Article Originally Published by Isabella Serrano on North Texas Daily
Following the presidential election in 2016, a fire was ignited within vocalist Diya Craft. She thought that was the time to raise her voice. With the help of her longtime friend and guitarist Landon Markle, the two created Mutha-Falcon, a Denton-based punk band.
Now there are five Falcons in total, comprised of Craft as the frontwoman, Markle on guitar, Phillip Thornton on bass, Matt McNabb on keys and Charlie Tucker on drums. Each member contributes to Mutha-Falcon’s unique sound.
Craft said as a Black woman listening to rock music, it was hard to find bands with members who looked like her. Eventually she decided to pursue her music dream and make a change in the music industry.
“I think representation means more than a lot of people realize,” Craft said. “For me, growing up I was that emo kid and that was my thing… [but] there wasn’t anyone in the genre that I predominantly listened to that looked like me.”
Mutha-Falcon critiques politics and the state of the world through their lyrics. Additionally, the band uses its social media platforms to speak out about current injustices. Recently, Mutha-Falcon released a statement regarding Black Lives Matter on its Instagram, in which Craft discussed the importance of representation in the music industry.
“[Music] gives me a platform that most people don’t have,” Craft said.
The band calls upon the strengths of every member to create their sound and image.
“On average, it’s Diya and Landon that do most of the writing of the song’s substance,” Thornton said. “I tend to add bridge sections when we need something to lead a verse into a chorus, sometimes I make sound suggestions, stuff like that. The meat and potatoes of songs are largely Diya and Landon’s ideas. I have written one song, [fans] will hear it eventually.”
Craft said the recording process for the group has changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mutha-Falcon used to go to Studio Waveflo in Euless and record together. Now they are recording separately and sending each other their work, which boosts their communication skills and social media presence.
“Mutha-Falcon has a unique vibe, and we wanted to highlight those unique qualities while maintaining the right energy for their genre as a whole,” Studio Waveflo producer Jo Higginbotham said. “It takes a lot of thought about sonic identity. This includes bringing more attention to their hip-hop influences while maintaining their overall punk energy. Along with that, each member of Mutha-Falcon brings their own taste to the group, and we wanted to bring out the best qualities in each individual member, as well as the band as a whole.”
Higginbotham said Studio Waveflo has focused on maintaining Mutha-Falcon’s authenticity and integrity while maintaining their energy. The studio has helped the band explore several different influences and find inspiration in each member.
Mutha-Falcon isn’t the kind of band you want to put in a box,” Higginbotham said. “That’s part of what makes it so fun. At the end of the day, our philosophy is to make the song or album the way the artist wants it and to give our production skills where they’re needed and requested. Either way, we care about the music.”
Before the pandemic, Mutha-Falcon released their single “Ego Death.” They are currently putting together their next album release, “The Book of Falcon: New Testament.” The band plans on putting out their next single, “End of Oblivion,” in the coming months and intends to remotely record a music video to accompany the single.
Amid the pandemic, Craft was able to find the silver lining to help create a new normal for the band, which she said has proven successful. She uses the feelings of hopelessness and stress that accompany the pandemic to create art.
“I don’t think things will ever go back to where they were, but things will start settling into a new normal,” Craft said.
Craft said under pre-COVID-19 circumstances, the band promoted new music by doing a release at a show, which would get people talking and fans listening. Once live shows were no longer an option, she amped up the band’s presence and communication online, as she runs all of the band’s social media pages. McNabb said while the band’s recording process might change, they don’t plan on letting the pandemic stop them.
“We’ve each been independently growing our understandings of writing and recording in isolation,” McNabb said. “I have so much faith in Diya and her fiery spirit that I know whatever she is writing; it is going to be authentic and powerful. No matter what our recording process looks like in the future, I imagine we will maintain our usual philosophy of bringing as much energy and having as much damn fun as possible whilst standing in solidarity and speaking out for those whose lives are devastated by oppressive power structures.”
For now, Mutha-Falcon uses its platform to promote music and encourage fans and followers to be more active in politics by voting and helping people stand up for what they believe.
“For me, this is why I enjoy what I do,” Craft said. “If there is another little rocker Black chick out there, I want to be that person that they can listen to and say, ‘Oh hey, this girl looks like me and she kicks ass and she’s out here doing the damn thing,’ because I didn’t have that.”
Featured Image: Diya Craft, lead vocalist of Motha-Falcon, poses near the Denton Square on July 7, 2020. Image by Colby Zschiesche
Source: North Texas Daily