FLYNVILLE TRAIN Interview
by Philippe Archambeau & Yves Philippot.
Hi, thanks for accepting this interview for ROAD TO JACKSONVILLE,
site dedicated to southern rock.
First, Brian, can you tell us where you come from, and introduce the band to our readers?
We come from the Midwest U.S. based in central Indiana. The guys from the band are all from that area which is very rural. Brent Flynn (my brother), Tommy Bales, and Joseph Shreeves is our bass player.
What are origins of the band set up with your brother Brent? Is it hard to have his brother in the band? Ah Ah !
Not at all; it is the best thing for me is to have my brother in the band. I am lucky and thankful to be able to do all the things we do and to be able to travel together. We were always close to our father and grandfather and grew up playing music with my Dad and uncle. When we grew up, it was a natural progression to form our own band. Brent and I rely on each other for decisions and artistic development. It is a team.
Can you tell us what are the musical influences of the band’s members? Another traditional question, where does the band’s name come from?
The band name comes from the last name FLYNN and since it is a rural community there are a lot of ‘VILLES’ around. When we would rehearse on the outskirts of town on Thursday night, people could hear us across town at the Nazarene church. People would say that it sounded like a Train coming through so we decided our name would be Flynnville Train. The people in our home town kind of named us..
Musical influences included listening to music on vinyl records ranging from Johnny Cash, to The Allman Brothers, Alabama, The Beatles, etc. We listened to anything we thought was good.
Is there a way to play easily southern rock in Indiana? Have you there a local scene?
Yes it is. Even though we live north of the Ohio River, people love southern rock and rocking country music up here. There is a fine line between what is rock and country these days. The community here has made it easy for us to play our kind of music. We are what we are musically because of our personalities and life experience. No two songs sound alike. Depends on the mood we are in that day.
You say often that you’re coming from the working class. How do you consider your place in the present America?
First of all, we are blue collar workers. We come from a farming and small factory community and we blend in on both sides. Our music is simple because of that fact. We have all worked those jobs (and still do) while making music. Having to do that, keeps us grounded. It makes us appreciate every musical opportunity that comes our way.
Your new record is called Redemption, can you tell us more about this title? Did you have something to be forgiven?
No. You always fear that your second record is not as good as your first one. You have a lifetime to make your first album, and sometimes six months to make your second record. We feel this is, by far, a better record than the first one. Each time we make an album, we make a better one.
Can you tell us where and how you record this album?
We recorded it in south central Kentucky at Barrick Recording Studio. Most of the songs that we wrote were written on the spot and recorded the same day or next day. We wrote about things that were going on at that time in our life. Those songs are about as honest as they can get from songwriting performers. I can’t fabricate a song. I have to have experienced it or know someone who has.
How do you go about the composition and the lyrics’ writing?
For the most part., I come up with most of the lyrics and Brent comes up with the melody. We’ve always done it that way and it seems to be working.
What makes a tune sound more country rock and another more southern rock?
That’s a fine line. I don’t think we have ever set out to write a song a specific way or with a specific sound. It is hard to categorize who we are. It all depends on what we are feeling on that given day.
What are your favourite themes for your lyrics? I think that your music carries the classical trends of thought of the American « Farmers », right? Do you like to develop other subjects?
Growing up as a farm boy, (my mother’s family was all farmers) and my father’s side was employed in area factories. I know how to work the farm and yet be a great mechanic. These are the shared experienced.
The tunes « Home » or « The One You Love » let me think to Montgomery Gentry or Lynyrd Skynyrd, can you tell us more about those two tunes?
HOME reminds me of a country road called 400 South in southeastern Henry County in Southern Indiana where I live. It reminds me of everything I ever did or experienced growing up. THE ONE YOU LOVE was written by Doug Phelps (Head Hunters) which is a great song and great melody. He is a good friend of ours and we loved the song. I love to perform that song every chance I get.
« Turn Left » or « Scratch Me Where I’m Itchin’ », very rock’n roll, sound like real
Flynville Train, do you feel that you found your way?
I don’t know. I have been on many NASCAR tracks and been in so many pace cars and grew up in racing. We wrote that song to capture the feel of racing and being on the tracks. That comes easy to us. SCRATCH ME was pitched to us by Jimmy Hall (from Wet Willie) and he works with Hank Jr. We cut that one at 3am after being up for 16 hours. We love Jimmy Hall’s way of writing. The song sounded like our style of music so we cut it.
For us southern rock fan, the rebel flag is just a kind of sign for our music.
What do you think about it?
I feel the same way, and that is all that it is. I see the rebel flag and I think about southern rock. I don’t see anything political in it or a division of north and south.
By the way, what does mean southern rock for you?
It is something that has been terribly passed up in the past 15-20 years and people still want to hear it. I think it is real music. Some of the best lyrics written have come from southern rock music. Some of those lyrics are more heartfelt than from other musical areas. People in the world still want to hear it and it influenced us to write the way we do.
How are going the sales of your record? How can we get it?
They are going well. It is available digitally at all online retailers including iTunes, Amazon.com, etc. You can buy a physical copy through CD Baby or through our website www.flynnvilletrain.com .
What is your position about illegal downloading?
Well, I don’t know. I have mixed emotions on it. I think technology has changed the way people think about it. You can’t blame someone for wanting a song for free, but it hurts the writer and artist. We want people to love our music. We sure have given away a lot of our music trying to build an audience that will come out to our shows. The music industry is downsizing due to the reduction in sales and lost royalties. I don’t have an answer to fix it. It puts a lot of people out of work.
A question for the singer: just who are your favourite singers ? Those who gave you the desire to become a singer?
I hate these questions. I watched my uncle sing every Saturday night with me sitting on the top of a washing machine. I watched my Dad do the same thing. So I guess they were my first influences. As I grew up, I began to hear Marty Stuart, The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, and The Beatles. I became influenced by others and learned from it. I have to watch myself. I don’t ever want to immolate another voice but it is easy to do. Of the last 15 years, I think Marty Stuart. Doug and Ricky Lee Phelps, as brothers, also stand out. The family harmonies are a big influence. Doug and Ricky Lee changed my direction or outlook on vocal style. I thought ‘this is cool’. They made it cool to be a country singer the same way that Alabama and The Eagles did. I can sing the softest song you ever hear and then turn around a belt out a rocker. I have a wide range of influence. Paul Rogers, with Bad Company, is one of my favorite all-time singers. He is in his 60’s now and sings just as good as he did at 21.
I have seen that you should come at Craponne sur Arzon in France, a big festival at the end of July, can you confirm? Will you have some more dates in France and in Europe?
Yes, we will be playing there on July 30th. We are working on some other dates and would love to play more shows while we are there. If you know of anyone who wants us, have them get in touch.
Apart of this tour, do you have some other projects? Perhaps to release a DVD?
Nothing in the works right now.
Do you know the new southern rock bands like BLACKBERRY SMOKE or HOGJAW?
What do you think about them?
I really like Blackberry Smoke. They are the only ones that I am aware of; I think they carry the flag very well for southern rock. It isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before, but it is nice to have them on the scene playing southern rock from the grass roots level. They are building their fan base one fan at a time. I would love to do some shows with those guys.
If you have to finish your life on a desert island,
what are the 5 records you want to bring with you?
The Beatles “65”
Headhunters “Pickin’ On Nashville”
Lynyrd Skynyrd “Triple Platinum”
Marty Stuart “Hillbilly Rock”
Credence Clearwater Revival “Cosmos Factory”