We are nothing without friends

The other weekend we shot the video to our first single, Entertainment. It was both difficult and fun, and many other things at the same time, but more about that later. For the video I created a crossword puzzle – just one of these random ideas I sometimes have – and while building it I realized something. The clue was ‘We are nothing without’ and the answer was ‘Friends’.

Playing in a small DIY band like ours is a lot about finding people to work with, building trust and developing a network of people. Being an introvert, I don’t have the social skills or inclination to be a “networker” so it typically happens either by accident or out of necessity. Surprisingly, it has become one of the things I really enjoy in this whole “band experience”, and I wanted to use this blog post to recognize the amazing people we have worked with.

The most obvious need for a recording band is someone to help with the recording and production process. We learnt a ton while making our 2020 debut album with the incredible Hiili Hiilesmaa. When planning our 2021 EP, we felt that we wanted to do the producer work ourselves and see how much we’ve learnt and evolved. Honestly and obviously, there was a fiscal consideration involved too. While our new EP is totally self-produced – and we are quite proud of how it turned out – we could not have gotten anything done without the masterful help of sound and mixing engineer Markus Heinonen from Saarni Music. He is also super nice and fun to work with and has a healthy obsession for music. The final touches on the EP are made by mastering engineer and sound shaper Juho Karenko from CBH Recordings. Mastering has been a challenge to us in the past, so this time we spent quite a lot of time on evaluating options and selecting the approach. Juho’s work stood out in being loud and heavy, but still balanced and authentic. I think you’ll hear how Markus and Juho helped us sound louder and heavier than before.

Photographers are another common “tribe” that bands work with. We know a few amazing photographers and are more than happy to recommend guys like Mikko LinsiöJohn Tackman and Miika Hildén for any photo project. This time Mr Mikko Linsiö ended up taking our promo pics during our video shoot and they turned out amazing. Mikko never seizes to produce amazing shots. In the not-so-distant future I also hope you’ll see the results of another collaboration with one of these visual artists…

The artwork for our 2020 album was done by Mikko Jäppinen. I still think those drawings are amazing and perfectly capture what we were going for. This time I ended up asking a friend and drummer from another band I’ve played with to create the cover art for the EP. Mr Tuomo Heiti did the impossible and produced artwork that is 1) of a different style than we have used before, 2) a perfect match for what we are going for, and 3) amazingly good. As usual, we are also getting visual all-around help from Dino Stén, who is always there for us when we need it. Check out the cool white beer can design on the Cheap Beer ale we just announced!

In addition to these 3 core areas, we also obviously connect with people on things like promotion, PR, gigs, etc. I could write several chapters praising people like Riikka (insightful views on music PR in general), Lasse G. and the Cremator (radio DJs who for some reason like our stuff), Jaakko (PR advice and work), Toni and Miika at Barley & Bait (high quality drinks and a place to hang out in), and countless of colleagues from other bands who have the same interests and desires, and are eager to share experiences. Not to mention Camilla from Wood’n’Sound, whom we virtually ran into by a coincidence. Our original video recording plans were cancelled due to unfortunate events, but Camilla offered us a stage to shoot our video on and we were able to get stuff done on time. This is what it’s all about in this scene.

Last, but most definitely not least, there are those closest to us, who may not be experts in audio engineering or music promotion, but they support us in the ways they can. Like Martina and Ylva doing some amazingly creative camera work for our first video. We owe you guys big time. And essentially all those around us who tolerate and support our noisy and costly habit of playing in a small, DIY, non-profit rock band. 

Thank you. 

Rock on.

Lasse / Flush 3rd September 2021

Been a while. Been too long.

Hey there! First of all, we’re doing good and still active, thank you very much. Hope you are too. In fact, we have just started a recording project, but more about that later. First, some updates from the Flush camp.

The album has been out a little more than 6 months now. We reached the 100k stream milestone on Spotify sometime ago and at the time of writing are up to 125k streams. As much as I hate that our only available metric is Spotify, this is a pretty good number for a band our size and with our fame. Obviously, without playing shows, we have not really been able to promote our album and have kept somewhat quiet for the last months.

