Look who’s back…

It seems that every time the Flatliners come to town, they’re rolling with a stacked lineup. This time around they play the Music Hall on Friday May 25 with label mates The Dirty Nil and Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs as part of the Dine Alone Spring Tour.

Each band brings something different to the table this tour, promising a solid night of good tunes in over ten cities across Canada. If anything, their diversity is reflective of the state of the Canadian, and rather the North American, music scene today.

“We try our best to always make the shows eclectic,” says Flatliners lead singer Chris Cresswell.

The Flatliners. Photo by Shannon O’Toole, courtesy of Jesse Locke

“I think we’ve had really good luck getting the lineups together we’ve been able to, especially on Canadian tours. And also, with bands we like, I mean we just have an incredible taste in music,” he joked.

It’s been a while!

The Flatliners have been putting out music for 15 years. Their roots run deep in punk rock and skacore, yet their most recent album is a refreshing take on classic Canadian rock n’ roll. The Dirty Nil are known for their medleys of fuzzy, gritty, loud guitar tunes overlaid with catchy pop melodies and have completely rejected any notions they are “punk.” Meanwhile Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs’ six-piece deliver eclectic power pop reminiscent of Elvis Costello or The Jam.

The Dirty Nil
The Dirty Nil. Photo via Facebook / thedirtynil

“Genre to me now, is so, not useless, cause that’s such a harsh way to put it, but there are such murky waters to navigate,” says Cresswell. “Who is what genre now?”

The band has taken some criticism for their newest album Inviting Lightin its deviation from the earlier skacore days. It’s not unlike their other records in the way the songs are crafted, the lyrics and their overall sound. It’s more as if all the subtle shifts in every album before this culminated to Inviting Light. The band is well aware they’ve thrown fans a curveball says Cresswell, but it was inevitable.

It’s all about new experiences.

“I think with every record, we’ve tried new things,” says Cresswell. “I truly believe that the biggest betrayal you can do to yourself as an artist is to not fully explore what you do every time and come out with something new.”

It’s their fifth studio album, they’re getting older and they’ve accomplished a lot, so for them, it didn’t come out of nowhere says Cresswell. It’s still very much a Flatliners album, and dispensing with genre will help see that. 

“It doesn’t even matter anymore, to me personally at least,” he explained. “I mean that in a positive way, I think that’s the reason there are so many great, creative, inspiring Canadian bands, and bands from everywhere. Everyone’s taken a chance. Everyone’s trying something new, everyone’s doing their own thing. And it’s all cool.”

Mentioning cities such as Philadelphia and his own hometown of Toronto, Cresswell says they are melting pots of genre from which great bands come such as fellow Dine Alone tour mates Dirty Nil and Sam Coffey. But, also PUP, Weaves, and Greys among others.

There’s merit to Cresswell’s thinking, as he’s been at it a long time. He’s seen and toured with a lot of artists, and his observations mirror the sentiment of a lot of musicians these days. 

We’re all friends here.

Friends and fellow genre-benders Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs have been rocking and rolling for eleven years. They recently signed to Dine Alone in Canada and are putting out a new album. They’ve been working hard to get to this point and are dedicating everything to the band says Sam Coffey.

Sam Coffey
Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs. Photo via Facebook / samcoffeyandtheironlungs

“We’re all putting the band first in our lives now,” says Coffey. “It’s what we’ve all ultimately strived for for a long time so that’s pretty nuts. It’s a big change, but we’re all really excited for it.”

For a band to get to that point after so long is so gratifying, no wonder Coffey is excited. And to embark on their first major tour with two bands that are seasoned tour vets is a remarkable opportunity, made even more so by the relationships those bands have built with each other over the past several years.

“I’m really excited to go on the road with the Nil and the Flatties,” says Coffey. “I think we’re so lucky that we get to tour with them. I don’t think Dirty Nil has been f*cking home in the last like, year. They’re always on the goddamn road, all the time, and the Flatliners… they haven’t been home in like three months I don’t think.”

Touring is the name of the game…

The Flatliners are notorious for touring. They are always on the road, and it’s what built them into who they are now. This is the first time Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs have toured so extensively, and it will be their first time out on the West coast.

The opportunity is exciting for the band because they finally get to take it further than they’ve ever been, and with their pals no less. Coffey also noted the accolades each band receives, especially in Juno nominations, and the Dirty Nil recently took a Juno home.

These two bands have carved their own niche in the Canadian music scene and are cracking the mainstream market. To see the Flatliners and Dirty Nil emerge from the underground to score Juno nominations and actual awards attest to the health and vitality of the entire scene. It’s likely Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs will find themselves very quickly a part of that very same canon after touring relentlessly like, and with, their peers.

Die hard fans.

For Cresswell, the fact that people are still interested in coming out to shows after all this time, and gave their new album a shot even though it doesn’t necessarily jive with them, means the world to them.

“You know, there’s a lot of music out there. There’s a lot of new bands out there that are better than ours, there’s a lot of music better than ours, and it’s a lot easier now to discover all this new stuff,” says Cresswell. “The fact that there are still people hanging out with us, coming to the shows since the very beginning, fifteen years ago, that makes us feel very very loved, so thank you, everybody.”

Don’t miss the Flatliners w/ The Dirty Nil, and Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs May 26th at London Music Hall! Event deatails and tickets are right here.

Feature photo via Facebook / Concert Event Page


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