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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 15 2010 at 04:05

Petroleum Falcon is a young US band who play early progressive rock from the early 1970s. Their debut album Breaking the Second Law has raised some eyebrows. 

I got in touch with Chris Livella for their story.


When, where and by whom were Petroleum Falcon started ? Why did you choose that name ? Were you involved in any other bands before you started Petroleum Falcon ?

Petroleum Falcon is a pseudonym for myself (Chris Livella) though other musicians could be involved in future projects.  The name seemed to represent a good confluence of cultural references and can be funny or serious, depending on how you look at it.  Oddly enough, the name was chosen before the BP oil spill which kind of adds a different angle...

There are a bunch of tracks and a solo album of from my past (all free) on the website.  I also worked (performing, mixing and/or mastering) on a number of other projects including Asteroid Advocate and The Mod Brothers.

Which bands were you influenced by ?

Definitely classic prog like Yes, Floyd, Crimson, Genesis, Tull, Rush, Zappa.  Less famous artists including Steve Tibbetts, Anekdoten, Landberk, Secret Chiefs 3, Ozric Tentacles.  Certainly a number of not-quite-prog acts like Radiohead, Zeppelin, Phish, Hendrix, Boards of Canada, Steve Vai, Dungen.  Lots...

Please give us your long or brief thoughts on your only album Breaking The Second Law released earlier this year. How would you describe the music ?

The album contains 11 instrumental tracks, 1 of which was recorded over 10 years ago and includes themes which pop up here and there in the other tracks.  2 are reanimated from my first "official" tape called The Non-Commercial.  3 tracks are cover songs from cult films.  There are a number of little "quotes" sprinkled throughout just to see if anyone is paying attention.  The tracks tend to have a wordless narrative which will tell different stories to different people.  As a whole, for me, there is an autobiographical aspect as well.

Where can this album be purchased from and how is it's distribution ? is the home site which includes info on the other stuff I mentioned above.  This album can be purchased from Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and a number of other digital outlets.  For now, this is a digital release though I have a limited supply of CDs too.

How is your writing and creative processes from riff and ideas to the finished product ?

I usually sketch out the basics on guitar, then let that roll around in my head for a while.  During the recording process I will come up with other twists and turns for the various instruments.  While mixing, even more strangeness can occur.  I'm definitely a big believer in using the studio as an instrument unto itself.

What is the latest updates and the plans for this and next year ?

This album has been a long time in the making.  On several occasions I had to fight the urge to stop and change direction completely.  Without a producer to keep you in line, finishing a project can be a real challenge.  Having finally reached that goal, I feel a great sense of freedom.  I can say the next project will still be instrumental.  Other than that, I'm not sure.  I don't see commercial success as a major goal so I doubt it will show up in the music but that doesn't mean I'm not open to more diverse influences.  I'm all too familiar with certain bands we know & love doing unique and interesting things, then veering off into more safe and mainstream waters.  Hopefully I can buck that trend.  Of course, that assumes what I've done so far is unique and interesting!

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ? 

I hope folks will give the tracks a listen and enjoy the music.

Thank you to Chris for this interview

This band is well worth keeping an eye on

Edited by toroddfuglesteg - September 21 2010 at 13:13
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