Failure is not an option: Surrender the Fall returns to T-TownWritten by Mike Bauman | | email@example.com
Though many band names are arbitrary, the meaning behind Memphis-bred rockers Surrender the Fall’s runs deep. It’s actually an embodiment of the journey the group has been on over the last seven years.
“It’s about giving up the option to fail,” Surrender the Fall vocalist Jared Cole said. “I think for all of us, like I said, it was never a situation of we were just giving up, but we were just so worn out by everything. We needed to recharge, and we needed to take care of some things.”
For Surrender the Fall, giving up would have been easy considering the life circumstances of several of its members. New Orleans native and STF guitarist Eddie Tyre lost everything after Hurricane Katrina. Fellow Surrender the Fall guitarist Anthony Pitts was a high school football star until he tore his ACL, MCL and PCL all on one play.
Couple that with lineup changes, a competitive Memphis music scene and nearly going broke as a DIY band trying to make it at a time in the music industry when label support is hard to come by, and nobody would’ve blamed Surrender the Fall for throwing in the towel and pursuing different paths.
However, the collective resolve of STF after seven years in the making is finally starting to pay off. On Sept. 18, Surrender the Fall released its debut album entitled “Burn In The Spotlight” via Rumbum Records.
“For me, you kind of thought for awhile that the day would never get there, and now it’s finally here,” Cole said on what it feels like to release “Burn In The Spotlight.” “We’re all really excited about it. We can’t wait to see what everybody thinks about it.”
Rounded out by bassist Devin Hightower and drummer Ed Harris, Surrender the Fall will make its return to Toledo on Sept. 22 when it performs at Headliners as part of its tour with My Darkest Days. STF was recently at Headliners on Sept. 6 in support of Nonpoint.
“We had a lot of fun on the Toledo show, and I’m really excited about coming back to Toledo,” Cole said. “That was towards the end of the run [with Nonpoint], and we got one of the best responses from there.
“We told everybody that we’re coming back, and we’re hoping that everybody comes back out.”
While Surrender the Fall is building new fan bases in towns across the country, it wasn’t long ago that the band had its collective back against the wall after years of trying to make a name for itself. It got to a point where STF was so discouraged that a message from Luis Bacardi—CEO of Rumbum Records—wasn’t initially taken seriously.
“It was just him contacting us going, ‘Hey, what’s up. I like you guys. I have a label. Let’s talk,’” Cole said. “It had been so long at that point, man, that our pride was just kind of frustrated and we were starting to get kind of jaded, I guess.
“So it actually went by us two or three times before we finally go, ‘OK, maybe this guy’s got something to do with something.’”
Surrender the Fall ended up meeting with Bacardi after performing for him at the official Lollapalooza After Party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago.
“He said he loved it,” Cole said. “After that, we went and recorded. From there on out, it’s just been rolling along.”
For recording, STF retreated to the famed Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas with artist/producer Lennon Murphy, where the band dealt with the craziness of nearby Mexican drug cartels and ghosts.
Cole said that Hightower woke up one day when he felt something breathing on the back of his neck, and it freaked Hightower out so bad that he rolled off his bed and slammed his face into a nearby chair. Disoriented after he started bleeding, Hightower went into the closet looking for a sink to clean up.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my God, man,’” Cole said when Hightower told him what happened the next day. “Stuff would end up missing. It was pretty crazy.”
After surviving Hurricane Katrina, injuries, lineup changes, drug cartels and ghosts, life on the road isn’t so bad for Surrender the Fall. In fact, they’re looking forward it.
“This is the tightest-knit it’s been in the history of Surrender the Fall,” Cole said. “So we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.”
On Sept. 22, Surrender the Fall will be an opener for My Darkest Days at a show that also features Otherwise and Weep the Beldam at Headliners, 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available through Ticketmaster, Culture Clash Records and Ramalama Records. Doors are at 8 p.m. For more info, visit innovationconcerts.com.