The Flatliners Interview

We caught up with The Flatliners, some of the finest punks around as they begin their UK tour with The Menzingers.

You’ve played everywhere from tiny bars to festivals, which venues do you feel suit your live shows best?

They say everything in moderation, right? It’s nice to be able to do both I suppose. Whereas some of the big festival shows stand out because of sheer mass and insane lineup you’re sharing the stage with, the excitement of being in a packed club can usually allow you to share more moments with the crowd and take more away from a night like that. Though, playing a festival show with Deftones or The fucking Cure is always cool!

You’ve had a 15-year career with your original line-up still intact. What is the secret to keeping The Flatliners alive and fresh for so long?

I think the key is that we’ve been friends since childhood. Though it might surprise some folks, touring year-round is not a vacation and it can be very taxing at times. But I think if at the end of the day, you’re friends first, then you’re in good shape. You learn a lot about people when you travel together, and we haven’t unearthed anything that trivial about each other so far to justify shutting the whole thing down, so I think we’re alright (laughs)

After all that time as a band, you’re still finding fresh sounds and directions to take the band, where would you say your inspiration for songwriting comes from?

I think the events in your life inspire you as much as the music you’re listening to. We’ve always tried to reach new ground with every album we work on, and I see ‘Inviting Light’ as the continuation of that theory. Music really is my life, and I spend most of my waking hours thinking about it, listening to it, and writing it. I think if you spend enough time in the deep end of it, you really do get immersed in the desire to always get better, and to always try something new. In any art form, the more you do it, the more you hone your craft. And I think the biggest betrayal any artist can do to themselves is to not explore their art-form in full.

Do you ever feel like you’ll return to the more ska-punk sound of your earlier albums or do you feel the band has evolved past it now?

Each record of ours has been so different that I can’t rule anything out at this point, haha! Well, within reason… I don’t think we’re gonna release an EDM record or anything…

You’re about to begin your UK tour, for those who’ve never made it to a Flatliners show before, what can they expect?

Very loud live music played by four Canadian guys who are just happy to be here.

You’ll be touring the iconic Menzingers who you’ve played with in the past. Which other bands would you love to support, or have support you in the future?

Love the Menzos! There are probably about a million bands in the world that I’d love to play with. A short list would include: Cloud Nothings, The Night Marchers, Meat Wave, Tiny Moving Parts, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and Wavves.

 You’ve just released your new album ‘Inviting Light’. What was the recording like for this album in comparison to your other four?

This was the first time we’d ever recorded an album at two different studios. We did the bass and drums live at Phase One in Toronto, and then headed over to Fox Sounds in Toronto to do guitars and vocals. This was the first album we’ve done with a new producer at the helm, and it was the fantastic duo of Peter Pablo and Derek Hoffman. Two gents from different corners of the Toronto rock n roll world. It was a great team and a really fun experience. And it was actually the quickest we’ve ever worked in the studio as well. We did it in like 17 days.

Which tracks are you particularly enjoying playing live at the moment?

It’s hard to choose, because it’s always equal parts terrifying and absolutely thrilling playing any new stuff live. But the album opener Mammals is shaping up very nicely I think.

You’ve travelled the world as a band, are there any shows that have particularly stood out for you?

In recent years, we were able to play the Fat Wreck 25th Anniversary show in Tokyo, and it was insane. INSANE. I think we played at 12:30 PM and there were something like 17,000 people there. That was something truly special to us. The funny thing is that we couldn’t find our drummer Paul that morning, so we thought up until about an hour before the set that we were going to have to do the show without a drummer. His phone had died is all, but holy shit was that a stressful morning.

Lastly, what are you listening to at the moment?

The last song I listened to was Hells Bells by AC/DC, but let’s toss out an honourable mention to the incredible song Tomosaki by Meat Wave.

There’s still a handful of tickets remaining for certain shows on The Flatliners and Menzingers UK tour which you can find on their website here. 

We’ll also have a full review and image gallery of their Manchester show on Thursday so keep an eye out for that later in the week.

Their new album Inviting Light is well worth a listen as well, whether that be on Spotify or picking up a copy from their store.

Jack Holmes

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