Transcript - Episode 640: Andrew 'Falco' Falkous (McLusky, Future of the Left)

The legend of McLusky has grown greatly since the the group's initial breakup in 2005. The release of the three-disc Mcluskyism compilation is no doubt reasonable for much of that prolonged success. So, too, are the members' post-McLusky projects, including Future of the Left. Formed by ex-members Andrew Falkous and Jack Egglestone shortly after breakup, the group carried on its tradition of sardonic and melodic noise rock. Falkous and Egglestone reformed McLusky in 2014. The group's second stint is officially longer than its first as of 2024. The group is currently in the midst of an American tour, postponed by two years, due to Falkous' health issues. Here he discusses all of that and more.

Falco  0:11  
I prefer face to face stuff if and where I can you know whether it's medical appointments or whatever but there is it's not just the it's not just the time spent on the appointment itself is it's in the modern year it's getting to and from things as well the admin of doing stuff whereas just being able to leap on something does have a certain convenience to it. And you know, give me convenience that's the way sorry I've got a cat hassling me there'll be more food in a bit yeah there's always there's always a cat asking for food in this in this house they are the

Brian Heater  0:47  
ever have a rabbit behind me so some rabbit at some point she

Falco  0:51  
is she insistent though that she insisted she can

Brian Heater  0:55  
be she can be if I haven't fed her recently. The much mellower than cats I find

Falco  1:01  
our our male cat gang this He's He's amazing. He's a dog cat really. But he when he wants food, it's a campaign really. It's a it's a campaign it's he he gets he gets everything involved if he could play a drum kit he would he would start playing the drum kit in order to summon to summon me but there we are. Anyway, we're not here to talk about I'm not here to talk about although maybe we are I don't know pets.

Brian Heater  1:32  
Do you know the phrase nominative determinism

Falco  1:34  
I do know the phrase nominative determinism Yeah,

Brian Heater  1:38  
you have a cat you ever demanded cat named Ganga? Yeah,

Falco  1:41  
I mean he hasn't he hasn't United his own tribe. I mean in the in the first place is to have them and I mean his sister looks out for him but I'm not sure she helped them evangelist intelligence father's death on the on the on the on the plains of Mongolia. But I think he's he's got to he's an asshole. Definitely. He's got that part of the of the legend. But he's not even he's not even ruthless. Really. If another male cat comes into the yard, he just he just chats. He's got a lot of physical friends and he wants food. But he doesn't have any tariffs. He doesn't have any territorial demands. But he is essentially a religious. So that's, that's good. That's good.

Brian Heater  2:34  
Why is it you haven't spoken with anyone for a week, because

Falco  2:37  
my wife and daughter went to Australia, we could go. And I've been ill. So I've had what I thought was COVID. But it looks like it was just a very bad flu. And so aside from a couple of calls, which were punctuated by by coughing, I haven't really seen anybody, I made a couple of sharp runs masked up but um, you know, wearing a mask for the first time in a good good year, to be honest, I mean, which still makes me the outlier here because masks are seen as masks are seen as well. I'm not sure what they're seen as in Britain, but they're definitely not seen as something that you wear. So it's been quite a quite a lonely week, really. I mean, I've had a big male out to do so. So I did that. But it's been, it's been uniquely lonely, really. I mean, I'm fine with being by myself, but it still has an effect on you, I suppose. Who are weak without speaking to anybody. But I mean, speaking to people, but not speaking in any kind of intimate or concentrated sense. It's been. Yeah, it's been Yeah, transactional and just just that little bit like dull and repetitive, I suppose. I'm not looking. I'm not used to my, or if I'm used to my life being repetitive. It's kind of a joyous being a dad way, as opposed to, as opposed to speaking to my daughter for five minutes on WhatsApp was the time difference in Australia. It's just not quite the same. And even with the best will in the world, a six year old child doesn't really focus on a screen as well as you would, as you would hope. So that's been a bit annoying.

Brian Heater  4:35  
It's probably a good thing at the end of the day, in terms of not being too consumed with the screen. Yeah,

Falco  4:40  
I mean, those children to that age are more than capable of being consumed with the screen. When it's showing other things. You know, flushing I mean, if daddy was a if daddy was a cartoon dog who would juggle balls or she was able to manipulate that cartoon In dog in order to gain some arbitrary, you know, to game some arbitrary point system, then she'd probably be very entertained. But both are good. You need to remember the child sometimes that they are just a child not just a child, but they are a child and, and need to be understood as a child as opposed to having desaster the same needs and the same needs as a as a 48 year old a stent ostensibly adult man, so it's been a yeah, it's just been a bit of a it's been a bit of a crazy week it you know, like I say, the same time as having to send out 300 T shirts, which, which isn't necessarily the most fun task, you don't get into music. You don't pull your heart and soul into music to send out 300 T shirts. It's an it's a necessary I don't want to say evil, it's unnecessary inconvenience to the package and, and send that stuff out. But it's all done in so far. I've only made one mistake only sent out one XL instead of an owl. So let's hope let's hope that doesn't mount up as the as the audit

Brian Heater  6:16  
vigorous, better. And yeah, if you're gonna make a mistake, yes,

Falco  6:20  
rather than Yeah, I suppose. But I'll still be I'll still be replacing it. So, so good.

