Bands like Flaunt are the ones we need to watch. They are the ones that we need to support, because they show us the importance of pushing sound and art to new levels. With their new album Rave Noir, Flaunt is here to show us why they matter, and why breaking out of one specific genre box is a necessity to creating a very interesting musical journey. We spoke to one half of Flaunt, Joseph, to find out more.
Arguably one of the hardest decisions to make in a band is the name. What is the meaning and story behind the name Flaunt?
I thought of the name one day when I was browsing various social media platforms and I had the thought “social media is a playground where people just go to flaunt their egos.” So I thought “why not make it a place to flaunt my music and art?”
How did the band form?
Curiously, SOCIAL MEDIA! So it’s fitting that the band name came was inspired by social media and Justin and I came from social media. When I started out I was looking for a vocalist to guest on some of the tracks on the Codon album. I came across Justin’s music on Soundcloud and contacted him, asking him to contribute vocals to one or two tracks. After we realized we had similar artistic passions and work ethic, we decided to make Flaunt a fully collaborative effort from that point onward.
It is hard to put a finger on what genre Flaunt fits in. How would you describe your sound to someone that has not heard it before?
If that is indeed the truth then we have achieved one of our main goals! The beauty of being who we are is that we have no boundaries… it all started in electronic/turntablism type stuff (the album Codon) but with the ultimate goal of creating more traditionally structured tunes out of non-traditional elements. The best examples of that are the song Jungle and perhaps I Don’t Wanna Fall Asleep…two of the first songs we did for Rave Noir. A whole bunch of different elements are used, borrowing from electronic music, rock music, African drums, toy pianos… all these things come together yet still can become a contemporary and traditional pop/rock song. So we are a bit alt-rock, indie pop, synthpop, blues rock all funneled through the good vibes of 2016.
The production value on your album Rave Noir is on a truly, professional level. How long have you been in the music industry?
We have both been creating music for many years, though not part of the “industry” per se. Specifically, we had been independently been each learning on our own for a few years prior to collaborating. We are both self-taught artists always learning from others we have met or collaborated with. We are both the types who will want something and then do everything possible to learn how to do it well. This involves dedication, determination, and a humble pursuit of perfection by collaborating with others transparently and with an open mind.
The song Didn’t Know It Would Be This Way is my current favorite on the album. Do you have any personal favorites and why?
My personal favorite is Comfort for the Bad People. This is a very personal song for me. My dad died at the end of 2014. Within minutes of receiving the call from my mother on the morning of his death, I composed the music and lyrics. And Justin worked out the melody and vocals in less than 24 hours and sent me the demo while I was away. His take was perfect, inspired, and such an amazing gift in a time of devout grief.
At this point in your musical career, what are some of your most memorable highlights?
Hitting Billboard for the first time (with Codon – Dipped In Ecstasy)! I’ve read that magazine since I was a kid and to see a song that was ours on the chart was amazing. Of course I bought a few copies of it! But other highlights were working with amazing producers like Mac Quayle or Andre Lodemann, Ant LaRock, James Teej…whether on original or remix tracks, each experience has given me experience and helped the journey.
Do you have any advice for any other artists looking to create their own album?
Do what’s in your heart. Write and play from your heart, soul, person. And keep polishing every aspect of what you do to make it authentic. And always remember, that despite what some pundits say, “the album is NOT dead!”
Can you tell us a bit about your song writing process?
We write everywhere and get inspiration from everywhere. I have written the majority of lyrics in the gym. I jot down a title or a line on a piece of USA Today (which I read daily) or on my iPhone’s Notepad. I usually start with a title and then work from there. I write in stream of consciousness and then refine as I work out the music. I never start out with the music… always the words. And I write at least one song every day.
Often I see a word or a phrase or read something that catches my attention. For example, the title for LAST 9 WORDS came from a trailer for an episode of last season’s How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis. The announcer said something like “you won’t believe Viola Davis’ LAST. !!! NINE. !!! WORDS. !!! with each word punctuated by a loud BOOM!!! Of course we didn’t use her character’s actual last nine words in our song (she utters, “why is your p___ on a dead girl’s phone?” but we liked the title. And that slamming noise after each word in the trailer inspired the BOOMING drum that starts out the tune.
What are some of your musical influences, and if given the chance who would you like to potentially work with on a future project?
We are influenced by all the sounds around us… everything we create is a response to the zillions of sonic influences (and visual ones and subconscious ones) … Our tastes run the gamut from alpha to omega… 1940s to 2029. I think it would be amazing to work with a musician like Jim James from MMJ, Danger Mouse, or James Blake or my dream producer, Lindström.
Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
Joseph: We have a full music video for every track on the Rave Noir album and they will all be curated on our site h”p://ﬂaunt.rocks (yes, that is the true URL!). Also we are 3/4 done with the follow-up album which will build even more on the sounds of Rave Noir. It’s a very fun, upbeat album. Yet we still work in some typical “Flauntisms” where we can.
Thanks so much for this opportunity to share our work and insights with you.