That said, on May 1st we celebrated another album release! We are on a compilation album called ‘Sparka röv’ featuring punk and metal from Swedish speaking bands in Finland. It’s genuinely a really good compilation and I have listened to it quite a lot. We’ve got a few vinyls left so hit us up if you are into vinyl and want one of these limited presses.

It’s been a weird, shitty and simply devastating 12 months for the globe, for most of you and us, and for music and arts. With some light at the end of the tunnel it does look like this summer live music season will be lost and our aim is set to Fall and Winter. We are eagerly waiting for venues to be able to open up so we can schedule some shows and events. Vaccines are being rolled out in Finland now and half of the band is booked for jabs this week and the rest should be done by July. One of us actually had the virus (all good now) so soon we’ll be protected to some extent.

So the recording project… Music cannot be stopped and when songs come to you, you need to let them in and do what you can to channel them onwards. So we have some new songs that we are working on. Out of roughly a handful drafts, we decided to record four songs over two days. Day one is done and day two is in a week and a half. Then we’ll know how the songs turned out and what exactly we do with them. We believe the material is strong and we believe we know what we are doing with it, but this time we don’t have the professional production support and the time we had with the album. So we’ll see…

Two of the songs are more or less punk rocky and two are more metally. Working title references include Nirvana, Anthrax, Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and the term ‘party punk’. We’re obviously exited and looking forward to another music critic’s debate on whether or not our music is punk, thus making it impossible for said critic to actually talk about the music at all. We’ve got a track called ‘Entertainment’, which is a straight forward party punk anthem celebrating the imminent return of live music and entertainment. It’s not one to be taken too seriously. Another track is called ‘Kings and Queens’ and this one we got a chance to test live during our only proper show in the Fall of 2020. This is a hard-hitting groover. ‘Cut Me Open’ is a melodic metal song, which might end up featuring a hundred or so guitar tracks to make it as massive as possible. We’ll see. And then we have the working title ‘White Man’, which some of us think is Nirvana/Bleach era and some think is Anthrax. Go figure.

At this point we don’t know for sure whether these songs will be released as individual singles, an EP or something else. Time will tell. And as the band’s songwriter I can tell you that in addition to these four, there is stuff in the pipeline for at least another four new tracks as soon as we get to it.

That’s it really. It’s not been a great time for bands but at least we are healthy and maintaining some creativity. Again, hit us up if you want a really cool vinyl compilation or one of our CDs. We’ve got some left in the “warehouse” that is my bedroom. Be well, look after one another, get those vaccines when you can, and stay tuned for more updates from the Flush camp. Thanks for reading, thank for understanding.

Lasse / Flush

To be punk or not to be punk – that seems to be the most important question

Pic by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

The world needs one more blog post about what is punk and what is not punk. So here it goes, one more blog post about what is and what is not punk or punk rock.

Is our music punk rock to you or how would you describe us? We honestly do not know and hence we tend to randomly throw in genre words that people then take very seriously. In some recent album reviews, the reviewers have spent more time discussing whether we are punk, than discussing the music itself. The background here is that most of our promo letters and other materials describe us as “the third best punk rock band in the world” or in other ways label us as “punk”. It appears that this genre definition becomes a sticky point that even experienced music critics (and/or fans) cannot get over. They hear us and compare us to what they expect punk to be in their heads, and when we do not sound like that, they cannot get past this conflict in their perception and never get to listen to the music as it is.

There are billions of words written about punk so I will not go there. Do The Ramones, MC5, Stooges, Sex Pistols and The Clash sound similar? No, of course they do not. If a critic was sent The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ today, with the label “punk”, would they dismiss the whole album because of the label? Is Offspring punk? Green Day? The Menzingers? Idles? Gaslight Anthem? Was Hüsker Dü punk or melodic hardcore? Is Fucked Up punk or hardcore? Dead Kennedys? Bad Brains?

