Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Hello, my name is John Cruppe [founder and lead guitarist of Fallen Angel]. My bandmates are James DiPinto [lead guitar], Steve Seniuk [lead vocals], Bob Embury [Bass], and Frankie Quaggs [Drums]   What does the band name mean and how do you get it? The band name is Fallen Angel so it‘s pretty straight forward, I came up with the name back in 1984 prior to recording our original demos as kids and thought it was perfect for the band. Make no mistake, even though others have tried using the name, we are the one and only band with the rights to that name seeing as it‘s who we have been for over 34 years.   Where and how was the band founded? Like most bands starting we were a group of friends and I think we all got together in a basement after setting up some gear, and had a few tryouts of other musicians until we rounded out our first line-up. This was in Rochester NY around 1983.   Have you played in other bands before? Other members of Fallen Angel have had side projects but I have only focussed on this band for most of my life. I was in a couple things prior but just random things. Fallen Angel has always been my primary focus.   Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band? Well, that‘s a tricky question, honestly. I have always tried to be as best a friend as I could to anyone who has been part of the band, and I still do. However some members of the past just didn‘t work out for one reason or another. I won‘t name names, but the usual things got in the way at times, like alcohol abuse, drugs, egos, musical differences. The typical crap that goes on in any band with or without fame. I am very happy where we are with our current line-up. Great friends and excellent musicians, it‘s the perfect combination.   What does the band name mean? Well as I said, Fallen Angel is self explanatory by definition. Everyone basically knows what a Fallen Angel is. I would not consider a Fallen Angel to be an evil thing, but someone who questioned authority and was punished for it. I personally believe religious stories are basically fables or ways for certain humans to control other humans through fear of punishment after death. In reality most people question authority regularly and we would be foolish not to. Maybe there is a bit of Fallen Angel in all of us.   What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them ? I write the music and the lyrics for the band, which are all based on the fantasy fiction novels I‘ve authored of the same titles as the CDs. It‘s a planned trilogy and we are working on part 3 now.   Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you? There are countless bands who have inspired me personally. When reviewers compare us they say fans of Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, and Metallica [to name a few] will like Fallen Angel. All of those bands have inspired me at one time or another and I feel those comparisons put us in good company and I take that as a very high compliment. Other bands who have inspired me and who I favor greatly are Black Sabbath, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Slayer, Deep Purple, The Who, Pink Floyd, Blind Guardian, King Diamond, Cage, and many others.   Why should people listen to your music? Well without sounding too vain, I think true hard rock and metal fans will enjoy what we are doing on multiple levels if they enjoy deep rooted   heavy music with a conceptual story. It is the first of its kind being based on a trilogy of novels written by a band member. Of course we are not the first to use conceptual ideas but nothing like this has ever been done before, plus I think people will see that it‘s sincere and well made. I try to give fans more than they expect yet still leave them wanting more.   Your story goes back to the year 1983. What are your memories of the years 1983 to 1986? Those were the crazy years of figuring out who we were and what we were shooting for. We played with Metal Church and Raven in our first year as a band and I remember both of those bands being young and fresh too, and both bands treated us very well to say the least. Lots of chaos during those years, minimal budgets coupled with lots of fun and crazy times as well. The 80‘s was a strange decade and I tried to keep the band on its proper course through it all.   Why did you put the band on ice after a short time? A bunch of reasons. Musical differences, ego issues, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, nonsense and more nonsense. Typical band shit.   In 2009, you decided to make a new start with the band. what were the reasons for a new start? I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do, and I reformed the band with original and new members [some of which has changed since then for similar reasons stated prior] to create the project I‘ve worked on in my head for decades. People loved our original demos from the 80‘s which somehow made it all over the world back then, yet we were never signed in the early years. I personally financed our first CD „Crawling Out Of Hell“ in 2010 and self released it. Soon after we were signed to Killer Metal Records who released it again in 2014 with better distribution, as well as our second CD „Cast Out Of Heaven“ in 2018.   In 2010, your debut album Crawling Out of Hell releases the first part of a triology. How long did it take to work on the album? With the novel included, about 3 years.   