Punknews' Ricky Lineberger got the chance to interview some of the under the radar bands at Fest this year. Old Flings lead singer and guitarist Matt Evans talked to Ricky L on the phone about the differences from being a Fest fan and a Fest artist, touring Europe and the future of Old Flings.
Describe Old Flings in 10 words or Less
Do you remember that band you used to love…
So, you guys are playing your third fest this year?
Yeah, this is our third fest.
What do you look forward to about playing Fest every year?
Aside from it being the best show you'll play all year? Just hanging out with everyone that's spread out across the country. Because it is a good way to see a bunch of friends that you don't get to see hanging out in this bubble of awesome. You know how you go to the movie theater and you forget about everything, you're vacuumed into another world. Fest is just like that except it smells like shit and everyone's drunk. But it's awesome.
Well, not everyone…
Not everybody, but most everyone. You know, I started going to Fest as a fan and I went for four or five years. And then I didn't go for a year or two, but I always tried to get my bands on it. And then one day it happened. And that first year we played, it was our best show ever. And then last year some fun was had. I could tell you all sorts of great things. It's stressful right now because it's right in the middle of the semester. I have an exam like the day after we play. Springs and I are going to have to play and leave.
You're playing Sunday, right?
Yeah, we're playing Pre-Fest Thursday with Beach Slang and then we're playing Sunday in the afternoon with a bunch of awesome bands. I hate that we're going to have to miss some awesome bands. Tony is the best fucking fest promoter ever.
He does a pretty awesome job every year.
Yeah, even as a fan he would stop me on the street and be like, "Hey, how's it going? Everything going well? Are you guys enjoying your experience?" So, take that and multiply it by thirty and that's what it's like to play as a band. I mean, as a band you play a lot of fests and it's great to play as many as you can, but they don't all have their shit together.
I've heard that not all fests are as band friendly.
Yeah, they don't have koozies!
So, what was it like the first year going as a band, instead of as a fan?
It was cool, we got meal tickets! Um, the first year was awesome for me in a lot of different ways. There was a lot of cool stuff happening with the band at that time, so to just focus on the fest stuff is hard. That first year that we went, Spite had been out for a minute. And I got to meet a lot of really awesome people who had a lot of really nice things to say about the record. I got to hang out with Sergie of Samiam. And the fest show was killer. I dunno, it's different. Obviously you get to go free as a band, and you get to pass the line. Otherwise it's just that everyone is really nice and that's why I like it. It was just knowing that I would get to play was rad. It was like a goal on my list of things to do in a band. You get worried that they won't invite you back next year.
You haven't had that problem so far.
Yeah I guess so (laughs). But you know the first year I was worried, well not really worried, but obviously you want people to come see your band. And we played up against Dillinger Four, which is like THE Fest band. I used to watch them at Fest. And Sundials, who are awesome. I think, Signals Midwest were against us. What's awesome about Fest is, there can be so many awesome shows going on and you still play to a packed room.
You guys played at Loosey's that first year, right?
Yeah. The way I liked to describe Fest to people is you take all your hundred fans from the whole world and put 'em all in one room. I knew it was on whenever I went to the bathroom before our set to take a piss and this kid was like, "Hey, me and a bunch of my Canadian friends are here to see your band."
That had to be flattering.
I was like, "Cool, well here we go." I mean, I don't think they were specifically there to see us, but he was like you're one of the reasons we're so excited this year. And we ended up making friends with those guys.
So did they come see you when you played Pouzza Fest?
They actually got us on Pouzza, which is weird to say that. It was a weird experience. I guess we met Karl at a show and he was like, "You guys wanna play Pouzza?" and we said that it would be awesome. Then I remember getting a booking email from Pouzza and I was like sure, we'll have to get passports and our drummer can't play (laughs). One bummer was I wanted to see Christie Front Drive and guess who was playing the same time as us? But, it was a cool experience.
So, it's been a while since Spite came out. What are your plans for a new album?
We've been working on it for two years. But what that means is we've been so busy that we hardly ever practice. At one point we had six new songs and then we didn't play for a while so we scrapped a couple of them. We've got one song that's on the album that's killer. I'm all about all killer, no filler. And when we put out all the 7", I kinda felt like there were some filler tracks. And I definitely do not want that to happen on a new LP. I wanna do it, I wanna keep writing and recording but this is probably Jordan's last Fest. I haven't actually publically said that and we haven't promoted it like that. I guess we could probably exploit that and get more people to the show, but I don't really wanna do that.
Is that something I should strike from the record?
