This week we are getting to know a real rock musician coming out of Amsterdam by the name of Jes Falcon. I caught wind of Jes after a Skope staffer handed over his new album, ‘Purest Falcon’ to me. Not only is his music real but his image is as real as it gets. What I like about Jes is that he is who he is and does not sugarcoat anything for anybody. Join us this week as we talk with Jes Falcon about recording the album, the “shy-evil” logo, things to do in Amtersdam besides smoking, and much more!
Stoli: I just listened to your new album, ‘Purest Falcon’ twice and I love the versatility. I have to ask what artists have the most influence on your writing & performing?
JF: Actually a lot of them. But in general I don ´t have any one in mind when I write a song. And then it turns out that when people listen to it they come up with “it sounds like Dylan, sounds like Aerosmith, sounds like REM, sounds like Nick Cave, sounds like Bon Jovi, sounds like The Stones, sounds like Springsteen, it reminds me of Motorhead” all for the same song! Believe it or not. So I guess it ´s just Jes Falcon. That or I always play for deaf audiences…
Stoli: How did you come up with the title ‘Purest Falcon?’
Jf:The album is a small selection of songs that I ´ve been playing for the last seven years, the essence of Jes Falcon thus the purest Falcon.
Stoli: How long did you work on this album and where did you do most of the recording?
JF: All the recording was made in Amsterdam at a great place called State of Mind studios, there ´s a live song but it was recorded in Amsterdam too. The Babylon of the North. Work was done with Craig Lilley and Hans Waardenburg, great professionals, funny people. Time flies when you work with them but we really record the album in a short time.
Stoli: You write all the lyrics for the album. How much of your real life do you put out there for your fans to learn?
JF: Regarding the songs in this album, my real life is there 99.9%. The good feelings, the bad ones, the serious ones and the funny ones. Even when I talk about a girl stealing my toothpaste, it did happen!
Stoli: You are originally from Spain but live in Amsterdam now. What are some of your favorite venues in Amstel that you like to perform live?
JF: I was born in Spain but I do consider myself an Amsterdammer (whatever it means). There are great places in A ´dam and I imagine playing at Amsterdam Arena must be great but the atmosphere you find at the Waterhole in Leidseplein, a bar in the city centre is great to me. It ´s very authentic.
Stoli: I love track 3, “She Came With The Rain.” What is the story behind that track and is that a true story about a real past love?
JF: Yeah I love it too. Everything in that song is as true as life itself, from beginning to end. Even the colour of the shoes of the girl, even when I saw myself in the mirror and thought “you get lucky sometimes”
Stoli: I love track 1, “No Cover.” What is that song about & who decided to make that the first track on the album?
JF: I decided it to go first in the album even though it ´s a pretty new song that I haven ´t played live much but I think it ´s catchy and powerful so it ´s a good start with that riff and everything.
The song is about how difficult is to be truly independent and about people hiding behind their power positions to be cruel to other people, they hide behind the law and the protection of democracy to be mean to normal people. Many cops, security forces, they ´re just frustrated with their lives because they ´ve felt they were nobodies but all of a sudden they find themselves with power with a badge and a gun and they take revenge on the society in the name of the law.
The song ´s also about politicians and businessmen who talk about war on terrorism while making their business out of that terror (the song says terror is dough) but the funny thing is that terrorists themselves, the big ones, not the illiterate ones that blow themselves up because god ´s gonna reward them, the ones who manipulate them they do that because it ´s a business for them too, thus terror is dough for the ones with power. And terror works perfectly for them to keep us scared and willing to do whatever they want. But just as an example: the biggest terrorist attacks in Europe were in Madrid and London in trains. Security measures have not changed in trains. It would be as easy today as it was then to place a bomb in those trains and kill as many people. However you can ´t carry a bottle of shampoo on board of a plane. But in Madrid ´s airport the only terrorist attack took place in the parking lot. Sorry for the speech. It ´s not politics to me, I think it ´s just human logic.
