Reexploring: An Interview with Keep Flying

by - August 04, 2022

After the release of their album, Survival, in 2020, punk band Keep Flying found themselves in constant conversation with one another about revisiting their discography. This ultimately led to Revival, out August 12.

“As musicians, the idea of attempting other styles of music is just something you always want to do but doesn't really always make sense to,” saxophonist John James Ryan Jr. said.

This time around, creating a hook and chorus is unnecessary, but instead a new composition must be created.

“We were able to take the already existing song, zoom out on the microscope and have even more fun putting it back together,” he said. “Swapping instruments, trying new things, bringing in some additional musicians… We really got to explore the songs more in depth and really smash the parts we wanted to emphasize, and also leave out the parts we didn't.”

The first song they chose to release from this revisited collection was “Firesale”, released on their latest album, Survival. It was a song that listeners really connected with, and the band felt that with that connection it would fit perfectly in this idea of reimagined songs.

The band cites John Mayer as an influence for the reimagined version of “Firesale”, saying that Mayer’s carefree energy when it comes to music is what pushed them to try something new.

“Upon revisiting what [Mayer] is doing musically, it all kind of reconnected synapses where I just feel I get it more now than ever before,” Ryan said. “The new version of ‘Firesale’ is aimed at that same kind of target as far as taking something and putting a chill, more loose and open tone on it. It made me want to just jam the track out into a longer version of itself, which is what I also love about John's live show.”

Revisiting these songs in the studio had both rewarding and challenging moments. The need to nail every single part that made the original so good while also incorporating new ideas was a healthy challenge to them, as long as they didn’t get too into their heads about whether or not listeners were going to want a new version of these songs. Watching one another try new instruments, or the days they brought in additional performers, were some of the most rewarding. To them, it was such a breath of fresh air.

By reimagining these songs, Keep Flying hopes that their listeners will find some peace when they hear their new versions.

“Maybe it's a little easier to relate to the lyrics this way and also be able to get some emotions out while driving your car or taking a shower,” Ryan said. “We just want people to feel the rush we felt when we listened back to the final version of this the first time. Fingers crossed you like a little slow jam.”

You May Also Like