Kyle Falconer: On life as it is
Alice Gee | 20/03/2021
As Kyle multi-tasks setting his two young kids up with things to do whilst we chat, I get a glimpse into his life as a doting dad. Since The View, Kyle has successfully launched his solo career while adapting to dramatic changes in his life with his Daughters, “honestly every day as absolutely hilarious. They are amazing. It’s a struggle at the moment with covid but I wouldn’t have it another way.”
After over 15 successful years of touring and producing hit records with The View, Kyle decided to uproot his comfortable life and take his chances on a solo career.
“I had always kind of wanted to do it, I think everyone does really. Most singers in bands want to go solo. As The View, we were all so different and had such different music tastes. I love all things Shania Twain and Country, anything other than things like heavy metal and grunge which The View boys like. I like anything if it’s a good song. That’s what being a songwriter is all about. You’ve got to be open to things.”
“So that was where I was like ‘I need to go and do my own thing and be a songwriter’. I remember I went to rehab a few times five years or so ago when I wasn’t doing too great, and I had to phone all the band members to apologies for my past behaviour and remember thinking ‘this is when I tell them’ (he was going solo). It was hugely upsetting to me at the time as I was feeling swamped by them and although I wanted to do the solo album I couldn’t help thinking what are they going to do? But they really supported it and it was great to get that freedom.”
The boys have known each other since nursery and were friends throughout their school years. There must have been a lot of pent up pressure when it came time to tell the rest of the band it was time to take a break, especially when it had a direct impact on their livelihoods. Kyle tells me that it worked out for the better with the whole group working on individual projects and roles. With The View being simply parked for the time being and all of them still sharing such love for the band, they’ll inevitably pick it back up at some point when the times right.
I spoke with Kyle about the pressures of the industry, which aren’t something new and often contribute to the very public struggles with artists mental health, which Kyle opens up about.
“I went to rehab a few times for like drugs and alcohol. There is part of me that misses it. But it was how we were expected to be, we started becoming a parody of it. So every Saturday we’d have all these friends who’d always come to the same party and with the same drugs. All night. I then realised I was the one in rehab and everyone else was doing fine. That’s when I thought, well, this is clearly a problem, I can’t keep doing this. It was like I was feeling this pressure, this anxiety, which I would vomit all the time from. I started going to see therapists and they told me it’s clearly playing which was bringing this out, going to the gigs was ending in me drinking. So I tried a few super shows at the time and it was dreadful. I would try really hard not to drink but when I’d come in the room, all I could smell was the rum in the air.”
“Now I don’t drink particularly, I drink like once every couple of months, but there are no drugs involved at all. It took me years to live like that. I will probably come back across it again at shows, but at least on I’ll know how to handle it better rather than just bowing down to anybody.”
As Kyle tells me about the entourage of guests that would end up in the dressing rooms partying the night away, I completely understood how you can become torn between living the ‘Rock’n’Roll’ lifestyle for everybody else whilst hiding the real pressures.
“Their interest is to come in and drink your beer. They’ve not got a show the next day, but you do and you’re up all night with them, they’d just completely corrupted you. It’s taken me years to realise that.”
Having seen The View for the first time in Wedgewood Rooms when I was 14, I can still hear the chant ‘The View, The View, The View’s on fire. The room packed to the brim, rowdy energy and anticipation bursting at the seams. Although Kyle’s clear insight into the problem is half the battle, I’m intrigued as to whether there’s a difference in the environment when it comes to touring solo.
“It’s been different. Touring solo wasn’t the same association as The View, there wasn’t the same code in the crowd that was common. With The View, the place would rumble. I would think ‘you’ve got to go for it’ so I’d have a couple of double vodkas and get into the game. And it’s was madness. You’d just jump into the crowd and just go mental, whereas when I was doing touring my solo work, the songs are completely different. A bit more chilled.”
“It’s given me more time to actually hear, hear myself and hear the songs. I’m just really happy to be doing this. Just creating new music over an LA last year was great. We had just moved over there as a family, then COVID happened. It was incredibly scary especially with other things going on like the looting. So we came home”
“Moving over to LA, I was going to just stop touring for a bit, because I wanted to spend more time with kids. I wanted to go over there and just do some writing, but I’d never realised how much you had to network. I had to constantly be out at parties and socialise. So I was kind of glad to come back.”
Having written with a band for over a decade, I was intrigued to understand whether Kyle was daunted when it came to writing and producing a solo record.
“I was always really interested in the process on all of the albums, so I’d be in with all of the producers, full-on, in the studio all the time. But I only officially coproduced Which Bitch? I then produced my first solo record No Thank You. So I’m always ready and excited to work with new people on production and writing comes as second nature! I love the process, so it never really daunts me as such.”
“I always end up looking back on albums and remembering how I felt when making them. So this album was great, I was over by the beach and even though COVID was going on, it had eased at the time. It was great we. We were recording the album and going out in the evening. We did 33 tracks, and I honestly wanted to put them all on the album and although I’d picked about 15 it didn’t feel right, so in the end, we decided to got with a double album.”
As we round up the conversation, it was important to revisit the trickier times Kyle had experienced and touch on what he’s found to help manage his mental health.
“I used to always say, through the years that something’s not right, but back in the day, people wouldn’t really talk about it if something was wrong. I was never happy about my weight for years but at the time I never realised what was bulimia was. But people tend to be more open about it now so that’s why I always try and talk about the past.
When it comes to things that help, I run a lot. Like I ran 33k last night, and then I run pretty much 10k every day, I’ve got this route I do every night and I’ve got some great playlists to help me zone out. Another thing is when I go to sleep, I don’t sleep in silence because I’m pretty bad at it. I put headphones in and usually listen to things like South Park. My missus always asks how can you go to sleep with South Park on.”
“Before, when I was drinking I always thought that there’s something wrong with me and I was taking all these tablets and medication and nothing helped. It was hard to get rid of this negative energy and feelings but now I’ve got no negative feelings at all or negative feelings towards anybody or anything. My life is much more consistent and I’m getting things done. That’s what changed things. That’s what drives me now.”
Hearing Kyles whole story, the good, the bad and the challenging was a privilege and I appreciate his every effort and struggle for change. To be able to see the calm after the storm and how much he is enjoying every second of his solo efforts, being a father and sharing his insight leaves me with no doubt the will be able to handle whatever is thrown at him next.
Kyle’s new album No Love Songs For Laura is out June 21st.
Words: Alice Gee
Photography: Mark Howe