Flatfoot 56 Interview

Flatfoot 56 is an act unlike any other who loves the work they do and talks about their latest release in comparison to their older material and what they plan to do within the upcoming months while out on the road among other activities.

1. Why the name Flatfoot 56? What does it symbolize?

Flatfoot 56 is an old name that we used to call our bass player when we were kids. He played baseball when he was a kid and his baseball number was 56. He also had very flat feet and we would tell him that he ran like a duck. We would chant the name at his games to poke fun at him.

2. What's the difference between "Jungle of the Midwest Sea," and "Knuckles Up"?

About three years and a lot of growing up. Hahaha. I think “Jungle” is just a bit more mature and instrumentally more grown up. I also think that “Jungle of the Midwest Sea” is a bit more of a diverse sounding record. There are more folk-sounding songs and it does a good job at delivering the harder hitting songs as well. “Knuckles Up” was our debut that got all of the rowdy kids interested.

3. Noticed on your MySpace you mentioned in your bio "wall of death," is that your band's specialty?

Over the years it has become a favorite of our fans along with some other crowd movement variations. We also have one called the meat grinder which is a three layered circle pit.

4. Why did you pick Punk / Celtic / Hardcore as your genre of music to play?

We didn't pick it, we just kind of fell into it. We loved punk and over the years it just got harder and more Celtic. As we were exposed to many different styles of music, we start to find our way to what we sound like now.

5. Who writes the lyrics, what are they about? Is there any concept in them? Are the lyrics an important aspect of the band or are they just there to guide the music?

The lyrics are the key because they help to mold the band's vibe. Every band has a message in one way or another and Flatfoot 56 lyrics do really help to shape the way we try to encourage our fans. We always want to challenge people and make them think, but do it in a way that offers hope. Many of our lyrics are story-like or are taken from experiences that we have had. We also try to challenge people to push for a positive change to their world.

6. How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?

It has become a bit tough for many touring bands. I think its impacted turn-outs in some areas, but not as bad as one might think. The gas prices of last spring hit us much harder than the recession has seemed to. People have still been coming out and supporting though. We have lowered our prices for shirts to try and help people out a little, but they are quite resilient and keep coming out. It’s awesome to see people holding strong.

7. How many magazines have you been interviewed or featured in and do you ever get tired of hearing the same questions from Journalists?

I can’t even begin to count the number of interviews we have done or articles we have been featured in. Its’ been a few. It gets frustrating sometimes to hear the same questions over and over again but I am never going to complain about people wanting to know about the band. It’s an honor to be asked!

8. Tell some of your experiences playing live.

We have had so many crazy times during live shows it’s hard to write them all. We have had everything from kids jumping off 15ft balconies onto the crowd, to 15 guy pool cue fights busting out in the back of the room over some crew drama. We have had entire crowds bust out in mock sword fights during a song of ours only to end the song and find the entire room laying on the floor with one kid standing like he was the sole winner of the fight. Our crowds are a crazy group and we love them for it.

9. What are your expectations for Flatfoot 56 in the future?

We hope to grow and really be a band that people can bring their kids out to see when they grow up. I guess our dream is to be a band that kids can identify with and remember as a band that had a part in defining their memories while growing up. We have always been close to our fans and really want to build a great fan base that knows how to have fun and keep the drama to a minimum. We also want to keep putting out great music for our fans and for new fans alike.

10. What do you guys do when you're not out on the road? Do you guys work or go to school?

On the very rare occasion that we are home we spend time with family and try to pick up odd jobs just to help make ends meet. Times at home are usually very short but always full of a ton of hanging out with close friends and family.

11. Are there any cool touring/recording experiences or other bizarre stories you would like to share with us?

One time when we were on tour with Street Dogs we were playing at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA and right before the doors opened the stage curtain caught on fire and we all had to evacuate. It got put out right away but not until all of the stage equipment was covered with fire extinguisher dust. It was a mess but makes for a great tour story.

12. Any plans for 2009 after your current headlining tour?

We are touring this May with The Business for about a month and then after that we will be hitting up some Summer festivals. Later in the summer we are heading to Europe for about a week or two.

We’re also prepping a new album release for later this year. The album is going to destroy all that touch it. You will wake up after listening to it in a pool of your own sweat due to the awesome intensity that it puts out. Haha! Seriously, I think everyone is going to love it. It’s the next step up for us and defines Flatfoot 56 and who we are and where we’re heading. It’s tough, thoughtful, and intelligent, with some new sounds for us thrown in there for flavor.

13. What musicians have you recorded with?

Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs) is producing our new record. Ethan Luck (Supertones and Relient K) produced Jungle Of The Midwest Sea. And there are a few more.

14. What is one television show you cannot miss or just have to record?

The Office.

15. Anything else you'd like to add?

Stay away from pickpockets and mean women.

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