False Moves: An Under Cover Weekend Preview

They’re called False Moves, but they’re anything but careless. Composed of four serious – and seriously seasoned – musicians, Mike Cracchiolo’s newest project finds itself in the perfect position to perform at this year’s Under Cover Weekend at The Firebird. False Moves came to fruition during summer/fall of 2009, when Cracchiolo (bass/vocals) and longtime band mate and F’bird cohort Ryan Sears (guitar/vocals) enlisted pedal enthusiast Greg Braun (guitar) to fill in the space they were creating with FM’s soon-to-be signature brand of shoegaze space rock.

On September 10th, and for one night only, False Moves will become famed New York post-punkers Interpol, whom Cracchiolo credits with providing the soundtrack to his 20s.

In their first interview as a group (ever!), Sears, Braun, and Cracchiolo sat down with IWTAS to answer our questions about what makes a great band, accessibility in today’s popular music climate, and making the easy choice to cover Interpol.

False Moves' Interpol performance is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Photo by Bryan Sutter

Each member of the band has been or is still involved in other musical projects. How did the four of you [Paul Wood of Murder Happens is the fourth member of FM and plays drums] decide that False Moves was a viable and serious new venture?

MC: Well I think that the guiding principle of this band is that this is the project we’ve all been wanting to do. Our old bands were not necessarily the same sounding bands, but we’d end up on the same bills pretty often and we got to know one another, muscially, from those experiences.

GB: This band’s a cool confluence of some really good and like-minded ideas we all share.

Undercover Weekend will be your fourth show as False Moves. Are you excited to use your set as a springboard for your St. Louis “debut”?

RS: It’ll be a good way for people to see us for possibly the first time. We’re having a blast preparing for it, but we’re taking the Interpol set seriously.

MC: This band is very much about playing. I know that sounds strange because all bands are about “playing”, but we’re focusing on challenging ourselves and writing productively.

GB: Central to the whole operation is our collective desire to deliver a show that people can’t find anywhere else in town.

MC: [Laughs] Yeah, this is a niche market project for sure. That said, we’re aiming to impress.

You say niche market. Do you ever feel like anything except Americana or folk is a niche market in St. Louis? I’m a fan of both styles, but I often feel that way.

MC: There’s definitely an absence of what we’re doing, which is exciting. St. Louis, though, has always been an Americana and indie pop market.

Does playing in a style that might be viewed as less accessible to the casual listener mean a bigger risk or investment for you guys?

MC: I think the risk and investment lies less in style we’re playing and more in the level of musicianship we’re trying to showcase with False Moves. If any one of the members walked away from the band, our sound would be just…drastically altered. The thing I appreciate about this band is that we’re willing to push our egos aside in the interest of being better overall. At the end of the day, it’s not about the player, it’s about the song.

Talk about your choice to cover Interpol. Was it a no-brainer?

RS: Oh, it was automatic.

MC: I would’ve never thought to do Interpol if it wasn’t with this group of musicians. They’re a really tough band to dissect and then put back together. It’s almost like Interpol has three bass players. Everybody plays the guitar like a bass, or so it seems.

What’s your approach for covering other people’s material when False Moves is a band that makes originals?

RS: It makes me feel like a teenager again, breaking other musicians’ work down to make myself a better player.

Is that process exciting or does it get monotonous?

MC: It’s exciting when you get it! We’ve had so many AUCW practices where I’ve gotten goosebumps when we’ve clicked on a certain song. There’s a little bit of magic in those moments. I don’t know how much of False Moves’ material sounds like Interpol, but our music is driving, it is sinister, it is technically proficient. Those are the threads of commonality that I see running between us and them.

GB: I’ve drawn a lot from these practices. My skill level has definitely improved, just from trying to do other people’s stuff more than just for fun.

Interpol has spent their entire career getting to be Interpol. What’s it feel like to have one shot at their music?

MC: Yeah, for most bands a show is just a snapshot in a much bigger album of their career. It’s a fluid thing. But the AUCW performance is the one picture we get.

Meet us at The Firebird on the 10th to photobomb False Moves’ snapshot of themselves as Interpol. Tickets are available right now.

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