SOUNDCHECK TO ENCORE WITH THE FLATLINERS
The Flatliners are one of those bands that seem to always be on the road. They haven’t hit Australia in a few years, which seems like an eternity when they are always so well-received here and forever moving around the world. You can excuse their absence after you remember that since they’ve been in Australia last, Chris Cresswell recorded a solo acoustic LP with Joey Cape of Lagwagon, Paul Ramirez started a new band called Hounds, Jon Darby started playing some acoustic songs for his personal projects and that’s all in-between life in general. So what’s new with The Flatliners? What’s their best hacks for life on the go when you’re in a band? How many Adam Sandler movies were watched in the great Sandler Marathon of 2015? I sat down with the guys to find out on the second date of their 2015 Australian tour with Lagwagon.
“If you’re into the Dwarves kind of shit, then that’s what you have gotta do. There’s no halfway in that kind of world.” – Chris Cresswell on Stevie Williams of Clowns puking on himself
“Between Smith Street, Dune Rats and Violent Soho all doing stuff, it’s an insane time in Australian music.” – Chris Cresswell on the current state of Australian music
“Our new Prime Minister has gone about the whole legalising marajuana thing, but for a long time they wouldn’t have done that unless the bordering states would have done that, and those are some of the states that I felt would never have done that! Not just the West and East coasts, but all around the middle… The States is very religious and we have to kind of wait for them to do it. And that shit just doesn’t fly there. It’s not accepted by the people who run the show. I’d imagine our country doesn’t want to piss [the USA government] off too much. We’re moving towards legalising marijuana which is rad as fuck.” – Jon Darbey on the legalisation of marijuana in Canada.
“IKEA lawn chair padding is perfect for making a comfortable bed when you’re on tour. Any lawn chair cover would work. Go straight to the pool and strip the lawn chairs.” – Paul Ramirez on how to make a bedless sleeping situation work for you on tour
“Weed comes and goes [when you’re travelling the world]. I enjoy it when it’s there but if it’s not, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and I enjoy smoking it, but it’s not my life. And that’s the way I feel I used to be where everything was about it. If I woke up and I couldn’t smoke a joint it would bum out my day. Sometimes you just can’t get it. When we were in Russia we did almost the whole tour without smoking it, and then at the end our tour manager said, ‘You’re staying in the band room with this. It is not leaving the band room. You can smoke it but you can’t take it outside of this room. So smoke as much as you can.’ because of how illegal it was there. But he still found it for us which was rad as fuck. There’s some places where it’s not as cool and you have to respect that. Do it on your own terms in private. As a musician I don’t want to fuck around with it. I don’t want my VISA to be taken away from me. As much as partying is fun, that in the long run isn’t worth it. People who bring drugs over the border and play in bands are not only risking their seven or so years of having issues crossing the border, you’re fucking it up for everyone that is travelling in your group. Those people are going to have a red flag beside their name for the rest of their life. It doesn’t matter so much in other countries, but in the States it’s much harder. I was so happy when we didn’t need to go through the States on our way to Japan. We went to Vancouver and I was so relieved to not have to land in the States because they always act like you are wanting to live there, when really I’m not even leaving the airport, I’m going to the next terminal. Every now and then you get a really nice one and it makes the difference, but often it feels like you have to apologise for needing to land in their airport. It’s a hassle. I usually get a positive response when they find out I’m in a band. They want to know what band I’m in, what we sound like… Sometimes we just fuck around to make them happy. Today on the streets of Brisbane someone asked us what we sound like. Scott just said, ‘Have you ever heard of The Beatles?’ Sometimes you just pick a big band name and go with that. Sometimes it can be rad as hell, and they can be super nice. They have to do their job, but if the guy wants to be an asshole it can really ruin your day. Australian border security are really good. This time they were on us hardcore because we didn’t write our equipment down before landing, so if they ask me on the way out if I bought it when I was here.” – Jon Darbey on travelling the world
“I went to see Norm McDonald and afterwards he was so close. He was on Twitter. I could see his phone. It was cool to see him so close. I’ve been a fan of his for years. My girlfriend had to knock me so I didn’t keep staring. For so long after, I’ve never felt like such a punisher, I waited around forever… but he ended up walking off with two chicks. I never got it. I never got it.” – Chris Cresswell on being a punisher for Norm McDonald
“There’s a part of me that believes that popular people get put in awkward situations, it makes you start to question certain things and overthink other things. Not a lot of people are wired to handle a lot of the other elements of being a star. The talent aspect is not a choice, it’s just there. It’s just in you. It comes up more as you practice or train, it’s a seed that’s been planted in you somehow. But there’s all of this other shit that’s involved in that… like how to carry yourself, what to say… And a lot of people don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to do that.” – Chris Cresswell on faux pas as a celebrity
“We just walked around in circles. We walked around all day for two or three days. We barely broke out of our little bubble. But you can see anything, it doesn’t matter, you’re so far from home it doesn’t matter. Everything is cool. That Japan show was so crazy for so many reasons. It being the lineup it was AND that it was in Japan AND that there was so many people there.” – Chris Cresswell on the Fat Wreck 25 year Japan tour
“On one of our early cross-Canada tours we stopped in the praries in the middle of nowhere after telling the hotel we only needed one room, but when the owner saw how many people came out of the room he chased us and kept yelling that we owed him an extra $12.” – Chris Cresswell on cost saving in early touring days
“I think it would be good for every country’s version of the Junos or Grammys should do their best to recognise the smaller bands. We were nominated for a Juno, but we knew we weren’t going to win once we saw the other nominees. But it felt great to be included, and that’s even enough for a lot of bands to have that recognition. Like, on a national scale, that feels pretty good.” – Chris Cresswell on award shows
“I can’t believe Donald Trump’s campaign hasn’t come out as a joke yet. It feels like one. To everyone I’m sure. Although there’s a shocking number of people who are backing him, but I think a lot of people are backing him to see if he will become president because they think it’s funny. I’m like, you’re an idiot. We just got a new Prime Minister, and he ushered in his cabinet, and it was completely gender neutral. 50/50 for men and women. No one had ever done that before. That was pretty cool. And he didn’t choose it because he wanted a certain amount of men and women, he was choosing people who were going to do a great job.” – Chris Cresswell on Donald Trump and Canada’s new Prime Minister