As a band what are your musical influences?
Ryan: Christmas music. All year long. And that's what strives us to keep going.
Luke: Strives us!
Tyler: Strives us?
Tyler: "Drives" is the correct verb there.
Ryan: Whatever. Christmas is hardcore. A hardcore Christmas.
Luke: I would say my musical influences are...I don't know. I like...music.
Tyler: Like Ryan has always said, just music and noise in general --
Zach: We are sponges to all sound.
Luke: We try to keep the influences inner. We enjoy listening to other music, but I'd say when it comes out, it just kind of --
Tyler: I don't know, we don't really adapt anything. Obviously we retain and hear and absorb it like a sponge, but I would say we don't really wring that sponge, you know?
Luke: Yeah, I mean Zach's over here listening to Nucleus, and you know...
Tyler: Velvet Acid Christ
Luke: ...and we're here playing happy-go-lucky shit.
Tyler: All of our influences are all diverse and we're sponges to all sound. That's definitely the key point there, I think.
Luke: If we like it, we like it. If we don't, we don't.
Tyler: If we hear it, we --
Luke: We copy it and make it our own song.
Tyler: Exactly! We plagiarize it.
Ryan: Copy and paste.
Tyler: That's our musical influence. All music copied and pasted into three and a half minutes.
You have a very unique sound, was this something you went out to create or just by chance?
Luke: Well we really just copied other peoples' music and then made it our own.
Tyler: So I think at that point it's just by chance, because you never know what music we're going to hear right before we write a song.
Luke: And sometimes it's like three different things at the same time. It's really weird.
Tyler: I'd say we're Pierce the Veil meets Yanni meets Buckcherry.
Luke: Anyway, I'd say we went out to create it.
Zach: Everybody brings their own thing to the table.
Luke: We wanted to sound different.
Tyler: I think that we wanted to sound different, but I don't think we did it intentionally. There's songs that you play a riff to that have been done, like that G-E-C-D progression, that have been done a billion times. There's an internet video that shows how almost every song can do that.
Luke: That's the internet video I watched to write that song.
Tyler: Yeah! But I don't know, it isn't something we set out to do, so I would say it happened by chance, but we also pride ourselves on sounding different than everything. So it's a casual intention, I guess. Something that happens by chance that we kind of do on purpose. Because as we fine-tune it, like -- what's the word?
Luke: As we produce it.
Tyler: As we produce it and fine-tune it, we're definitely trying to not sound -- we're not trying to sound like nothing else, though! We just happen to do that, so I'd say by chance.
Luke: I don't know, I'd say yes.
Tyler: So to answer the question, "Was this something you went out to create, or did it happen just by chance?" Yes, absolutely.
Do you prefer the writing and recording process or the touring and playing shows?
Ryan: Touring and playing shows.
Luke: I really like to write and record.
Zach: I like all of it!
Luke: I like all of it, too, but --
Tyler: I like to pretend I'm playing live in the studio, and therefore make lots of mistakes, so I have to do it over and over again. Therefore I know the songs way better than any of you guys.
Luke: I like to record. I like to make, you know, craft it.
Tyler: Yeah! Like produce it and put it together. It's real rewarding when you get to the end of a song like that. But I don't know, dude, a good show, you know? We hardly ever play shows that are up to our own expectations, though. It sounds real pompous for us to be like, "Yeah, we get lots of compliments after each show," but it's not -- I don't want to say "not untrue" because that still sounds pompous. We really hold ourselves to a high expectation show-wise, and it's hard to meet it because we're trying to hold it to recording standards, but with a live taste to it.
Tyler: So do we like the recording process or the playing process better? Yes, absolutely.
Luke: All of it, yes.
Tyler: We're just going to answer "yes" to every question. The first half of the interview will be super drawn out, but the rest of it: "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."
Why should people listen to your music?
Tyler: Yes, absolutely.
Luke: Well, I mean...
Tyler: Because it's different! It's agreeable! It's not going to hurt your ears, unless you play it really loudly and it physically hurts your ears. It's fresh, it's honest -- we're not trying to pull anything through our music. We're not trying to set the stage for something else. We're not going to go sell out or anything like that. We're not all, "Oh, here's our unique sound," get signed to a huge record label with a million-dollar contract, and then go --
Ryan: I want to sell out.