Brian Heater  6:30  
I mean, she's still quite young, how did she handle the pandemic was even aware that it was happening.

Falco  6:35  
I well, she mostly handled the pandemic because through through me because because of my wife's job. I was kind of became the the main carer for the first certainly the first year of it, which was great on so many levels. Because caring for a child. Well, especially when you haven't done it before, you very much learn on the job. I mean, books are of some use, but you learn by doing not not so much by you know, farming, farming theories and concepts. And I often find like, as, like, being a parent is feeling comfortable, and then something changes developmentally. And you feel a bit out of your depth. So you feel behind behind the behind the curve. And then you catch up, you kind of evolve, you kind of evolved with the child. And sometimes it's hard to do that in a fragmented way. But when you're together all the time, it was just it was wonderful. For the for the most part, I mean, apart from you know, if you can remove the, the people dying and the slow decay of loneliness that a lot of people had in terms of our relationship. It was it was really wonderful. But she dealt with it, okay. She, she she dealt with a fine. I mean, she was preschool age, which I think helped. She hadn't established those those friendships to be taken away from her. And it was before again before we moved to Bristol. I think London where we were at the time is simultaneously probably the worst and the best city in order to have a pandemic and because it's a fairly socially socially isolated place anyway. But but but you're also especially where we were living which was in Battersea I don't know if you know London very well. But really close to the river. I mean, some of the walks and the scenery around there is just, it's just gorgeous. I mean, it's it's like it's like living at the center of the world. And it's a lot different than walking than walking around some depressing park somewhere in the middle of England. You can within half an hour of your house you can walk through Battersea Park, you can see Battersea Power Station, you can see the Houses of Parliament, you can go a little bit further you can go along to the Tate Modern and St. Paul's, it's I mean, it's incredible. It's an incredible VISTA. And it's it's incredible to look out or be out whether it's in the middle of the pouring rain it being London or whether it's whether it's a nicer day, it was um, it was it was actually it was actually quite incredible but she dealt with it. She dealt with her fine really she's very happy child and I'll be obviously obviously inspired by by a bee father who's always so relent relentlessly positive on I mean, I think most of that is probably her. Her mother's work though I am quite, I am quite funny. So hopefully she's just tuned. Jun to a little bit more. A little bit more positivity than I am that would.

Brian Heater  9:57  
You're hoping the cynicism gene is recessive.

Falco  10:01  
I'm hoping it's, I'm hoping it's optional. I'm hoping it's something you can you can flick. You can flick on and off, you know, say with your your mobile phone contract, you can just add it for a month maybe. Yeah, you can do you can do you can try it out. Or maybe you just pay by the day, as opposed to, as opposed to it being a permanent a permanent add on. So let's, let's see, let's see how that goes. You don't I think some cynicism is, is a useful way of filtering is filtering the world. But when when it's when it's when it's your permanent filter, it can become become very difficult to enjoy anything.

Brian Heater  10:48  
Did you find that I don't have children, I hear this a lot that the the act of of having a child makes you more earnest or maybe maybe at least dampers that cynicism flick?

Falco  11:02  
You possibly or maybe it speeds up the process? I think of

Brian Heater  11:07  

Falco  11:11  
I mean, I can only really speak like personally, or see what I've seen in in, in other people, I think I'd already because of the age that we had a kid at. I think he'd already shed a little bit of the cynicism because you know, some of it is a product of the the the art you've consumed, I guess. And maybe you've worked a lot of that through your system by a particular age. And I think cynicism is for the most part a, in a performative sense, very mature, very mature, a teenage and 20s kind of thing that you go through also, because also because then you've got the energy to be cynical as well. And the energy to police yourself and the times of the people with that with that cynicism. And it's not to say it's entirely a negative thing that cynicism can can help can help in so many ways. I wouldn't say I wouldn't say the cynicism falls away, maybe. But I would say that observing the delight of somebody that just objectively simple things, can, can Well, can't help but be infectious. But But of course, you know, the synthesis, you can still see that. For example, little girls like frozen. And you can enjoy your daughter's love of frozen whilst whilst watching Disney. I mean, if they could, they would, you know, they would be they'd be monetizing the characters Tampa, Disney would be monetizing the characters, tampons, they've, they've monetized just about every aspect of that film. There's they couldn't, they couldn't possibly monetize anything more. So you can still, you can still keep it in your locker. I think if I if I have a cynicism blocker a bit probably still takes up a quarter of my mental real estate, I would suspect

Brian Heater  13:25  
there is that thing about getting older and realizing that B will tell you a lot of things about getting older and they but you really have to experience it for yourself firsthand. Because you know, if you look, if you attempt to look objectively at the things you've made now, compromise probably isn't the right word, but compromises you've made, like you might have hated that about yourself 20 years ago.

