Shaky Knees 2017: Flagship x Vinyl Mag

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Life is a rollercoaster. The ups and downs, the twists and turns, the celebrations of the lighter moments, and the facing and surviving of the darker ones.

Flagship’s singer/guitarist Drake Margolnick and drummer Michael Finster take listeners on such a life journey, from light into darkness and back again, with their latest album, The Electric Man.

The duo sat down with Vinyl Mag prior to their upcoming performance at Shaky Knees this weekend. Here’s what the guys had to share…

Vinyl Mag: I would love to start off by talking about your latest album, The Electric Man. You’ve talked about the album being this journey from light into darkness and back again. How would you personally describe this light and dark? 

Michael Finster: For me, it’s just kind of how my life is as of late. Trying to experience the good things while also accepting that bad things will happen too. Seeing the light and not being too distraught if the dark happens.

Drake Margolnick: Being comfortable with the reality of life.

MF: It’s just the principle that there can be light and darkness at the same time. You accept all of it and then you can try to find the peace in that.

VM: I think that’s how life is anyway, it’s this roller coaster of ups and downs and you can’t have the light times without some of the dark times. I think you guys capture it really well on this album; I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. This is your first full length as a Duo. How would you describe your chemistry now as a Duo?

MF: I will say it’s easier to make music with less people. Say you have a band with 6 or 7 people and you want to go to the studio. You are the drummer and you have an idea for a piano part in the song, and you’re like, ‘well I don’t want to go in and try to play the piano part when we already have someone playing the piano.’ Everyone has their part, but as a duo you got more chances.

VM: With the writing of songs and putting them together what does your creative process look like?

DM: It changes often. It’s kind of different for each song. Sometimes I’ll come up with a skeleton of an idea and bring it to Michael and we’ll put it together. That’s kind of how it usually goes, but sometimes we’ll write in a room together if an idea captures our imagination.

MF: It’s always different. For this album we spent time with our producer Joey Waronker We kind of just hung out at his place in LA. I remember we just kind of put a mic in a room and jammed out. We jammed ideas and listened back later to see if there were 5 second snippets that should be expanded upon. There were songs that were premeditated by Drake and there were some that we just kind of built. Some of them were a big hunk and we had to shape them down. And that’s kind of how we approached this record.

DM: And and sometimes ideas come to me in dreams.

VM: There are two songs that really stick out to me from this album. The first being “Midnight,” with a music video with Kate Bosworth in it. I think we can all agree that Kate is an absolute babe. How did that video come about come about? It’s absolutely beautiful; it’s black and white it’s cinematically interesting. How did that all come together?

MF: It was actually our director who put all the ideas together – his name is Michael Polish. We met up with him, and he’s Kate’s husband. We were actually making a few videos at once with him and he kind of surprised us. He mentioned that we’re gonna have a female lead. He didn’t tell us who it was, and then surprised us with Kate. That was a nice surprise. It was great that he orchestrated that. In the video we went around town, kind of guerrilla style, very minimalistic, and filmed everything. It was from his brain, so we owe a lot to him in that respect.

VM: I think the video came out really great. The other song that sticks out to me from this album and I can really personally relate to is “Burn It Up.” I just really like it and it sums up this album; as you said, going from the light to the dark, and in this song finally getting fed up with the dark and just moving forward. Where did the inspiration come from for “Burn It Up?”

DM: I wrote that song a long time ago. I wrote it when I was watching one of my best friend’s families kind of fall apart, to be honest. It was a very important family to me, and it was very interesting to just watch them fall a part. I kind of wrote it for them, thinking, ‘it’s ok, you just need to move on.’

VM: I think it’s just a absolute great song. Now, you guys are based out of Charlotte, and Charlotte isn’t too far from Atlanta, where you’ll be heading this weekend for Shaky Knees. Is there anything you are looking forward to doing in Atlanta or any artists you are looking forward to seeing at Shaky Knees?

DM: We really like Atlanta. We actually made our first full length album there and that was really my first time spending time in Atlanta. We have a lot of cool friends there and we have gotten to know the city a bit. There are definetely a few restaurants we want to re-visit.

MF: We’re all going to be at Shaky Knees, so we’ll all get the opportunity to see some really incredible bands.

DM: I’m really looking forward to seeing Ryan Adams. I’ve never gotten to see him live so I’m really looking forward to that.

Flagship is set to play Shaky Knees this Saturday at 12:00PM EST on the main stage, Peachtree.

It all started when a much younger Jackie dove into her parents’ record collection, grabbed that trippy Magical Mystery Tour album, and played “Strawberry Fields” over and over again until it was engrained into her soul. She grew up on the dreams and stories of Simon and Garfunkel, “Bleeker Street” being one of her favorites, the seduction of The Doors, Van Morrison, because “Brown Eyed Girl” is definitely her song, and the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Jimi Hendrix…you get the picture. It may not show on the outside, but Jackie has a hippie heart, and that reflects in her musical tastes today. While some of her favorites may or may not be jam bands, her taste in music feeds into many genres. From alternative, Brit, and indie rock - OK, maybe all rock - to pop, to rap, to electronic, she loves it all. As a northerner, she thought she would never understand country until she found herself on a Georgia farm in cowboy boots watching Luke Bryan shake it for her- yeah, she got that. She is a chronic wanderluster, she doesn't believe in guilty pleasures, enjoys a great Moscow Mule, and is an absolute music festival fanatic- you’ll find her wherever the music takes her.

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  1. Pingback: Shaky Knees 2017: Rising Above the Rest Yet Again – Vinyl Mag

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