PLYMOUTH — What’s better after a long work week than some music and a beer? This was the conclusion Mike Music, bass guitarist, and Jared Beer, vocalist, came to in 2008 when they decided to form a cover band.
Promptly, drummer Bryan Hagan was stirred into the mix with his close friend, and guitarist, Adam Ockerman in tow. Inspiration, fueled by determined ambition, generated a reality and they deemed it Subtle Fall.
If you have been fortunate enough in the past to enjoy Subtle Fall performing live, it may seem an ironic name choice for this energetic and animated group of musicians. The thriving intensity with which this more-than-capable band rumbles out its dead-on melodies will shake you back to life. The “high-energy, modern rock” they perform is far from subtle. Mike Music explains how, in fact, a band name was selected, “It seemed like our other projects had fallen apart very slowly and subtlety, due to members living far away and things like that, so I sat and thought of a band name that would fit our situation… that name [Subtle Fall] just popped into my head and it stuck from there on.”
Mike Music jokes about his destined relationship with music, “…after all, it is my last name.” Music began playing bass guitar when he was very young and joined his first band by the age of 13. Like many successful individuals, Music humbly attributes his achievements to his parents, “My parents were very good role models…they helped keep me into music my whole life.”
Music and Jared Beer became acquainted through their combined efforts in previous projects, ranging back through 2002. Beer has also long been involved with music personally, practicing his vocals and learning to play several instruments at a young age. Unlike Music, Beer does not appear to relate his destiny with his distinctive surname, regardless of the somewhat coincidental fact that his full-blown stage-fright was miraculously cured one night at a friend’s house-party. He recalls how he was not naturally drawn to performing live, “I loved the music part, but never pictured myself in a band or performing because I had serious stage-fright.” His anxiousness quickly resolved to become a passion, “…once I got up there, it was an awesome feeling, like nothing else. Pretty soon the stage-fright went away, and I’ve been jamming ever since. Can’t get enough of it!”
When forming Subtle Fall the objective was not merely to assemble the ultimate cover band but also to experiment with writing and recording original tunes. Vowing to stay aligned in their future musical aspirations Music and Beer were pleased when Subtle Fall began to solidly take shape. Initially, Warsaw guitarist Mark Wagley spent the first few months working with the duo and contributed to writing some of Subtle Fall’s first songs. As the project evolved, Bryan Hagan officially became Subtle Fall’s drummer and introduced guitarist Adam Ockerman to the idea. Ockerman fondly recalls the discovery of just the right blend of talents, “My riffs and tones matched with Mike’s bass sound…it was everything we were looking for.”
The members of Subtle Fall labored through endless rehearsals to perfect their stage performance, while also creating their first original songs, before debuting at a children’s benefit festival in Celina, Ohio, August of 2008.
Following the Ohio performance Subtle Fall continued to strive forward, newly energized from the positive feedback they had received, and began booking club dates throughout the area. Beer describes the emotional high of playing live, “It’s always ablast. It’s an incredible feeling to jam in front of people, especially if they’re really into the songs you’re playing. [It’s] almost indescribable really. There’s nothing else like it.”
Subtle Fall’s popularity, and considerable fan-base, grew even more as they performed and recorded their first live EP (titled Subtle Fall: Live at Piere’s) at Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne in 2009. Following this development, the band was approached by and signed with Lane Productions National Booking Agency of Columbus, Ohio. As a result, Subtle Fall was invited to accompany the Brazilian band Shadowside on their ‘Fall ‘09 Wake Up Screaming Tour’ throughout the Midwest. Before heading out on tour, the guys decided to head into T Bush Record Plant, of Syracuse, and successfully recorded their first studio EP, titled “End of Existence”.
While the uniquely talented members of Subtle Fall had certainly accomplished the goals they set for themselves, the whirlwind chain of events and constant self-imposed demands for excellence left them dog-tired to say the least. Early in 2010 they decided to take a break and catch-up on everything else that had been forced to the back burner while Subtle Fall made its climb. Thankfully the respite was short-lived and Subtle Fall was back at it, rocking the local establishments, by early 2011.
At the beginning of 2012, Subtle Fall’s long-time guitarist Adam Ockerman decided that he was ready to try his hand at different style of music and sadly parted with the band. Ockerman reflects, “After a 5 year run I just decided to try and experiment with different kinds of music…to stray away from the heavier stuff.” He is currently working on his musical endeavor, Shades of Grey. When asked about his experience with Subtle Fall, Ockerman positively responds, “It’s kind of hard to sum up 5 years of great memories in a paragraph.”
With the departure of Ockerman, Subtle Fall has decided to add two more guitarists to fill the void and increase the fullness of their already thundering effect. The band is currently auditioning for these positions, but has temporarily found a substitute for Ockerman, in order that they may continue to perform. They have plans head back into the studio this spring, as well as continuing to perform in the local clubs.
For more information regarding Subtle Fall they can easily be located on Facebook at Subtle Fall/Musician/Band. You can experience their roof raising, lively performance when they appear at Plymouth’s Dandelion Bar Saturday, Feb. 18. The club is sure to be packed with enthusiastic fans as Subtle Fall belts out impressively covered tunes and keeps the energy rising all night long.