Jes Falcon “No Cover” MP3:
Stoli: Your image & sound I feel are perfectly aligned. How did you develop your look or did it just come naturally?
JF: That ´s funny, some people claim the contrary. I don ´t have a pose, honestly. That ´s how I am. I must say though that having a great photographer like Hope Loyal helps in looking sexy.
Stoli: The “shy evil” girl logo is catchy. What does she represent in regards to Jes Falcon and who illustrated her originally?
JF: I like double meanings and different points of view about the same thing, I like questioning things and even myself and I think that everything has its pro ´s and con ´s. So the shy evil girl represents that. A shy but sexy girl that looks like a good girl but actually just tries to harm you or to tempt you, in fact the trident can be seen as a devil ´s trident in the classic image or just as a weapon. She can also be seen as an evil girl who ´s pretending she ´s good. Thus her expression between sexy, shy and that “who?me? you don ´t think I could do that, do you?” face. My sister came up with the design one day when she was at high school and I added the trident.
Stoli: What are your thoughts on the current rock/alternative/indie scene and what does Jes Falcon add that is missing?
JF: I ´d like to say that Jes Falcon is adding everything that the current scene has been missing and that rock and roll ´s history will be written before and after Jes Falcon. Yeah I could be that egocentric but to be honest I just write my songs and mind my own business. I ´m running my race and I focus on my race, whether the other racers are tired, faster, slower, whatever is something I can ´t do much about.
Nevertheless, I do think that Jes Falcon ´s lyrics are really good compared to what I hear out there most of the time. I care very much about what I say. Don ´t get me wrong, I do think there ´s a lot of good people out there and sometimes they ´re just playing in the subway.
Stoli: You have played all over the world from Brazil to Italy. What was some of the coolest shows that you have done out of Amsterdam and why?
JF: It may sound so politically correct that it can ´t be true but believe me when I say I do enjoy every show and every place I play at. I ´m Jes Falcon ´s biggest fan so it ´s great to see me live! Seriously, if I didn ´t enjoy what I do it wouldn ´t matter how cool the venue or the audience is. And if people see you ´re enjoying yourself they ´ll have a good time too, regardless of the venue.
Stoli: As an international artist do you feel the Internet helps bands from outside the US break out here like never before?
JF: Definitely. And the other way around too. Rock and roll is global. You see, I ´ve found out about great Greek bands for instance and they ´re not known outside of Greece. Rock has never had borders nor flags. Don ´t you love it?
Stoli: Your album has been received highly at radio. How does that make you feel when the people appreciate & enjoy your art?
JF: Humans are social animals. Therefore every one of us feels better when the rest appreciate whatever we do. I ´m not sure if I should call myself an artist, I ´m an entertainer basically -which is as important or more don ´t get me wrong- so my aim is to entertain, to tell stories, interesting stories and somehow to communicate, to get a message through, what I think, what I feel so when people do listen to me and enjoy what I do and I make them have a good time or move them inside……well it ´s orgasmic!
Stoli: Tourists associate Amstel with smoking marijuana. I have been there and that is such a small aspect of the city. How do you feel when you hear people pigeonhold the city for just getting high?
JF. Yeah people think we ´re all stoned all the time. The truth is that Amsterdam is the city that has more cannals than Vence, more bridges than Paris and hosts more nationalities than New York. One out of three people in the city is not dutch and still we keep one of the highest safety standards and welfare levels. And a great tolerant atmosphere. People smoke more weed in Germany, Italy or Spain than in Holland according to european polls. Well the best thing to make people try something is to ban it. That ´s how humans are. A pretty interesting species.
Stoli: What is coming up for Jes Falcon and where can readers get more from you?
JF: Great Joe Perry said “Once a rocker always a rocker” and I totally agree. Even if one day I find that I only play for my friends and neighbours or myself I ´ll always write songs and play, it ´s a need to me and probably a good way to save money on psychologists. Fortunately, I ´m still able to travel and play and keep myself sexy. Wanna know more? www.sonicbids.com/jesfalcon and www.jesfalcon.com