In between casually referencing James Blunt, discussing My Chemical Romance’s best records, and pouring over photos of the various orcs from The Lord of The Rings, Rob and Thomas Griffith of Flying Colours spoke with me this week about the band’s upcoming show in Jackson. The Flying Colours have been featured before in Our Jackson Home; for this interview, Rob and Thomas opened up about the latest news for the band and their gratitude for the support that Jackson has shown for them throughout the years.
So you’re having a concert [in downtown Jackson] next week. How did that come about?
Rob: We didn’t think we were going to play any shows in 2015 . . . because it was kind of a busy year. When Chuck [the owner of Alba] asked me to play in the upstairs of Alba, my initial reaction was to say we’re probably not doing that this year . . . but I thought that was like saying “We don’t have time for you,” and that was not something I ever wanted to do for a city that has been really good for us. I talked to Jay about it that day; I was like, “Hey, I think we can make this into something that is really cool and something that is a good way to say thank you to Jackson for being our home and our main fanbase for five years.”
We decided that we wanted to make it be an event that is different than a normal concert. There will be music being played, but it’s also going to be a round-table discussion. There’s gonna be a lot of us thanking some specific people for specific things that have meant a lot to us. It’s also going to be a good chance for us to tell people what we’re about to start doing and how they can help us do that.
We’re also gonna bring all of our merch and just give it all away. There’s a lot of CDs left, and we have some large and extra large T-shirts . . . I don’t think we have any mediums left.
Thomas: The world’s hottest commodity: medium-size T-shirts.
Rob: Yeah . . . it is worth more to us that you guys would take [the merch] and show it to your friends than us making some profit that is not really gonna help us in the long run. We want to tell you about the new things we’ve been writing and recording.
You guys have been recording recently?
Rob: We’ve recorded a good chunk of pretty rough demos. We’ve taken 2015 to figure out where we are as a band and what we need to do to move forward. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to do more and be more intense about it . . . but every single thing that we put out has a specific purpose about it. We’re going to put out a little bit at first and let that grow.
Thomas, you were telling me earlier that Jay also has some new music.
Thomas: Yeah, Jay is also playing with the band Farro as their keyboardist.
Rob: Jay’s playing with a guy named Josh Farro in the band Farro . . . Josh Farro used to be in Paramore. Our producer, Quinn, also plays in that band.
Is anyone else in the band working on different projects, music-wise?
Rob: Thomas and I are recording an album with Russ Pflasterer, our pastor.
Thomas: City Songs, Volume II. Also that Romans [album by the musical group PSALLOS] project. This fall, I think, we are going to be playing some shows in Jackson. Next week, actually, I’m flying with Cody Curtis [founder of PSALLOS] to New Jersey, and we are playing some songs at a conference there.
I’m curious: what music have you been listening to recently?
Thomas: A lot of Robyn, and that new Gungor album.
Rob: Rage Against the Machine. And Gerard Way’s solo album, Hesitant Alien. Put New Order in this interview, too.
So this upcoming show is going to be different for you guys, as you’re going to be speaking personally with the crowd. What are some of your favorite venues and gigs over the past few years?
Thomas: That last Barefoots show.
Rob: My favorite Barefoots show was an End-of-the-Year Bash. The reason that was so fun was that four different people crowd surfed at that show, and at least half of them I had never met or seen before, and that was the best.
Have you ever crowd surfed?
Rob: Yeah, I did at that show! Well, “crowd surfed” is a very generous term. I was very scared and did not look glamorous while I was doing it. Another one of my favorite shows was playing at a house in like an attic in Trenton. There were like twenty people there, and that room was still full because it was so small.
One of my favorite things was that you played at my surprise twenty-first birthday party. I wanted to say thank you for that again.
Rob: Oh, man, that was so fun. It was just me, Jay, and Taylor playing there . . . I think the show of ours that sounded the best, though, was the one at 12th & Porter in Nashville.
Since you’re recording some new demos, how you would you say they compare to your earlier work?
Rob: Our songwriting is a lot more concise. It’s more re-worked than anything we’ve ever done. Every song we’ve ever put out has been a first draft of that song . . . and that is cool in some ways, and that was definitely our thing for a while. I still like those songs, and that’s what we’re gonna play on Tuesday. But I know with these new ones we are only trying to write perfect songs. We don’t want there to be any flaws in the songs we write.
Will we hear any new songs at the concert?
Rob: We’re basically saying that you [friends and fans] can make our setlist. We’re probably going to play old songs that people haven’t heard in a while and want to hear.
Thomas: People can say that night, “Hey, we want this song!”
Is there anything else you wanted us to know about the band?
Rob: We have no intention of ever not making music.