Chris Cresswell, vocalist and guitarist for The Flatliners, can pinpoint the precise moment auto-tune began to destroy the music scene.
“Cher is the first one to blame with that Do You Believe in Life After Love? song,” said Cresswell. “Obviously auto-tune was around before then, and sometimes people would use auto-tune once in a while during songs, but not like that. Not pitch-shifting auto-tune that’s supposed to be noticeable — stuff like that is just brutal.”
For Cresswell and his band members, auto-tune is a representation of everything that is wrong with music today. They feel it needs to be stopped before it does permanent damage to the entire music industry.
“It’s not really music, and I hate how that’s become a trend in music.”
Hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario, the Flatliners are touring North America in an effort to combat the auto-tune movement. Night after night they crank out their raw punk rock combined with dashes of ska for good measure. While on their way to a performance in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cresswell said that so for the tour has been good, in spite of the now infamous Screeching Weasel incident at the South by Southwest (SXSW) show, where the Flatliners attended.
If you haven’t heard, Screeching Weasel frontman Ben “Weasel” Foster punched two women during his band’s performance at SXSW.
“We were actually supposed to play with Screeching Weasel the next day in San Antonio but that got cancelled.” said Cresswell, “So we decided to kick it another day at SXSW.”
However, things worked themselves out, and the Flatliners hopped onto another gig and made an impromptu performance with bands Dead Like Me and Banner Pilot.
But when the band isn’t playing impromptu shows or breaking the seal, how do the Flatliners spend their time? On the top of the list is making a conscious effort to not watch the 1990 movie from wench they took the name.
“Our guitarist Scott owns Flatliners on DVD but we’ve never seen it. We watched it once on eight-times fast-forward, but we have no idea what happened,” laughed Cresswell. “We have this deal where we’re never going to watch it, because if we named our band after a shitty movie then we’re f—ed.”
As to Whistler, Cresswell says that they are excited to play in the world famous village. This will be fourth time they have played there as they now have a local connection to the region.
“Actually our guitarist Scott, his brother has been living out there for about a year, so now there’s like a family connection there too. We all love to snowboard and that kind of thing, but I’m not sure if we’ll get the chance to that day. I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I went to Whistler and it sucked.’ It’s a great party town. We’ll have a good time I’m sure.”
Cresswell had a final piece of advice for people planning to attend the performance, “To whoever’s coming to the show, make sure you catch Living with Lions. They play right before us and they’re a fantastic band. Bring your livers, because we’re going to drink a lot on that tour, and if you don’t drink come anyways, smile, and enjoy yourself.”
Check them out March 29 at Garfunkel’s!