It doesn't matter. I mean, he's going to be moving so obviously he's going to be leaving. If we want to keep the band alive, we'll need someone who can go with us. And I'm getting a new job too, I don't know, it is what it is. But I'd like to have a new record. The plan was, because we have a record in Europe, the plan was to have one out in time for the European tour. And that's still feasible, I've just gotta buckle down and write some shit. I don't wanna write and sing songs that I don't feel 100% about, you know? But, at the same time we've been playing the Spite songs since 2012 (laughs). It gets old.
Well, you're in a happy relationship now too, does it get hard to write Old Flings songs?
Everyone always assumes that these songs are about me, and they're not. Even though my girlfriend made a face when I just said that.
They do seem kind of confessional, the lyrics.
Well you gotta think, a song like "Spite" is not about a relationship. I mean, not a romantic relationship. "T.B.C." is not about a romantic relationship. There's a couple of songs on there that could be, really.
That's a sign of good songwriting though, right? You write what you want and people infer what they want out of that.
Oh yeah, totally. You know, I'll be honest with you man. Not that our band ever got big or will ever get big but it went a little farther than I ever thought it would. You know?
You're touring Europe…
Yeah, that was supposed to happen like two years ago. It kept getting pushed back because we decided to go back to school. And Jordan decided to do summer school. So the only time we could go is in May of every year, which is when they suggested we go and it never worked out. But we were finally like "fuck it, let's go." We're going over there with Spill.
How long are you going to be there?
It's just like 17 days, not too crazy. We're going to Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland. It should be fun.
Have you ever been over there?
No. We've never even been to the west coast, so that's weird. But when you have someone on the other end who says they'll book it for you, you know let's just do it.
So, a new album will come out eventually, once you get the songs written for it.
Yeah! We locked in Animal Style [Records] to do it, because Matt's the shit. He put out the Fake Boys record and that's one of my favorites. He put out Hold Tight! He's a super awesome dude. For some reason he always sends me pictures of himself taking a shit, it's really weird. Animal Style is like a style of shit. Nah, I'm just kidding, I think it has to do with In 'n Out? Which is like a west coast Cookout. Yeah, so anyway he said he wanted to sign us, sent us a contract like 2 years ago and we never signed it. But I know we could be like "hey dude, we've got it ready," and there it'd be. He's just super supportive and that's the kind of people you want on your team. I just gotta write the fucker. We're going to take two songs off the 7" that we put out and put them on there, so if I can just squeeze out 8 songs we'll be good.
When Jordan moves, do you guys forsee Old Flings going on? Or will it not be Old Flings if he's not in the band?
That's a good question. It's something we've battled with. I can't answer that question. I mean obviously I write most of the lyrics. We had a group sesh where we wrote a song together and Jordan wrote like a line but it is mostly my musical output. I don't know. Jordan and I have a good chemistry because we've played in a lot of bands together. You know, we're best buds. It's not like we're this big thing where we can stay a band in different cities. Sometimes, I'll think about bands that were around too long. You know what i mean? But then there's bands that put out a killer record and then stop. I'm not saying that we did that, but…I'd like to squeeze out another album. But it's forseeable like would we be able to tour on that record? After Europe we'll have to see. If we tour, Jordan won't be able to do it.
So, I'll bring us back with one last Fest question. Why should someone come see you at Fest?
Because it is a fucking awesome time. Like no shit, you're gonna have a killer time. We enjoy what we do. I feel like in this certain circumstance, at Fest, everyone's there for a particular reason. You probably already know the band, and if you're coming to check us out you probably already know who we are cause we haven't done anything in a year. We haven't really pushed ourselves that much. I looked at the schedule, there are other awesome bands playing at the same time as us, but you come to our show and it's gonna be a goddamn great time.
There won't be anymore hair whips though…
No more hair whips, but that doesn't stop the rock. I've got a bandana. It's definitely weird. We played one show since I cut my hair. It was wild. It was good not getting that shit caught in the guitar strings anymore. It wasn't getting in my face, it's not getting in my throat, choking me while I'm trying to sing. So there's no hair whips, but it will be a fucking awesome time. Pre-Fest we're actually going to play all of Spite minus one song. They sent out an email to all the bands telling us to do something special for Pre-Fest.
And you're playing Thursday for Pre-Fest?
Yeah, we're playing Thursday and the line up's killer it's us, Timeshares, Tim Barry and Beach Slang. A bunch of awesome bands. And then the Fest show we're playing is insane too. It's us, Sundials, Cayatena. A lot of really cool shit.
Tony does a good job of scheduling similar bands together. He does! And he doesn't know we're all friends. Late Bloomer is still playing. Alright is playing, I'm stoked on that happening. Stoked on Late Bloomer on signing with 6191 Records. I'm just excited cause I've had such a busy year with work and school, it's been a great year don't get me wrong…I'm just excited to see people I haven't seen in a while.
Anything else you'd like to add before we go?
Thank you. Thank you for reading this. Everyone involved with Punknews has always been great to our band, for real though.