The No Label Needed Contest & Series is a collaboration between Metal Insider and Scion to give one unsigned artist an entire DIY music industry education and launch a release without the help of a label. We’ll be posting features and updates on the contest & series periodically on Metal Insider. Find out more about No Label Needed here.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the No Label Needed finalists. Today, we’re featuring Falling To Pieces.
Formed in 2004 in Livermore, CA, the band is comprised of Nicci D. on vocals, Kimo Sanborn on bass, Nick Benigno on drums and Scott Danough and Eric Stewart on guitars. Benigno took some time aside from campaigning for the lead in public votes to answer a few of our questions.
What do you hope to gain from winning this contest?
Outside of the prizes, I would like to gain experience and the ability to give ourselves more exposure, market ourselves better and keep acquiring fans. We’ve been hitting the pavement for years, doing whatever we need to do to keep going. Scott used to be in Bleeding Through and got royally screwed by their old label (I think everyone knows that story). We have music that we love writing and playing, and want to keep doing that to the best of our abilities, and do it our way. Sure, backing from a label might be nice, but right now, our focus is on making the most out of our resources. Obviously, any band wants notoriety and to be able to do this for a living. I want to be able to keep working my ass off and effectively keep doing what makes us happy and makes the kids beat each other up, and any help and networking opportunities we encounter to do that along the way is well worth the effort.
What has been your most challenging moment as an unsigned artist?
Our most challenging moment… it’s constantly a challenge. Our scene right now is overly saturated, and all of the decent venues keep disappearing. There are so many bands that sound the same, and they’re not all good at it. It’s hard to get good shows unless you have someone in your pocket. A lot of the aforementioned bands out there are getting hooks ups and spoon fed without doing the back breaking work the rest of us do, and it can get frustrating, but we persevere. Doing this ourselves, it’s a balancing act between jobs and making this work. And we’ve managed to do pretty well so far.
Who’s career do you admire?
I admire Lady GaGa’s career, because she’s making a fuck-ton of money being a weirdo and loving every minute of it. But honestly, you have to admire Slayer’s career because of their longevity and keeping it awesome and heavy. Over 25 years of relentless mayhem, and still going strong. You have to respect that. I mean, it’s fucking Slayer…
What is the local scene like in your home town?
The local scene at home (and the SF Bay Area as a whole) is at a low right now. I think it has to do with the over-saturation and venue shut-downs like I mentioned before. Even a lot of tour packages aren’t coming through the Bay or SF like they used to. As for the underground side, there are a lot of bands that think they know what they’re doing, promoters that pretend to do work and don’t do shit, and not the same unity that there used to be. Despite that, we’ve managed to pull our weight and keep a solid following. When we do our hometown shows in Livermore at our favorite watering hole, we get that place to capacity, and the bar makes a killing. When other metal bands want to play there, they usually don’t call the venue or any promoters, they hit us up to see if we’re free, because they know it’s going to be a good time.
Public voting for the No Label Needed Contest & Series presented by Scion runs through March 8. Visit the No Label Needed microsite to listen to Falling To Pieces and the 19 other finalists and cast your vote!