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The rise of They Will Fall

November 14, 2016

Dillon Nelson

Staff Reporter| djn005@latech.edu

Lead singer Austin Knies performs with They Will Fall.  Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle Visuals.

Lead singer Austin Knies performs with They Will Fall. Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle Visuals.

The Northeastern Louisiana music scene is beginning to resemble New Orleans ever-bustling music scene as more local bands are catching onto ways to break out of the small town mindset and finder wider audiences.

 

Having successfully released a breakthrough EP, a debut studio album in 2013, and a follow-up last year, Monroe-based metalcore band They Will Fall is doing exactly that.

 

The band was formed much like many others in 2010: friends with a love of heavy music getting together with the express goal of working hard at every opportunity to get better as musicians.

 

A Christian band to boot, their shared love of the gospel has helped them along the way to reach out to people through their music and shows.

 

Chris Shifflett, drummer for the band, said Austin Knies, the vocalist for the band, and then guitarist Davis Thurman came to him and asked him to be the third founding member of They Will Fall. He said he knew immediately he wanted to join because he admired the musical tastes and strong religious convictions his friends displayed.

 

“They said they wanted to play music like August Burns Red, and of course I was stoked because that band had been an influence of mine for years at that point,” Shifflett said.

 

He said the band’s first two releases are representative of its direction over time.

 

“Over the years we came out with two releases which thoroughly show our evolution as a band,” Shifflett said. “Our EP ‘Misconceptions’ was that stepping stone out of our close-minded, small town musical mindset.”

 

Last year They Will Fall released “On The Depths Of Depravity.” Shifflett said out of the three recordings the band has released, this album is the one that encapsulates their sound the most.

 

“This album is what I would personally say, along with the other guys, is the sound that we are pushing and marketing as a band,” Shifflet said. “When people ask us to show them our music, it’s always off this record.”

Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle Visuals.

Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle Visuals.

Shifflett said a big incentive for improving and evolving the band’s sound into something they could be proud of was witnessing other bands rock out.

 

“I distinctly remember me and Corey going to an Oh Sleeper show in Dallas and coming back with a new perspective in mind,” Shifflett said. “At the time none of us had ‘seen the real thing,’ so to speak.”

 

Corey McKnight, the current guitarist of the band, said he believes heavy metal music is an especially effective way to deliver the gospel to fans. He said he and his bandmates are always working to hone their skills and be better, more humble servants of Christ.

 

“We all firmly believe that the best way that we can spread the gospel with our music is not only to write the best music we can, but also play it to the best of our ability,” McKnight said.

 

He said the band’s goal is to make lasting relationships with people at shows and that putting on captivating live performances is one of the best ways to achieve this.

 

“I would say that we try to meet people where they are at with their struggles,” McKnight said. “We don’t have it all together, but we want people to know that we want to be there to talk about whatever it is that they are going through.”

 

Knies, a senior mathematics and economics double major at Louisiana Tech, said he and his bandmates try to tackle challenging themes based on what they may be going through in their lives. The band commonly writes on such weighty topics as grief, depression, regret, doubt and apathy.

 

“In our songs, we try to provide a sort of discourse concerning these struggles and their implications, as well as how our problems fit into our greater worldviews and ideologies,” Knies said.

 

Knies said “Bloodguilt,” from their latest album, is a song which epitomizes the sound and overall tone of They Will Fall.

 

“The song is about feeling guilt that leads to depression rather than change,” Knies said. “It hits hard dynamically and has a melody that will easily get stuck in your head, and we end every set we play live with it”

 

Knies said distributors like iTunes and Spotify have helped gain They Will Fall exposure in other states. He said the band has maintained a strong social media presence as it has grown which has allowed them to reach new listeners outside of Monroe and Louisiana.

 

“Selling our music online and staying up-to-date with social media allow us to stay connected with a lot of people who would otherwise never know who we are — something we never really thought would happen,” Knies said.

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