Skinnie Magazine has been hosting an ongoing competition, Top 100 Bands, since the beginning of March, with the second round starting on April 2, 2010. I was able to catch the first round held at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Honest to god, I hadn’t seen this many hyper, neon-dressed teenagers since the NeverShoutNever show I attended with Jim back in January. Upon boarding the permanently anchored ship, I was inundated with demo CDs, fliers, and requests from bands to come check out their sets. What I didn’t know until a few minutes later, however, were that there would be as many as four bands playing at the exact same time, on stages within twenty feet of each other. It was three floors full of thrashing, headbanging, and high-decibel growling. In between moving through each floor, I got caught in the middle of no less than three humid mosh pits.
Somwhere through all that high traffic, jumping and shoving, I made it to my destination: the 9:45 stage for a band called Flawless Design. Our famed Metal editor Jason Coldiron had requested I give them a listen, as he previously gave them a little exposure with a two part intro on the group( Part 1 and Part 2 here.). After meeting the two vocalists, Patrick and Mason, they gave me permission to shoot their setup, and allowed me to move on stage during the show for some extreme shots. Coldiron had picked another winner, it seemed, because I was sold. Their energy and range was pretty intense (the drummer was playing with a dislocated shoulder, for chrissakes). Even during the performance, they hit a couple of technical snags like a cymbal screw flying loose, a foot pedal breaking, and an amp blowing out; but they played through it, and the moshing audience was no less satisfied. These dudes piss pure professionalism.
After the show, I got an interview with the guys, where they dished on influences, upcoming tour plans, and what the fans should know about the band.
Markus Eliance: You guys are from Sacramento. How long have you guys been together?
Patrick Lucas: Just over a year.
Mason Lowe: Since New Years .
Derek Rauh: Yeah, we had a great party that year. Mason punched himself in the face.
ME: How did you guys end up hearing about the competition at the Queen Mary?
Jon Tobin:The guys at Skinnie Magazine checked out our website.
PL : They checked out our MySpace, heard our music and contacted us, and invited us to play.
ME: You guys have been compared to a lot of bands. I’ve seen you compared to Incubus and Sevendust. What are some of the bands you guys consider an influence or draw inspiration from?
Blair Deleon: I like the Sevendust reference!
DR: I like Seether, a little bit of Incubus; I like all of those.
BD: Mudvayne, too.
JT: Incubus, Rage Against the Machine, and A Perfect Circle.
Markus Eliance: Cool. Very cool.
PL.: I think my top three are Tool, Mudvayne, and Incubus. They’re not my definite influences; I think we’ve got our own thing going on.
DR: What about Green Day?
PL: A looong time ago, maybe. [laughs]
ME: So, what’s coming down the pike as far as new material, touring, and all that?
ML: All of the above!
JT: We’re trying to finish an album. We should have that done in the next month or two. After that, lots and lots of shows.
PL: As soon as the album’s done, we’re planning a national tour.
Markus Eliance: Awesome. Now, final question… As far as the fans go, is there anything that they don’t know about Flawless Design that you would like them to know?
ML: I’m a dirty rapist! [group laughs]
JT: Nah… we want ’em to know that we fucking love ’em, and that we appreciate our fans. And they might not know that.
BD: I think they know that already.
PL: I don’t really live a “rock star” life. I drink lots of water and eat healthy, and get lots of sleep, you know? I have a full time job, credit cards, you know. That’s something they may not know about me.
DR: They need to know… They need to buy our album, because I’m sick of driving a Green Rav 4 with one door thats a different tint of green.