Falco  13:52  
Yeah, I mean, that's the thing and you it's not necessarily that you change as a person, but circumstances change around us. Well, I had the conversation. What happened a few years ago is there was a mcklusky song, which was the guys who published this contacted us and it was up for a McDonald's. It was down to like the last two songs.

Brian Heater  14:21  
I remember having he was the lightsaber. cocksucking blue, there wasn't

Falco  14:24  
like no, it was a song from the first record called meal May. And I remember feeling incredibly guilty and bad about the prospect. We never got as far as even discussing money to song wasn't even got was down to the last two songs, we went with the other song, whatever. So it was didn't it didn't even need to be a dilemma that I addressed. But I remember, you know, feeling very strongly about it in terms of not only how I would feel about it, and that was the very real thing, but how was it People would feel about it. Because those things are important to me, because it's not just important to do the right thing or to try and do the right thing. But it's, it is also, because, you know, we live in human society to be seen to do the right thing as well. And so in the end, it wasn't a choice I had to make. But I'm afraid that was the world we live in now. So this is this probably happened, what eight, I can't remember exactly eight or 10 years ago, something like that. If that option came up now I would, because of how things are financially because of the cultural shift in terms of quote unquote, selling out, I say, yes, I'd say yes to that straight away. I would say yes, that's straight. I mean, I still have nos on my list of stuff at work with publishing companies has absolutely no gambling, and does absolutely will not do. And there's lots of podcasts I listen to whether they're comedy or sports, they're nearly all it's gambling, gambling, adverts pervade them. And

Brian Heater  16:09  
it's generic Viagra or

Falco  16:13  
while I don't I don't get Viagra stuff, I get it. It really is. It's it's gambling, gambling, gambling, and from good, ostensibly progressive people as well, who knows these podcasts. I can't I can't square that circle. But it comes

Brian Heater  16:28  
down to personal decision, because I think you're a vegetarian. Is that right?

Falco  16:31  
I am only for only for the last five years. So it's not a

Brian Heater  16:37  
that complicates things. Obesity, you know, there's life getting older is a series of determining which compromises you aren't aren't willing to make.

Falco  16:48  
Yeah, very, very, very, yeah, very much so. But I suppose the way unless there's a major health concern, which forces everything into a focus, it's all about convincing yourself you're not making compromises. You're making decisions based on being pragmatic, but essentially, if you if you took an overview of everything, yes, they are. They are compromises between yourself and your eternal soul in sometimes in order to, to further your existence on this on this world. I mean, I've had quite a few health concerns over the last few years. A lot, actually, since, like, 2019, I hadn't really taken full account of everything, which happened in the last few years. Until a couple of days ago, probably in the in the midst, in the midst of isolation going, Okay, let's, let's, let's run an inventory over the last few years and sticking it all together in a line, it turns out this actually quite a lot happened. So So yeah, series of a series of compromises. Or you might just say, surviving,

Brian Heater  18:03  
the math changes significantly when there's another human being, depending on your ability to make that money. Yeah, yeah.

Falco  18:11  
There's certainly, there's certainly does that certainly does. I mean, luckily, my, luckily my wife is in is very well, but there is, you know, being a self employed musician is not it's not the sensible way to raise a child. You could, you can think you can say that with a, with an objective force.

Brian Heater  18:36  
I think that's fair. And I but also, you know, knowing what I know about the health struggles that you've had, you have, you've had some of the worst possible health conditions, given what you do for a living.

Falco  18:48  
Or maybe I've had the health struggles because of what I do for a living, you know, there's a little little bit of both, I mean, tinnitus and or ear problems. I mean, that's ongoing, obviously, but that's culpable. It gets a bit ridiculous in terms of the safeguards you have to put in place but it's culpable. The sciatica went through for four or five months in the middle of 2000 was just was just unbearable. I've never felt so I always thought I had a high pain threshold. But it was it was absolutely unbearable. And it wasn't just that really just the sheer amount of pain which meant that only slept for I was sleeping for like an hour a night for for three months. That's I unless somebody's been through something like that. I literally cannot describe the the half world that you went to during during similar that

Brian Heater  19:48  
as a matter of fact, I had an MRI two weeks ago. I have degenerative disc disease and my L four l five o Reindl stenosis and the sciatica button walk with a cane and it's, you know, I'd say, consistently maybe seven out of 10 worst pain I've ever felt.

Falco  20:07  
Right? And oh, so does it so it doesn't go down from that seven does

Brian Heater  20:11  
it? Does it shoots down it the I'll cut the cells, it's probably not interesting. No, no no interest basically. Yeah, basically, I was actually exercising at the time and you knock the disc out. And then it, it causes something called spinal stenosis, which is like a thinning of the nerves.

Falco  20:33  
The fact that the disc has been knocked out in effects makes it decay. In effect,

Brian Heater  20:39  
the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve. So it's yes. All the way down. Yeah, yeah.