What about genres that are defined by vocal style? Lately I have been listening to curated black metal playlists and have heard a wide range of music where sometimes the vocal delivery style seems to be the only common factor between the bands. The music itself can be very diverse. I also love how a band like Converge seems to be able to bend and stretch genre definitions, and just produce hard and tight rock music year after year. How would you label Mr Bungle? When adding words like “experimental” to a genre definition, does that not make the whole definition pointless? “Experimenting” would suggest that existing definitions and boundaries are made redundant, so why even bother using those boundary words.

Back to the word “punk”. The original meaning, and what punk should still stand for, is a revolt and rebellion against something. It actually has very little to do with any musical style, hence the word is pointless when it comes to describing what music sounds like. There were punk scenes in the mid-to-late 70s, early 80s, late 80s and early 90s, and the word works great to describe those scenes. Our favourite band, Bad Religion, came out of one of those scenes (well, two actually). They played fast and melodic songs, where lyrics meant something, and we try to do the same. We just mix those fast songs with mid-tempo songs that sometimes take over 3 or even 4 minutes. More importantly, we are not part of that scene or any other scene for that matter. We are just a rock band that plays honest rock songs combining elements from various scenes, including those earlier mentioned punk scenes. We then also add influences from 90s alternative rock, 90s slacker, 90s and 00s indie and noise rock, and “2010 rock music” (sorry, no name for this scene yet). And so on.

Some playlist curators have happily added us to their punk rock labelled playlists. We are there alongside classic and modern punk rock bands, ranging from the early punk scenes, to pop and skate punk, to current punk scenes. We as a band do not care about these genre labels but we are forced to use them in our marketing materials so that listeners know a little bit what to expect. But if someone takes an obvious tongue-in-cheek statement like “third best punk rock band” so literally and seriously that they cannot get over their perceived genre conflict, then what is the point of the label “punk” anymore? If the rules are so strict, even if it is one person’s perception only, that goes against what punk was supposed to be about, and it makes the whole term pointless and redundant. The obvious point here being that I could make a jazz techno fusion album and call it punk, just to make a point that punk is about rebellion and revolt.

We are happy with being labelled just “rock” or “hard rock”, but then looking at the examples of “Hard Rock” for one big playlist platform, it says Foo Fighters and Wolfmother are examples of “Hard Rock”. I don’t feel we belong in that category. The category “Alternative Rock” lists Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins”. Ok, we are some of that, but still not quite. “Indie Rock” mentions Arcade Fire and The National. Love them, but that is not Flush. Then we have something called “Pop Punk”, which lists Green Day, Blink 182 and Sum 41. Sorry, I cannot relate. Then there is just “Punk” where you are inspired by Sex Pistols and The Clash. Go figure, right?

Here is an ask: When you listen to our music or any other band for that matter, try to ignore the instinctive categorization that your brain wants to do. Try to just listen to the music. Categories are helpful when searching through hundreds of options, but once you have made your choice, try to ignore how you found it and in which bucket it was placed.

Second thing, we truly welcome your feedback on what we sound like – and obviously also if you liked us and why. We appreciate hearing things like “you guys sound like Placebo” or “this is perfect music for Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding”. Our producer described as a combination of Eagles and something harder/faster/heavier that we cannot recall anymore. These kinds of sound bites and comparisons are great as they do not exclude us from also being something else. They are like tags that you can add on as many as you like, as opposed to compartments where you can only belong to one. These tags combined then make up our persona as a band. Something like: Take five ounces of Bad Religion, throw in half a verse of Eagles, mix with some Placebo angst, and flip in a Tony Hawk’s grab trick combo. Finish off with Biffy Clyro harmonies and Finnish melancholy, and serve with a stoner intro, and you have the Flush dish. This description might be impossible to place in one category as per traditional music boundaries, but is still helpful in informing what the music will sound like. It also lends itself to very creative descriptions.

Bottom line: We can all do better. Fuck all single genre compartments and embrace tag like references instead. Don’t worry about placing a band in a pre-defined category, and focus more on trying to describe the band in ways that do not exclude it from being something different and unique.

Hell yeah!

