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CASTLE OF GENRE is a four piece band from Gainesville, Va. Its members are Joey Fall, Brandon Iqbal, Patrick Stolte, and Anthony Crawford. The self-proclaimed indie rock band from Northern Virginia creates their sound from inspiration from music which involves elements of storytelling, along with ample guitar variances. The band is split between two cities, but after years of working at it, they have practice and show schedules down pat. The band is set to release a new work in the near future, which will be preceded by a two-song pre-release on Bandcamp. During this interview, we spoke with Iqbal and Fall, their love for Richmond, Va., their local influences, and how they make things work with their busy schedules.

What school do you guys go to?

Joey: We go to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. It’s a good campus. It’s a little bit like Hogwarts. The band is split between Richmond and Fairfax because our drummer lives in Richmond.

Is it hard to coordinate practices, etc. with band members being in different cities?

Brandon: Yeah, it was at first, but it’s been about a year and a half so now we’ve got the hang of it. We’ve been able to plan out rides for shows. One can come up and one can come down, so it’s pretty easy now.

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What do you guys like about Richmond?

Brandon: I think everyone’s gonna migrate down to Richmond this summer, so we’re all gonna be in Richmond eventually. … It’s like a really cool, kinda artsy city. There are a lot of bands, and places to play. It’s just better for bands like us to kinda get going there than it is up here [in Northern Virginia], which is kind of like a suburban/metropolitan area.

You said in your email that you’ve been really busy lately; did you recently tour? If not, what have you been up to?

Joey: We were off of school for winter break, so we had a mini kind of tour. We played a lot of house shows, and then we played in Richmond. We played Raleigh, North Carolina, and then went to Wilmington, N.C. We then ended [the tour] back in Richmond. So yeah, it’s kinda been nonstop for us. Also, we’re recording an album right now, so finding time to track guitars has been…[well], we’ve been using all the spare time we’ve got for that.

Who would you say you derive a lot of inspiration from?

Brandon: Oh man. I really love FALL OUT BOY. I love MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA and KEVIN DEVINE and that whole kind of storyteller rock thing going on. Joey pulls a lot from that kind of stuff — the very lyrical, storyteller rock kind of stuff — whereas I pull from a lot of weird stuff like TAME IMPALA or like THE CARMELLOS. I’m really into a lot of guitar-based stuff where you can use guitar in different ways to sound like synth, or something like that. I’m really into that. Or just like really loud, heavy guitars.

What are some of your favorite local bands you listen to?



Joey: I really like SATELLITES ON PARADE. Their band is really, really good — really solid. And the dudes from it are really nice. We originally started being good friends [with them]. They’re from [Northern Virginia] as well.

What made you guys decide to play music, or come together as a band?

Joey: I got really into bands when I was like 10, and I was like, “Hey, these guys are cool,” and I thought I could play music better than I could play sports. So I was like, “Yeah, let’s do music, that’ll be fun.” And then I started playing drums.

Brandon: The same for me, honestly. In like fifth grade, I bought a guitar, and I’ve been doing it and just watching bands, or like listening to a lot of different kinds of bands — BLINK-182, GREEN DAY, and stuff — and then eventually going to shows and being like, “Wow, that’s what I want to do.” And then realizing this is the only thing that I’m passionate about.

What would you say your band sounds like?

Brandon: We have a lot more distortion now, but it’s still “dancey” and catchy. [We had] a lot more clean tones [in the past], but this one is a little bit more gritty. I think there are a lot more yelling parts and more atmospheric stuff. I don’t wanna say it’s emo rock, because a lot of bands in this “emo revival thing” all kind of blend in, in a way, but I feel like we’re doing more straightforward rock. Stuff like MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA — real clean guitar, or like fancy parts or groovy parts. So really distorted guitars, but then there are cleaner parts that get kind of more jazzy and groovy.

cog 3If you could describe your ideal venue, what would it be like?

Joey: I really like house shows, and I really like when everyone’s like an inch away from you. Those kinda sets where you are an inch into the crowd. I guess for me, a venue where you’re just in there, and everyone’s around you, and you’re just like in a circle — like an arena. Pretty crazy, the whole kinda thing; everybody’s into it.

Brandon: So, like a circle pit, and you’re in the middle of it. … I definitely want space to be there, but I want there to be chandeliers. One chandelier above the band, and then a chandelier above the crowd. They’re not too high up. Basically it’s fancy, but they get really rough in there. Like really gritty and bloody/sweaty in there. And then there’s a dress code to the venue. I guess it’s like black tie optional, but you have to dress really nicely. So like more than semi-casual. And then you can smoke cigarettes inside, because you can’t really do that anymore [anywhere]. I think there’s like one [venue you can smoke cigarettes inside that is] in the U.S.

Do you have any new music that you plan to release soon?

Joey: We’re gonna release two songs from the upcoming album onto Bandcamp for free around mid-February.

For more updates on CASTLE OF GENRE, please “like” their Facebook page, and visit their Bandcamp to listen to their latest single “Ghoul Noises.”

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