Not my scene: FALLSTATE run us through the strange situation of playing in a different genre to your usual

It’s not uncommon to see a musician step into an atypical band to try something new. It’s somewhat less common to see all five band members do something new just to see what happens, and yet that’s exactly what FALLSTATE have done.

With collective experience only in metal bands, the Auckland five-piece jumped straight into pop hooks and punk beats to see what happens. Here’s what they learned.

Auckland pop-punk five-piece FALLSTATE have some advice for any musician who’s thinking about switching their genres.

1. People will assume you’re at the wrong show.

Pop-punk is not exactly synonymous with beards, long hair, high-top docs, or Meshuggah cutoffs, and if you roll up looking like a Cannibal Corpse cover band, you will have the occasional “Oh, I think you guys are looking for next door.” Thankfully, the confusion usually pretty quickly resolves. The good news is that beneath the exterior, everyone’s basically the same and by branching out into new territory you’ll be able to meet new people and learn things you never would have before.

2. You don’t know half your genre’s “classics”.

If you grow up on a diet of Metallica and Alice in Chains, chances are that you missed a number of the “anthems” that you should totally know if you’re in a pop-punk band. This can be awkward when you find yourself in a group of friends enthusiastically belting out a classic in your genre that you’ve never heard before. Our advice? Learn them. There’s always room on the Spotify playlist for more bangers.

3. Sometimes you need another creative outlet.

Being heavily invested in more than one genre can lead to a strong urge to do something different. Sometimes a new creative outlet that sounds different is the way to go – look at Code Orange and Adventures. There could hardly be a more stark contrast between the two bands. Music is an expression, so go right on and express yourself in whatever way you need to.

4. You have a free pass to make up the rules as you go along.

Genres are surprisingly flexible and can be pushed to some pretty weird places before you cross that line. Sometimes ignorance is helpful – approaching a new genre as if it was one you’re familiar with can lead to very interesting songs. Just because it hasn’t been done already doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be.

5. You get to play some pretty interesting line-ups.

A side-effect of a small local scene means you have to work with your connections, which can lead to some pretty interesting shows. You might, for example, find yourself the only pop-punk band on the bill with three death metal bands. Expect some heckling and a mass smoke break.

6. Sometimes, you just have to play some Slayer.

Just do it. Play some Slayer. That is all.

FALLSTATE’s latest single Who The Fuck Is Cameron Brookes is available now.