Between the provinces of Brevard County and Orlando, Florida, Flashlights offer up songs about fun, sadness, and sun with a premiere advance listen to Bummer Summer. Terry Caudill's once solo acoustic project now shines like floodlights with a bright set of batteries, compliments of guitarist Ian Turner-Sanders, bassist Will Powell, and drums from Melissa Hopkins. With the Scott Hutchison and Andy Monaghan produced album available June 24 from Hard Rock Records, every song here tells a different story of difficulties, seasons of change, past friendships, and situations to see us through summer 2014.
Right from the beginning of the album, Terry Caudill tailors an elaborate sound wall of woe with the displaced feelings of, “this is not the bed I remember making,” on the opener “Failure”. Setting the tone and testament of trial spiked with triumphant arrangements, everything is laid out on the table like, “this world makes me crazy, everything scares me,” or on “Don't Take Me Seriously” where Terry sings, “most of the time I feel like I'm no one,” with the utmost confidence. The brutally honest observations are expressed through the ample solidarity from the group, ocking out the reminders of struggles, former friends, and hurt on tracks like “Islands” and “All Cats Are Beautiful”; retaining a private sense of reverence to slow their speed out of respect for the personal nature of various reflections.
But on “Bottle Kids”, “Best Friends” and “Sometimes it's Hard to Speak”; the bad times and 'meh' times are celebrated like the best with the loudest decorations and noisiest party favors. The messed-up days are rekindled, and the states of inner distress are told in blunt and effective pop songwriting. On “Hard to Speak”, Caudill revisits those acoustic old days, heard on the the haunted heartaches of the date specific titled track, “April 24th”. Turning the frowns upside down by tuning up the gain and tuning out the madness, the “Bummer Summer” title cut delivers as one of the album's highlights that Flashlights place at nearly the end of the album, as “Blue Dream” carries you out with one more anthem before departing. Join us following the album stream for our heart to heart with frontman, Terry Caudill.
What is the Orlando scene like? How has it affected you all?
It's pretty cool here. There is a show almost every night and it all takes place on the same street (Mills Avenue). Punk and loud, heavy music in general is still very present in Orlando. There are a ton of different venues and everyone is pretty good about supporting all the independent touring bands that come through. If it wasn't for the awesome people we've met, we wouldn't be doing all this stuff.
What is the story of Flashlights that hasn't been told?
There's a ton. But, life goes on…
From releasing Winter Demo, flash video game promos for your Don't Take Me Seriously EP, all the way through Bummer Summer; how have you all refined the ultimate summer narrative, and over-achieving-slacker sound that defines, Flashlights?
Ummm, comes with growth maybe? We've been approaching music the same way we always have. The newer stuff is much cleaner (and audible) than our previous material. We were able to get into a professional studio for two weeks and record the EP and Bummer Summer. Before then, we had no money and most of the material I had recorded myself in various houses I had been living at. I think it had a lot to do with our 'budget.'
I feel like Bummer Summer is full of a summer's worth of these weird, awkward, candid, and bluntly personal moments, consider the devastation of “Sometimes it's Hard to Speak”, the sweat and seriousness, or that closing line on “Don't Take Me Seriously” where “most of the time I feel like I'm no one” repeats. What IRL experiences, anecdotes contributed to all this, and made you all realize, that these brutally honest stories had to be put to garage pop numbers?
2011-2012 was a very strange time for me. Every now and then, I wonder if some of it's too personal or just plain lame.
Each song was inspired by totally different situations and friendships I had back then. I can't sit down and write about a particular subject. I don't have the focus for that. So, some songs took days to write. Some were written
in a matter of 15 minutes. Just depends on how I felt at the time.
From “Islands”, the title track, and “April 24”, what sort of underlying heaviness, hurt, and triumph gave inspiration to these songs?
A lack of confidence in a number of areas in my life.
“Blue Dream” is like your excuse to go all out, and big. We all know that the 'blue dream' strain is particular irie, with it's middle of the road indica properties, but what sorts of blue dreams lent vision to Flashlights' “Blue Dream”?
It's about drowning beneath the ice in a frozen lake.
Bummer Summer, and the Flashlights' summer 2014 plan?
2 new videos and write our next full length for next year.
Who and what else should we be listening to and keeping an ear out for, from Orlando, or elsewhere?
In Orlando, check out Jr. Meowzer, Forms and Neat freak. Nationally, Merry Christmas from CA and Total Slacker from NY. Lastly, TODDLE from Japan. Meow :3
Flashlights' album Bummer Summer will be available June 24 from Hard Rock Records and iTunes.