Cast Out of Heaven Your second album was released in 2018 Why did it take a comparatively long time to release the second album? I suffered life or death brain surgery to remove a tumor from my lower medula in 2012 and had severe recovery issues. I literally had to retrain my left hand and arm to play again. It was like a wet noodle with no targeting control for a long time and I thought I might never play again. I am still recovering six years later but my playing is better than it was before the surgery due to me constantly practicing and retraining for a couple of years. Needless to say my band members were loyal and stood by me through it all.     How did the work go to the album and who supported you in its creation? Other than the medical delay, the creativity part went very well from the novel to the CD. All band members were very supportive as were family, friends, and fans of the band. We were signed during my recovery process which helped to raise the spirits and boost my drive to finish what I started. Like I said, I experienced a few dark and shaky moments along the way. Thinking about not being able to play again was devistating and hit me hard. Most people around me had faith in me and pushed me when I needed it. I knew my story and this work could be epic and make for something really special in the Metal World we love so much and I did not want to let anyone down, especially the fans.   Are you already working on new songs and what is the plan for the final part of the triology? There are some big ideas going on at the moment, and there will at least be 20 tracks for part 3 [which are mostly written], maybe more if I go a certain way. The 3rd novel is also in the works as well. The working title for both is „Fallen Angel III – The Rise Of The Fallen.“   You've been under contract with German label Killer Metal Records. How did you get in touch with the label and how do they work together? Originally they got in touch with me directly and we worked out the details from there. We have worked very well together and plan on doing our 3rd CD with them as well.   What was your first concert as a fan? And what memory do you have of it? I will give you 2 of my first 3. Triumph [Rock and Roll Machine tour], and Rush [Hemispheres tour]. Showing my age a bit there I guess. Let‘s just say those are the shows that started to change my life forever and coincidentally both were Canadian bands. Everything changed for me at age 13. To date and as a fan I have seen close to 400 shows and most of my heroes who are still alive and with us. Very few have eluded me.   What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play? Those early years opening for our heroes back then are most memorable, especially Metal Church on their first tour. They borrowed our drum riser after we played because they didn‘t have one, and a couple members really praised us after the show for doing what we were doing on our own as an unsigned band. We also recorded our first demos at the same studio Metallica recorded their first album at and that was a cool experience and an eye opener for us as a young band. I think Raven, The Rods, and Manowar recorded there too but I can‘t remember all the details after all these years.   Have already resulted in friendship ? Nothing long term if that‘s what you mean. The funny thing is recently I have become Facebook pals with Sean Peck of Cage and The Three Tremors. He was also very supportive when I underwent surgery and praised our new CD highly. He‘s a cool guy with lots of similar interests to say the least, not to mention a great singer.   Which band would you like to play live with and why? Black Sabbath, Rush, Slayer, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden. Why?   Because they are the elite and there are none better, and they are my personal heroes. There are a few others but let‘s just leave it at that.   With what do you earn your money except with the music? Any way I can.   How important are social media for you as a band? Seems like it‘s the important thing for every band out there these days. I just don‘t like living my personal life through it. Fallen Angel only is normally my modo for social media.   What would you want to achieve with the band? To bring our music to as many fans in the world as possible, and to share   my epic story with as many people as possible.   What do you think about the USA Metal scene in general? I think the music scene is all over the place as a business with minimal structure, but the fan base is incredible. Metal never goes out of style or gets old. It is always fresh and exciting from one area or another or from one band to another. Metal has a long shelf life with die hard fans where other genres have minimal staying power over the course of time. Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Metal have the staying power and long shelf life I am referring to from my perception, where pop and a few other genres have a much shorter life span as the decades pass.   Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? I am not sure if you mean the U.S. by saying my area, but I have a personal love for bands like Iced Earth [Florida], Cage [California], Tim Owens [Ohio] and a few others.   PERSONAL QUESTIONS !   Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? I grew up in Western NY and had a pretty typical childhood. Usual crap, parents divorced, mother remarried, wonderful and supportive grandparents. My birth father was a guitarist in the Jesus Christ Superstar tour in the 70‘s, so my grandparents were very supportive of music with me growing up, and they understood musicians even though neither of them played an instrument. My birth father was not a major part of my life, but it is safe to say that I got the music gene from that side of the family.   