The Reverb Interview, Part 1: Jamie Laurie (a.k.a. Jonny 5) of Flobots

Q: From your perspective, who are these people who want new music from you?

A: It’s the label, our manager, ourselves, the community, our fans – everybody who is expecting us to write a new album.

Q: Let’s go back to the beginning of this process. When was that?

A: January 2009. There were ideas we kicked around on the road before that, but from January to May we were writing songs – and for a month there, were on tour with Rise Against in the U.K. In March, April and May we wrote the songs. A little bit in June. By July, we were in the studio. Then it was three weeks at the Blasting Room. We recorded in 20 days, averaging about a song a day with little leeway.

Q: With Mario C.

A: Yeah, with Mario C., but more on him later. We had a bunch of other songs on the backburner. We revisited those in August and October, and from there it was mixing and edits and conversations about the songs.

Q: Let’s talk about “White Flag Warrior,” the single that has already been all over KTCL for the last month.

A: “White Flag Warrior” was one of the songs that was on the backburner. Originally it was a snippet of a Leonard Cohen song that was gonna be the chorus, and we weren’t able to hear back from them if we could do a derivative work. It wasn’t a cover. We were altering his words and rearranging them. We weren’t getting any response, and we didn’t really feel we could sell the chorus, as it required this guttural scream.

That was when we asked Tim from Rise Against, and he said he’d be into it. We didn’t want to get he and his label involved unless we knew it would move forward, and Tim said, “I’ll come out anyway, and I’ll do one version with the original version,” and he came out and did it, and that’s what you hear. We didn’t like the old one anyway. We liked the new one, which was “White Flag Warror.”