The Flatliners’ career is a testament to perseverance and dedication. With a lineup that has never strayed from the original members who met as teenagers, the band has since logged countless miles on the road and amassed a dedicated legion of fans along the way.
Now approaching 15 years of hammering out bombastic tunes everywhere from dive bars to festival stages to European concert halls, The Flatliners hold fast to the DIY punk-rock ethos that has been at the group’s core since the beginning. The band came out swinging with youthful exuberance on their debut record, Destroy To Create, in 2005, and they’ve honed their anthemic style with each subsequent release: The Great Awake in 2007, Cavalcade in 2010, Dead Language in 2013 and Division of Spoils in 2015.
But frenetic touring schedules and prolific recording output takes its toll, and The Flatliners decided to spend the majority of 2015 off the road to recharge and reconnect with friends and family. Striking a balance between home and road life is a difficult task, but frontman and guitarist Chris Cresswell concedes that it’s necessary.
“That’s what we’ve been in search of for probably the last seven years. We noticed it in ourselves, and that’s what we’re really striving for now,” he says. “We have a lot of people in our lives that are super supportive of what we do, and we’re supportive of each other.”
The band may have opted for more downtime, but there was still plenty going on behind the scenes. Early in 2015, the guys found themselves without the familiarity of the jam space they had inhabited for nearly a decade—four walls that had been the incubator for hundreds of songs and uninhibited creativity. Several months were spent renting rooms wherever they were available before the band was able to settle into a new space, but the group did their best not to let the upheaval hinder their burgeoning roster of new material. Borne out of that chaos was Nerves, a two-song EP released in October 2016 that also marked the band’s first recording on Dine Alone Records.
The recording serves as a taste of what eager fans can expect to hear on The Flatliners’ new album, Inviting Light, set to be released on April 7, 2017. The band has been working hard to refine its unmistakable style, ensuring they don’t lose sight of their roots while continuing to move forward.
“Inviting Light is about trying to keep up with life around you but also wading through the potential bullshit of people thinking that a digital landscape is more important than their friends,” Cresswell explains. “It’s inevitable that you’re fighting for people’s attention now, whether you’re a band or an individual, and there’s not as much value placed on face-to-face human interaction as there is in elevating the profile.”
Meaningful interaction may be more difficult to achieve these days, but the group’s steadfast members continue to build on the enduring connection that brought them together all those years ago, celebrating one another’s personal milestones and weathering each new experience as a unit.
“It feels like we’re onto something,” Cresswell adds. “It’s exciting for a band to be 15 years into their existence and have this. It’s a refreshing thing.”
PKEW PKEW PKEW
And to think it all started with a Craigslist ad. Mike Warne (vocals, guitar) posted a call for band auditions, and only one person responded; a lone musician performing in a TV theme song cover band who played a mean version of the Pokemon intro. Naturally, Mike had to have him over to audition. His first meeting with Ryan McKinley (guitar, vocals) turned into a night of drinking cheap bottles of wine on Mike’s roof, and not playing any music. As the newfound friendship blossomed over a love of drinking and anime, the band began to take shape. Soon after came Emmett O'Reilly (bass and vocals) and Dave Laino (drums and vocals) who also fit the bill.
PKEW PKEW PKEW are four guys from stupid-small towns in Southern Ontario who have travelled around playing shows in even more stupid-small towns and then some big cities too. Their forthcoming self-titled debut record (due out Spring 2016 via Royal Mountain Records) is a raucous 21 minutes of punky frat boy party anthems that are made for the mosh-pit. Recorded by Jon Drew (Fucked Up, Tokyo Police Club), Ryan Mall (Gaslight Anthem, The Bouncing Souls) and mastered by Dave Gardner (The Hold Steady, Dillinger Four), Pkew Pkew Pkew is a dizzying eleven song anthology that blasts through themes of failure, nostalgia, growing up, staying young and getting really, really, really drunk.
The four-piece have crushed beers and shared stages with a lot of cool bands including Diarrhea Planet, FIDLAR, The Hold Steady, Pup, and Titus Andronicus. Pkew Pkew Pkew will be heading out on tour with PUP this Spring.
Garrett Dale of Red City Radio
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