Chris Cresswell und Paul Ramirez (The Flatliners)

The Flatliners
Foto: Shannon O Toole

Endlich waren The Flatliners zurück in Deutschland und im Rahmen ihrer Europa-Tour auch wieder in Hannover zu Gast! Die Jungs sind nicht nur sehr sympathisch und freundlich sondern auch sehr gesprächig. Chris und Paul sprachen mit uns über ihre Australien-Tour mit Strike Anywhere und Anti-Flag, das kommende Album und darüber, wie es ist, seine Jugend damit zu verbringen Musik zu machen und die weite Welt zu bereisen.

How was your tour in Australia?

Chris: Australia was great, thank you for asking! It was cool. We went there two years ago and it is kind of blowing away how many people are knowing the band over there. We have toured with a band of Sweden over there before, called No Fun At All. It took a while to plan going back to Australia. We are excited because it was with Anti-Flag and Strike Anywhere. Everyone knows each other, that was really cool. And we all were traveling together and staying together every night and the shows were great. We stuck around and did a couple of headliner shows on our own and the shows were really sweet. What do you think Paul?

Paul: I love Australia but it´s really expensive.

Chris: Oh yeah it is. But it was fun, thank you for asking!
What is more exciting for you – playing a headliner show or as the support of bands like Pennywise or Anti-Flag?

Chris: I like both.

Paul: There are pros and cons to both.

Chris: Yeah, it is different. I mean it is cool playing before other bands because of the responsibility. But it is also fun playing headliner shows because you play longer and you can play basically a smaller venue and that feeling is really cool to be closer to the people who come to the show. They are both very good.

In an interview with Slidebar TV Scott said that you are working on new songs and you said that there will be a new record at the end of the year?

Chris: Yeah, probably not at the end of the year now. We thought we would have been home at the end of the year but then we did this tour (laughs). Really, that´s exactly what happened pretty much. We thought we gonna record the record in summer but then we confirmed this tour and then we are doing two weeks in Europe again in August so we can´t record the record in the summer. So we are going to record it in the fall. So it will be out next year, sorry (laughs). But it is probably better to wait a little longer… We have a lot of new songs though. So it is exciting.

Paul: The record is like written.

Chris: Yeah, pretty much.

Paul: Recording is kind of hard now because we are on tour till the end of December. To find free time for two or three weeks is tough now. Maybe November.

Chris: Yes, this is the most logical time for us to do this. That would be cool.

Are the new song the „typical Flatliners sound“ or are you trying some new stuff?

Chris: Hmm I don´t know. I always find that kind of questions difficult to answer because it always gonna seem one way to us and it probably seem completely different to everyone else. You know, that people will feel that way, that people will feel the other way…So it is tough to say. I don´t really notice much of like a drastic change but I never notice any drastic change between any records other than the first two. The reason we felt a drastic change between the two albums is because we waited like four years to work on a new record so when some people hear our last album [Cavalcade] they are like “oh, that´s much different!”. Really? I don´t think it is…It´s weird. I feel like with any kind of band the fanbase is always kind of catching up to the people of the band that is writing the songs, right. When you are caching up a band which is writing the songs a year and a half before it even actually came out on a record and then you hear it being a fan of the band it is often like “I don´t know the song, I don´t like it!”. Then you hear it five times and like it or dislike it but it grows on you. You are always catching up.

You have got a lot of guest musicians on „Cavalcade“ – do you know with which one you would like to work with on your next record?

Paul: We don´t really talked about that.

Chris: I have no idea.

Paul: The older stuff came out while we were recording. The Cancer Bats were just in town and we asked them if they want to come and do gang vocals and they did.

Chris: Same with Dillinger Four. Same with everybody, really.

Paul: Yeah it was more like “Oh, you guys are in town and have some time to come the studio?”.

Chris: The only person who wasn´t was Juno from A Wilhelm Scream. We just sent Trevor from A Wilhelm Scream the track and they recorded it in their studio in Massachusetts. We have been writing songs a lot but we haven´t really thought much about the rest of the process at all.

Paul: Like the artwork…

Chris: Artwork – no idea. We just have some songs. That shit will all come later. At the moment it is weird because I feel like being in a band with two brains. Like two ways of thinking: Your tour mode and your recording mode. So when you are on tour it is kind of difficult to try to imagine to be in the studio and thinking of being in that kind of mode. When we are on tour we don´t do the creative spot because we are just playing our songs and try to make the best show we can. But when you are in the recording mode you are like “I don´t want to driving around and be on tour and play any shows” because I want to finish the album with this guys. It is really difficult to try to plan all that stuff especially when we really don´t know when it will be recorded. We are going to just try to find time during the fall months to make it happen.

But are you going to create the artwork for the new record?

Chris: I don´t think so. We will find someone to do it better (laughs). I feel much more confident doing T-Shirts and for this band 7inches or something like that but I for the album I would feel too much pressure on myself I think and I would just freak out. I am doing a lot for this band so I am not going to do that (laughs). I am just kidding. I think at that point being in the studio so much and working on the record so much it would just be easier and quicker for someone else to do it. I don´t know who is going to do it though. But probably it will not be me (laughs). But I will do T-Shirts and stickers and pins. But not the album cover for my band.

On you website there is the section „Ask The Band“. Is it really possible to answer all the questions you get or do you have to sort them out?

Chris: Yeah, I forgot about that to be honest. It is still there and so full of questions we are not answering on.

Paul: Every couple months we load it up and answer them.

Chris: The last time was, I remember exactly where we were, in the van driving, on a tour somewhere in Ontario, it was September of 2010. We should probably take that down.

