Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Nick Barlage Of Then Falls The Sky

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Album artwork for ‘Break Free.’ Photo courtesy of Frame The Stage.

After the release of their single “Blinded,” Ohio-based metal band Then Falls The Sky are set to put out their new EP ‘Break Free’ on July 15, 2020.

‘Break Free’ was recorded at After The Bridge Studio and produced, mixed and mastered by band guitarist Chad McElwee.

In 2018, their suicidal awareness song “Synical” won the Metal Song Of The Year by the IMEA Awards and followed up with their 2019 EP ‘Set On Rising.’

In addition to McElwee, Then Falls The Sky also features vocalist Nick Barlage, guitarist Jacob Smith, bassist Oney Michaels and drummer Amanda McElwee.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Barlage about the upcoming release and more.

Music Bugle – How did you guys get your name? 

Nick Barlage – Our founder and guitarist Chad McElwee fell asleep watching the History Channel and he thought he heard the narrator’s voice say, “Then Falls The Sky” as it woke him up. The narrator never said that, but the name stuck. Then Falls The Sky is a metaphor meaning the moment of clarity. 


Music Bugle – What excites you the most about metal music? 

Nick Barlage – The extreme expression of emotion and vulnerability that the artists show in the performances and recordings. We feel so passionately about life that we scream to the world.


Music Bugle – How would you describe Ohio to someone who has never been there before? 

Nick Barlage – There’s lots of trees and fields and within the foliage lies some very talented bands and amazing venues!


Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your EP ‘Break Free’? 

Nick Barlage – It was freeing to say the least, full on expression of our opinions on the times and self-experience, allowing ourselves and hopefully others to break free from the chaos and head-bang for 25 minutes!


Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Blinded” as the single ahead of the EP? 

Nick Barlage – When COVID-19 happened, we had to cancel the release and tour. Many of our fans reached out asking when we would release the EP, so we decided to release the single and wait for better timing on the rest of the EP. 


Music Bugle – Which are some challenges of being a band that people might not see on the surface? 

Nick Barlage – Time management would be number one. Balancing time to be creative with the rest of your life. Music is not only writing music, posting on social media and playing shows. There are five of us. That’s five work schedules, five family schedules and one complicated band schedule, so time management is definitely factor one. Second being financial. It’s not cheap, especially in the beginning. Gear equipment, studio time, merch production, videos, PR and marketing. 


Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days? 

Nick Barlage – Both. Finding that way to get above the noise isn’t easy. We have been working harder to deliver better content, more consistently.


Music Bugle – How have you guys been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Nick Barlage – The outbreak made our personal lives more challenging due to social distancing, so rehearsals and live shows were on hold and that hit us like a ton of bricks. I think as entertainers, we need that connection with the crowd more than we realize. Not to mention the depression for having to cancel shows. We had never canceled a show before this and we hope to never have to again. 


Music Bugle – What do you hope to accomplish within the next year? 

Nick Barlage – Honestly. Just survive. I know that sounds kind of cliche, but this year hasn’t been easy. We are hopeful to get to finally get on the road a little and continue to make many new friends in this musical journey. 


Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about you as a person, away from music? 

Nick Barlage –  Not much to tell you. I like to stay in shape and scream metal music.

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