Flasher | Constant Image
With a never-ending freedom, Flasher takes you to the euphoria of a backseat, body packed car with their debut full-length album, Constant Image. Your friend is driving and there are probably more people in the car then there are seatbelts. No one is coming nor going, your going no where for no reason and you don’t care. It’s a joyride as everyone bounces in unison to a familiar beat dipped in 80s punk/pop, shoe-gaze with a supersonic fuzz.
It’s fun at its purest and what could be perceived as light unless you give the lyrics a good listen. The depth within this album is surprising and satisfying with lyrics touching on the topics from escape routes, expectations and isolation to control, righteous protests and confrontation. Just as The Washington D.C band sings of seeking freedom, they give it with their atmospheric melodies and conversational lyricism. They talk and their listeners are talking back.
Flasher consists of three friends, Taylor Mulitz on vocals, guitar and bad ass graphic design, Emma Baker, vocals and drums and Daniel Saperstein, vocals and bass. I caught up with Flasher while they were in Los Angeles and to no surprise, they carry themselves with the same fascination and honesty on stage as they do in their writing and music. Ever open and curious, they move beautifully and again, their listeners move with them. Stay tuned, The band has some exciting news coming up for us this Winter season and we look forward to it!
See below for the interview:
T: Taylor Mulitz (vocals, guitar)
E: Emma Baker (vocals, drums)
D: Daniel Saperstein (vocals, bass)
1. Can each of you tell me about your musical backgrounds? How did music rise to be a priority of yours and what was it like growing into the musicians that you are today?
I started playing guitar around age 15 with my high school band and did that until I went away for college. I stopped playing for a few years while I was living in New York for school and it definitely contributed to a prolonged period of depression. I decided to transfer to a school in Baltimore to see if that would help, and during the semester I had off between schools I began playing music again. Not long after that I began touring which had always been a dream of mine. It’s pretty much been a priority since then. -T
In seventh grade I pretty much exclusively listened to Elliott Smith and screamo bands. In eighth grade I started going to hardcore & punk shows in people’s basements and community centers and decided screamo was lame. My new favorite bands were made up of kids from DC that were a bit older than me. I went to pretty much every show I could, sometimes many in a single week but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I decided I wanted to play music too. I was a tap dancer for ten years of my life so I thought that might be a good introduction to playing drums. Daniel brought a kit over to my house and we started playing together, eventually calling our project Sad Bones. I moved away for school and had a terrible time but always looked forward to summers when we would get to play together again. Eventually I moved to Baltimore to be closer to my friends and collaborators. Over the next few years I started playing in other projects, Young Trynas with Taylor and Big Hush with my partner Owen and my friends Gen and Chris. I did eventually finish school, but really only because I got to play music all the time when I wasn’t in class. -E
2. Can you tell me a little bit about how Flasher came to be?
Emma & Taylor started a band called Young Trynas with their friend Eva while they were living together in Baltimore in 2013. The whole reason for starting the band was to play a She Shreds showcase happening in DC two weeks later. They wrote 5 songs and learned a gun club cover. Eva eventually left the band to start Sneaks and Daniel started playing bass with them. After a few practices and a couple shows everyone agreed that it felt like a new band, so Flasher was born. -E
3. What was it like working on your EP vs. Constant Image ?
We recorded the EP ourselves along with our friend and frequent collaborator, Owen Wuerker. Most of the songs on the EP were fully written, with the exception of Tense. We did all the basic tracking in a couple days and spent a lot of time messing around with overdubs after that. Prior to Constant Image this is how I always experienced recording music. It was always very comfortable and exploratory and had a lenient deadline.
We recorded constant image in Brooklyn at Rare Bookroom with Nicholas Vernhes. With Taylor on tour with Priests for most of the year we really only had one month together to write the album. The studio time crept up quickly and we started tracking before we were even done writing. Being unprepared definitely heightened anxiety. There was some immediate personality clashing that happened and it really exacerbated existing internal struggles. At times I thought we’d never finish. In the end I think the moments that were really challenging and painful helped make the record sound the way it does and we are all very proud of it. -E
How much of your creative process collaborative? How do you balance all being separate musicians in one band?
We found a balance between us all being separate musicians by starting a band together.
As song writers, what kind of positions do you write from? where do you draw inspiration from? do you all write together?
We all write together from a superposition constituted from each others positions.
Is there a moment on this album that means the most to each of you? What are each of you most proud of? Anything from a moment on the album, on tour, during production, etc?
The recording process was a bit traumatizing and exploded open some of the internal struggles we were having with each other. Once we had a chance to catch our breath we decided to go to group therapy together and I feel proud if that. Even just making the effort to go to one session spoke volumes about our collective desire to find new and better ways of communicating with each other. I know plenty of bands struggle with the same issues and often times people don’t want to acknowledge the real, messy, hard stuff. - T
From the time you conceptualized the album to its final stages in production, how (if at all) did your vision change? or is constant image what you anticipated/ had in mind at the start?
We went into recording without a solidified idea of how the album would turn out in the end, and that was the whole point from the start. We were working with a stranger for the first time, and many of the songs were brand new or unfinished, so it was difficult if not impossible to anticipate what the final product would be. We like to use the studio and recording process as a tool for songwriting or as an instrument itself, and doing so inherently requires an openness to the unexpected. After we finished tracking and had time to sit with the first pass of mixes, we went back in with another engineer in the DC area, Don Godwin, and remixed the whole record. I think at that point we had a clear and deliberate vision of how we wanted the record to sound, but the actual recording process was pretty open. - T
How do you maintain a vision inclusive of all you?
Constant communication - T
What is next for you guys?
Finishing up these west coast dates, playing some shows in the Southeast in August, a handful of dates in September, UK/Europe in November, and working on something exciting for December that’s TBA ;) - T
Written by Meagan Rafferty