Falco  20:44  
And I it's all I mean, for me, the pain didn't stop. It was and I couldn't sit down because of the position of it. And I didn't sit down for five months. And I just so i Luckily, I got a sit stand desk just before this started. But I was standing up for 23 hours a day. And I ended up with just a huge welts on my shoulders. And it sounds ridiculous, but it was it was 23 hours a day. I didn't need and it got to the stage where I didn't need it and even ended up going to bed. And I was looking after a two year old child during the pandemic, and I was falling asleep standing up. There are people who go through worse things, but it was like it was like an incredible madness. I'm not a huge fan of drugs and medication at the best of times, but I was on codeine, I was on Oxycontin.

Brian Heater  21:51  
Yeah, I don't know if it's exactly the same over there. But here they they do not prescribe that lightly. No.

Falco  21:57  
Well, I was on that for I think two weeks. So if there's oxycontin oxycodone, basically they're the same drug but it's the the tale of it is to do with the how the time it's released into your blood.

Brian Heater  22:12  
But it's an opioid. It's an opioid. Yeah.

Falco  22:15  
But I was just, like sick with with drugs. I mean, just completely disoriented. I prefer being in pain to being on the drugs, to be honest, like being disoriented. But anyway, let's not focus. Actually, I shouldn't I shouldn't have brought I shouldn't have brought that up. Let's let's, let's talk about I

Brian Heater  22:34  
did want to touch on it, because obviously, it's relevant. And, you know, he, sorry, I'm gonna pronounce it the American way. But suffering tinnitus is not. So it's a pretty common thing to certain extent with rock musicians. Certainly, I know like, Pete Townsend very famously has struggled with it. But it sounds like yours is next level to the point that it is distracting if not painful. Well,

Falco  22:59  
at the start, I think in general, it's in general now it's maybe what you'd call a standard level. But when when the problem first reared its head was a high type of hyperacusis as well. So So I couldn't even be in a room with like a running tap. And say, with normal tinnitus, tinnitus, you can maybe you've got to you've got a certain level, so you can mask it with another sound. Because of the hyper acoustics, it meant that if you masked it with another sound, the volume would just go up like that. So there was there was literally

Brian Heater  23:32  
I wasn't familiar. I know I'm familiar with misophonia, which I've gotten convinced I have but hyperacusis is actually painful. Loud sounds are

Falco  23:42  
Yeah, I mean, it wasn't that it was necessarily painful. It was that it was it was more of an instantly an instantly reactive tinnitus. And so it was it was completely so like walking down the road and there being trucks going past was just unbearable. And so that was probably be the case for the first couple of months. But managed to normal life is fine. Now. Absolutely, absolutely fine. Even going to a bar or whatever that that's fine. The the issue is the issue is specifically very loud rock music involving drums, which it turns out is which it turns out is what I do so I'm in the last year has been working out ways to do it. worked out the way the way to do it now, which is basically using any ear monitors under ear defenders. There are times where the ear defenders feel excessive. And then Jack starts playing drums and they don't start and they don't feel as excessive. There's a couple of especially mcklusky songs chases being the most notable one, but when he starts playing, it's like yeah, I definitely I definitely need easier defenders. And I suspect really I needed them all along. And then maybe I wouldn't be in this position, I've always taken fairly good care of my ears, but I should have taken better care. And that's just, that's just where we are really, I've worn earplugs for years, I've lectured people on wearing earplugs for years. I've warrior earplugs, maybe 8595 85 90% of the time that that amount should have been 100% of the time. So you live and you learn. And I've lived, and I've fucking learned so, but managed to do four shows. In the last in the last few months, it's not exactly the same. It's grayed out front. There's no difference. It's not quite the same for me on stage yet. So I'm working on ways in order to change it up a little bit for myself, so I can get other things from the shows. And

Brian Heater  26:01  
you mean in terms of the energy you get in terms of the actually enjoying the experience? Yeah,

Falco  26:06  
absolutely. I'm, yeah, what I'm getting back from the crowd, what I'm getting from myself, what I'm getting, yeah, the whole the whole experience. I mean, like I say, I've always worn ear protection on stage. That's always you know, dampened down things a bit. But sometimes you can take what you want from a show what or what you need from a show from the reaction of the person directly stood directly in front of you. Or, but say, if you've got a stage, like we did, it didn't was in London recently, where it's quite a high, quite a high barrier. I mean, I'm enough of a professional to, to know the songs. And to understand that even if I'm not particularly enjoying the show in a moment, doesn't mean that the crowd aren't enjoying the show. I use the crowd Tim crowd respectfully, hopefully, there's enough people there to constitute a crowd the audience. But I really, for example, I get off stage sometimes. And some people go, that was a great show. And I've learned enough now to go. Yeah, as opposed to, actually that was, was bullshit.

Brian Heater  27:24  
That is such a that's an ongoing struggle, or like, you know, like, as a writer, somebody in compliment, something I wrote, you know, 10 years ago, I'm like, I'm much better now. That was was terrible. But you horrible impulse.

