The Everett hard-rock band When I Fell, formerly Descent, released a new album titled “Reborn” on Monday. (Megan LaVallie)

The Everett hard-rock band When I Fell, formerly Descent, released a new album titled “Reborn” on Monday. (Megan LaVallie)

Band marks its rebirth with new album, live-stream show

The Everett band When I Fell, formerly known as Descent, will perform a show Saturday on its Facebook page.

The Everett band formerly known as Descent has dropped a new album.

With the release of the album — it’s fittingly titled “Reborn” — the hard rock band has also changed its name to When I Fell. The band is celebrating its rebirth with a live-stream benefit show Saturday on the When I Fell Facebook page.

When I Fell, which formed in 1995, is made up of frontman Ryan Neal, guitarist Mike Milsom, rhythm guitarist Matt Miniken, bassist Matt “Bloody” Youngblood and drummer Andy Orozco.

“Reborn” is the band’s first recording in nearly 25 years. The band recorded the 10-track “Reborn” at Soundhouse Recording with Jack Endino, who worked on seminal grunge albums by Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Nirvana. It was two years in the making.

“As we started to really listen to it, we realized we were a very different band than we were then,” Neal said. “None of the songs we had written back in college resonate with us anymore. So we decided to change the band name, as well, as good representation of the way we are as a band now.”

For Saturday’s show, the band will provide a link to donate to PACE, a national charity that serves as a STEAM (science, technology, entrepreneurship, arts and media) engine powering black communities to greatness.

They’ll play songs on the new album, including “My Descent,” “M.O.A.B.,” “Backlit,” “Gone” and “100 Rounds.”

“M.O.A.B” is about a trip that Neal and Miniken took to Mexico in which they both had a near-death experience while trying to learn how to surf. M.O.A.B. is an acronym Miniken made up for “The mother of all bombs.”

The band recorded a “Lockdown Edition” video, released May 22, for the single “Gone.” It shows each member performing the song from the safety of their own homes.

“100 Rounds” is Milsom’s favorite because of the way it was written. Neal sang a riff for a new song he had been thinking about. Then Milsom picked up his guitar and played it for him. As they worked out the kinks, they found their riff.

“It’s the fun of this band — we all work together to bring out each others’ ideas,” Milsom said.

On the album’s cover is an abstract acrylic painting titled “40 Days” by Seattle artist Billy Barkley, who is an Arts of Snohomish Gallery member. A multi-instrumentalist, Barkley naturally turned to the visual arts as a profession. His paintings have been called “music for the eyes.”

“We bought a few pieces of his — one of them is hanging in the band room,” Orozco said. “We just really like his work and this piece resonated with us.”

All five band members have stayed good friends since high school. Neal graduated from Snohomish High School in 1993, Milsom graduated from Cascade High School in 1994, while Miniken, Orozco and Youngblood graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1993.

(If some of these band members sound familiar, it’s because Neal, Miniken and Orozco also play in a rock-meets-country band called Iris Drive, which was featured in The Daily Herald in March.)

Their first album was released in 1996. It was self-titled — as “Descent” back then — with five tracks that had been recorded in Index at Paradise Studios. They laugh now at how unprepared and inexperienced they were in the recording studio.

“It was a crazy, snowy day,” Milsom said. “I drove my car into a ditch. The money I was supposed to put toward the CD, I had to hand it over to the tow-truck driver.”

Twenty years later, the band got back together in 2016 thanks to a fan’s request.

“Bloody got a message from a fan in Greece who said, ‘Man, I was really digging this Descent album. Do you have any more stuff?’ Orozco said. “And Bloody was like, ‘I haven’t really talked to those guys in a while, but I’ll reach out.”

Fans of the band — new and old — have shown up at Tony V’s Garage in Everett to watch them perform. Although they have yet to meet their fan from Greece.

After two decades, they’ve grown as musicians. All five members have new perspectives and ideas, and they bring their separate influences to the band’s sound.

“The idea of ‘Reborn’ comes from us getting back together again and realizing how much we’ve all grown,” Milsom said. “When were younger, we were just slapping songs together. But we all have a better idea of what music we like and how to structure a song.

“We’re not throwing together guitar riffs (anymore). We’re actually crafting songs, as opposed to slapping them together.”

Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; sbruestle@heraldnet.com; @sarabruestle.

If you stream

When I Fell will perform a benefit show at 7 p.m. Saturday in a live stream on the band’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/whenIfell95. Suggested donation is $30 to the charity PACE. A link to donate will be provided during the performance. The band also plans to post a recording of Saturday’s show on YouTube.

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