Lasse / Flush

Cheap Beer

Unfortunately we could not arrange the album release party we wanted, but last Saturday we still had the chance to celebrate with friends, have some drinks, listen to the album a few times, and have more drinks. Then we had more drinks. Thanks to all who showed up and thanks to Barley & Bait for letting us get shit-faced there! Again.

The album is out now and even the lost CDs have been found. They are available now at least through Recordshop X and obviously you can get a CD at our next gigs as well. We also have a new batch of high quality ‘Cheap Beer-Rock Songs-Friday Nights’ t-shirts and matching baseball caps.

Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and most of it also genuine. Our music isn’t for everyone and it’s fine to say it out loud, but so far the songs seem to resonate quite well. We’re also getting notifications from various countries and in new languages, so clearly the album seems to be doing well. We did it primarily for ourselves, but obviously music needs a listener too and the rapidly growing streaming numbers are good news for us. I’ve been responding to a number of interviews recently and they don’t seem to stop anytime soon.

It’s getting really dark outside, at least here in the Nordics, and times are still pretty dire when it comes to lockdowns, quarantines and so on. There is a massively important election coming up and we’re all stressed about that too. So be well, take care of yourselves and each others. Lend an ear to the buddy who has gone unusually quiet. Make an effort to get fresh air and move around. Listen to new music or read a book. Stop reading this, shut down your computer or smart phone, and give your brain a rest. You’ll get through this.

Thank you all for your support on our journey.

Lasse / Flush

Attention to buy – who wants to sell?

Photo by Tim Oun on Unsplash

We’re in the midst of promoting the fuck out of our material and it does not really make sense to start questioning those promotional tactics right as we’re in the thick of it. But I’ll do it anyway because this has bothered me for some time.

Like many others, I have serious concerns about what social media is doing to us as individuals and as a society. The new Netflix doc ‘The Social Dilemma‘ nicely summarizes those concerns, but this topics is also something I work with in my day job and it has been on my mind a longer time. While I hate what Spotify has done to musicians in redistributing the little revenue there is to the platform instead of the creator, there is something much worse going on in our society. Our societies are aggressively divided, we cannot trust facts anymore, and as individuals we have become social-media-dopamine addicts.

How does this relate to a band promoting their music? Well, after MySpace (which wasn’t so bad after all now that we think of it) bands like ours are increasingly dependent on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and a few others. It’s the only way to reach listeners and potential fans. And the only way to make these platforms work for a band is with money. As a band we have to pay into their schemes and leverage their business model of making money out of people’s attention. If we want something as simple as everyone who has liked our page to see a post mentioning our new single, we have to pay for it. And that money goes into supporting and enabling this sick and twisted business model that turns users of the platforms (us, individuals, humans) into data providers, and essentially into products. Our attention is then sold to anyone willing to pay for it. As a band we are there competing with Russian bots and QAnon conspiracies, supporting the same machinery making all of us addicts. It fucking sucks. Just like Spotify inserted themselves as a new middle-man to collect all the revenue, these social media platforms have become money-making gatekeepers for bands, artists, communities and others who simply want to engage with like-minded people.

As a band, do we have a choice? Well, I’d love to know one as I genuinely don’t know. At this point stopping the use of Facebook is something I feel we cannot afford as we’d lose all engagement with our fans. One option could be email lists. Nobody wants more email, but at least we’d know how to communicate important stuff to those that have opted in for receiving that stuff, and no third party would be there making money out of it. It would then simply be up to us to ensure we don’t send too much too often, and make the messages relevant. We have a website too (you’re on it right now), but driving traffic there and making people find it, costs money, and that is money into that same fucked-up machinery again. Music magazines and fanzines are either dying or moving into those same platforms, where the same attention monetization rules apply.

We desperately need governments to control these platforms and update laws to this century. But that will take time. What can bands like ours do to avoid funding these evil machines and still maintain a connection with listeners?

Lasse /Flush

A few important thank yous

Our first single ‘Shine’ is out today and in less than two months the album is finally out. I’ve not been able to blog as frequently as expected, but this one is a must-do. There are a few critical collaborators and contributors we want to explicit thank for working with us on the album. This isn’t everyone we’ll thank on the album sleeve, nor everyone who has helped and supported us through all these years. These are the people who directly worked on the album or related stuff.

