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Here is the second part of the interview with San Francisco punk band Flipper, which Toonari Post met in Vienna, Austria, during their recent tour.
Toonari Post (TP): As we said, you have served as a great influence for a wide number of different bands. What is the band or musician that you, instead, consider as a core influence for you sound? The central one. Have you gained new sources of inspiration during the 10 years of break that you had?
Ted Falconi (TF): Every time we get a new bass player is like a whole new set of inspiration. We’re different because we’ve grown out of what we were. There was a break and then we came back together; it’s a different edge of what we do and that’s happened to us three or four times. So it allows us to involve ourselves along with the influence of another bass player.
TP: So you’re actually your own influence…
Bruce Loose (BL): Yes, right to that. The only other thing, the only music that I ever really catch on to, is that really good pop hit that happens every 5 years, that’s just from growing up as a kid, listening to popular music on the radio, what was the good pop hit. There were a lot more then, not so many now. There’s a lot of stuff out there and not all of that stuff is great.
Rachel Thoele (RT): I really like some kinds of Metal. I’m really impressed with the music that you get on the radio stations on the web, I can hear all the stuff I’ve never heard before; I think that’s really interesting. You can just stream all the stuff and get it. ‘Cause I used to listen to the same old CDs for years and years and years… It’s pretty great to have access to random stuff based on kind of what you like.
BL: And then you get a Stream capture program…[laughs]
TP: What is the main difference, in terms of attitude, between ‘Generic Flipper,’ your first album and ‘Love,’ your last studio album?
BL: it once again goes to a different bass player, it changes the whole thing. With Generic there was the influence of Will in there, and in Love there was the influence of Novoselic. It changes what it changes; it changes what I’m doing lyrically.
I think with Generic we were just learning about using a studio and working in that capacity and learning what recording was about, how we functioned in recording. I recall when we were doing the stuff with Generic, we were just like “ok, that little thing, it didn’t sound right, but we’ll use it, instead of putting a band-aid over, let that wound show, and put something around it”…. A different fashion.
With ‘Love’ and also over the years of going through our career, the approach in which I develop a song now is listening to what is going on and first I play with the rhythm, with just sounds, you know, just noises, I don’t even start putting words together, until I can start figuring how it is gonna to fit in rhythmically; I would come up with a raw set of lyrics and then some flash of an idea would happen and all totally changes but, I’d still be using that meter that I’ve been working with, the rhythmic dynamic.
That’s a very different approach than what we were doing with Generic, and how we were writing songs back then. So for me there’s a very big difference in how the material is created. We started doing the same with the little bit of stuff we started working with Rachel, it’s the same. Having to work with a raw rhythmic dynamic of the vocals first, before putting some words together, whereas before I had some set of words and I would force them into the situation, so on that part, it is very different for me.
RT: To my mind Flipper is truly a jam band. The songs are written from jams and the repetition makes it easy to jam to them on stage, so they’re not really played the same twice.
Steve DePace (SD): Back then I do remember that Generic was actually recorded over the course of about a year, now we’d go and record it all in one time. We were recording two songs here, three songs there, until we had a collection of songs, to put an album together, whereas with ‘Love,’ we actually went in with the idea of “let’s write these songs and record an album,” so it’s a very different approach.
We worked with different engineers obviously, they were very different people, but both great and there were so many years in between, we kind of learned a lot in between that time.
TP: Where do you see Flipper in 5 years?
BL: Oh, I have no idea. On some stage, somewhere…you’ll be there, we’ll be there, answering to your questions.
SD: I have no idea.
TP: Rachel, do you see yourself in Flipper in 5 years?
RT: I have no idea.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flipperrules.com
Photo Credit: Kevin Warnock