Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fjord Your Information...

Rejoice! Flexions' new record, Golden Fjord, comes out this week on Cairo Records! In celebration of such fortunate events, they are this week's fashion-forward feature.

Some highlights: Robin was indubitably stoked on his "Original! First edition Cairo!" printed T that he brought from home, I discovered Devin's passion for spicy/sweet condiments, and (another) serious conversation about the Denny Regrade took up a considerable amount of time. (Robin and CLGIV should meet. Seriously.) Oh, and seeing the finished product was the biggest highlight of all, of course.

Also, although each band member made an appearance, I was only able to interview/photograph 2/3rds of the band. Tyler is here in spirit.

This is what they look like:
Showing off
"What does it look like when you eat lemons?"
Costume change...

This is what I asked them:

So what is happening?
R- We are releasing a record. It's our first record with Tyler, and the first full embodiment of our creative identity as a trio. This is also a starting point for Cairo as a larger entity. We're kind of learning the ropes of starting a record label. We are doing it right instead of totally DIY: trying to present ourselves as serious and professional without being corporate.

What about Flexions did you want to do differently than previous projects?
D- I wanted to have more freedom to not stick to one specific style and to be able to experiment, and have it always be really positive and make sure we were doing it because it felt good. Take it seriously...but not too seriously, you know?
R- Flexions was the first music project that I worked on where I was playing with musicians. When playing with Devin and Tyler, I was able to work with people that were committed to putting things together in a complete way, as opposed to just "jamming". They are dedicated to being good performers that represented all of our specific interests, without boundaries on what the band "should be".

What are your individual influences for the new record?
D- Hmm…explorations of styles that I was feeling at that particular moment really. Also everything that was sampled. We were jamming with all those bands in a way, like Sade, Gary Newman, Quincy Jones and Cerrone. A more consistent running influence that comes in the record has been Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club and more…dubbier… music.
R- Covering Rolling Stones records. I was also listening to a lot of Mississippi Records mixtapes at the time, so a lot of old soul records.

What made you decide to become a 3 piece?
R- There is a lot of limitation when you are working specifically with drum machines and don't have a strong grasp of rhythm, and we had a hard time filling out the kinds of dynamics that we wanted to in our songwriting. It was really deadpan. We wrote a lot of music that was never intended to be played on actually drums, but Tyler was able to play everything.

What will Devin's move to Portland do for Flexions?
R- I think it's going to be a good transition for the band. We are kind of at this point where we are just getting together twice a week, as opposed to working in a focused environment on occasion. Plus I think it will be good to establish ourselves in Portland. Seattle is our home, but it's kind of fun to be new in town...

Where are you from and what are your biggest influences from home?
D- I'm from the Eastside… from Kirkland. It has the highest percentage of parks in any city, or something like that. I still really enjoy forested areas and open spaces. I think that will always stick with me.
R- I was born in Los Angeles. My parents told everyone they know that they would be out of LA by 1985. Took them until 1994 to actually leave, haha. I really became who I am here… I don't think I would be the same person at all.

What is your favorite thing about being involved in Seattle music scene?
D- I think Seattle has a very complex music history, and I like the idea of being involved in that. I think its all interesting, and its cool that its all maintained a lot of momentum and is able to put a lot of awesome music into the world.
R- My favorite part is how it is not so influenced by industry, although I do wish there was more attention and funding for these things.

Robin, what other artistic outlets do you have, other than music?
R- I have done installations and projects with photo, motion and documentaries... I use a lot of images that are related to the way people interact and imprint our personalities on the landscape. I'm also working on a book about some journeys I took in the Ohio River valley and some of the early Frontier history of that area, which should be coming out by the end of 2011.

Tell me about the band name, please.
R- When Devin and I started playing in 2007 he had asked me to perform with him, and we wrote a few songs that went well, but we never had a band name because we never intended to start a band. We chose Flexions because it wasn't too obscure and we intended on writing music that people wanted to dance to.

Devin, how does the music scene in Seattle differ from late 1990's/2000's?
Well, I think there has always been a really cool underground scene… the venues have changed but the Seattle music scene has always been about really cool shit. The attitude and spirit has stayed the same. Kind of reminds me of places I would go when I was 18 like The Velvet Elvis in Pioneer Square… it always had really positive environment.

Favorite bands to play with?
D- A lot of favorite music is made by people I know, like Bronze, Specter Protector, Dunes, Talbot Tagora, and Mika Miko. I used to play in Chromatics, I still really like their music that they are playing.
R- I have to agree with Devin. It's really cool being friends with people and seeing their progression of their art. I love seeing that with M. Women and Stephanie. I also really love Tyler's project Linda and Ron's Dad.

Do you use full words when you text?
D- Uh usually, I think. yeah. I don't even know what a lot of them mean. Like, what's FTW mean? What's lawlz?
R- I usually make up a lot of my own words. You can ask Ian Judd.

Who was your favorite child star?
D- Of all time? Joshua John Miller. He's the kid in River's Edge, Class of 1999, and Near Dark. He's always the badass miscreant kid… I get the most excited about him.
R- I really loved the girl who played Vicki on Small Wonder. It's kind of one of the shittiest 80's sitcoms but I really loved it.

What musician you will always listen to?
D- Brian Eno and Sonic Youth.
R- That is a really hard question. The Beatles.

Since he's not here, what is one thing Tyler wouldn't want me to know about him?
R- Haha, his first band name.

Many thanks to these guys for coming in during such a hectic time, and Bon Voyage to Devin, who moved to Portland this week. Seattle misses you already.


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