They tour in a van, and sleep on couches. And have a strange affinity for both cats and Pokémon.
They’re called Flashlights, a rather spectacular band from decidedly un-spectacular Brevard County, Florida. They started as the solo acoustic project of twenty-four year old, singer/guitarist Terry Caudill in 2007, then added and subtracted members from various local punk outfits before settling on their current lineup: Tony Oriza on guitar, Will Powell on bass, and Melissa Hopkins on drums.
Carefully crafting a sound more befitting a band born in the mid-90’s melodic punk scene and calling on Archers of Loaf and Superchunk as influences, the band has honed their superior sound and stage presence in the clubs of Florida the past few years. With the announcement of their signing to Hard Rock Records and release of their digital EP, Don’t Take Me Seriously, the band is poised to breakout in 2013.
We spoke with the band about touring, The Cure and getting signed to a label!
CincyMusic.com: Sounds as if you have been through a lot thus far. What's been your biggest moment so far? The time when you felt like this is why I do this?
Flashlights: Signing to Hard Rock Records has been one of the most radical changes that's happened to our everyday lives. Meeting them and the things they have done for us, have made us very lucky and humble people. They hooked us up with gear and a studio to record our next record. I don't know where we would be without them coming into our lives and giving us the tools to pursue our goals as a band. The moment we arrived to the studio (The Fidelitorium) in the middle of the night, in late October 2012, and we walked in and saw where we were going to live and make a record for the next few weeks, had to be the most defining moment in my entire life as an artist. I'm sure everyone else feels the same.
CM:What was the inspiration for the latest EP, Don’t Take Me Seriously?
The EP we recently released consisted of the single "Don't Take Me Seriously," and the others are just B-sides off of our upcoming LP. One of them being a remake ("Choking") of an older song we've had for years. I think the only real inspiration for the record was being confused on my stance as a person. At the time I wrote some of the music, the situations around me kept affecting me in ways I couldn't understand. I had been working at a disgusting burger joint where no one wanted me around and the treatment I was getting was unfair and humiliating. We were at a standstill with being a band and it was getting to the point where life had been getting in the way when it came to doing music and band stuff. I had turned into someone who was grumpy, hopeless, and most of all, I just didn't feel like I was fun to be around anymore.
CM:What's it like on the road? Paint a picture of a day in the life on the road?
Flashlights: Lots of gas stations, trees, rest stops, couches or floors to sleep on, the van overheating and spewing coolant, lots of Pokemon training, everybody sleeping on pretty much every trek to the next show, meeting lots of new people. Every day is exciting and refreshing when you know you will be in a new town tomorrow.
CM:If you could work with any artist, who would that be and why?
Flashlights: Robert Smith. He's one of my biggest influences on music. The Cure is easily one of the best Pop bands ever. If it weren't for them, I'd be playing Misfits covers or something.
CM:What is next for Flashlights?
Flashlights: Hopefully to take over the world. If not, just a lot of touring!
CM:What advice do you have for a young artist just starting out?
Flashlights: Be yourself. Don't expect fame and fortune. It's all about the dream.