Falco  27:35  
Yeah. But it is, it's a real impulse. But it's part of understanding, understanding it from from all sides of the debate, that it's fine to think that and, um, for the people who say that they genuinely, they genuinely mean it, I'm not going to spoil somebody's nice time. 20 years ago, I would have spotted that person's nice time, because frankly, it was all about me then, because I was in my 20s. And even though I didn't consciously think of the world in that way that it was all about me, I was still very much very much down with the idea of, you know, the a rock show being a an intersection between an audience and a performer. I didn't really know any differently, but um, yeah, it's, it's going to be a question of finding out how to enjoy things differently. I think I enjoyed, I would say, I really enjoy two of the four shows we've done. And two of the other shows are dead, I felt a little bit disconnected from the process. But nobody in the crowd sort of was disconnected from it, I'm having to Part A large part of the show is talking to the audience. I'm not quite as necessarily speedy and reactive to that, because even though we have a mic set up, I'm not necessarily going to hear all the things I was always hearing. So I'm having to, you know, I'm trying to introduce a couple of little, little, small comedy elements in order to play off the idea and also not hide from the fact that wearing your defenders, not trying to, it's like not trying to use some kind of, I don't want to use the term disability, but certainly a some kind of it's a physical impairment, which stops you functioning in the way that you you'd want to so I'm trying to make that the feature as opposed to a like, like a bug to use to use the modern Geez, that is a modern language that we you know, Jesus that the modern way we discuss these things. So, for example, we have like a little jumble which It is. It's funny. It's funny to have that we call it we call it the Great Wall of Ecclestone. Hang things off a knock on it occasionally try and make it a fun thing rather than a rather than a subjective of shame. You know, if there's, if there's shame, I'm sure we can find. I'm sure we can find actual reasons to feel shame. Yeah, there's plenty there's plenty of there's plenty of plenty of shame to go around. We don't need. We don't need any we don't need to construct any of that from our, from our nightmares. No. But

Brian Heater  30:33  
it's also useful if you're somebody who has been going out of his way to tell people to wear ear protection to show them that you are both wearing it and need to wear it. It's it's kind of a I don't, this is gonna sound bad, but it's a cautionary tale. Yeah,

Falco  30:49  
it's a cautionary tale. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm not sure a lot of people will take it that way. Or maybe, or maybe they will, but I don't think they will in the moment,

Brian Heater  31:02  
you had to cancel the US tour like this is this is not a small thing for you. No,

Falco  31:07  
no, it was so heartbreaking. And so not not just a loss of revenue, but so enormously expensive. I'll probably be financially recovering for it from it for the next five years. So not that I was in effect. I mean, but I genuinely I've made a I have a resolve not to talk about that's that side of it. Because I You see, when when when artists talk about that kind of thing, it can come across as incredibly selfish. Nobody forces you to do this thing. But But yeah, it was. It was It was an unbelievable, and I'll yeah, I'll be I'll be dealing with that for a long time. But he I mean, even the upcoming two witnesses finish, we need to sell T shirts in order to make it work. That's, that's just the way it is. And you either accept it. It's basically a what's the best way to put it? It's an $80,000 bet that you might make that you might make $10,000. It's which, you know, and we were talking about gambling earlier. That is not a bet that a lot of people would a lot of people would take on but I just I just love it so much. I it's it's it's everything. To me. It's everything. It's not everything that I am but it's it's a lot of the things that I am and so there's there's almost until somebody bodily stops me doing it. There's no There's no alternative really. And it's and there is something uniquely romantic about touring the states. Fuck me. I wouldn't want to live there. No offense. was born here. Yeah, it's a it's a place of it's a place of absolute madness. I mean, I mean, Britain, Britain definitely has its has its issues times at times 1000. But where I would say we're a less we're a less egregiously insane place might be a nicer I

Brian Heater  33:33  
live in New York City, obviously a little bit different than other parts of the country. But this morning, or last few days, I don't know if you heard about the Prague shooting that happened on the university campus. Oh, yes, I did. Yeah. Yeah. Obviously, relief is not the right word. But it was like, Oh, well, for once this isn't happening in America.

Falco  33:55  
Sure, yeah. Which is which is which is which is mental, of course, because you would, because that story is just, it's almost an American story. transplanted to another country. It is

Brian Heater  34:06  
a young, young, angry white man shoots up college. That's a very American shooter story.

Falco  34:13  
It's just but we, we you know, there are exceptions, of course, but British society. British society doesn't have the organizational skills in order to I and again, I say that a little deliberately but there's, there's something about you can you can even look at Britain in terms of our weather. You know, well, I have friends who live in Boston. My idea of cold is not is not the reality of the code of the code you guys deal with but

Brian Heater  34:47  
in Boston's idea of cold is not Minnesota's idea of cold it gets real cold. Yeah, get up to Canada.

