The Flatliners recently released their long awaited new album ‘Dead Language‘. This week we catch up with the band who took the time to answer our On The Record questions to give us more insight into the release. The album is available now locally via Cooking Vinyl / New Damage. If you are yet to do so, you can grab it on CD [Here] or via iTunes [Here]. Expand this post to take a read of their answers. Next month the band will release a new 7″ via Fat Wreck featuring one of the album’s singles, ‘Caskets Full‘ and a B-Side ‘Wynford Bridge‘ from the album recording sessions. They also have a track on the soon to be released Tony Sly tribute album.
Got Spotify? Listen while you read about it…
Tell us about the release title.
Many of the songs deal with learning from your mistakes and trying your best not to repeat them. A guideline to live better and be a better person, so to speak. Many purveyors of the English language will tell you that much of it’s origin lies at the finger tips of Latin’s open, extended hand. Just as Latin is now a dead language, but it has inspired many languages since, these songs, this album in general, detail parts of my life that have inspired me to move on. To be better.
Tell us about the artwork.
Our great friend Richard Minino (aka “Horsebites” / www.theblackaxe.com / www.thevnm.com) did the cover illustration for us, and we couldn’t be happier with it. He and I both dig weird old mysticism and stuff like that. With an album name like ‘Dead Language’ it was pretty easy for me to drum up some visuals in my head of what I thought could look cool. Richard absolutely knocked it out of the park ,as usual. We love working with him. Our good friend John Meloche (www.melodiccreative.com) laid the entire package out for us and did a fantastic job. We’re lucky to have such talented friends willing to work with us.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
‘Dead Language’ is available in a digital format of course. And also in a digi-pak CD, lots of different colours of wax, and black vinyl as well.
Who will it be released through, and when?
‘Dead Language’ was released on September 17th via Fat Wreck Chords and New Damage Records. September 20th in Australia via Cooking Vinyl.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We’ve done all our albums at Drive Studios (Woodbridge, ON) and that’s where we returned for this one. It feels like home and we know the room really, really well.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
We’ve done all our albums with Steve Rizun. We’ve worked with him for years, and it’s great because we’re on the same wave length it seems. He knows our band so well at this point, and gets incredible sounds in his studio. He’s excellent at cutting the tension as well if things get stressful. There’s always at least one of us smiling or laughing when we’re working with Steve.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We approached the writing process to this album like every other record we’ve done. We just kind of let it happen. That must be why there are always 3 year gaps between our albums, haha. We enjoy challenging ourselves, and branching out musically. Keeping things fresh and interesting for us is key because we’ve all known each other since we were little kids, and have been a band now for 11 years. Our individual musical tastes all add up to us contributing our unique perspectives on music and songwriting.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
It’s tough to say, only because the writing process was a constant thing. Little riffs, lyrics, lines, ideas here and there on and off for about 3 years.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
We’ve always loved how RX Bandits and The Bronx records all sound. They’re both the kings of the modern day live-off-the-floor recordings. There’s such incredible energy to those band’s records, and the all-important human element to those records makes them truly inspiring.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
Over the course of 2 years, about 2.5 weeks. 3 weeks at most.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We opted for a live-off-the-floor recording this time. We spend about 3/4 of every year on the road, so we really know how to play music together as a unit. We’ve always wanted to utilize that to our advantage on record and we were finally able to do so this time around. We went into the studio late 2011 with the intention of just getting some ideas we were working on recorded. In a hap-hazard way I suppose, that was when we began recording the album, really unbeknownst to us. We weren’t thinking about it really, we just wanted to see how these ideas of ours would translate in a studio. We were demoing I guess, but then those demos ended up being the building blocks for the album itself. We loved the raw, live feel of the recordings, so we kept them. From there we went on the road and wrote a bunch more songs. About a year later, in late 2012, we returned to the studio with the same approach to the new batch we’d written. All in all we spent about 2.5 – 3 weeks recording this album, but over the course of 2 years. It was the most fun and most comfortable we’ve ever had or been in the studio. And I think that comes across on the record.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Very different. We’d always demoed every song first, done some re-writing, then re-recorded every song for the album. Usually an instrument at a time. Tracking everything is great for precission, but I think it can suck the life out of some songs. It certainly sucks the fun out of making an album in the studio.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Other than our 2 friends Dorian Findlay and Adam Jacobs, who joined us for the gang vocals, this record is just the four of us.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
We made a point to use all our live gear for this album. We want these songs to sound the same live as they do on the album. In the past we’ve toyed around with different tones and amps for different parts, which was fun. But for this record, simplicity was key.
Any memorable studio moments?
We actually didn’t film or take photographs of anything during the recording process, so the only documentation of ‘Dead Language’ is the album itself. I’m going off memory here, but I do indeed remember spending an entire day singing a song that didn’t even end up making the record. Talk about a wasted effort!
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We recorded 20 songs during these sessions, and released 2 songs (“Daggers” and “Calutron Girls”) on a split 7” with Make Do And Mend earlier this year. Then released 13 songs on ‘Dead Language’. We’ve still got 5 b-sides kicking around. We’ll put those out on something, or possibly a few different things, sometime this year and next year for sure. We love keeping active with releases like that.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
My current favourite of the new batch to play live is “Bury Me”. It’s really bouncy and doesn’t let up until it’s finished. Lots of fun to sing and play live.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
I think it’s our most realistic sounding album. It sounds like we just went into the studio, put all the bullshit aside, and played these songs together. And that’s exactly what we did. We love and are extremely proud of all of our albums, but a few have turned out a bit more polished that we wanted I think. Or maybe that’s just how we all feel now looking back on them, having just completed this record in a much different way.
Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Thanks to our fans for their patience. 3.5 years is a long time to wait for a new album. We love you guys.
THE FLATLINERS – ‘Dead Language‘
Available now locally via Cooking Vinyl / New Damage. Grab it on CD [Here] or via iTunes [Here].