It will take like months now to answer the questions…

Chris: I know, that´s what I mean! We should take that down…

But do you really answer all the questions?
Chris: We answered a lot at first. And then we stopped… we kind of forgot about it to be honest.

Paul: We are forgetful!

You are on tour like all the time. Are you sometimes thinking “I just want to stop and go back home”?

Chris: Sometimes (laughs).

Paul: We learned now that we have a maximum for four weeks. Anything over four weeks is a little crazy.

Chris: Yeah, we are actually going fucking crazy after a month of tour. I haven´t been home for a long time, fuck (laughs)! No, it is cool, it depends tough. It depends where we are, if this is our first time there, who we are touring with…I mean it all really depends. In any kind of job can be a good day or a bad day. But it is definitely weird that we are touring a lot. We come to Europe once a year and from place to place it feels like we were just here yesterday. When we were on the Australian tour we have been there for two and a half week and it went by really quickly and we were saying on the last couple days of the tour “oh, we just go home now from this tour? This is crazy!” But then you started thinking about everything you have done on that tour and then it seems long. I think you know your breaking-point.

Paul: Four weeks! (laughs)

Chris: It is fun and I have nothing against this and I love to do this but sleeping in my own bed would be pretty cool too after four or five weeks of tour. A lot of people don´t understand that. A lot of people think that being in any kind of band is very glamorous and really cool and that the bands are kind of millionaires, getting the best food and staying in hotels but it is almost all the time bullshit obviously. They say “Your lives are so easy, you just tour all the time” and we are just like “…okay, if you say so” (laughs).

What´s the main part in your live which has changed the most? In what way did the whole thing change your live except from being away from home most of the time?

Paul: The relationships with people. Not just the girlfriend/boyfriend stuff, also your family, your work. Chris works in a restaurant when we are home, I work for a production company.

Chris: Yeah, relationships can be completely deteriorated from being in a band touring a lot. Or the person who is playing in the band has to put a lot of effort to allowing those relationships to exist. Even tough with work, like Paul said. I am a lot in contact with my boss back home to make sure that I have a job when I got home, things like that. You are paying rent on the road, paying all the bills on the road, don´t have internet and then you are fucked because you have to pay your rent. You don´t see your family that much, you don´t see your friends that much but I mean the friends back home. Because the positive site of it is that you travel the world with your friends on the road together and you make new friends all over the world. And this is great. We get to see them repeatedly and can hang out with them. There are obviously two sides but in anyone’s live there are two sides. Nothing is perfect. It is not the fucking glamorous thing of the world. Usually we sleep on the floor, too drunk to puke or whatever, sometimes can´t afford food in Australia because it is expensive. But at the same time we meet so much new people and see so many new places. And that is cool because it is more fun to like sitting at home and hoping your records sells. As we know how it is now it is more fun to travel than to stay at one place forever. We are all like kind of restless when we are home. It is kind of weird, like I said: You have like two minds, one for the band, recording and touring, and you also have two minds for the kind of person you are and what you are doing. You are in a band but you also have a life at home, so you have to find a balance for it all.

Do you think that you have grown up faster and missed something?

Chris: Yeah, I have to say yes to both of the questions. I think we have grown up faster. I remember running in a friend of us from high school, who have gone to university and we met him two years later and it wasn´t like an ego-thing because I can tell that everyone of us have seen more, experienced more and grown up more than they have. It is not like being childish because you really learn a lot about yourself and about people around you by just exploring it. But you totally miss on some experiences as well, none of us has any fucking clue of going to university or college or whatever. I am not bothered by that, it is just that one of us has any idea. You miss birthdays of your friends, family, girlfriends, whatever. Special occasions, things like that. But at the same time all those people are very supportive and not pissed about it. They are maybe upset that you can´t be there but they are not against you. You hope they don´t. Sometimes they will. But you hope they don´t. (laughs)

The Flatliners exists for ten years now and you have been very young when you started the band. In the beginning a lot of bands have changes in their lineup. When you are young it is very easy to drift apart from each other. What do you think – why didn´t that happen to you?

Paul: It is too expensive to get someone else! (laughs)

Chris: I don´t know to be honest, it just works. I couldn´t really see myself being in this band not with this four people. It wouldn´t make sense. There are tons of bands with this one main person and then it is just like a revolving door of members. But we have never felt like that kind of band. Some bands started with that idea. Like “I am the singer dude and it is my band and I´m gonna replace a member when I feel like this should happen”. But we all have been friend before we have been in this band together, that has probably something to do with it. We all know each other since we were little kids, you know, like tiny kids, so it has probably to do with it, I don’t know. What do you think Paul?

Paul: You, Scott and Jon have got to known each other since you are on this world.

Chris: Scott and I have got to known each other since we are four years and a half I guess. Maybe four and three quarters (laughs). Jon and I grow up at the same street so we met when we were like seven. Scott and Jon met when they were six. We all went to school together and when we were 12 I think we met Paul. And then we started the band when we were 14. So I think that´s good because there are also bands which are around for three years and they have known each other for four years. Writing lyrics, making music and all the personal stuff is much easier when you know each other very well. Like I said, nothing is perfect, nothing is exactly the way you want it to be but you have to realize that you are in a band with other people. But I don´t know…

But do you still feel related to the lyrics you wrote when you started the band like when you were really young?

Chris: Most of them I would say. Some of them were just like I was so young that I don´t even know what I was doing. Some of the lyrics for our first songs I just kind of wrote them down and was like “That sounds cool!”. They mean something as a song and they meant something to me then but that´s so long ago. Since then I learned more and more with every song that we write together, especially the lyrics. How to put what I really want to say into that song in words. Before I had no fucking idea what I am doing (laughs).


Photocredits: Shannon O Toole