Tyler: You can sell out by yourself. Sell out with your hip-hop career, dude.
Ryan: I'll work on it.
Tyler: But in the mean time, we're going to work our asses off just to make sure we're providing fresh music and good sound or whatever.
Ryan: For my hip-hop career.
Luke: This is all for Ryan's hip-hop career.
Tyler: Do you have a name for your studio, or a DJ name, or whatever?
Ryan: I don't know. I have to talk to my partner, Tanner Hartman.
Tyler: Ah, Tanner. Well yeah, I'd say that answers why. Why? Because we want Ryan to succeed.
Tyler: That's why you should listen to our music, buy our entire discography -- so Ryan can sell out.
What do you want to achieve as a band?
Tyler: Ryan to be a notable --
Tyler: Eternal fame. We need him to be bigger than Jay-Z.
Luke: No, dude, bigger than -- I mean, I don't want to cross genres here, but I wanna say bigger than The Beatles. Bigger than, I don't know. Is Willie Nelson all that big?
Tyler: I've never heard of him.
Luke: Me either. I don't know how I came up with that name.
Tyler: It sounds like it'd be a good old country sort of name.
Ryan: Willie Nelson is famous for biodiesel.
Luke: He got in an accident pretty recently, too, so our thoughts and condolences.
Tyler: To a guy you don't know about.
Zach: I don't want to work; I want to play music all day.
Luke: That's what I want to do!
Ryan: Not saying that this isn't hard work or anything.
Tyler: We just want to be able to live off it. I think that's what any band really wants is to be able to not ever work. Like they say if you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. We never want to not do this.
Luke: We never want to work a day in our lives.
Tyler: But we want to work our asses off to get...
Luke: To where we don't ever have to work our asses off.
Tyler: We'll work so hard so we don't have to work. That's not even an end because once we get there we're still going to be working hard. But it won't feel like work, because we're not actually working.
Tyler: That makes sense. I like it.
Luke: We want to write songs.
Describe the band in three words.
Luke: Flannel, mouth, band.
Tyler: Flannel mouth music! Staple gun sandwich.
Ryan: Horseplay --
Ryan: Sarcasm and...
Tyler: And meat.
Tyler: Roast beef!
Luke: With carrots and potatoes in a stew.
Tyler: It's hard to describe the band in three words. Not just genre, but yeah, the music sometimes even gets a little snarky.
Luke: Storytelling --
Tyler: Storytelling is good. I like storytelling. Storytelling is a word.
Ryan: It doesn't work for me.
Tyler: That's three words right there.
Luke: But it's hyphenated.
Tyler: So we have "theatric --" no not theatric, we did "storytelling" instead of "theatric." I guess it's kind of synonymous.
Luke: Yeah? Yeah. So theatrics, sarcastic, and...dirty love.
Tyler: Cool. Three words? Dirty love.
What does the rest of this year and next year hold for the band?
Tyler: The rest of this year has a few days left.
Ryan: We're gonna make it big.
Tyler: By the end of 2013, no doubt. We're definitely going to fine-tune our live set and make sure we're one of those bands that are just a real pleasure to go see. Right now I think we're a good live band, but I think we're going to be a great live band soon, especially once we start nailing down some of these new songs we're working on. I don't know if I should say that just yet.
Luke: We're going to try to be releasing an album in the next year at some point.
Tyler: Well to answer "for the rest of this year:" we're going to make sure our new song, "Oh, Bastard," is heard by a lot of people. I mean, by all means, buy the song, but we just want as many people to hear it as we possibly can, and try to move to the next level. That song will have a lyric video coming out the beginning of 2014, and for the rest of 2014 we're going to focus on writing a new album, recording that album, releasing that album, and some touring between! It'd be awesome to get out there and knock some people out in front of other people, and hopefully it gets caught on video so we end up in jail.
Ryan: We'll take your lunch money.