Let’s begin with the album artwork. Mikko Jäppinen is one talented illustrator. He can draw anything in zero time with almost zero briefing. We wanted something that fits our style and the Bukowski theme, and he nailed it. Mikko also knows everything about classic metal and is an all-around super guy.

Miikka Hildén (/Migusphoto) coincidentally ended up shooting one of our gigs a few years ago and then contacted us at the time we were thinking of how to arrange our promo shots. Through this divine intervention we ended up having a fun photo shoot at an abandoned warehouse in the hoods the band was originally formed in (Haaga, Helsinki). There were smoke bombs and all. Good times.

Dino Stén is our guy for AD work. In this case that means CD sleeve design. Dino’s been there from the start (the amazing and classic logo is Dino’s work) and always delivered these visual things we have no clue about how to do.

Ok, “audio guys” next. We had two rounds of pre-production of this album. The first we recorded ourselves but for the second round we wanted outside help. Enter Kari Degerman. During two dark evenings in Autumn 2019 we recorded all the songs live with Kari, live mixed onto a stereo track (I then did the vocals afterwards). What an absolute pleasure to work with a guy who knows his shit. No frills and no issues. Enter the room, set up, play, job done. Don’t tell anyone but my secret dream is to record our next EP/album mostly live with Kari and have it all done in a few weeks.

That leaves us with the man himself, legendary producer and sound engineer Hiili Hiilesmaa. Rarely do you find the perfect mix and balance of kindness, creativity and being driven to get the job done. Hiili knows when to push, when to advise, when to wait and will not leave you feeling helpless. Recording a full-length with a pro guy like Hiili does not come cheap, but the process itself is such a learning experience that it’s easily worth the investment.

Again, there are many others we owe gratitude to for helping us along the way. We’ll thank you when we see each other along the way.

Lasse / Flush

The longest blog post so far on this website. And longest title too.

Pic by Mikko Linsiö

This blog post will be a little longer. It will contain an update on the album but also lots more. Hope you’ll stay with me.

2020. What a fucked up year. The year that was supposed to change everything for the better. On micro and macro and universal and multi-universal levels, and on all levels in between. Personally I had massive hopes because my expectation bar was set very low. Last year I went through a divorce and a period of anxiety, where I was not sure if anything made any sense anymore. I was more lost than I usually am. But little by little, and through discovering small rays of light, things started to fall into place again. My son is my everything and he has been such a trooper through all of this. My north star and purpose. The song ‘Dark’ on the new album is for him.

Other positive things happened too, obviously including great progress with the album. There were high expectations for 2020 and the song ‘Shine’ covers a great deal of that on a personal level (“We’ve traveled far and given up, now everything will be all right”). But then…

First, we almost had World War 3 starting in the middle East with fucktard Trump doing what he does. Then, this interconnected world really showed its darkest side by a virus spreading like wildfire, isolating us from each other. I feel for those locked up with people they cannot live with and fearing for their safety. I feel for those locked up alone and feeling desperate to have any human interaction. I feel for those trying to work, teach their kids and live a meaningful life, all at once. I feel especially much for those who have loved ones in other locations and not able to be with them. I feel for those losing their livelihoods; for those losing their mental or physical health; and for those losing their loved ones. As a band we were spared of direct impacts of the virus and also lucky in that our last recording day was right before Finland closed up, so we got everything done as planned. There are no Covid or isolation songs on the album for obvious reasons, and we also decided not to name the album with any reference to the virus and its impact. However, we will always associate the album with this weird spring of 2020. There is no record release party planned or any other gigs for that matter. Everything is still on hold and it’s weird af.

