Flamingo Crash Interview (Part 1 of 2)
Flamingo Crash are easily the most unique and drawing band from Australia that I've heard. They perfectly combine both dance rock with rhythm-heavy tropicalia/Latin grooves. Most recently, the group released the double A-side, Toys/Shoot the Lights Out, but there's plenty more in store for Brisbane quintet.
Without further ado ... the interview! (Ah, and be sure to check out their MySpace page!)
(1) Hey all. Thanks so much for doing this interview with me! I'm very intrigued by your sound ... it's got this older, Latin-leaning lounge feel, but there's something rocky and primal there, too: a really cool combination of styles. And the rawness of it all, the energy you put into your stuff makes it all the more exciting and interesting.
(2) Okay, so where'd you get the name, Flamingo Crash from? Truly a bizarre -- yet cool -- moniker to go by!
FLAMINGO CRASH: I’m pretty sure it was a late night trip down the mountains -- we’d been recording the first EP out at a place called the White Room -- a little wooden studio in the middle of the forest. Just talking about how we loved ideas/styles rubbing up and clashing against each other, and the sparks you get when it happens in just the right way.
A lot of bands feel comfortable playing safe cards, or photocopying the sound of other bands, and I suppose from the beginning we made collective effort to do neither. I guess we tried to represent it in the name – something beautiful and slightly kitsch sparking up against something frantic or caustic.
(3) What inspired you to play with this Latin sort of style? Certainly not something "hip" right now, and definitely not a form native to your home of Brisbane, Australia.
FLAMINGO CRASH: It’s not something intentional – actually you’re the first person to use the word "Latin" which is interesting. I know Matthew (drum kit) is really into Jungle and Drum & Bass – those rhythms definitely lend themselves to your description. Marcel (guitar) has done some traveling throughout Eastern Europe and Russia, and I grew up in Sydney listening to ridiculous amounts of Greek and Turkish music, so I’m sure it all wedges itself in there somehow. Maybe instead of being a music from just one part of the world, it’s this "Carnivaal" type of celebration music that we all enjoy so much – the idea that everyone’s up dancing, shaking, rumbling, screaming and ultimately celebrating, without being burdened by their everyday, law, jobs etc .
(4) How'd you all come together? I'm always curious to hear how scenes and communities converge and develop further, or into something new altogether (the latter more accurately describing what you're doing, I'd say).
FLAMINGO CRASH: Yeah it’s peculiar cause most of have done some growing up together, haven’t seen each other for years, and then ended up together again -- this is a long, long story so I’ll try and make it short. Mathew and I started a first band in Primary School, I think you guys call it Elementary School -- a punk band with Fugazi leanings. It continued into High School, playing only house parties, and one particular occasion I put my Bass through the roof of a friends ceiling. It turns out Baxter (who now plays in Flamingo Crash) was at the show. The original band broke up, I went to Art College and started a new band, eventually asking Baxter to play Drums. He quit soon after due to some incidents (one after a long absinthe binge, he wakes up two day later in water– he’d flooded the house from the bath and then found his computer on the front lawn –no memory).
So as you can understand after a short break, I call up Matthew and ask him to play drums again. Sixth months later we put an ad in the street press – Marcel responds (we find out later that he writes plays) and start working on a batch of new songs with an idea to start a new band. Six months later we start making music with Cate (I’d seen her around town & always wanted to start a band with her) and it’s Flamingo Crash. We play a first show with a band called Wolfmother, who you’d probably know in the states by now. Skip forward a few tours and a record release, and we all ask Baxter to join, again. That was six months ago.
(5) So you've this double A-side being released on Irregular Music in late January. Tell me a little about that single ... how you created it and what you're planning to do with it (album plans, touring, etc.) ...
FLAMINGO CRASH: It's actually out on Manifest X, an Indie imprint which we run ourselves. It’s been a little while coming – really happy with the wax, just got it back today, it’s like a Ninja Turtle green. The two tracks are off the upcoming LP which we begin work on in February at an old Church on the outskirts of Brisbane. Magoo who’s producing the record just bought this abandoned church and we’re moving his pile of vintage gear out there for a few months to make the record – Flamingo Crash will be guinea pigs for the new studio setup which should be interesting. We’ve got an Australian tour after that, but really looking to pick up a label release overseas for the 7” and LP, so we can tour in Europe and the States.