The Flatliners interview: From Russia with Love

October 23, 2011

The Flatliners - photo credit Shannon O Toole

Music Vice recently caught up Ontario Punk Band The Flatliners during their busy European Tour. MV reporter Ngawara caught a show in London and then chatted to singer Chris Cresswell when the guys were in Russia. The bands had a whirlwind of a summer, with shows across Europe and North America. Formed over 10 years ago this is a band that is still kicking, sweating and making damn good music! The Flatliners are currently on tour in the US – find the full dates below the interview.

Interview with singer Chris Cresswell :

N: Hi Chris thanks for taking the time to catch up with Music Vice. Saw you at The London show a few weeks ago and Ive heard from Dorian [Flatliners Tour manager] that the tours been a pretty crazy one all round! Awesome show in London it was.. wicked atmosphere and nice and  loud and sweaty!     

You have some pretty devoted fans who have been supporting the band from the early days. I met a few of them at the bar.  Then the other day I was on twitter and  I saw a tweet that read: “If I woke up tomorrow with a voice like Chris cresswell I could die a happy man.” We thought that was pretty cute!  How do you stay grounded when you are looked up to by so many?  Do you feel pressurised to live up to others standards or do you block it out?

Chris: That is a very flattering sentiment indeed. No pressure though, I’d say. I’m glad folks enjoy the music we write and am honoured that what we do can reside within a strong feeling like that in someone.

N: Yeah it must be a cool feeling. Certainly only positive… So the band has been around for a while now; and in a scene where so many groups come and go in a pretty short space of time. How have The Flatiners managed to survive then?  Does it have anything to do with the strong personal relationships between you guys? Any challenges you guys experience, spending so much time together on a professional and personal level?

Chris: The four of us have known each other almost our entire lives. We’re all childhood friends that wanted to play music, so the history between us all certainly does make traveling as much as we do and spending much time together much easier…

I think that’s a true testament as to how we’ve been able to accomplish all that we have, thus far with the band. It’s all the four of us want to do, and doing it together is really important to each of us.

N: Awesome. So there are a load of fans who have followed you guys from the start; but for those who are newer fans of your music over here in Europe, can you briefly explain how the band came to be? Like, have there been any changes in lineup over the years?

Chris: Well Scott and I met in kindergarten! Basically the first friends each other made in school! It took us years to realize that we both wanted to play guitar, but before that we would hang out and do five-year-old stuff. Those were the days. [smiles] Then Jon and I grew up on the same street and became friends around age seven. Scott, Jon and I went to school together, and one summer Scott and I went to camp and met Paul… The rest is an awkward pre-teen beginning to a band, like any other. Luckily we’re still kicking. This band has always been the same four members, and that makes me happy.

N: And us here at Music Vice too! It was nice to to see you guys in London cos the last time we caught up was in Canada at shows in Welland and um.. at a couple of other Ontario shows. This isnt the first time you have toured Europe and the UK though is it… How do the shows compare between Europe, the UK, and North America? Where would you say your strongest pull is? 

Chris: This past tour in Europe and the UK was our fifth time through! The shows get better and better every time, and the hospitality on that side of the Atlantic is unreal! Touring bands are treated so well over there. It’s really great to see.
The language barrier can be exciting, and more often than not we’ll just look around and see the amazing European landscape and can’t believe we’re here all because we wrote some songs together. I think the craziest shows on this past tour were the ones in Russia. There was SO much energy. We were shown so much love and support while being so far from home. That’s something we’ll never forget.

N: Wicked. So… I had the pleasure of meeting your friends The Arteries who have been supporting you on a stack of your shows here. Theyre Welsh which is a bit different from the norm! And I hear youre bringing them over to support you guys on your North American dates! How did this communion happen and how do you think your US and Canadian fans will react to them?

Chris: The Arteries are a great, great band. Awesome guys too. Just a lot of fun to spend time with. They’ve been killing it so far in Canada, and America will surely show them some love too. We met them a few years ago at a show we played together in London and hit it off instantly. We ended up at a pub nearby Underworld in Camden after a London show and had a drunken dance party.

N: After show drinks and dancing in Camden. Love that part of London. Ok one last question: Fave tour moment so far for each of the band- could be the crudest/lewdest/ randomist thing. I just want the location and the story.

Chris: Ok so the Crudest would be Jon throwing up in the van years ago from smelling Scott’s hangover fart! The most random was meeting Mick Jones from The Clash in Austin, TX!

N: Both memorable in different ways [laughs] Cool well thanks for chatting with Music Vice Chris. Awesome catching up with you guys. I almost felt like i was back in Canada for a bit at the London show! Awesome  

Chris: Yeah! Hey Thanks a lot for the opportunity!

© Ngawara Madison, Music Vice

Check out the band at or on Facebook here.

The Flatliners are currently touring The United States. The dates are below:

Tue Oct 18, 2011 – Rockville Centre, NY @ The Vibe Lounge
Above Date w/Broadway Calls & The Arteries

Wed Oct 19, 2011 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East (Upstairs)
Thu Oct 20, 2011 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall
Fri Oct 21, 2011 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
Sat Oct 22, 2011 – Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head Club
Mon Oct 24, 2011 – Richmond, VA @ Warehouse
Tue Oct 25, 2011 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
Wed Oct 26, 2011 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
Thu Oct 27, 2011 – Tampa, FL @ TBA
Above Dates w/The Menzingers, Broadway Calls, The Arteries &
With The Exception Of CMJ Showcase

Sun Oct 30, 2011 – Gainesville, FL @ The Venue
Tue Nov 01, 2011 – Marietta, GA @ Swayze’s
Wed Nov 02, 2011 – Nashville, TN @ The Muse
Thu Nov 03, 2011 – Louisville, KY @ TBA
Fri Nov 04, 2011 – Buffalo, NY @ Club W


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