Save Face New jersey rock­ers

Meet the band who love a con­cept al­bum

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

It would be dif­fi­cult to come across a harder work­ing band than Save Face, who spend up to nine months on the road, most re­cently tour­ing

Merci – a con­cept al­bum that traces the strug­gles of an ad­dict in re­hab. All pro­ceeds from the al­bum go to a sui­cide hot­line for LGBTQ youth. Let’s meet drum­mer Chris Flan­nery...

De­scribe your band for peo­ple who haven’t heard you…

“We’re a balls-to-the-wall punk-in­flu­enced rock ’n’ roll band with out­ra­geously rip­ping gui­tar so­los, ra­dio-ready lay­ered har­monies and care­fully cal­cu­lated rhythms that will make you say, ‘Gee whiz’.”

What was your in­tro­duc­tion to drum­ming?

“When I was in 4th grade, my buddy Ben and I wanted to sit next to each other in band class so we could f**k around – we both or­dered clar­inets; he got his, they ac­ci­den­tally shipped me a snare drum.”

Who are your drum­ming he­roes?

“Matt Halpern, Travis Orbin, Chris Ge­orge, Blake Dahlinger, Alex Ca­marena, Anika Nilles, Luke Hol­land, Matt M and all the oth­erYouTu­bers, and ev­ery­one who’s been on Gospel Chops, to name a few.”

You re­cently signed to Epi­taph, are there drum­mers on that la­bel who were big in­flu­ences?

“Dan from Ar­chi­tects, Matt from Bring Me The Hori­zon, Tony from Mo­tion City Sound­track.”

What was the first kit you ever owned?

“A 90s Pearl Ex­port kit, which was gifted to me. Man, I beat that thing to a pulp learn­ing to play.”

How would you de­scribe your play­ing?

“In the stu­dio, I try and play ex­actly what the song needs, no more no less. Live, I try to read the vibe of the room. Usu­ally, I’m con­cen­trat­ing so hard on nail­ing the vo­cals that I’m not even think­ing too much about the drum parts, it’s be­come nearly sec­ond na­ture. [Singer] Tyler still gets on my ass about tight­en­ing up my drum­ming, which I need – it keeps me hon­est.”

Which Save Face song per­fectly cap­tures your sound and style?

“‘Reds’. Fast, tight, and pre­cise. Com­plex lin­ear fills with mo­ments of dou­ble bass in­ter­spersed spar­ingly just for a lil’ some­thing ex­tra now and then.”

What has been the proud­est mo­ment of your ca­reer to date?

“Hard to say be­cause it seems that all the hard work has com­pounded on it­self and the jour­ney just keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter! High­lights might be play­ing our first 500+ cap room with the Men­zingers, sign­ing with Epi­taph, which was a mas­sive in­flu­ence on my lis­ten­ing tastes grow­ing up, and part­ner­ing up with Saluda Cym­bals – who I can’t rec­om­mend enough.”

You also sing back­ing vo­cals, what’s your ap­proach to this?

My mantra has ba­si­cally just been to get so good at the drum parts that I don’t have to think about them at all when I play. This leaves way more head space to fo­cus on get­ting the vo­cals right. Get­ting ready for the gig means pulling dou­ble duty warm­ing up – both vo­cals and drums, usu­ally at the same time. I have a YouTube chan­nel where I talk about my ex­pe­ri­ences balanc­ing both with life on the road.”

What gear are you us­ing?

“Pearl Masters Cus­tom kit: 22"x18", 12"x12", 16"x16", Pork Pie Big Black snare: 14"x6½", Saluda Cus­tom cym­bals: 15" Glory hi-hats, 19" Glory crash, 19" Neme­sis crash, 20" Sym­bolic crash, 18" Sym­bolic china, 22" Sym­bolic ride. Remo heads, Shure Se425 Ears, Behringer elec­tron­ics.”

Which snare did you use on the al­bum?

“A Lud­wig Black Beauty with a Snareweight 70s Leather In­sert. No sam­ples were used on the record, ev­ery­thing you hear is 100 per cent stu­dio real, and man does it slap, if I do say so my­self.”

What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live with­out?

“Hon­estly, a good-sound­ing kit is a good-sound­ing kit. But to do with­out my Shure in-ears, es­pe­cially while sing­ing and drum­ming si­mul­ta­ne­ously, would be like night and day.”

What’s the key to a great live per­for­mance?

“Get a good night of sleep, main­tain high stan­dards of phys­i­cal health and nu­tri­tion, warm up and make sure your lev­els are ex­actly where you need them to be dur­ing sound­check. Sur­round your­self with band­mates who will lift you up and do the same for them – on­stage ca­ma­raderie (or lack thereof) can af­fect your playa­bil­ity im­mensely. Do what­ever you need to do to be in a good mood and have a clear mind go­ing into the set. Take some Singer’s throat spray. Do some pushups and jump around. And al­ways make sure there is plenty of wa­ter on­stage and then, goripthegig!”

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