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False Pockets Debut LP ‘Selfish Prophecies’ – Interview & Review

False Pockets’ debut album, Selfish Prophecies, is an amalgamation of sporadicity and routine. Whimsical riffs, spur-of-the-moment muscle memory, and an interstellar interlude constellate the nebula.

False Pockets’ 2019 self-titled EP gifted a euphonic infinity of romantic syncopation. Riveting resonance autographed their February 2022 love letter to velocity.

“Quarter Life Crisis Diapers” (my personal favorite) is a work of generous grace notes, delicate dissonance, and iambic pentameter splendor. The chorale channels angelic animosity and formats the faultless friction of the future.

NASA would reward Erik Happ’s lucid ledger lines, Ben Chesnes’ copper alloy aeronautics, and Zack Parker’s four-stringed magnetosphere with a standing ovation.

In an interview with the Rochester, New York trio, they shared their excitement equation, how they catalog their memories, and what makes their hearts sing.

Photo by Teagan West

Erik! Ben! Zack! What’s up?! Thank you infinitely for your time. We’re super excited to help celebrate Selfish Prophecies! I would love to begin by asking – how are you? Are you all feeling okay?

​​Erik: I am pretty darn swell!

Ben: I’m doing well!

Zack: Feeling pretty great! There’s no better feeling than getting music out for people to hear. And since this record took us a couple of years to write and produce, it feels better than ever to get it out to the world.

Congratulations on the release of your first album! Out of the million you must be experiencing, which emotions are the most surprising?

Erik: Relieved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m stoked! But I’m ready for these songs to be out! Also, stank.

Ben: I can’t say that any have been that surprising. It’s mostly been a wonderful mix of excitement and also anxiety.

Zack: Relief. Part of me thought this day would never come, but we stayed persistent and worked through everything and ended up creating something I think all the members are pretty proud of.

What’s your excitement equation? What thrills you about your careers? What obstacles tend to obscure exhilaration?

Erik: My favorite part is definitely the walk out of the practice room after a solid session writing new material. It makes me feel like I have a suitcase full of finished goods to take home to the family, or something.

Ben: My favorite part of the creative process is exploring the unknown. It’s really cool watching something grow from nothing and not knowing what form it will take in the end.

Zack: I love all parts of the creative process, so that makes this band a perfect fit. We all get to have a say in every part of the process and it makes for a truly unique experience. For this record, I think our biggest obstacle was recording it. Having been our first time recording and mixing everything all by ourselves it made for a lot of trial and error, but in the end, I think it all worked out.

How do you catalog your memories? Does anyone keep a journal or photo album? Do you make vlogs? Do you collect your show flyers and tickets?

Erik: We like to take voice memos of cool parts that we come up with. Sometimes I’ll be sneaky and start recording before Ben walks in the room, so we have a candid jam full of ideas.

Ben: I’ve never been one to keep a journal so my go-to is to snag a picture. Other than that, I’m just always hoping that I’ll remember the important/cool stuff.

Zack: I’d like to say I journal, but I am very inconsistent with it. I think our most recent shows are a favorite memory for me. There was so much built-up tension in the band because we had never played the new songs for anyone before. Not many things feel the same as when you first put your art into the ether, but when it comes back with good reviews it takes a lot of pressure off. I truly think those shows gave us the final bit of drive to finish up our record and get it out for more ears to hear.

Photo by Teagan West

Let’s time travel back to your very first band rehearsal! What was that day like? What were you nervous about? How does that rehearsal compare and contrast to your most recent rehearsal?

Erik: It was a hot fall day, we drove out to our practice space in Farmington, which was a literal shed. I remember it going really well and I and Ben were like “yeah for sure.” I also remember having slight doubts at first because I thought Zack was “too good”. LOL.

Ben: It was my and Erik’s first time ever playing with Zack, so we didn’t really have many expectations. I remember it being like 90 degrees and a lot of fun! In contrast, our most recent practice was a little cold and a bit stressful as we were getting ready for some upcoming shows at the time.

Zack: Wow. A long time ago now, but I remember getting a call from Erik about joining this band, False Pockets. Hadn’t heard of them and I had no idea who Erik or Ben was at the time, so it definitely made for a nerve-racking first rehearsal. Not knowing them or the songs gave me a unique perspective to come in and really throw my own sound into the mix and see if we meshed. I’m happy to say we did and have been playing ever since. Now when we meet up it’s pretty easy. We always start with some food and catching up and shortly after we hit the studio for rehearsal. Usually takes a couple of tries to get our mojo back, but once we’re in it it feels like we never left.

How would you describe your approach to composition, orchestration, and arrangement?

Erik: I sort of just go in my room and start playing guitar until something catches my attention. Then I record a voice memo and take it to Ben.

Ben: As far as writing drum parts, I’m always trying to thread the needle between something that feels good, sounds cool, and fits the moment of the song – which isn’t as easy as it might seem!

Zack: Well, Erik is our mastermind and writes most of the songs by himself before he brings them to Ben and me. Ben and I usually have some ideas and we’ll flip flop parts or try different keys or grooves, but for the most part, the skeleton of the song is already written and we just gotta try and learn it.

If each of you could write a love letter to your instrument, what would you say?

Erik: “Why do you hurt me?”

Ben: “Thank you for always being an outlet for me and giving me opportunities to do things that I never thought I would. I really wish you were easier to transport though.”

Zack: Never really thought about it, but I would have to say thank you for always having my back. I have almost never had my gear be the driving factor in any problems. So, just knowing that it’s always reliable and I can put my all into it is a very safe feeling.

“Quarter Life Crisis Diapers” was released in January, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since! Do you put pressure on yourselves to have all the answers? What helps soothe your panic? Is hope a selfish prophecy?

Erik: I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself. I don’t know about having the answers, but at least being present and trying my best. I’m learning to be easier with myself.

Zack: I think everyone puts pressure on themselves to try and figure it all out. It almost seems easier to just have one opinion all the time that you can just say yes or no to. I find a good piece of art really soothes my emotions. Whether it’s a favorite song or a good book, being able to transport myself to another world is super powerful.

What makes your hearts sing?

Erik: A nicely cooked slab of salmon. A warm cup of coffee to start the day. Physical therapy. Water. Weed. And of course, creating art with my best friends.

Ben: Making music with my buds. Also, coffee.

Zack: Erik’s sweet sweet voice.

‘Selfish Prophecies’ Artwork

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