toppled some heavy hitters to earn the TV gig. When the network bosses sat down to choose the music to accompany their ads, they had a shortlist of three songs. "There was a song by Cold Play, a song by U2, and a song by After the Fall," Rosenberg said. "And the local boys won through. We all looked at the message and feel of the song, and agreed that it was a very emotive track." Rosenberg uses a gravy analogy to describe the relationship between music and sports footage. He describes the music as being the gravy to a roast dinner. "You can ruin a good roast with bad gravy, and you can save a poor roast with good gravy," he said. But in Desire, Rosenberg said there was a perfect marriage between roast and gravy. "At the end of the day, the ads are about making our viewers feel something," he said. FRONT MAN: Ben Windsor said interest in the band from radio stations had taken off since Desire hit the television airwaves. Picture by Aaron Brown. RISING PROFILE: After the Fall, rocking out at Lilikoi Nightclub, at Crowne Plaza, Terrigal. Picture by Aaron Brown. central coast • new south wales The story so far After the Fall had its genesis in the music rooms of Erina High School in 2004. Singer Ben Windsor and guitarist Mark Warner struck up a friendship through a mutual appreciation of bands such as AC-DC and Frenzal Rhomb. "Even though we liked a lot of bands, we were always inspired to do our own thing, and we still live by that," Windsor said. "When we first started the band we played obscure, long songs, with complicated structures. But by the time we recorded our first album we had a more pop- and rock- friendly sound." For their first two albums, the band played to its pop-rock strengths. But with the third album, last year's In Exile, After the Fall tweaked the formula to reveal its other side. "In Exile is a bit more cerebral. A bit darker," Windsor said. Although he's happy with In Exile, Windsor said that fans could expect a return to straight up rock and roll with the next album. "We've written five or six songs for the next album, and it's a return to what we're really good at." The band hopes to release a new single soon, to capitalise on the traction that it is enjoying at radio stations thanks to the high profile, and high rotation, of Desire. After the Fall is Ben Windsor (vocals and guitar), Mark Warner (guitar), Matt Gore (bass) and Adrian Gallace (drums). LOCAL BOYS: After the Fall takes a collaborative approach to songwriting, and "bangs out ideas" in a studio at Somersby.
Issue 14 August 2010