The Flat Stanleys - Sound In The Signals Interview
First off, thanks for the interview.
Brian: Thanks a bunch for having me!
For anyone who isn't familiar with your band can you tell me a little about how you got started and how you became interested in music?
The Flat Stanleys started in (roughly) June 2016 with one of my best friends, Colin, in my basement. We had just graduated high school, and in Baltimore County there’s not all that much to do other than hang around. One night we just decided to mess around and record some joke songs and we kinda kept the band going as a joke (the first Flat Stanleys song ever written was called Chocolate Milk, featuring the lines “There is a masked man in my kitchen drinking all my chocolate milk.”) After a little while we started playing shows in my basement for all of our friends and it’s all snowballed from there. We’ve still got a lot more snowballing we wanna do, though.
You just released a new split EP with Tim Neil. How did the split come together and what made you guys want to team up with Tim Neil for it?
Tim is like an older brother to me and one of my sister’s best friends. He’s been a huge influence and been super supportive of my songwriting and the band from the start. One day we were just texting each other and one of us (can’t remember who) half-jokingly suggested the split. About a month and a half later we just kinda recorded it pretty quickly and felt really good about the tracks and how they sat together.
I really like the song "Kiss Me With Your Headlights". Can you tell me a little about writing that song and how long you worked on it?
Absolutely, yeah! That’s a song I wrote when I was back home from school for winter break during the recording session for the split EP in my basement. I probably write 4 or 5 songs a week and the ones that really stick with us are the ones that go on releases. The instrumental recording for it was done in about a day back home and then the vocals were tracked when I got back to school in New York. As a general rule, we really don’t like sitting on material once it’s written so I usually record it with the band in the span of a day or two. Most of the songs we’ve released were recorded in that kind of time frame.
I like the picture you used for the artwork for the split. Who decided on that photo and what is the story behind it?
Thanks! It’s funny to me that the picture exists as album artwork now because it was just some joke photo I took of my sister when I was helping my dad move her into her place in Boston a year ago or so. When Tim and I were talking about announcing the EP to all our friends on social media and stuff, we realized we didn’t have an album cover for it so I was flipping through my photos on my phone and found it. We both thought it was perfect being that Tim’s first track on the project is called “Packing.” I think my mom was pretty happy that my sister was on the cover haha.
You are also working on a new EP that will be released later this year. What can you tell me about that EP? What can fans of the band expect from it?
Yeah! We finished it up pretty recently, actually. I think a lot of our style has been grabbing humor and introspection and making them play nice with each other in the lyrics, but this project is a bit more serious and feels like stuff I really needed to say rather than stuff I really wanted to say. It’s definitely the best stuff we’ve recorded so far. There’s a little bit of a change of sound too, thanks to no longer being confined to dorm room and basement recordings (bigger guitars. more electric guitar stuff. one track even has a Wurlitzer we ran through a guitar pedal on it which is pretty wild). It’s all very exciting to us.
You worked with Jake Ewald (Modern Baseball) on the new EP. He's been producing a few upcoming projects. He recently did the new Harmony Woods album as well. What do you think he brought to the EP as a producer?
Yeah! Jake’s an awesome dude and we’re also all super excited for the Harmony Woods stuff (I’ve probably listened to Jenkintown-Wyncote 50 times already). As a producer he was just super helpful and enthusiastic about ideas. We just kinda went in and played the demos for him saying stuff like, “but when it gets to this part we want it to sound like wwwuuUUAAAAAAOOAAAAACHCCHCHCCZZXZZZZ” and then he’d make it happen. It’s almost like he heard what I could hear in my head and made it work. That’s about the best thing you could ever ask for in a producer.
I guess that wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else you would like to add?
You can look out for some cool tour dates soon and some more cool announcements in the near future. Thanks again for having me!
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