How did a... slip of a girly girl from west London become the internationallyignored song stylist barely standing before you?
Our story begins in August of 2001. From several thousand feet above, anidea. Or a spark of an idea. Call it divine inspiration, call it a stroke ofgenius. Call it the result of reading too many army books while listening totoo much Wumpscut. While on a plane en route from her native Ontario to NewJersey, a then-17-year-old Fallon Bowman was skimming a Tom Clancy novel whenshe hit upon the term "amphibious assault," a military tactic wherein anattack on a land base is carried out by troops landed by naval ships. Sheidly thought what an awesome name it would be for a band. Fallon had justrecently bowed out of her previous band, a relatively well-known metal quartetfrom back home in which she had been head axe-wielder and a sometimes vocalist- nothing like the EBM and industrial that had been haunting her discman forthe last several months. Although ideas for a possible future project werebeginning to develop, Bowman was unsure whether or not she wanted to continueto pursue music. She dismissed the thought and went about her business.
A few months later, Fallon decided she was over her hang-ups and ready towrite again. She bought a sequencer and began tinkering about with it in herbasement, curiously exploring the genre that she had admired for so long buthad never actively pursued. "I wasn't sure if I wanted to do music, so for awhile I was afraid to create - for fear that I couldn't create," Bowmanexplains. It was November of 2001, and the political climate around the worldwas tumultuous at best. "I was getting heavy into politics, because there wasa lot of stuff I was reading in the paper and seeing on TV that made me angryand depressed. I felt that writing about it would help exorcise the demonswithin me - and I had a lot. So songs just started to pour out of meand I would sit for hours, just piecing together whatever made my foot tap."The sound she had originally envisioned was something of a fusion betweenMinistry's The Land of Rape and Honey's weirdness and KMFDM'sAdios' ferocity. However, when the writing began she also foundherself listening to VNV Nation's Empires, and a softer, moremelody-driven sound came about.
Over the months that followed, Fallon turned her basement into a haven filledwith drum machines and synths, where experimental rhythms would bounce off thewalls at regular intervals. From this industrial bunker she meticulouslycrafted the songs that would become her debut album District 6. Herinfluences are obvious, but the sound is clearly her own - pounding,thunderous beats and unpredictable synths that weave in and out with an almostmathetmatical precision. Fallon's low, throaty, unmistakable voice coilsaround complex melodies and soars over pulsating rhythms, pushing a modernsound further than one could think possible. Fueled by an unerring passionfor conflict and politics, Bowman's music is a thunderous cry for itslisteners to stand up and challenge the world around them.
Above all else, the theme of District 6 is revolution. Bowman has longbeen fascinated by the military and political causes, but the state of theworld during the creative period for Amphibious Assault was nothing likeanyone had ever seen before. "As you know, with the election of PresidentBush, many things have transpired. With 9/11 and the imminent War on Iraq, Ihave certain feelings towards the actions and ideals of the man himself, andhow democracy is slowly fusing into a corrupt and semi-fascist conglomerate.I am worried about the spread of globilization, and the pain and suffering asa result of its spread - the suffering, the hate, the torment and exploitationrunning in the veins of this word is pure and venomous and most of the songsreflect my feelings on that." One needs only to listen to "Searchlight," thefirst completed Amphibious Assault track, to understand Bowman's politicalviews. An Atlas Shrugged-esque portrait of a post-apocalyptic worlddestroyed by greed, "Searchlight" carries Amphibious Assault's ultimatemessage - a warning to its listeners, an inspiration for awareness and aboveall a concern for the shape of things to come.
Amphibious Assault has taken its questionable beginnings and has turned theminto an incredible end product, one which is certain to have a strong impacton its audience. With its raw power and complex musical stylings, District6 is sure to raise many an eyebrow - but as long as it inspires itslisteners to think, Fallon Bowman's mission has been achieved.
- Stefanie Schwartz