BY JESSICA A. BOTELHO
“We’re very excited to open for Zebra,” said Malyssa BellaRosa, vocalist for the Providence-based band Fall & Bounce. “We can’t wait.”
Bassist Christine Hauck agrees.
“We’re thrilled to be on this double bill,” she said.
The quartet will be kicking off the night for Zebra this Friday, Oct. 26, at the Rock Junction in Coventry, R.I. The show starts at 8 p.m.
“I saw them when I was 15 and I was really into Led Zeppelin,” said BellaRosa. “I was blown away because they did Led Zeppelin songs at the old Living Room [in Providence].”
As they did at that show, Zebra will also be performing Zeppelin songs Friday, as well as tunes from their own catalog, including their biggest hits, “Tell Me What You Want” and “Who’s Behind the Door?”
But what does Fall & Ball have in store for fans?
“A very passionate performance,” said BellaRosa.
Passion is exactly what keeps them going. Formed in the summer of 2011 after BellaRosa met guitarist Bill Reed at an open mic night, they decided to get together and experiment. They landed a gig almost immediately, yet didn’t have a full line-up.
“It forced us to make a band,” said Reed.
Shortly after, they hooked up with Hauck and drummer Jamie Craighead. In a year’s time, they were named the 2012 “Breakthrough Act” by the Providence Phoenix, and were nominated in three categories for the 2012 Limelight Magazine Music Awards, including “New Artist of the Year,” “Song of the Year” for “Controlled Tension Time Bomb,” and “Female Vocalist of the Year.”
Another local publication also nominated them for “Breakthrough Band,” with BellaRosa earning a “Best Vocalist” nomination.
“It’s definitely an honor to be nominated for several different awards in a matter of being a band for less than a year,” said Craighead. “It’s a great feeling.”
Reed shared his sentiments. He said it’s nice to be noticed.
“We’re doing what we enjoy and setting ourselves up to keep doing it,” said Reed. “Sometimes, you don’t realize people are paying attention. Providence has been very supportive and it is very encouraging, not just for us, but for other folks who are getting nominated.”
While they blend a lot of genres, they said it’s difficult to describe their sound. Still, Hauck said she often tells people they can be best defined as a hard, melodic rock group.
“The most important thing is that we get people to listen,” she said.
Reed added, “To me, it sounds like 70s rock.”
BellaRosa said they are honest in what they do and aren’t pretending or trying to sound like other bands. She views their music as a means to connect with people.
“People use music for cathartic reasons – they use it to get through life, which can be difficult,” she said. “When you hear a band and you can relate to the music, it really does set you free. It sounds like a cliché, but it helps you get thorough the next thing in life.”
Since they’ve established themselves in Rhode Island, Fall & Bounce are working on booking gigs throughout New England. They’re also writing music for a new and third album, which they hope to begin recording in December.
It will follow their self-titled release in 2011 and Knickknack Avalanche, which they released in May. Typically, Reed comes up with chord progressions and brings them to the rest of the band.
“We have a bunch of music that we are firming up right now,” BellaRosa said. “Most of the songs come really easy and lyrics come out in one shot. And then there are others that I’ve rewritten five times. It’s kind of a labor of love. I love it though, because it’s a challenge.”
When they are not composing new music, they’re rehearsing or performing. For Craighead, playing live is the best part of being in the band.
“It’s such a feeling of release and emotion,” he said. “When I get onstage and play for people, it’s fun. It just makes me feel alive and playing with these fine people is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. I’ve played music for a majority of my life, but I’ve had an absolute blast with these guys.”
“When you’re in a room with people and you can get reactions from them and you know you’re connecting it does make you feel alive,” agreed BellaRosa. “The blood in my body is like the live performance to my music.”
Hauck enjoys the fact that every performance is unique. She likes that they get to switch things up each time they play.
“We don’t necessarily play things the same way at every gig – Bill changes his solo, I change my bass line,” she said. “There’s always something else that happens.”
One thing that’s new for BellaRosa is the fact that she performs sans guitar. In bands she performed with before forming Fall & Bounce, she always played guitar in addition to singing.
“It’s been an interesting change up for me,” she said. “At first, it was really weird and that’s when I discovered my dance moves. I like it because I can dance to the music.”
In the future, they hope their holiday parties stay the same.
“We’re looking forward to our second ‘Festivus’ celebration this year,” Christine said of the fictional holiday made famous by the popular sitcom, Seinfeld. “Last year, we had a practice that ended up turning into a drunken Christmas party. I think we played two or three songs and ended up eating and drinking.”
For now, they’re looking forward to Friday night with Zebra.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Reed.
For tickets to the show, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/239202.