The Flatliners Interviewed - April 09

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The Flatliners Interviewed - April 09

Post  Street Voice UK on Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:18 am



The Flatliners a Toronto based punk band really do need to be heard. Their high energy punk rock sound is the nuts and musicians like Joe Strummer would be proud of these guys. Since they got involved with Fat Wreck I had to check them out and what I heard I loved so there was only one thing to do and that was to interview them. Here's what Chris had to say on behalf of the band.

Street Voice: First off can you guys introduce yourself to our readers please?


Hello, I am Chris Cresswell. I sing and play guitar in The Flatliners. We are pasty Canadians who enjoy music and drinking.

Street Voice: So what bands actually inspired you to pick up your instruments in the first place?

I can't recall any singular thing inspiring me to learn how to play guitar other than just adopting a deep adoration for music early on in life. When I was a kid, my family would go to my Grandparents house, where my Grandma would play old Blues scales and songs she called "Rock n Rollers" on the piano while my brother and I danced around the room like assholes. My mom plays piano as well and has been singing in choirs and musical productions for as long as I can remember. So I was brought up in a very musical household, and the other guys had similar upbringings. I don't think I wanted to learn how to play guitar because I had heard a specific song or guitarist that really got me going, as much as I was so into music in general that I just wanted to further my education of it all.

Street Voice: Are the Flatliners your first band or have you guys previously been in other bands?

The Flatliners kind of morphed from two bands into this one in a way. Scott, Jon and myself have gone to school together our entire lives, and in high school Scott and I played in a pop-punk band, and Jon sang in another band. They played more skate-punk type stuff. Neither band lasted very long at all (definitely under a year each), but they were comprised of one group of friends. Two bands and we were all buddies. Once Jon's band had bitten the dust, he took up playing bass with Scott and I. Shortly after that, we started hanging out with Paul a lot more, who Scott and I had met during our last summer before starting high school at camp. How prepubescent of us. We would just get together and jam songs we all knew, even though we had a drummer. But we weren't writing songs together or anything, we were just playing other people's songs, so we thought it was pretty harmless. Shortly after this started, oddly enough, our drummer at the time began to make it clear that things w eren't the way they had been before we'd have the odd jam with Pablo. We figured Paul should just join the band at that point, so he did and we abandoned all the songs we were playing with the "old band" and just started from scratch and renamed ourselves The Flatliners.

Street Voice: You're all from Toronto so what's the scene like there?

Toronto is amazing city. Its multicultural in its people, in its food, and definitely in its music. There's an eclectic scene there, and the people really support the arts and make every show worth while. There are so many great bands from Toronto and its surrounding areas, some of which have become some of our closest friends over the years - bands like Hostage Life and The Snips. Check those two out for sure.

Street Voice: Are there many places to play in your city? Also are there many fanzines doing the rounds?

Ever since I went to New York City for the first time, I've thought that Toronto could easily be considered a mini-NYC. It's definitely not a small city, but lets be honest, NYC is a fucking beast. There seems to always be something going on in Toronto, and there are tons of people tracking that kind of stuff. There's a cool webzine called Truth Explosion that is based in Toronto and covers much of the Toronto scene, and also branches out to the rest of the country.

Street Voice: You're doing a vast amount of touring so is like a full time job for you guys?

We do still work regular jobs when we're home. Touring makes up most of our time, but those short instances when we're not on the road, we like to keep super busy, so we'll all work and jam as much as possible.

Street Voice: How did the deal come about with Fat Wreck in the first place?

Our drummer Paul met Melanie Kaye, who was running the Toronto Fat office, at a Lagwagon show right around when we were demoing songs that ended up being "The Great Awake". And we actually didn't know it at the time, but our friend Rob Thorton had been working as her assistant for a bit. None of us had seen Rob in a while, but apparently the whole time he was talking Melanie's ear off about our band, so when Paul met her and told her he'd like to send her some songs we were working on, she really gave us a chance. She ended up digging the songs and sent them along to Fat Mike and urged him to listen. We got a call from him a couple weeks later, him asking if we had more songs to show him. The next day, we went into the studio and did demo versions of every single song we'd written for that record, more than even turned out on the record, and sent them to Mike. He called us back another couple weeks later and told us he really liked what he heard and he wanted to put those son gs out for us. That was the day my childhood dream came true, no fucking joke.

Street Voice: You're touring with a couple of big names like NOFX and Less Than Jake so who are the biggest party animals out the two?

Well everybody parties in their own way. Some don't even need drugs to party, and those guys party the hardest! We find ourselves very lucky though to find ourselves touring with those great bands and spending lots of time with the guys in those bands, because they really are all genuine people who are there for the exact same reason we are. Life is fucking cool. I will say that the only time I have ever actually blacked out was on Less Than Jake's bus when were on tour with them in Canada. They had a Texas Mickey of Jameson in a self-pouring rig, so we were all "kneeling to the Jameson gods." I've never been so hungover on stage the next night at 9 PM. I'll also say that Fat Mike is a very, very generous man.

Street Voice: So where do you get your ideas for your songs?

Musically, our songs come from us just jamming out our ideas, no matter how short or vague of an idea as it may be in the beginning. We'll just jam on it for a while and slowly build the song around whatever small part we've started with. It's fun writing all together too, it gives everything a good feel. As far as lyrics go, I find I just write about what happens in life and things around me. It could be anything really, you know?

Street Voice: If you could play with 3 bands who would they be and why?

The Clash:
That's obvious why I think, hahaha.

Rocket From The Crypt:
We all got really, really into that band right on the cusp of them breaking up, and have been obsessed with everything John Reese ever since.

Kid Dynamite:
Kid Dynamite has been one of my favourite bands ever since I heard them my first time, and they are a huge inspiration to our band. I think playing a show with them would probably result in my head exploding, but it would indeed be worth it.

Street Voice: What plans have you for an album coming out in 2009?

We've been writing new songs and have a good pile going. We're going to keep touring and jamming and working on our ideas and hopefully we can lay it all down in the summer and have a record out by the end of the year. That's our hope.

Street Voice: Anything you'd like to add?

I met Dave Cooliey from Full House two nights ago in a bar in Cleveland. Uncle fucking Joey! How cool is that?

Way cool geezer. Thanks to Chris for doing the interview. For those who love properly played punk rock should give the Flatliners a listen. They rock! They certainly deserve you attention so go on give them a listen.
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