Just when things started to look a little better, the “greatest nation on earth” decides to show its true colors: Blue (a militant and racist police force), white (like the KKK hoods) and red (the blood of innocent black people). The videos we’ve seen in the last week are sick. The racism is deep in the DNA of white colonialism, and when that is combined with this weird fetish of being an authority with permission to use force, you see how ugly and disgusting us people can be. I wrote the song ‘Surreal Experiment’ when they put immigrant and refugee kids in cages in the US. Its opening line goes “This is a surreal experiment in the age of post-intellect”. I don’t know if humanity can be – or should be – saved. We are too often horrible to each other.

On that happy note, we are brought to today. I promised this blog post would include an update on the album. I won’t reveal the name yet, but the album has a title and we like it. It was one of the hardest decisions to make as a group. It took several votes and discussions. Other difficult decisions were song selections and song order. Damn… We know that very few listen to full length albums anymore, but we wanted the song order to make sense. Yes, we’ll put our marketing effort into singles, as we’re not stupid, but the album has to work as an album too, and it took several iterations to get it right. We ended up with 13 songs. It was supposed to be 12, but then Hiili suggested switching two songs, which we kind of did, but ended up keeping both. It’s still only roughly 41 minutes so we trust people can deal with it being longer than a debut album should.

The next weeks we will spend looking at options for distribution. We have one option on the table but want to balance that our with others too. Maybe a traditional record label would pick us up with a traditional record label deal, who knows? It’s not easy to sell english rock music in Finland and our target is not hundreds of thousands of streams in Finland only. Artistically we have pretty much reached our target. We made the record with the best current songs we have and we can be proud of the way it sounds. Commercially, our targets are beyond the Finnish borders and in live gigs. Nobody makes money from streams, but if we can get on playlists and radios, and generate enough excitement for when the gig scene returns, then we aim to get on as many stages as possible, and not just in Finland.

There. That’s it. That’s the blog post. Stay tuned. Or tanned. Or both. But use sun screen, ok.

Be well.

Lasse / Flush

Social Distancing

Social Distancing: (insert some witty remark here and make sure it’s not something everyone’s already heard a million times)

These are dire times. There is no way around it. Sure, there is something good in this, as there always is, but I wish Mother Nature hadn’t had to resort to such drastic measures to save herself. Well, we had it coming…

If I just keep this within the parameters of the band and music, this is what’s up. Our gigs are all canceled for now and no active work is done on bookings. We’re not practicing together as a band at the moment. The album work is still progressing (more on that below) and some new ideas are being worked on. That’s pretty much it.

So yeah, the album progresses. We got the first mixes today – fuck yes! Felt pretty weird to put them on for the first time… Nervous excitement. Is it going to be all shit, sound terrible and be full of mistakes, or will it be something insane and out of this world? Based on the first rough listen, it’s somewhere in between (surprise, surprise). These are mixes, not mastered versions, so they still sound somewhat “dry” and “sterile”.

Other things we’re working on are things like album name and cover art, distribution/publishing model, and legal aspects of our money stuff (i.e. should we form a company and, if so, how).

I just want to close by some current thoughts. Music, both live and recorded, is fucking important. Why else would people make the effort to do all these shitty living room live streams and stuff. The audience also makes the effort to tune in. Imagine lock-down without any music or audio-based art. It’s not possible in the long run. The shittiest thing with the current business models is that artists (“content creators”) suffer most of the current situation, not the streaming platforms or internet providers, who benefit from the content. Also venues are forced to close, some probably permanently. It’s a travesty that platforms like Spotify now introduce charity services where an artist can request tips from their fans. Fucking hell, Spotify, just share some of the revenue with your content creators instead.

I am genuinely worried this is all accelerating the inevitable trend of more and more “music like content” being generated by artificial intelligence, and all revenues going to these digital streaming and AI platforms. Now, it is a valid question to ask if this is such a bad thing. The philosophical and moral dilemma isn’t straight forward. If AI takes 25% of Max Martin’s revenue, is that really so bad? What if AI can introduce musical innovation us humans cannot imagine? New chord progressions, rhythmic patterns, harmonies, etc. However, to me music has always been a human-to-human interaction. A human writes it, a human performs it and a human listens to it. Everything else is noise (as Otis Gibbs says in his podcast intro). But that noise collects all the money and I don’t trust it cares about anything else than collecting some more.