Falco  34:54  
Yeah. Yeah. I'm and again, I, you know, as is an old fellow as well, now it gets out He gets beyond freezing and I'm outside wearing two or three coats and nobody wants that from their from their fifth division rock God, you know, Why is that guy wearing two coats? Well you imagine this is cold. Imagine

Brian Heater  35:18  
having to sort of subsist on merch, though I mean, that's not a that's not a unique issue and 2023 that's just kind of like at the level that you're at. That's just how things are.

Falco  35:30  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, just, it just is. It's how people exist. It just, it's just a shame. You know, I mean, I take pride, I take pride in it, I mean, we don't just shovel out T shirts for there's a certain amount, it's not like there's a certain amount of, there's a certain amount of, of money out there, we need to produce these T shirts in order to Hoover it all fucking up. It's not like that I do take pride and what we put out, but I'm also aware that sometimes people buy. Now even sometimes, oftentimes, people buy T shirts, explicitly to just support. The garment itself is almost some pun intended in material. It's a show of, it's a show of support. I know plenty people who just buy the T shirts and then put them in a drawer somewhere. Which is a shame, because there's a lot of there's a lot of time and effort goes into the designs. And especially sizing the prints on my word you wouldn't even imagine. For some reason Australians want to size the prints bigger than bigger than the size of most most T shirts. I'm not entirely sure why that is. Maybe that I don't know, maybe it's a maybe it's a perspective thing. But yeah, it's T shirts or T shirts, posters, or it's where it's where the profit margin is. Basically, what you want is you want fees if you can to cover your costs. We are hurt a lot in the states by the fact that there's a 30% withholding tax on everything. If that wasn't the case, if that wasn't the case, then we'd actually make we'd actually make some money from the shows. But but it is that suit we don't. So that's just the way just the way it is. And

Brian Heater  37:33  
I want to be too crass about this. But you know, the decision to really start doing McCluskey not full time, but you know, to really kind of dive into it, how much of that was a pragmatic decision? How much of that was, you know, okay, well, this is the thing that people want now, and this is I can start actually touring on this and playing

Falco  37:53  
and not so much. I mean, it obviously helps in terms of the opportunities. It more came from the vacuum, the fact that feature the left wasn't able to do anything really because of various childcare issues. And so it started happening, I mean, the initial mcklusky shows as in clothes, like nine years ago, they they were very much seen as, as in isolation, there was there wasn't going to be any, any more of those. So they were specific. I

Brian Heater  38:26  
should interject too, by the way, for people who don't know that you're in the band with your wife feature of the left, which makes things that much more complicated

Falco  38:34  
is absolutely so as Kelowna operator have a small child, it's, it can be it, it's more difficult than we imagined, although we are looking at ways to I mean, it would have to be said that our daughter is supportive of our music that would be you know, which which is nice of her

Brian Heater  38:54  
she actually wears a t shirt, she doesn't just put it in the gear.

Falco  38:57  
Yeah, she No, she does. And she has she has on occasion sat us down and said we need to do you need to do future the left you know, so, you know that is studies something coming from a six year old. So, so fair play to her. So it more started you know from from that that vacuum, couple of one off shows and it in as much as these things can happen organically. It happened organically the initial idea in 2019 was to well the principle was not to even go out looking for shows was to wait for people to come to us. And after one or two shows happened it snowballed. I didn't contact until it came to the actual London shows. We did it 2019 where there'd been a guy Danny we'd been working for for years and future the left I contacted him because it only felt right to give him like first dibs on doing the shows. I hadn't contacted one promoter about doing the show and by that stage we were like 10 shows and you wait for people to come to you the financial aid Connection that is when people are coming to you is then you have more power in terms of negotiation. Their leverage, always better setting in American accent leverage. But we've had that so, so yeah. I'm obviously Mike, because of everything that's going on my head is currently more in mcklusky. But I'm just happy to make loud rock, music, whatever whatever name it is in which whichever, with whomever, whichever friends happen to be having to be present, making music with, and spending time with friends is much more important to me than it used to be. That is now that is now a feature of it. But in the years gone by it was I wouldn't I wouldn't say it was an irrelevance. It was always nice. But the music itself was the was the, you know, the Prime Directive, but it's so lovely to spend time with people. And especially because people having done it for so many years, they don't accidentally find themselves in this position anymore that they use, and they usually have a lot else going on in their lives. And when they find themselves in the position of whether it's rehearsing or traveling to a show or playing a show. Not only are they very practiced in what they should do and not do, and I think practiced enough to really enjoy it, but not having done it enough to be jaded in any way. I mean, when I think about the amount of shows I've done over the last 10 years, it's not actually that many shows, really. I think if I'd been playing sets with lightsaber cocksucking blues in it for 20 years, I'd been playing it 250 times a year. I think I think I'd probably have had enough for that song. In fact, I think I think I should have had enough for that song. But I haven't. I mean, I don't need to rehearse it. So I mean, we're the least well rehearsed band in the world. We just don't I mean, the songs are exceptionally simple feature, the left songs are more complicated in the sense that they require more, more timing, and you need to more of a more of a command or at least commands, maybe exaggerating understanding of space and timing. What are some Cholesky songs, you just pick them up and play one riff and rattle through you just hopefully remember which order the verses go in. But if you don't, you can sing the second verse first. And second, it doesn't matter. Nobody's going to sue you,

Brian Heater  42:52  
as we were discussing before you as hopefully most people are, you are a dramatically different person in a lot of ways than you were when those songs were written. They were you know, in effect, kind of written by a different person, what, what is your relationship to them when replaying them?

