Mark E. Smith of The Fall | via Beggars Arkive
Five former members of The Fall — spanning the ever-evolving post-punk combo’s first lineup to its last — recently released their first music under new band name House of All, and this week announced a maiden UK tour to take place this May.
The Fall’s website this week posted a message on behalf of Smith’s estate and family, not long after the fifth anniversary of Smith’s death, warning that any use of Smith’s name or image, or The Fall’s name, by the new band is unwelcome, “extremely offensive” and “causes us much sorrow, distress and discomfort.”
The full message posted Monday:
Statement on behalf of the late Mark E. Smith’s Family and Estate
We wish to clarify to several ex-members of ‘The Fall’ and/or any potential labels or associates.
That whilst we wish you well in your future career and projects, we would like to make it quite clear and simple that the Family and Estate of Mark E. Smith in no way endorse nor wish to be associated with ‘House of All’.
Furthermore, we do not like or permit the use of Mark E. Smith’s name, images and/or band name to be used in any kind of exploiting way.
Not only do we find this extremely offensive and very misleading to the wider audience and fans of Mark E. Smith & The Fall, but it also causes us much sorrow, distress and discomfort.
Former Fall members Si Wolstencroft (drums, 1986–1997), Paul Hanley (drums, 1980–1985), Steve Hanley (bass and vocals, 1979–1998), Pete Greenway (guitar and vocals, 2007–2018) and Martin Bramah (vocals and guitar, 1976–1979 and 1989–1990) last year formed the band House of All.
House of All’s social media describes the band as “A Fall Family Continuum project,” and the group announced in November that, “During the Summer Solstice of ’22 we held a private séance. The resultant recording will be out in Spring ’23.” The band’s eight-song self-titled debut will be released on digital, CD and vinyl on April 22.
Tiny Global Productions, House of All’s record label, sent a statement to Slicing Up Eyeballs on Wednesday afternoon responding to the Mark E. Smith estate’s concerns, saying neither the band nor the label had sought any endorsement from the former Fall leader’s representatives.
Nevertheless, the band agreed to stop using the “Fall Family Continuum” language in promoting its work.
The statement reads, in part:
HOUSE Of ALL’s self-titled debut features only newly-composed original music from the band. It’s likely that HOUSE Of ALL will be queried about their involvement in The Fall in interviews and by fans. They’re happy to discuss it, yet their work here stands on its own.
It would be a falsehood for HOUSE Of ALL to deny or disguise its roots. Consequently, the band referred to their forthcoming album as “A Fall Family Continuum Project” on the artwork and in promotional materials, since each musician in HOUSE Of ALL has a valid claim to being an architect of The Fall’s sound.
Yet this phrase bothered owners of “The Fall” brand. Thusly and as gentlemen, HOUSE Of ALL has agreed to discontinue its future use.
We believe that fans of The Fall would have understood the phrase’s allegorical meaning, and we thank you for your support of our forthcoming debut album and tour.
Last week, House of All released the first track off the forthcoming record, “Harlequin Duke.”
The band also has announced plans for a five-date UK tour in May featuring shows in London and Manchester.
HOUSE Of ALL – UK TOUR MAY 2023
— HOUSE Of ALL (@fallcontinuum) January 31, 2023
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