So while you should look after yourselves and your loved ones, maybe also look after your favorite artists, be that a songwriter or performer. Buy their album or merch, or donate in ways that go directly to them. Join and share their live streams and videos and shit. And if you can and there is a way, also support your local venues. Without them, what’s the point really?

Hang in there. We’ll do the same.

Lasse / Flush

Recording done. Fuck yes.

This week we completed the recordings, finally. It took a while and definitely its toll, but they say diamonds too are compressed of shit. Or something. While I quite enjoyed the studio time, and Hämeenlinna is actually quite an ok city, I will not miss the driving between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna.

We recorded 14 tracks with the intention of 12 ending up on the album and two are backup or b-sides. Remains to be seen if that ends up being the case. After a few listens of the unmixed stuff, there could be changes to the plans, but we’ll only know once we get the mixes from Hiili.

Hiili… what a gentleman and artisan. The guy knows his shit, has no issues in saying how things are, and does it in a respectful and nice way. And he remains curious on the trade by e.g. studying the parallels between music production and obstetrics. It’s fucking obvious and genius. I do believe he pushed me to the best vocal performance I’ve done to date (ok, that does not really say much, I know) and there is an enormous amount of knowledge that we’ve gained as a band from this session. From things like getting the tempos right to just in general having high enough standards on things. It’s not about technical ability; it’s about just caring and concentrating enough to get it right. Might not sound punk but that’s exactly what makes it punk af.

So yeah, recording done. Now we’ll wait for the mixes and probably a few iterations of those, before the mastering. In the meantime we will begin the process of shopping around for deals related to publishing / distribution / artist 360s. If you know anyone, give us a shout.

Good times. Exciting times. Viral times ffs.

Stay hygienic, peeps.

Lasse / Flush

Learning by Doing and Listening

Obviously I am no pro, but I do remember writing my first proper song when I was 15 or 16. There’s been quite a few since. The interesting thing about song-writing is how much you can learn and grow by studying all the hundreds of dimensions of a song. For a long time I’ve been driven by trying to come up with at least one out of three options: 1) A solid rock guitar riff, 2) a nicely harmonic and poppy melody line, and 3) a creative chord progression that’s never been done before but sounds natural. It’s not until recent years that I’ve started paying attention to things like lyrics, rhythms, vocal phrasing, creating spaces and overall atmosphere of a song.

It’s been rewarding to hear the great and very specific feedback people have given us after our shows. Everyone experiences music differently and it’s almost impossible to predict which combinations of all those song elements will work at one time. However, what is certain, is that once the elements ‘click’, the song will work. And it matters when performing too. If the singer connects with the lyrics and the rhythm, and the lyrics and rhythm connect with the melodies and atmosphere, everyone will perform better and the listeners will experience the magic.

The songs of ours that seem to connect the best are quite different and it’s almost impossible for me to say why they work, but in all of them the lyrics actually matter and I’ve spent a lot of time on them. In some more on the message, in some more on the rhythm and phrasing, and in some more on the rhymes and melodies. None of them have the most innovative chord progression ever written nor are the melodies on Brian Wilson’s harmonic level, but these songs seem to be ones where the different parts and dimensions click well together. Fascinating stuff.

Oh, before I forget, our album is progressing. I have finished my guitars and am halfway with the lead vocals. Working with Hiili is obviously a massive pleasure and privilege. This guy knows his stuff and has no problems with sharing his knowledge and principles. I’ve learnt a lot about recording with him, from slightly de-tuning the E-string for barre chord playing to how/when to record double/triple vocal tracks, and a bunch of other practical things. But I think Hiili’s secret is how he makes everyone comfortable in being themselves and doing their best, and knowing exactly when to push harder and when to ease a little. He is a facilitator par excellence.

Next week more guitars and vocals, and then we start approaching the mixing phase. One scary part of recording is how shitty the first tracks sound without being mixed properly. I can’t wait to hear what magic Hiili is able to sprinkle on our tracks.

Be well. Be healthy. Be kind. Be true to yourself. Be curious.

Lasse / Flush