Falco  43:11  
I think the person who wrote them, I'm not a dramatically different person, I think the person who, whose life surrounded the person who wrote those, I'm a drum, obviously a dramatically different person. But now I feel very comfortable playing them, I don't have to, I don't have to cause play my 24 year old self or wherever, it's very easy. It's fun. stills feels like myself, and it feels better. It's, it's it. It doesn't necessarily sound this way. But it's always meant to be it's always meant to be joyful. There's no I mean, it's very difficult to communicate directly with your own subconscious. But I'm not. Aside from the odd line, which has a certain relevance to myself, whether that's in a mcklusky future, the left stuff, and even then I can only really think of four or five lines off the top of my head, not really settling any scores or working off any teenage angst. Or, you know, I wrote songs like that when I was a teenager, but I had good grace not too good grace, or rather lack of opportunity, not to release them. It's meant to be joyful. It's meant to be really good fun. And it really feels that way. Now there was a lot of conflict and by conflict, I don't mean some ridiculous screaming conflict. That was never the case in McCluskey. We weren't really those personality types. But there was tension would probably be the The right word. And having to motivate, I mean, especially the original lineup of the band. That was very lonely, a very lonely experience for me, because even though they were both very talented guys, I was the person who, probably for entirely selfish reasons, the band was the most important thing to me. And the other two, again, whether I try not to psychoanalyze people, I think that's it's only polite, I tried to deal with just what's in front of me. But the reality on the ground was that what a reality on the ground, what I what I dealt with was people seeming to realize that, you know, again, it would be an exaggeration to say they use that against against me, but they definitely understood that I would make all the compromises which were required to push things along. That's just, that's just not the case anymore. So it's, it's just loads of fun. Everybody's, everybody's on that same metaphorical page that everybody loves to be on. And the only issue is, we just don't have a lot of time. Because everybody has kids. Jack lives in a different city, Damien, I live in the same city, but even then, we get to rehearse maybe once once a month for two hours. And it's a shame. If we had the resources of a, of a bigger band, or the the financially or the, or the time resources of the younger band, then we probably have an album Ready next week. But as it is, as it is, we've got half an album on the basis of, I don't know, 1010 rehearsals, which is, which is fantastic. But, again, we just need to accept that for what it is and move on to stuff we've already recorded since since in our own terms. It's fantastic. It's very happy. And you anybody who's anybody who's an existing fan of the band will like it. sounds. It sounds like the band of 20 years ago, but something else as well. Without pinning too much of a, an evolution badge on it. But it does it's not. It's the same, but it's it's the same, but it's not the same.

Brian Heater  47:41  
Was there initial hesitancy to start writing again as mcklusky? Yeah,

Falco  47:48  
there's, there's there was some, but at the very least, it would just be a nice time with friends and playing some music. And if it doesn't work, doesn't work. No, no pressure. There's no pressure, really. I think there came a time where maybe after three or four rehearsals, where you've got a couple of you've got the inklings of something happening, but maybe nothing substantive that then then the pressure kind of kicks in and say, No, this, this could, this could be something but then it disappears again, and you just remember to enjoy it. And, and again, having been through the process of writing a lot of records. Even when things aren't working, you're doing you're doing good work

Brian Heater  48:34  
the first time around. You were very adamant that the band was not getting back together that there would be no farewell tour. Yeah,

Falco  48:40  
yeah. Well, well, it hasn't. You know, it hasn't. I mean, it has yes and no right now it's it's uh oh, is

Brian Heater  48:48  
this the Asterix conversation?

