Interview with the singer/guitarist Phillip T. King of Flitcraft
Hello there, nice to have you on Volatile Weekly! What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music, what would you be doing today?
Hi, thanks for having me! I first got into music by watching my father play guitar, and hearing The Doors and Led Zeppelin as a young boy. I have always been involved in music somehow ever since. I don’t make any money from it so I work a day job but I will always be involved with music in some way.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music, and how does that influence your creativity?
I am also passionate about film and storytelling, I get a lot of inspiration from great storytellers and filmmakers so that definitely influences the way I write lyrics. A lot of my lyrics end up being short stories or in the case of our new album “House at the Centre of the Universe,” the whole thing is a concept narrative. The writing and production process for films is also something that I find very inspiring: to have the motivation to get out there, find people to help you, and try to create something new for others to enjoy.
How long has your band been around?
Our first album was released in 2022, but I have been writing these songs for many years. I finally had time to get it all together in the covid lockdowns.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am from Melbourne, Australia, and I am honestly not sure how that influences my music. Australia has a rich history of rock music, but not so much heavy metal. Since I was always drawn to heavy metal I had to be determined to seek it out, especially since my childhood was the late 90’s and early 2000’s, before the internet was easily accessible.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Flitcraft is the name of a minor character from the book “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett. This book and the Flitcraft character had a lasting effect on me as a young man, and I realised the logo would look good on a shirt, so that’s what helped me decide! If I say any more about this, I will spoil a good book.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The most memorable shows are when the crowd and the band are on the same wavelength – when we are having enough fun to let loose and that vibe comes across – but also when we are playing well enough to nail it. It’s a fine balance that probably doesn’t happen as often as I’d like! It’s difficult to control all the variables in the live environment, which is why I much prefer writing and working in the studio.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
In Melbourne, we recently played the Northcote Social Club for the first time and that was a joy. Lots of room on stage to let loose! I haven’t played Billboard and that would be cool, and the dream is to play the Forum but we need to sell a few more records before we can do that, haha!
If you could play any show with any line-up, who would be on the ticket?
In Australia there’s heaps of talented and wicked bands to choose from, so I will just mention Aussie bands that I love, like True Believer, Reaper, Day of Clint and Malichor.
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?
Try to surround yourself with people who share your goal, and who are supportive and communicative and honest. Because things change quickly, and you can end up wasting a lot of time, which is why you need open communication at all times.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Stop over thinking and try to simply enjoy it sometimes!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
This is very difficult to answer, as I write all the lyrics so I am attached to most of my material. So I will just say today: from the new album there’s a song called “The Pyre of John McDonald” which I have had for well over 10 years, and to finally record it is an amazing feeling. The song is also a small tribute to Midnight, the singer from Crimson Glory, I was inspired to write it when he passed away.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
A couple songs from the first album are heaps of fun to play, like the title track “Our Long Journey to the Middle,” and another called “Claustrophobia,” which we got a request for and we re-worked it to be different live. So that’s always fun as well, it keeps things fresh and exciting.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write all the lyrics and music, and I record detailed demos which I then give to Zac and Jack, who play bass and drums. We then rehearse the songs and they find a way to support the song while adding their own flavour and identity into the music. I am mainly inspired by bands I am listening to at any one time, and I listen to lots of music, it could be anyone from Rush to Judas Priest to the Eagles or Roy Orbison.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I wouldn’t say I have messages; I am more trying to just communicate my impressions of life on Earth. That is, my own experiences and observations of being a human at this time in history. That’s the only thing I can communicate honestly and with passion: and that’s the kind of music I like to hear, because when I was growing up, hearing other people going through the same experiences or having the same perspectives gives you a feeling of belonging or support. And that’s very powerful to me.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We usually have arguments or discussions about which songs to play at a show or which gigs to play, and you get past these things by being open and communicating the best you can. Disagreements are inevitable but as long as you respect each other you’ll get past it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The new album “House at the Centre of the Universe” is released on April 28th on streaming and CD / LP through Pitch Black Records. I’m very proud of this one, it’s a great ride from start to finish and if you like Rush or Judas Priest or Wishbone Ash then you should find something to enjoy in here. Check it out!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Instagram on flitcraft_aus, or Facebook via www.facebook.com/flitcraft.aus
Thanks so much for having me for a chat!