Tyler: Ideally by the end of 2014 we'll be at least having to take a few weeks to tour with some pretty reputable bands, get our name out there, meet some great people, and --
Luke: Introduce them to Ryan.
Tyler: Ryan's such a sweetheart, guys. You don't even know.
Ryan: Thanks, guys.
Luke: You can even lick him.
Tyler: No, that's definitely happening.
Where would you most like to tour?
Luke: I want to go to Bruges.
Tyler: In Bruges!
Luke: It's in Belgium.
Zach: Anywhere but here.
Tyler: I don't know, I think I'd like to exclusively tour in Peoria, Illinois.
Luke: I'd like to go to the Brass Rail, play twenty-five straight nights.
Ryan: But guaranteed, like, so much money every night.
Luke: For free.
Tyler: No, we have to pay to play, dude.
Luke: Yeah, two hundred dollars each night.
Ryan: But the place has to be packed.
Tyler: No! Absolutely not!
Luke: There's got to be one person there, and it's got to be the guy that's in The Venetia Fair's video [for "My Pride Alone Won't Put This Fire Out."]
Tyler: Oh, yeah! That dude rocks! He'd be awesome to meet.
Ryan: That guy died, though.
Luke: Oh, shit.
Tyler: Right, at the end of the video. Word is he didn't even make it to the hospital. They just left him because they couldn't get him into the ambulance. Yeah, that guy, man. We want to meet your ghost, dude!
Luke: So get ahold of us!
Tyler: And you can be the only -- I don't want to say "person," -- but presence in attendance. We'll tour there twenty-five straight days.
Where do you realistically and hope to see yourselves in 5 to 10 years' time?
Luke: Ryan will have left us and will be doing his rap project with Justin Timberlake by that point.
Ryan: And Pharrell.
Luke: Almost like a barber shop quartet-type-thing, but with three people.
Tyler: So it'd be like a trio.
Luke: Yeah, that kind of thing.
Tyler: No, don't even come to that name, dude. That word sucks. Just go with "three-piece quartet." The Ryan Batalon, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell quartet.
Luke: I've always pictured myself watching a good movie in about five or ten years.
Ryan: I'm sure there'll be a few out.
Luke: Hopefully there's something crazy.
Tyler: No, what if he's just watching a good movie from the past in five years?
Luke: Yeah, what if I'm just watching Shaun of the Dead?
Ryan: No, I was thinking Superman Batman 3, or something.
Tyler: It's Batman Superman.
Tyler: I'll be sleeping in a subway station having burnt every bridge, and been disowned by my family for borrowing too much money.
Ryan: I'll have a house.
Luke: I hope to have a house in ten years.
Tyler: I think I'll still be sleeping eight hours a day, but ideally it'll be in an apartment funded by our fans.
Tyler: I'll do a Kickstarter every month for my rent. We're crowdsourcing an apartment.
Ryan: What would be the prizes for that? Like you can stay a night if you donate -- ten dollars.
Tyler: No, I'll just write your name in the memo on the check. "Special thanks to..." We'll have one really dedicated fan who pays my rent every single month.
Luke: I feel like in the future we will be playing a lot of music. Sleeping with a lot of hoes.
Tyler: Realistically in five years, it'll be 2018. I think we'll have our third or fourth album out -- no, I'd say second or third.
Luke: The third one will be called "Whale Songs."
Tyler: It'll be real experimental.
Luke: You would think it was, though.
Tyler: We're going to stick a microphone in the ocean and record for an hour. That'll be the album. Live and uncut!
Luke: Whales, man.
Tyler: I think we'll be touring a lot.
Luke: I think we'll be the first band to tour in space.
Tyler: Who...who said that?
Luke: Do you remember Zenon the Zequel? They were the first band that played in space.
Tyler: Zimple as that. So in the mean time, support our dreams of selling out, burning bridges with our families, and crowdsourcing our monthly rent bills. I'll have a different Kickstarter for each bill: rent, cell phone, and groceries. That'll be great.
Luke: We do need to eat.
You can see the review of their news single here http://www.shoutitloudreviews.com/index.php/music-news/item/265-flannel-mouth-release-new-song .