Interview with In Like Flynn
I went to one of their gigs in Telford for the interview, and found it a pleasant change to hear something out of the ordinary.
Formed back in the electric age of Grunge and Brit Pop circa 1994. Their music is not easily defined as far as genres go, but it can have both energy and sensitivity. Influences are wide and varied ranging from Gainsbourg to Rollins and Morricone to Audioslave. The band have been guilty of not playing enough gigs in the past much to the frustration of their fans but they intend to rectify this.
In Like Flynn are:
- Tim Dwyer - Vocals (TD)
- Del Jones - Lead guitar
- Keith "The Beef" Hatton - Rhythm guitar
- George Willetts - Bass guitar
- Clive Beasley - Drums
IH: Is it just a working relationship or do you all get on as friends outside of the band?
TD: We do get on as friends outside the band. I have known George since school. Clive, George and Keith all work at Music Bros (Town Centre and Shrewsbury) so they are really close. When ever we meet up for a practice we always have a good laugh and in that sense it's a big relief from the grind of our normal working lives. But what's more important is that we have been through the mill together as a band. We played around a lot of the country back in the 90s and became really popular. We had good times and bad, we fell out and we made up, we split up and got back together. These days there is respect for each others talents and friendship and that's a big part of the formula for producing really good music.
IH: Okay guy's I've got to ask this one - How did you come up with the name In like Flynn?
TD: We came up with that name because it was 1994 and English band names were a bit boring back then (Oasis for one). We wanted something that meant something. In like Flynn (after Errol Flynn) means to get in there quickly and start to do the business (mainly with a girl). Of course, we spent many a night in the boozer trying to come up with a good name - I remember names such as "Free Beer", "Cheesy and the Water Buzzards" and "Schitezen Housen" spilling out of the hat. The reason we changed the name of the band from Millennia to In Like Flynn was because Del joined and our sound took a new direction.
IH: What would you list as the bands main musical influences?
TD: This one is always so difficult. Del was into Orbital and the Orb and some of those type of bands when we met him but he liked to play good old classic rock such as Iron Maiden and AC/DC. I know he listens to a lot of System of a Down and QOTSA these days. George loved The Smiths, Joy Division, The Cure and all of those alternative late 70s sounds. Clive liked Led Zep and David Lee Roth but he also listened to a lot of funk and even jazz. Keith's kind of into Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith, he likes all the glam in rock - maybe he should have lived in the early seventies. I always liked the grooves of the Stone Roses, the power of RATM and the strangeness of early Pixies.
IH: If you do a gig tonight, with any artist or band of your choice, which would it be?
TD: I think it would have to be The Rolling Stones. Lot's of reasons really, they've got loads of history and their audience are very loyal. They are legends and they still sound great. Even though they're maybe not our favorite band, they have everything that a rock band strives for. They can pull some of the biggest audiences in the World, they have so many brilliant songs and I reckon they would have a more mature, sophisticated kind of groupie these days!
IH: How do you think that your lives would be different if you weren't musicians?
TD: If we weren't musicians I think we would have to seek that creative bent from elsewhere. Being a musician or any type of artist gives you light in your life. It teaches you how to do things for yourself and reap the reward from your own efforts. Being in a day job and just going home to watch TV would be our idea of a nightmare. I think most people need that extra something in their life whether it's football, knitting or playing a musical instrument. To sum up, if we didn't have some sort of alternative output we would be miserable bastards balancing on the top edge of a high rise building.
IH: What's the next Big Gig your going to SEE?
TD: There's no big gig lined up at the moment. Hopefully next year we'll get to play some festivals and then we'll get to see loads of big gigs. A friend of ours (Bri) who does our MySpace thing has got a ticket to see Led Zeppelin so maybe one of us will mug him and head off to London.
IH: What's your favorite song that your band PLAYS?
TD: We are really enjoying playing the new songs at the moment. We got some great feedback for a new song at our last gig and that's great because we really enjoy playing it, the songs called "Not Long For This World".
IH: What's your main goal or where do see the band in a year's time?
TD: Hopefully in a year's time we'll be writing/playing music for a living rather than striving to do it. There are many things happening behind the scenes at the moment with the new recordings (due out in January). We have management and record company interest and the possibility of a UK tour. I live in London now so I'm close to a lot of studios (Abbey Road, Air etc.). I want to get the best deal for the band and that means creating a buzz for the labels/A&R, so we will at least be playing down in London a lot more. Why go for one label when you can have a wider choice? We've got the songs, we can produce at least 6 albums. We aint too young anymore and we don't look as pretty but one thing we always are and that's optimistic about our music.
IH: What's been the high point for the band so far?
TD: I remember we were once talking to Dave Anderson (a member of the Groundhogs) and he told us that now and again, very rarely, there is this magic understanding between the audience and the band - a kind of high or buzz if you like where everything comes together and makes you feel as though you're in another World or on another level. We have definitely experienced this and maybe at the time we took it for granted. Playing a gig to a packed audience is one thing but to have this "buzz" for weeks later is another. That's the highest point a band can achieve I reckon.
IH: What about the low point for the band?
TD: The lowest point was when George left in 1996. We never really found the right balance after that until he rejoined a few years later and then it took time to get the chemistry back. There were many things going on at the time that can kill bands - egos, contracts, stress, jobs, partners, apathy, mismanagement and many other personal reasons. As mentioned above, it's going through these turbulent times that make you stronger in the long run. We now have an integrity that we simply didn't have in our early twenties.
IH: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and all the people reading this?
TD: Obviously, a big warm thanks and don't forget that this time next year we'll be millionaire rock stars.
Next gig New years eve @ The Haygate.
Article written by Ian Hooley