Locals: Quinn Fallon strikes a more serious tone with Los Gravediggers
On Get a New Ghost, the new album from Los Gravediggers, singer-songwriter Quinn Fallon wrestles with a host of internal demons, turning out a smattering of emotionally heavy tunes born of heartache, death and regret.
“How did I get so lost?” he sings on “Bloody Fingers,” a stampeding number whose country-fried guitar licks can’t quite mask the battered heart beating at its core.
Unlike past efforts from Fallon — most notably his work with the X-Rated Cowboys — there’s little in the way of levity offered here, and the singer approaches Gravediggers’ latest with funerary seriousness.
“Traditionally everything I do has that … song that’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but they seemed to stick out like a sore thumb on this record,” Fallon said during an early October interview at his Italian Village bar. “I cut the first batch of songs after [popular Columbus DJ and Fallon’s business partner at Tree Bar] Andyman passed away. I cut the second batch of songs after my dad passed away. And I cut the third batch of songs after I got divorced and my mom passed away.
“All this stuff has honestly changed me as a person. I can’t stand being purely entertained anymore. Pick any artist, and if he’s not really telling a story or showing me the black, twisted part of his heart … I’ve got no time for it.”
Even so, Ghost is far from a dour affair, and Fallon, working with Nashville producer Dan Baird, his Gravediggers mates and a smattering of guest musicians, including Al Perkins on steel guitar, Brad Pemberton on drums and Bobby Keys on saxophone, fills out the album with riotous, boot-stomping tunes that suggest a great phoenix rising triumphantly from the rubble.
“‘Bloody Fingers’ was going to be a slow song, and Dan looked at me and said, ‘It’s cool you think that’s an acoustic ballad, but that’s not what we’re doing.’ Then it turned into this blazing, jacked up thing,” Fallon said. “You’re not asking people to wallow in it with you, so the songs become these living, breathing things.”
Music has long-functioned as the driving force in Fallon’s life. He alternately described songwriting as “an obsession” and “a constant companion,” and said he dreamt of a career onstage from the moment he outgrew early childhood aspirations of becoming a comic book hero.
“When I turned 12 I figured out definitively I was not going to be Batman,” he said, and laughed. “It was like, ‘But how can you still be this larger than life thing?’ That’s when I figured out I could still be [Kiss’] Gene Simmons.”
Photo by Meghan Ralston
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