Interview with Lasse (Vocals, Guitars) of Flush and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
L: Flush is a classic four-piece rock band aspiring for bright lights and big stages. Or any size of stage for that matter. The music comes from within us, and the reason for our existence is that we need to do this. If we were in this for the fame and money, we’d look and feel very different to what we are today. Genre wise our music exists somewhere in between punk rock, alternative rock, hard rock and metal.
Oh btw, this is Lasse (vocals, guitars) responding on the behalf of the band.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
L: The core of Flush has been around for centuries and was founded by childhood friends (ancient spirits) growing up to appreciate rock music (and beer). After several iterations, the band found its current line-up in 2018. This sparked more active gigging, including international touring, and also got us to invest in recording our music properly. Our debut album, ‘It Began as a Mistake’, comes out on October 23rd 2020 and nicely summarizes what we are about. It’s a comprehensive and vibrant collection of songs from our journey as a band.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
L: Bad Religion was a huge influence as we were getting started and some of our material still reflects that. The combination of speed, aggression, melody, and message still kicks serious ass. On a more surprising angle, without Pavement we might not have made it through periods of self-doubt and asking ourselves are we (technically) good enough. Artistically, there are very few that match the levels of Tom Waits and Nick Cave when it comes to lyrical output and intense soundscapes. On the contemporary music scene, we’re huge fans of bands like Biffy Clyro, Against Me! and The Menzingers, and Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit was one heck of a songwriter. One of the songs on our new album is heavily inspired by Scott’s story.
Our debut album is named after a famous Charles Bukowski quote and we think our music matches the mood of his books nicely. Lately our songwriter Lasse has been getting into poetry, reading stuff from Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Mary Oliver, and Leonard Cohen. On the comedy side, there is no match to Bill Hicks.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
L: We’re in this for the music and for ourselves. We’re happiest on stage so the more we can play live, the better life is. We would also expect there to be more studio work in the next 1-2 years, especially if the pandemic continues longer into 2021. For us, Flush is basically about maintaining a loop of creating music and playing music. As new songs are born almost every week, we feel we have a healthy loop ongoing and we’d like to keep it that way.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
L: Lasse is our primary song writer. Sometimes he brings ready-made songs to the band whereas other times the band will jointly construct songs out of the components Lasse brings to the rehearsals. Theme wise most songs deal with personal topics, ranging from depression, anxiety, and addiction to various aspects of human-to-human relationships. A couple of songs on the new album also comment on the state of the world and obviously not in a very positive way. While the lyrical topics might sound gloomy, Lasse likes to at least think there are glimmers of hope embedded somewhere in the text. We all fall down, feel anxious, get hurt and break our hearts, but we should do our best to help each other maintain hope.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
L: The times of pasting posters on city walls and handing out flyers are over. Those were good days. Now we pay money and sell our data – and souls – to evil social media corporations that make money of people’s attention. If only there was a way to not have to resort to the big social media platforms, but it does not look like there is… MySpace was not so bad now, was it? They didn’t spread conspiracy theories and other lies to influence elections. This is a really tough dilemma for artists today. We all know these platforms are bad for us as individuals and as a society, but we feel we don’t have any other choice than to use them. It fucking sucks.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
L: Let’s be clear on this: There is nothing wrong with downloading or streaming music online. It’s perfectly fine. CDs and vinyls are not the most practical or sustainable things, so going digital is totally OK. However, what we have an issue with is, again, the business model. It generates a ton of revenue for the platform middleman and does not distribute it to the content providers. What happened was that the music industry and the artist community responded poorly to the digitalization of music. Artists are not businesspeople so the destructive reaction to Napster is understandable. The industry went into protection mode (remember the billions that were in this industry…) instead of approaching the change constructively. As a result, in comes a new player that had seen how the initial disruption battle panned out and was ready to seize the business opportunity remaining on the battlefield. While nobody really understood what was going on and nobody being ready to think and act, they had altered the business model massively in their favour. Revenues were redistributed and the ones creating the content, the artists and entertainers, lost the battle before they even realized they were part of it. I really hope music fans and listeners appreciate this massively unfair set-up – and act upon it. Pay for music, buy the merch (especially when it is sustainable) and otherwise directly support the art. Otherwise all we have left is AI-generated “business music” because it’s cheap to produce and those that make money today can easily continue making money.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
L: It’s got to be ‘Generator’ by Bad Religion or ‘Would’ by Alice in Chains. ‘Generator’ is a perfectly concise and lyrically observant punk rock song with classic minor key sing-along melodies and vocal harmonies. And then a really weird chorus. It has everything a rock song needs and nothing extra. ‘Would’ is another masterpiece. The bass intro, the growth in intensity and then that delicious chorus, only to be topped by a bridge that I really don’t have words to describe. The song is out of this world.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
L: As a band, it’s definitely our bad habit of postponing things. “We’ll look at it next time” or “let’s just think about it for a while”, and then nothing happens. We’re not the most organized unit in the world. Our drummer Börje also occasionally uses his cowbell, which is obviously pretty stupid (just kidding, we need more cowbell!).
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
L: Right now, it has to be the new album. It was a long project and the result comes out at a weird time, but to get it done is a huge achievement and something we are very proud of. The last time we jointly felt very proud was after our last gig. We got a good crowd to a local venue, we played pretty well, moved a good amount of merch and had fun. That’s what being in a rock band is all about.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
L: In addition to the album release promotions, we are slotted for four gigs in the next month and a half, so we’re obviously getting ready for those. Time will tell if all of those actually happen, as another wave of covid lockdown is expected shortly. We’re also working on getting a few videos out there, because YouTube is apparently an important channel to be on.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
L: The album (‘It Began as a Mistake’) comes out on October 23rd and will be available on all digital and streaming platforms. At the time of writing we have two singles online already; they are called ‘Shine’ and ‘Dark’. The third one, ‘Two-Minute Punk Song’, comes out October 6th. The easiest way to find our music is through our website at https://flush.rocks or just search for us, including the song/album title in the search, on your preferred platform. On our website we’ll also publish information about the distribution of a physical version of the album.