Based out of Albany, Oregon, Falling Up originated while the guys were still in high school.
A dream of lead vocalist Jessy Ribordy, Jeremy Miller (bass player), Josh Shroy (drummer) and Joe Kisselburgh (guitar). Falling Up was signed to the BEC label the summer of 2003 and in the time to follow they recorded their debut album Crashings (produced by Aaron Sprinkle Kutless, Jeremy Camp) which was released February 2004. A huge hit at radio, Crashings garnered three #1 back to back rock singles including "Broken Heart" which was R&R's rock song of the year for 2004 and the song of the year for the Air1 network. All three songs, "Broken Heart," "Bittersweet" and "Escalates" were also breakthrough hits on R&R's CHR format. The videos for "Broken Heart" and "Bittersweet"also went #1 on the widely popular TVU Network. Falling Up has sold nearly 100,000 copies of their debut album.
Falling Up was so named because it was the title of the first song Tom and Jessy ever wrote. Its topic dealt with how imperfect people are, but how sufficient the grace of God is to compensate for that imperfection. The song set the tone for things to come.
Combining the intensity of modern rock with all the emotion involved in traditional praise and worship, Falling Up is here to prove their radical style is not a fleeting attempt at sticking to a trend, but a true declaration of the passion they hold for their ministry.
"Our mission is to tell everyone who listens to our music and goes to our shows about the love we have in Christ Jesus, to show people that Christians can be real and honest," explains lead vocalist Jessy Ribordy. "It is to glorify God in every aspect of our lives and this band, and to show people through our lyrics, music, love, and lifestyles that there is more to life than what the world has offered us."
"We try to make our music really passionate," Ribordy elaborates, "We love strings and violins. We have a lot of hip-hop grooves, rock melodies, and heavy parts. We want our music to be lasting and exciting. We think that every time a fan listens to it they will find something new."
Other album releases by the band include Dawn Escapes (2005), Exit Lights (2006), Captiva (2007), and Fangs (2009).
“The inspiration for the name ‘Fangs’ came from the narrator’s opening words ‘”from one small and seemingly insignificant action, comes a vast and infinite world of reaction,’” relates Ribordy. “In other words, Fangs sums up a very reactive type of scenario. We often think of Fangs relating to snakes or poison, which represent the idea of biting and damage. It’s a very reaction-based record where something is always happening. Whether it be good or bad, it’s always significant.”
“For me, imagination is revealing parts of my mind that I didn’t even know existed, which is certainly part of God’s overall creation,” he clarifies. “Sure, mythology has generally been controlled from a secular standpoint because of vast interpretations, but I realized now more than ever that when you use your imagination, you can find God even more than if you’re just painting by the numbers as a songwriter. My journey into this world of fiction is very spiritual, and while there’s not much symbolism in my own life, you can still see how these ideas in general affect my life and other people’s lives.”
Given its natural tendency towards abstract comparisons to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon or The Mars Volta’s The Bedlam in Goliath, Fangs also has considerable general market appeal that falls well outside the lines of clichéd Christian music. In fact, Falling Up hopes to raise the bar for the faith-based community, both in excellent artistic execution and mainstream perception.
What will be sure to be apparent to listeners though is the sincerity Falling Up holds as a necessary element of their ministry. "We want kids to feel like they are a part of what we are singing and playing about, "Ribordy concludes, "We feel that if they can connect with the music, they will understand our hearts and our dreams. We think kids will be able to listen to our music and not just have a fleeting emotional experience, but a memory that will stick with them forever. We believe that our influence on the kids will not just happen with our music, but our lives that we live every day. We want to be 'Falling Up' on the stage and off because that is who we are, and we think that an example is the most important influence of all.