OXFORD — Those visiting the Oxford County Fair on Saturday, Sept. 19, will hear some rip roaring rock from Beyond the Fall as the band tears through heavy rifts, groovy tunes and sing-along lyrics.
The Lewiston-Auburn-based four-piece band formed in mid-2009 and has been playing shows in Maine and across New England ever since. It’s comprised of lead guitarist Eric Wright; lead vocalist, acoustic guitarist and keyboardist Matt Fournier; bassist Geoff Whiteley and drummer Tony Cortez.
The band will hit the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Oxford Fairgrounds at 68 Pottle Road, Oxford. Admission for Saturday is $10 and children five and younger are free.
Beyond the Fall, or BTF as fans call it, has opened for the likes of Shine Down, Papa Roach, Fuel and Don Dokken of Dokken, who produced BTF’s single “Another Time.” It has also played at a Bangor music festival with Godsmack. Other bands Wright likened his group’s music to include Breaking Benjamin and Three Doors Down.
“We’re in that whole spectrum, some lighter ones, some mid-stream, some on the heavier side. We’re not going to be up there screaming all night. We actually sing and harmonize. You can understand the lyrics,” he said by phone recently. “Our music tends to be groovy with some sections (fans) can get into a little bit more and some sections where they can relax and (feel) laid back a little bit.”
None of the band members took any professional music lessons, Wright said.
“We’re all primarily self-taught and play by ear and just pick up things along the way,” he said, noting he used to rent tapes for his VCR by professional guitarists to pick up some new licks. “For me, it was always just listening. I have always had a knack where I could listen to something, pick it out and start playing.”
Wright and Cortez have been lifelong friends and played in several bands together before forming BTF. Cortez began playing drums around eight or nine and Wright picked up a guitar when he was 11 or 12.
“We used to end up jamming together back when we were just kids,” Wright said.
Around that time, the duo listened to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. And during their high school years, the teenagers moved onto Motley Crue, Scorpion, Dio and Ratt. While these musicians influenced BTF, they’ve added their own style to their original music, including things they’ve picked up along the way from magazines and watching videos on YouTube.
“It’s an evolving, learning process and you get to a point where you finally have your bulk of who you have become as a musician,” Wright said. “You try to add or tweak a bit here or there along your journey.”
The name Beyond the Fall came to Wright after a disagreement within the band. While at work, he considered some of the names already tossed around and dropped and plucked three words he thought worked well together. Beyond the Fall had a decent ring to it, but there was also meaning behind the name.
“It kind of explains our trials and tribulations in life. Maybe you’ve been down before, but maybe you’re back up and beyond whatever kept you down, kicked you down,” Wright said. “No matter what you go through, if you stay strong and persevere, you can get through that and have the light at the end of the tunnel.”
BTF released its first album in April 2012, “Face the Music,” which hit number 20 on Bull Moose Music’s Top 20 local CD sales in 2012. Come November, the band’s second album will drop, “The Struggle Within.”
“This one is a combination. … There’s new material. There’s some (songs) that are a tiny bit old and some that are very old we decided to revamp,” Wright said. “It’s a little bit of then and now.”
He said fans will notice better sound quality and a little more maturity from the band on the new release, adding life and finances prevented it from producing a second album for the past three years.
“If we were rich, we would have probably already had another two more albums. Being an all-original band, you don’t get rich,” he said. “If you’re doing it to try and get rich and famous, forget about it. … You’ve got to do it for the love of it first, then if you get perks, run into the right people, land the right record deal, then that’s icing on the cake. … You’re going to enjoy the guys you play with, put on a good show (and get) an adrenaline rush.”
BTF’s two albums will be available at any Bull Moose Music location, can be purchased online on iTunes and Amazon and CDs will be available Saturday night of the fair.
For more information about Beyond the Fall, visit www.facebook.com/beyondthefallband and www.reverbnation.com/beyondthefallmusic. For more information on the Oxford County Fair, visit www.oxfordcountyfair.com/.