Who: The Flatliners
When: Sunday, April 6, doors at 9 p.m.
The Flatliners are making their way across the States to Whistler to deliver their “Eulogy” for the Punk Night funeral.
With Paul Ramirez on drums, Jon Darbey on bass and vocals, and Chris Cresswell and Scott Brigham on guitar and vocals, this Toronto-based band has gained a lot momentum over the past year, especially after signing with Fat Wreck Chords, an American punk rock label, last January.
“It’s definitely been acting as a giant springboard for us — it’s been amazing,” Cresswell said during a static-filled interview as the band drove from Nevada to their next gig in Arizona late last week.
Cresswell says Fat Wreck Chords has given them added credibility and helped to build their fan network in America.
They’ve also sent the band on a two-month tour of the States, the longest they’ve been on in almost one year.
“It’s good and bad — obviously it takes its toll. You miss your family, you miss your friends, girlfriends and all that, everyone back home,” said Cresswell. “But this tour has been one of the most beneficial tours for the band we’ve ever done.”
The Flatliners first came together more than five years ago, when the members were in their mid-teens, to perform their self-described brand of sweaty punk rock with a ska and reggae twist. The result is upbeat, energetic music that’s meant to make audience members pump their fists.
“We just try to have fun,” said Cresswell. “There are some bands that don’t like touring and don’t like playing live — they’re more of just studio bands… but we love playing music.”
That doesn’t mean they’ve managed to stay out of the studio altogether.
Their first album, Destroy to Create , came together almost accidentally after the young band realized they had written more than enough songs to make a full-length album. Their music evolves quite a bit on their second full-length album, The Great Awake , as they diversify their sound.
“This time around, we just wanted to branch out and try to write different kinds of songs,” Cresswell explains.
In recent years, they’ve had the opportunity to play with groups like Bad Religion, the Suicide Machines, and NOFX — bands that have been influential to the formation of their own group.
“When we first started our band, that’s where we got a lot of our influences from… Suicide Machines, bands like Operation Ivy, Rancid, a lot of old reggae and ska and punk rock and stuff,” Cresswell explained. “We got to know the guys in the band, and that blew my mind, and then every time we played with them, they were just so good and so energetic and it kind of opened my eyes to exactly what we wanted to do.”
And with the touring schedule they’ve been on, staying energized is pretty important.
They just wrapped up a tour with NOFX, which saw them playing to sold-out shows in front of large audiences of 1,000 to 3,000 people — an odd experience for a band used to playing in a more intimate setting.
“There are barricades, there’s tons of security, there’s caterers,” Cresswell explained. “It’s weird. It’s like a whole different world.”
And now they’re on to the next leg of their journey, touring with The Loved Ones, another band on the Fat Wreck Chords label.
Soon, they’ll be back in their comfort zone, performing in a smaller venue: Garfinkel’s.
Their upcoming performance in Whistler is one of their first stops on their Canadian trek, which wraps up on April 18 in Newmarket, Ontario.
The Flatliner’s played at Garf’s about two years ago with Death By Stereo and Big Wig, and it seems like the boys are looking forward to coming back to town, especially to be part of the Punk Night funeral show, where they will perform their aptly-titled song, Eulogy, and will join Vancouver-based bands, Rebel Spell, Cambridge and Fraser.
“We’re actually kind of honoured to play,” said Cresswell. “…We’ll definitely make it a memorable one, for it being the last show.”