Falco  48:50  
No, no, it's not even the Asterix? It's, it's I mean, the Asterix I'm half considering putting it on as a sticker on the record. So you can see you can like Velvet Underground. You can. Yeah, so you can you can add it to the cannon or you can go well, this is different. You know, it's like a cause they're cosplaying it. You got Yeah, fair, fair enough. You decide you decide. But I'm quite, I've done enough with that name. When the band split up, I would have said, Yeah, I was the main contributor to that band. But I feel as if everybody involved was enough of the part of that story to mean that I don't lay so clean to what whatever that is, as the years have gone by, and everything I've done with other things, and how much have talked and I don't want to talk about a myth all you know, whatever trend or literature it's not that I don't try to think of in those terms. I don't think of it in those terms. I feel as if I own it a lot more now than I ever did. It's mine frankly, it belongs to me. It's imbued with with a lot of me There's some fantastic musicians on on, on those records the record wouldn't sound the same without them. And at times, they were fantastic people at times, they were less than fantastic people. I'm sure the same also applies to me. It's it is mcklusky. I think saying it's reformed. That I think at that point, it becomes maybe misleading or, or a little bit disrespectful to say John Chappell, who was originally in the band, he's not a part of it anymore. And I think it also becomes disrespectful to Damian, who wasn't in the original lineup, he's far more of a fan of the band, at least in his current form, and he's got plenty of time to get jaded and annoyed. As as as as it goes. He deserves some, like respect. In terms of I'm not suggesting you're not giving it to him. And believe me, if he was stood in front of you, you would because he's the size of seven houses. But it's, yeah, I'm when the band split up. i It had to split up, it just felt that way, it was instinctive. When we started doing the shows, again, in 2019. The Asterix just felt right, again, purely instinctive. This just feels right. Again, to call it mcklusky. That's what it is. It has the essence of it. It has the, it has the swagger without being a bunch of decades about I mean, I hope open this environment, come across as reflective and as a normal as a normal functioning person. That's not That's not the band on stage, the band on stage. And again, it's not, it's not going on stage and deliberately assuming a personality or anything like that right time to be on stage Falco, man, it doesn't work like that. But it, it just happens, it's like a white line fever or something, it just, it just happens. And the band on stage is better than it's ever been. It just is it's an objective truth. It doesn't have the same excitement for a lot of people, because they're not witnessing it at a particular age of their development. And unless they are, because some people are, and that's been one of the really good things, especially when we play in bigger cities, seeing the variety of people as people of ages, different different genders, different races, more so in the states to be honest, rock roads are more, you know, mana my ugly, white in the UK. And it's that it just gives it a different energy. When you play to a crowd of I'm a white man in my 40s myself, but when you play to a crowd of just white men in the 40s, as well, as you play the the energy feels like the energy doesn't have somewhere to go. It feels it can it can still be can still be wonderful. When, when you're playing to everybody. And by that I mean from people from 16, through to three to 75, which bigger shows with bigger constituency, a bigger pulling area you're gonna get, it can just feel it can just feel magical. You know, I can just, and that's when you know, you're not just making a type of music, a cul de sac of, you know, the cul de sac ins I'm not

Brian Heater  53:27  
even I do. It's called the sack court.

Falco  53:30  
Yeah, yes. Yeah. You don't feel as if you're just shouting it yourself in a mirror or something. You feel as if there's a there's a joy and, and I think, you know, a lot of a lot of that reaches to do with people writing about us. Like for years, it's to do with the success of bands like, like idols. Were just, you know, whatever you think about bands like that, it helps it to spread that a little bit further. And, yeah, that that's actually a really, really lovely thing. The, the energy you get from knowing you're not just in effect, speaking to yourself is, is really, really rewarding. really rewarding.

Brian Heater  54:21  
I think one of the other differences when you were however old you were when you broke up and said that there's no way at the time, you could have predicted the life the band would have taken on subsequently. I know this is like not a cool thing to say. But I'm I discovered the band through the compilation. Probably a lot of people did. Um,

Falco  54:42  
yeah, absolutely. No, I thought that was just the end of that. And then there was something else, which was the healthy way to look at it. Of course, you don't, you don't end a band and go right. Now let's propagate the myth. You don't own or maybe you do. I don't know. Maybe that's the mistake I made I didn't immediately get on to some fucking propagating. No, I had no idea. Not not the first idea. And it's great that say the American tour we're doing is selling reasonably well. It's selling far better than any American tour we did during the first incarnation of the band. That's one of one of the only puzzling not upsetting either, what's the right word? frustrating things to have to add. So I had to work through my major emotions to get to get to where I was going to there are 12 steps that 12 Step ah, the 12, the 12 the 12 steps of 12 steps of indie rock that when people talk about a band to in this great position, and it just it just fell apart, we did it didn't fall apart purely because it was in this, like this fantastic position, we did do some great shows, but in during the first incarnation of the band, I think we sold out five or six shows across, you know, the entire run of that band, a couple of which would have been in the mercury lounge in New York because it's a small venue. It's small, it's like 220 people something so so it wasn't like it was this glorious run which came to this sudden, sudden halt we'll probably sell out as many shows on this North American tour as we sold out in totality during the first run so there is there is romance in the past while we were all younger than or start but there is there also has to be a you know an acceptance that you know, those rose as rose colored rose tinted glasses or whatever the hell the thing is, I don't know. I just went normal. Our normal spectacles. You nailed it. Yeah. They they definitely are on and you need to come to stuff with with a fresh perspective. Undoubtedly, I guess some people will will come to the show and not enjoy maybe as much as they remember enjoying it 2020 years ago. Yeah, but I hope they have the politeness to keep that to them fucking selves. Because because they you know, we're not necessarily the not necessarily great at taking criticism. Especially not whilst on stage that's that's rock back. That's rock band and or perform a one on one don't criticize people whilst on or immediately after leaving stage. But I'm fairly confident that people will come away going I was pretty fucking good, wasn't it? Because it is, but I wouldn't put so much time and effort and so much so much financial Jeopardy in is something which was something which was coaxed out