The Past, Present, and Future of Flyswatter
“It is a great gift to be able to play music – but it is the greatest gift if you’re able to do it with your best friends.”Florry, Flyswatter
Flyswatter are hardly a new band, but they are just as deserving – if not more so – of a shining spotlight. First forming as bunch of teenagers, Flyswatter’s sound, aesthetic, and concept harks back to a simpler time. As someone who holds alternative music of the 1990s very close to their heart, understanding Flyswatter was rather sentimental to me.
With a rich and complex repertoire, which spans over the course of 27 years, their earlier clash and thunder of garage-metal anger reminds me of my own teenage years. Flyswatter captures the adolescent dream of making loud, boisterous music with the friends you love – shredding guitars and shrieking vocals that harness that freeing frustration of being young and, yet, growing up.
However, upon journeying through their musical and personal changes, there is a newfound peace and maturity in their later music – their latest single ‘How Long’ being a key example of wholesome optimism, which doesn’t patronise but only comforts.
After a long silence, Flyswatter have returned with a long-awaited, triumphant vigour – still delivering nostalgic riffs, rumbling bass, and relatable lyrics. They may have grown up… but, thankfully, haven’t grown up too much.
Let’s catch up with band-member, Florry, and explore the band’s past, present, and future.
You guys have been around for a long time now, though for readers who may not be familiar with you, can you give us a brief introduction and some background of the band?
Yeah, it’s been a while. We founded this band way back in 1994 as a high school band. We released albums and toured until 2006. After many ups and downs we went on a “hiatus”…that lasted 14 years 🙂 In 2020 we got back together in the original lineup and now we’re here to stay. After all these years it still feels like we’re the same kids from high school that share the love for music.
Congratulations on the release and subsequent success of your 2021 release ‘How Long’, available on Spotify. The sound feels very reminiscent of bands like Green Day and Hole – which artists or bands would you say have been the biggest influence on you over the years?
Thanks so much! Oh yes, Green Day had a huge impact on us. We even used to cover some of their songs back in the days. We love all music genres. Pop, Rock, Punk, Metal, HipHop…even Boybands, haha. I think that’s what Flyswatter was always about. We never limit ourselves to just one kind of music. I would pick these ‘Top 5’ as the most influential to us: U2, Metallica, INXS, Guns’n’Roses and everything Dave Grohl has been a part of.
‘How Long’ was released as a single following your 2020 EP. Understandably, it’s a big career-marker and commemorative occasion for you guys, as it’s your first new single after 14 years! What influenced this decision? What did you feel about ‘How Long’ warranted it its own separate release? Given the song’s title, was it coming back after your lengthy hiatus that inspired it?
Yes, it definitely is a call to action and stood out to us. The last two years have been difficult for everyone, and so we wanted to write a song that looked on the bright side and do what you love. There’s always a choice in life but it’s up to you to take it. So we said: “How long do you wanna wait?” We really want to say a big THANK YOU for all the support and for every single listener!!
Another congratulations in order, as you guys have been around for 27 years! Having been reading on your story on your website, I realise that you’ve experienced a lot of change regarding band members. What made you decide to continue as ‘Flyswatter’, as opposed to forming a new band under a different name?
Oh thanks so much again! You know, we played in various formations and in different bands. It is a great gift to be able to play music. But it is the greatest gift if you’re able to do it with your best friends. This band goes beyond music. It is literally our life. In good and bad times…pretty much like a marriage. haha. No but seriously, we are friends since we were in our teens and this is a bond that never breaks.
I love Flyswatter as a band name! Can you tell us how that came about, and what names you considered before setting on this one?
Oh, that’s awesome!! Well, it’s a rather short story. We rehearsed one day with a close friend of us stopping by. We asked him for a good band name, since we didn’t have one at that time. He came up with the name, we liked it and kept playing that day. Done Deal 🙂 Funnily, i never asked him about it ever again. There’s also an EP called Flyswatter by Blink182, that we love and a song with that title by Eels. They always come up when you google for our band name. Love it!
Of course, having been in existence for nearly 30 years, means there’s going to be musical changes too! I’ve noticed when comparing your 2004 self-titled album that you’ve changed from anguished, screaming vocals to more melodic and harmonised ones. The guitars are more distorted, drums are quicker paced – generally, there’s an angrier vibe. If you’re comfortable sharing, what experiences and circumstances in your lives do you think made this more bitter music in the past to a more melodic and uplifting present?
That is very well observed. It was indeed a darker time in our life as a band. We toured a lot, felt the stress to put out albums. Overall, everything felt rather tense during that time. Even though it was our most successful album, you can hear the bitterness. But that’s what music is all about. It represents who you are and what you feel.
We have (quite literally) matured and I think you can hear it in our new stuff. It’s about our friendship and the music that we love, it’s about embracing the positivity that music spreads. We want to have a good time and share this with others through our music.
I could be totally wrong, and correct me if I am, but examining your repertoire – a lot of the lyrical content appears to explore interpersonal relationships (romantic or otherwise), is that right? Are there any other major themes that come to mind when it comes to writing lyrics?
Absolutely! We are Nineties Kids and all of our songs are somehow part of a romantic comedy or high school movie. We never were a political band, never wrote songs about how to live your life and tell you what’s right or wrong. We do believe in the power of music and its message, like Rage Against The Machine for example. We are just not that type of band.
Our music makes you feel a certain way. It makes you smile, scream loud while driving in your car or maybe cry in bed. In that regards i guess we are textbook “Emo” band. (laughs)
Given your latest release, can we expect more new material in the works?
100%!! Literally as we speak we are recording a new album. We are looking forward to releasing it by the end of 2022. Thanks to modern digital publishing we will release the first songs very soon. So you don’t have to wait all year. Also we’re gonna do the first ever cover version to be officially released (I wonder why we never did that before:))
Writing and recording music has always been our passion. So the Hit Factory is running in full production mode.
Moreover, can we expect any live performances/tour dates soon?
We’ll see how the Covid Situation will play out. Therefore we have only planned a couple of shows at the moment, since it is a lot of work for both band and promoters. We know a lot of our peers had to postpone or cancel shows. Last year we only played two shows, but they were absolutely killer. One in our hometown of Berchtesgaden and one in the Olympiastadium Munich. Bucket List right there. It would be amazing to be able to play more show this year. We’re ready to go.
Speaking of live performances, on your website there’s some incredible photographs by Doc Snyder of you on stage! Has it always been important to you to sell your image as a live band, as well as a studio one?
Well i guess that changed a little bit. We started out as a live band and played everything we could. Literally. It was the number one thing to us to be the best live band that as ever put a foot on stage. It was different back then, since playing live was pretty much the only way to reach new fans. We still love playing live though. To us it is like recreation and workout at the same time. It comes naturally.
Today, we focus more on writing and recording though. There’s so many songs still to be written and every song is a new experience. Music is just never-ending.
Finally, you’ve such a wealth of material, it must be hard to pick one! But after reviewing ‘Handpicked’ on Spotify, it’s clear there’s some favourites in there! Are there any songs or performances of songs that you have a soft spot for?
Looking back there’s always been songs that constantly appear in our setlist or are being requested. Our latest best-of album is the perfect representation of the songs we love the most. If I had to pick the ONE song it would be “Black and Blue”. It’s the oldest song in our repertoire. It was written even before the band started. And it still holds up to this day. Every time we listen to it or play it live. This is a “Flyswatter” song.
Our Best-Of Album “Handpicked” is a collection of our favourite songs from the very beginning until today. Listen to it and follow us on Spotify!