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Published on February 18th, 2002 | by Gerry Galipault

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Q&A with The Flying Tigers

MEMBERS: Ryan Martin (vocals, guitar), Dorian Heartsong (bass), Gary Benson (drums).

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles.

ALBUM: “The Flying Tigers” (Atlantic; release date: April 16).

THE SOUND: Melodic rock, with a twist of classic rock.

PRODUCER: Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine).

FIRST SINGLE: “Maybe.”

OTHER TRACKS: “Good People Bad News,” “What’s Become of Me,” “Drive (Come With Me),” “Why,” “You’re Wrong,” “Detonate,” “Break Me,” “I Got Away,” “Hell For You,” “Here We Are.”

WEB SITE: www.theflyingtigers.com.

SOMETHING TO KNOW: Heartsong was formerly in Powerman 5000, and Martin and Benson were previously in Frankie Machine.

SOMEBODY’S STANDING IN A CD STORE AND COMES ACROSS YOUR ALBUM. THEY’RE CURIOUS ABOUT BUYING IT; WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO CONVINCE THEM?:

Heartsong – “I guess you’d have to put it on or hand them a Walkman. It’s heavy guitars, melodic vocals; it’s powerful, it’s organic, it’s emotional. It’s a modern record, but there aren’t any loops or machines or rapping.”

Martin – “I’d say, ‘If you’re longing for some melodies, some hard music that’s not crushing your skull, pick it up.’ It’s an album full of songs. It’s not just one single.”

WHAT SONG DEFINES YOU?:

Heartsong – “I have my personal favorites. It’s weird, I think there’s a lot of songs on the record that are single material, which is great but can be confusing. I actually really like ‘Detonate’ and ‘Here We Are.’ But a thread runs through all the tunes; you can put any of them on and really get a feel for the band.”

Martin – “Our first single, ‘Maybe,’ probably does that, because it’s a simple song and we’re a simple band. It captures what we do really well. It’s dramatic, up and down, and there’s not a lot of extra stuff going on.”

WHAT WAS YOUR MANIFESTO FOR THIS ALBUM?:

Martin – “We just wanted to make the best album we could. We’ve made an album before with another band, and we learned a lot from that. But I think we just wanted to step up the songwriting and keep it simple. That was our focus.”

WHAT’S YOUR GUT FEELING ON HOW YOUR ALBUM’S GOING TO DO?:

Heartsong – “I have nothing but optimism. I haven’t heard one negative thing from anyone who’s heard the record; it’s all positive feedback. But that’s not our focus right now; we’re in the middle of a tour, and we’re just trying to rip everybody’s head off.”

Martin – “I have battles every day with myself about that, but if it gets out there to people, it’ll do great. I think people will respond to the music because the response we’re getting right now is already really refreshing.”

YOUR PERSONAL MUSICAL HERO?:

Heartsong – “I’m a lost-in-the-’70s boy – you know, Beatles, Hendrix, Sly Stone, Byrds, Zeppelin. That’s my stuff.”

Martin – “I’m a Beatles fan. I go back to all the old stuff. That’s a typical answer, but I can’t help it – that’s where it all started from.”

WHAT’S THE STATE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?:

Heartsong – “The media is so different now. You really can’t point a finger at any one thing; the companies are doing the things they need to do to get it done. You’ve got overexposure, with all the different music channels, which is a great thing but it’s also desensitizes. That’s why you have a band that’s huge with one single for a second and then you’re on to the next trend. That’s what’s absence in this band – we have a nice universal sound, that hopefully will be timeless. This is definitely a career band.”

Martin – “I think it’s always been in a state of disarray. It’s amazing how quickly you can be squashed or how quickly you can blow up; everything’s immediate, and you have to be really fierce about your intentions. It’s brutal. We can only hope that we get radio stations playing us and that people react to our music. That’s what it’s all about.”

UPCOMING TOUR DATES: April 14, Miami, Billboard Live; April 15, St. Petersburg, Fla., State Theater; April 16, Atlanta, Coca Cola Roxy Theater; April 18, Philadelphia, Electric Factory; April 19, Boston, Karma Lounge; April 22, Madison, Wis., Club Amazon; April 23, Indianapolis, The Vogue; April 24, Chicago, Park West; April 26, Minneapolis, Fine Line Music Cafe.

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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