How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown ? Hmmm, had plenty of friends and was an average student or slightly better. Skipped class a lot. Smoked a lot of pot. Excelled in writing and literature, sucked at upper level mathmatics beyond geometry. School was not my favorite place to be like most, but I did my time.   How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do you feel about your music today? Most parents think music of the young is crap and everything they like are classics I think to some extent, yet I had decent support from my family like I said. More from some than others. I think as most people get older they think their time‘s music was the best and tell their kids that, but music grows and morphs and pushes on with each generation. It‘s all perspective from the individual in question. My mother is the only one left after all these years, and she may not get it exactly, but she is supportive.   Would you be successful in making music as a musician? I would like to think so especially under the right circumstances. To some extent I think we already are doing that, as we have fans all over the world and CDs all over the world.   Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? or rather looking for peace and relaxation in nature? I think I need a bit of both depending on my mood.   Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator? Spectator, especially after surgery. Mostly NFL American Football.   When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you If you mean can I cook? Ummm a little, but everything tastes better if someone else cooks it for you.   What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues) ? Metal heads may get older but they never stop being a metal head! That‘s a worldwide statement. Metal fans are the best and most loyal fans in the world of any genre.   How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere? Annoying as Hell, and most of those haters would not say things in a room full of people in fear of retaliation anyway, so their opinions are usually pointless. We call that internet courage with no balls!   What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse? Both. People abuse everything including the internet especially with theft and scams, but it helps to make the world a smaller place with many more opportunities and things at our fingertips that would otherwise not be there.   Which question would you like to have answered and why? Are we alone in the Universe? Just curious.   What would you personally like to do in your life? To be remembered for the music I make once I am gone.   Rochester – My Birthplace and Home.   Austria – A place I have yet to visit.   High Falls – Nothing major, just a water fall from the Genesee River in our city. Nothing like Niagara Falls though.   Eastman Kodak Company – Once this was a huge company for the film industry and not as big anymore. They also opened up a concert venue inside one of their older buildings recently and I have seen a few shows there.   Barbecue – Love it … Delicious!   Beer – I only drink a few types of beer for the most part. Molson, Heineken, and Samual Adams to name the top 3.   Mc Donalds – Quick and easy meals for fast food.   Movie or Series – Both actually. I am a huge movie buff with over 10,000 dvd/blu ray discs in my collection, and I love continuing series type of shows with cliffhanger endings leading into the next season or episode.   CD or Vinyl – Once again both. Convenience and clarity for CDs and awesomeness for better low end, size and packaging with Vinyl.   Stephen King – My Favorite Horror Author along with Anne Rice.   NFL or NBA – NFL without question!   Lord oft the Rings – The Best Trilogy in Literature and Film in my opinion, Tolkien is my favorite author over any author in any genre.   Oakland Raiders – My favorite NFL Football Team, even though they have been terrible over the last decade. I have been a fan since the 70‘s and the Ken „The Snake“ Stabler days.   Family – Family is very important, most of the older people in my family have passed away other than my mother who is in her 70‘s, and I have 2 beautiful daughters who mean the world to me. I also have cousins here and there but rarely see them. Time and age sends people on different paths sometimes.     Your top 10 all time album faves Not in any specific order… Black Sabbath – Sabotage Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Rush – A Farewell To Kings Rush – Hemispheres Judas Priest – Unleashed In The East Iron Maiden – Killers Iron Maiden – Number Of The Beast Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime Blind Guardian – Night At The Opera   your top 5 albums in time   ! Black Sabbath – Sabotage Rush – Hemispheres Judas Priest – Unleashed In The East Iron Maiden – Killers Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway The closing word is yours? I hope to bring something new and exciting to the Metal World and its fans with our Epic Project, and I hope to bring the fans back to a time where the artwork, lyrics and conceptual storyline allows them to dive deeper into a work than just a casual listen. I promise that if you put the headphones on and and lose yourself in our work you will not regret it. I also promise that if you view the artwork in the booklet and read the novels instead of doing a simple download you will be happy that you did and get much more out of it. My goal is to tell a great story, with great artwork, which accompanies excellent music, and to share it with fans across the world by giving them a bit more for their hard earned dollars. Fans and friends can reach out to me and the band at … www.facebook.com/john.cruppe   Come to where the Angels have fallen and Kick Some Ass with us! Horns High!!!
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