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Interview with FLOWSHINE
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Our parents were all instrumental in getting us started in music in our youth, but it has been the community and collaboration aspect that I think has kept all of us in it for this long. We enjoy performing and playing in groups and pushing each other into new musical realms. It’s just as much about exploration and experiencing other’s creativity as it is about furthering our own.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We really enjoy live music and most weekends before and after the pandemic we are out catching other bands perform. We are constantly turning each other onto albums we’ve discovered that we think the others would like. Dallen and Jeremiah play on the same rec league slo-pitch and dodgeball teams. Jeff and Dallen are both Dungeon Masters. Dallen and Calen are both mechanically inclined. Jeff and Jeremiah do various kinds of climbing. We like to get outside.
How long has your band been around?
Our first record came out in 2012, but our first tour through Western Canada took place in 2010. Our only online presence at that point was a MySpace page and a demo recording. It’s pretty crazy to think about how much things have changed for all musicians since then.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Calgary, Alberta and it’s been a good homebase for us. There are a lot of hard-working musicians that we really respect here and we’ve been fortunate to have some good opportunities. When we started, we felt like we didn’t really fit in (as most bands do) so it did motivate us to perform out of town more, but Calgary always feels like home.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We’ve had some funny responses to the name Flowshine. We’ve been asked if it’s a portmanteau of flowers and sunshine, we’ve had it misheard as ‘floor-shine’ a few times, I think auto-correct punches it in as Florsheim. When we started it acted as sort of a mission statement for the kind of music we wanted to make—music that flows and shines, uplifting the audience with something smooth and groovy. We also wanted strong search engine optimization and ‘Flowshine’ was legitimately not on Google.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We’ve had a few that really stick out. The Pit in Dawson City, Yukon is one that we come back to as a group quite a bit as being one of the rowdiest we’ve ever played. The room was just vibrating with energy. Whenever we play with Five Alarm Funk it’s been wild, their ability to transform a room is inspiring. One of our favourite hometown shows was at Big Winter Classic a few years back. We really feed off the energy of the audience and when the crowd is having fun it shapes our performance.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There is a long list of places we’d like to play: Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado… we could dream for days. Eric Clapton once mentioned that he’s played the Royal Albert Hall so many times that it feels like performing in his living room. Our Royal Albert Hall would be Mikey’s on 12th or Vern’s, both in Calgary.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Sloan, Lettuce, Hiromi, The Armed.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be friends first. It’s easier to learn how to play an instrument than to learn how to not be an asshole.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Enjoy the ride. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Something to Go On” has been a fun one for the group because everybody has been able to bring their own flavour to the live performance of it. We recorded it in 2012, but the track has changed drastically over the years as we add new parts and hooks, expand the instrumental section, cut the instrumental section etc. It’s a song that has been performed in 3 minutes and 10 minutes.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“So Good” is one of our favourites to play, it’s very dynamic and each of us gets a feature part. “Good People” has been a staple in our set for over a decade and is the one most people are familiar with and can sing along to.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Jeremiah will usually come in with a chord progression and some lyrics and we arrange the instrumental as a group, molding it into an actual Flowshine song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
One of the themes on our latest record is the experience of pain, heartache, and isolation, but staying hopeful and looking forward. We want people to feel inspired and empowered, learning from the hard times, but not letting it overtake them.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We’re all easy-going people and the disagreements have been few and far between. We’ve been at this long enough and know each other well enough that we all know what to expect from the others. There are always external stressors when we are performing and we get to feel like a unified front, band vs. the world type thing.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Our new record You Goddess was just released and we have a few music videos up for it, including a just released live version of “Good People” recorded direct to disc (vinyl) at Calgary Recording Company with Ian Dillon. We have some summer festival dates around western Canada listed at www.flowshine.com and some plans in the works to hit the road this fall.