The Flatliners: Moulding a Mature Sound

Wednesday 24th, May 2017 / 12:00
By Sarah Mac

Veteran punk band The Flatliners make a sonic departure on new record.

CALGARY – Ontario punk rockers The Flatliners have dropped a polarizing new album entitled Inviting Light. To celebrate the occasion, they’ve announced a Canadian tour.

2017 marks The Flatliners’ 15th anniversary as a band; their original line-up remains intact. They’ve wandered far from their style and sound since their ska leaning debut album, 2005’s Destroy to Create. They’ve sound has since grown in increasingly progressive directions, including that heard on their fifth and latest offering. Inviting Light presents a side of The Flatliners fans haven’t heard, favouring a rock ‘n’ roll feel with a carefree vibe as opposed to the emotive punk of yesteryears. The sound is so different that it even prompted a shift of labels, from New Damage Records to Dine Alone Records.

Recently we chatted with front man Chris Cresswell, who plays guitar and sings, to get the inside scoop.

“When we started writing songs for Inviting Light, some of them came out of us sounding a little different,” he admits. “It wasn’t our intention but we kind of embraced it… And wouldn’t making the same record again, wouldn’t that be way worse? Because people have heard that record before. And if you do the same record again, it’s boring.”

Cresswell muses, “If you think of someone in your life who is not artistic and imagine you haven’t seen that person in two years, think about how much they could change just as a person. So, when a person changes and on top of that, they make music, that’s going to affect the music they make.”

He pauses.

“We started this band when we were like 14 or 15-years-old, so in a way we’ve grown up on our records. And the reason we’ve changed so much on every album and continue changing to the people who hear our music, it’s because of those formative years,” he explains. True to form, the band’s debut featured a strong ska influence, while later albums featured a maturing style that merged skate punk with alternative indie rock.

“There’s… a happier vibe on this album,” suggests Cresswell.

“It’s a brighter, punk-rock ‘n’ roll album. But the perception of how an album sounds is different from person to person, some people that love our early stuff may not get this record, and that’s okay,” he says.

“But that’s the beautiful thing about music, it’s not going to go anywhere. It’ll be there forever and a person’s perception can change. It’ll be here when they’re ready.”

Regardless of your perception of Inviting Light, no one can argue The Flatliners put their all into every one of their albums.

“We’re pretty psyched about the fans that have stuck with us. It’s truly a beautiful thing to have our fans grow with us. And I think we’ve been lucky to have that over the years, and hopefully it continues.”

He concludes, “So thank you, to all you beautiful people.”


The Flatliners have an extensive Western Canada tour starting at the end of May. Select dates include The Exchange May 31 (Regina), Nite Owl June 1 (Calgary), Venue Nightclub  June 3 (Vancouver), The Needle Vinyl Tavern June 7 (Edmonton), Amigos Cantina June 8 (Saskatoon), and the Park Theatre June 9 (Winnipeg).

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