The Flatliners (13 octobre 2008)
Entrevue de Cath et Dave avec Chris
PunkMeUp a rattrappé les FLATLINERS quelques jours avant leur départ pour le Fatty vs Paddy Tour qui met en vedette NOFX et DILLINGER FOUR. Après avoir passé les douze derniers mois presque entiers dans leur vanne bourgogne, le groupe trouve tout de même le temps de penser à son prochain album, apprécie sa première année dans l'écurie Fat Wreck, et semble prêt pour la fameuse édition du Fest 7.
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[DAVE] It's been roughly a year since you released The Great Awake and you've practically been ou tour non-stop since. What else have you had the opportunity to do throughout this insane touring schedule? Have you had the opportunity to work on any new songs?
[CHRIS] I’ve gotten the opportunity to sleep a whole lot in between tours, which is great! We really have been on the road for almost a year straight, so none of us have had much downtime, but when we do I usually don’t do much other than sleep and hang out with friends I don’t see when we’re on the road. I’ll work if I can, but that usually depends on how long we’re home for really. Any downtime means as much jamming as possible as well, just because other than playing our set every night, there’s no chance to have an actual full-fledged band practice on tour. You’d think the last thing we want to do after playing for ten straight weeks is have band practice, hahaha. We just spent almost the whole summer at home, and amidst keeping a pretty constant show schedule on weekends, we managed to begin the writing process for our next record. This is the most exciting time to be in a band too, I love this part. With us, there’s no process other than just jam, and being on tour a lot does make having a timeline difficult… But, we have begun writing.
[CATH] You had Pat from HOSTAGE LIFE filling in for Scott for a bit. Whatever happenend to him anyway? Does having - for a lack of a better term – an 'outsider', somehow push you to step it up a notch? Does it make you reflect on what it would be like if you had any permanent lineup changes? For a band that, as far as I know, has kept the same lineup since its beginnings, is this reflecting on the band dynamic? Is it weird in any way?
[CHRIS] Patrick Mathers is one hell of a guy. He bailed us out of a tough spot with maybe a week’s notice. He learned our entire set and some other songs we play every now and then over a weekend, came on tour with us and ripped it every night. Dude can fucking play. Scotty boy got into a bit of hot water and had to stick it out at home for that one. He also cut his hand open a few days before we left while we were drinking at Paul’s cottage and bled all over himself. He also became a wolf and retreated into the woods to find his pack. This band has been the four of us since the beginning, and it was an incredible favor Patrick did for us, and we love him for it and are glad to have him and all those HOSTAGE LIFE gentlemen as friends (they are some good friends to have too, they’ve got your back and you know it), but a permanent line-up change would be a pretty strange thing to happen to this band. We’re all the oldest of friends and don’t want to do anything else, so we figure we might as well figure out a way to make this thing work for everyone. Plus it’s fun, so hell yeah.
[DAVE] You released The Great Awake via Fat Wreck. What have been the pros and cons of that decision? Can we expect your next release to be on Fat as well?
[CHRIS] Pros – Fat Wreck has treated us with nothing but love and respect. Cons – We’ve learned how bad Fat Mike’s fart can smell. But hey come on, mine aren’t perfect, you know? Fat likes to put out good music, so if we send them some songs they like then that’s good news. If we send them songs they don’t like then who knows. Our experience with Fat has been nothing but great so far, so I’d definitely be into that continuing on.
[DAVE] Some people were quite surprised at the change in your music – they were expecting a ska album I guess. Have people come around, what is the feedback been like?
[CHRIS] A lot of people who really hated on The Great Awake first have since come around. We’d get people coming up to us at shows saying things like “Man, when I heard your new record at first I hated it man! But I started to listen to it and the songs really grew on me.” That’s always a cool thing to hear. Sometimes people were really embarrassed about telling us that, but we’re saying “No, it’s cool! Your opinion is your opinion, we get it.” We knew that would happen, how could it not? We’d written most of Destroy to Create when we were fourteen years old, and then went to write a record worth of songs four years later, so our musical tastes had broadened and we ended up writing songs we liked a lot, because that’s why we started this band; to create something you enjoy to distract you from boredom.
[CATH] In our last interview (September 2007), you mentioned that being in a band, among other things of course, necessarily involved coming across people who only want to take advantage of you especially because you're relatively young. After a full year of proving yourselves to countless audiences all over the world, touring alongside huge bands, do you feel any of this has changed?
[CHRIS] We’re still all pretty young guys compared to most touring bands, but we’ve been experiencing much less of that kind of attitude in the past while. Maybe its because we’ve been touring so much that people can see that we’re all here for the same reason, you know? I’m glad that has kind of faded a bit. Touring with some of our favourite bands has definitely opened our eyes too. You can learn a lot from punk rock veterans.
[CATH] Some (or all?) of you all still all have day jobs. Do you see the day when you’ll be able to live off of your music? Is that a goal for your guys?
[CHRIS] Its definitely a goal of ours because none of us really enjoy working, but we’ll work when we’re home just so we won’t have to live off a food buy-out or something on tour, or just to have a little extra money in your pocket. Believe me, I would love to never work again, but I’ll tough it out till that day comes.
[CATH] Your latest merch designs are very Richard Minino-looking. Do you feel like this type of artwork gives off a more accurate reflection of the sort of band you've become? Would you consider having him design your next CD cover?
[CHRIS] Richard actually has designed some of our stuff and came up with a logo for us that got us all stoked. Richard’s art is incredibly eye catching and gruesome at the same time, which is something we all like. With a name like THE FLATLINERS, horror movie imagery always seems to come to mind, so having some cool and scary looking merch seems to fit. We stayed with Richard after the first show of our tour with NOFX earlier this year in Orlando. Sleeping in the shadow of a collection of his painted canvases is pretty fucking cool.
[DAVE] What bands are you most looking to see/share the stage with at The Fest this year?
[CHRIS] We just got news that we’re playing with a ton of friends’ bands this year at The Fest, and we’re also playing with POLAR BEAR CLUB, who we all really like. LEATHERFACE will be incredible. BOUNCING SOULS are always amazing. REHASHER will blow my mind I’m sure. It’ll be sweet to see STRIKE ANYWHERE, DEAD TO ME and A WILHELM SCREAM all in the span of two days. Then the third day will be a hungover mess, because Fest is the best weekend ever.
[DAVE] What has been your favorite show so far this year?
[CHRIS] Probably the Groezrock Festival in Belgium. We loaded our gear on stage and did a sound-check at nine am, then went and ate breakfast, and came back to a tent full with three thousand people at ten thirty am to play. I think we all ended up drunk by eleven thirty am that day. Some legendary bands played though. The festival was one of FACE TO FACE’s reunion shows. SICK OF IT ALL played, BOUNCING SOULS, BAD RELIGION, PLANET SMASHERS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, THE LOVED ONES, A WILHELM SCREAM, CURSED. It was ridiculous, and for our fourth show in Europe it blew our fucking minds.
[CATH] When can we expect you guys back here headlining your own show?
[CHRIS] I’d say early next year maybe. I think after the tour we leave for on Wednesday we’re going to come home and keep writing through the winter and hopefully have something new in the works as soon as possible. Life does not stop.
Merci à Chris d'avoir pris le temps de répondre à nos questions, et à Alex chez Union d'avoir coordonné le tout!