Interview with the Mother Fucking Flatliners!

Yeah that's right, bitch.
Julian from The Johnstones took a few seconds out of his busy World of Warcraft schedule to call up Chris from The Flatliners and do a phone interview with a bunch of questions I prepared (and a few of his own!) I'm pretty stoked on this one, I fucking love this band. Like a lot.

Thanks to Julian and Chris, and Melanie Kaye for making this happen! WERD.
(sorry about the non-cap's and shit, bite my dick if you care)


are you named after the movie with keifer sutherland?
Chris Cresswell: We are, we chose the name and no one had ever seen it.. I still don't think anyone has seen it! Chances are we're named after a terrible movie. We were young, and thought it was a cool name. I guess we're stuck with it now!

what was the brampton/richmond hill ska/punk scene like growing up?
C: It was a great place actually, it was really easy to travel to big cities and play all these shows with your friends bands and make new friends so easily. You could play in brampton, then drive a half hour to newmarket or richmond hill, and all the scenes were different.

how'd you get signed to fat wreck?
C: Paul met Melanie K (Fat's old Canadian rep), right after demoing songs for Great Awake. Paul asked her to send some songs, and she was really into it. We were like "Holy shit, we grew up on that labels roster, lets give it a shot.. but keep looking around". A bit later Paul got a phone call from Mike, he liked the 3 songs but wanted more. So the next day, we went live on the floor and recorded a fuckload of songs to send. Mike hit us back a few weeks later and basically said he loved it and wanted to put the record out. I didn't believe Paul when he said that!

any good fat mike stories? Heard he came down here to record a song with you…
C: Well, he came to Toronto to work on some songs with us at our jam space, its funny because it proved to us that he really gives a shit.. cause other labels think that the music will kinda 'sell' itself and that they don't really have to do much. No one really comes to your jam space to help work on songs!

what's the difference between being on a label like 'fat' vs a record label like 'stomp'? do you still talk to Matt and mike? were they stoked to 'lose you' to a bigger label?
C: We love them (stomp) for giving us a great chance, it was nothing personal its just at the end of the day we wanted to try something else. They're coming out to our show tonight! (Montreal) Its tough to make that decision but we thought it was best, and they're still doing great, everyone's doing well. We're still really proud of what we accomplished with those guys.

did you guys put the stuff about Paul becoming a professional sleeper on your wiki site?
C: We made a video of Paul when we were in Europe last summer, it was the first day of tour and he was wasted and he snores a lot when he's drunk. We filmed a video in munich of him sleeping, and moved his bed into another room, and he didn't wake up at all! We even hit the bed on a door frame!

is this a real threat to the band? *jokes*
C: As long as its not a triple threat, we'd be in trouble but for now he knows what he wants to do. He loves sleeping but likes playing drums more.

do you guys still have day jobs?
C: its getting harder to hold down a job while we're not on the road cause we're touring so much. Employers don't really like that.

what do you do?
C: Scott worked at record store, I worked at a lumber yard, Paul loads gear for shows and makes barricades, you know that sorta stuff. He's always been working for live shows.

what's been your favourite band to tour/play with so far? … like you've toured with fucking strung out, a wilhelm scream, mad caddies, just to name a few… now against me… dude.
C: its tough to find the favourite, I'd say A Wilhelm Scream because they rule and they're so fun to hang out with and they're really positive, you can really learn a lot with that band. Even on the basis of attitude and ethics (obviously they're hilarious too)
Also I'd say NOFX, they're above and beyond generous and wicked on tour, i think those 2 bands we've seen most on tour for touring with bands.
We also love the Snips, they're our friends for so long and we have a blast with them. It seems with every band we go on tour with we have a good time, off the top of my head those 3 bands.

do you ever keep in touch with these bands after playing with them?
C: For sure, we try to definitely do that as much as possible. its dawned on me that a lot of my friends are in bands, we have a great group of friends in Richmond Hill/Toronto but on tour, i guess we're hanging out with our band friends or friends in each city. its weird cause its a different crowd every night. the random run-ins with bands on tour is always wicked.. its also frustrating. we were in the UK and tried to meet up with cancer bats but our routes were JUST out of reach. It's easy to get there, but we can't cause we gotta play a show. It's tough.

you guys are insane as far as touring goes, it seems you're always on the road. do you ever miss your families? your girlfriends? do you keep in touch with your family a lot on the road?
C: Yeah, we tour maybe around 7-9 months of the year. we try to keep in touch family a lot, when I was younger I didn't really keep in touch with people but now i really make an effort. Facebook makes it easy to talk to your Grandma and your Aunt. We're so lucky to do what we do, we can't take it for granted, so we try to do it as much as possible. Last year was the year we toured the least cause we did a record. Its become a whirlwind, what year was what, what show is what?

how is everybody responding to the new record?
C: We've been lucky. especially great awake, people thought we hated ska but we just wanted to go a different route. We expected a different reaction (than we've gotten) with this record, but got a bunch of a positive feedback. People have been stoked on it, kids dig it, we're proud of it. Crazy time, with different things. This time around we did a lot of writing and recording at home, some songs made it and some songs didn't. There was a lot more craziness surrounding the recording and putting together the record. In the end we're really happy with it so.

a lot of bands break up over their late teens when university and shit hits and tastes progress a bit, how'd you guys stay together? were there ever times where it was questionable that you'd make it?
C: Before we put the great awake out we had the whole record and we talked to labels and nothing was really happening. Labels were based in Cali, and all said they gotta see us live but that'd never happen cause we didn't tour much back then but the feeling lasted about a week. No one wanted to go to school, so we just threw all our energy and dedication into the band and made it work. We're all young childhood friends, so that made it a lot easier. Writing songs, travelling, there's no egos. We'll get fights like every other band, but nothing sticks. Which is awesome.

obviously you've quoted rancid/op ivy and suicide machines as influences many times, how often do you listen to these bands now? do you have any new influences on the last record?
C: As far as those bands, we listened to Battle Hymns on tour last week. Actually I listened to bankshot 3 times in a row the other day. We love hot water music, rocket from the crypt, the bronx. Heavier music I guess, in a way not forgetting where we've come from, but just adding more dynamics to our musical tastes. Oh and a Wilhelm Scream. Its wild we've become buddies because we love them so much.

guilty pleasure?
C: the killers. We listen to the roots a lot which people might find surprising but theres a lot of music out there sooo.

side projects are big now, got anything planned?
C: Nah not really. With our musical tastes expanding, we'll always just try to work something in there that we all enjoy, and something that we could try. As much as one of us would have an idea that doesn't sound like a flatliners song, none of us really have time for that kinda shit. Maybe when we're older and touring less. We're focused on this and it takes all of our time. We're pretty devoted, just gonna keep on trucking.