Save Face New jersey rockers
Meet the band who love a concept album
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!”