Photo: Alex Gregory
Bristol-based rockers Flights formed only a little over a year ago, but they’re already showing plenty of promise. After changing their name from JustForHustlers to Flights, the four-piece decided to head to Outhouse Studios where they recorded their debut EP with James Billinge and John Mitchell (Architects, Your Demise, You Me at Six). The self-titled EP, which is comprised of six tracks, is a well-rounded effort laced with catchy riffs, fervid lyrics, and soothing three-part harmonies.
Lead vocalist Joel Pearce was kind enough to do a track-by-track breakdown of ‘Flights’ for us. Take a look behind the scenes of their EP below.
“The Pretence” is about a guy that we all know. He’s a tool with a high opinion of himself, but he’s not really an absolute goon. I think he just panders to a stereotype that people have of him. He’s annoying though, so I decided to write the lyrics of “The Pretence” as a bit of an outlet.
This song was a monster to begin with. It lasted about 10 minutes and had a completely different verse section. Even after we changed the verse and shortened the song, it was still a fucking pain to write the vocals!
“Judge” is just a horrid, filthy song! Joe and I are into the graphic novel and film Watchmen, and lyrically the whole song is inspired by the opening monologue delivered by Rorschach. We just wanted to write a song that lyrically encapsulates complete filth. What a bunch of nerds we are.
We were all massively hungover when we wrote the music to this song and I think it shows – it’s not a happy-go-lucky tune.
“Stitched to the Bone”
This was the first song we wrote together. I think it originated as a little tune Joe and Adam had been jamming. Although I knew both Adam and Joe from home, I was actually at uni when we first started talking about putting a band together. Joe sent me a recording of what went on to become parts of the intro, verse and chorus, as well as the first groovy breakdown bit. We finished the song when I traveled home for a few weeks and Dean was brought in the day before we went to London to put down our first demo.
This song is Dean’s baby. He wrote it (probably after listening to something mongy like The Velvet Underground) and sent it to us as a little acoustic idea. Then the rest of us got our mitts on it and what came out the other side is “Charity Calendars.” I think we came up with the name while sitting in a pub which wrapped up loads of charity calendars and books for Advent, and then they’d unwrap one each day in the buildup to Christmas -– I never really got that.
“Wires & Code”
This tune was a bit of an oddity as it was nearly dropped several times. We had a nightmare making it work and originally it was a completely different song. I think the only constant throughout all the different iterations is my guitar part in the intro!
Lyrically, it’s loosely based on a time I went out with my mates. We were at a club and my friend spent the whole time on his phone checking out Facebook and chatting to a girl. Turns out they were both in the same place and managed to miss each other because they were too busy writing messages! I thought it was funny but a bit ridiculous and it inspired me to write “Wires & Code.”
“The Pretence” and “The Mapmaker” started off as one song. We decided to split them, but for a long time we still intended them to sit next to each other on the record. It was only as we started to talk about the sequence of tracks that we realized they’d both sort of developed their own identity as songs — musically and lyrically.
On the surface of it, this song is about trying to find your way home; but really it’s a metaphor to describe the band trying to write this EP. It can be a struggle sometimes and you need to keep putting in effort and checking everyone’s happy with the direction that you’re moving in. The song isn’t a lament though – the uplifting tone of the music says it all really. We love what we’re doing and this song is a sort of celebration of that. I think it’s a really nice way to finish the record off lyrically but it bummed us all out when we were recording the vocals – it sounded like a nursery rhyme and after 3 hours of just that it gets lodged in your head!
Pick up Flights’ self-titled debut EP, Flights.