This week's spotlight is on Flights Over Phoenix, an alt-pop band reminiscent of '80s and '90s with its super hooky and cleverly written songs. Their single, "Middle of the World" is No. 35 on this week's chart, moving up in plays substantially, from 2,885 plays last week to 8,154 this week!
How did Flights Over Phoenix come to be? Is it true the band formed as a result of a Craigslist ad?
Flights Over Phoenix did in fact come together through a Craigslist post. I (Keith) had just moved to Los Angeles from Boston. I posted on music websites and Craigslist just trying to connect and meet other musicians who were looking for a band. I eventually met Chris and we clicked right away. Fast forward a bit and we started looking for a drummer. Chris was at a party one night and through talking with a mutual friend, he found out that Jordan had finished touring with some other bands and was looking to join a band full-time. We jammed with Jordan and everything felt right. That became Flights Over Phoenix.
Who are your top 5 musical influences?
This may be a hard one to pinpoint. But here goes ... We like to pull from the '80s and '90s a lot. As far as '90s goes, I’d say the songwriting styles of Third Eye Blind and Nirvana, while very different from each other, have both been an influence. Both seemed to aim for memorable and simplistic songs and that is always a goal of ours. There’s an intensity in Nirvana’s sound and a hookiness in Third Eye Blind that I think we try to marry together. But, there are so many other bands and songs from that time period that are huge influences. From the '80s, I’m going to lump Phil Collins, Genesis and Peter Gabriel into one since they all were together at one point. Also U2 and Journey are big ones. All of those artists’ music has a great balance of rhythm, melody, and meaningful lyrics that allow the songs to still be played today. Chris loves the guitar playing and writing of John Mayer, so that’s a big one for him. Jordan grew up listening to all different, non-mainstream stuff from jazz to reggaeton. That was definitely more than 5, but hopefully you get the idea!
The video for “Middle of the World” is awesome. Any behind-the-scenes secrets you can share with us? Also … cucumber or pickle?
The video for Middle Of The World was a lot of fun to shoot. Call time was 4:30 a.m. way out in the desert. The directors Eric McCoy and Justus Meyer had that whole scene set up with the balloons placed around us, and it was a really cool sight to see nothing but balloons and mountains in the distance. As the sun came up it went from being freezing cold to burning hot pretty quickly. Justus is actually the one in the costume, and he was a total trooper. It must have been over 100 degrees in that thing and he was running around, diving in the water in Santa Monica, it was awesome. And as far as cucumber or pickle, the answer is: cactus! Though we are all for artistic interpretation, so if you see a pickle, then I guess it’s a pickle.
Where’s home base for the band and what is your favorite hometown venue?
Home base for the band is Eagle Rock. It’s a cool little section of L.A. that has really grown on us. As far as favorite local venues, we’ve played The Sayers Club a lot and always have had a great experience there.
Your "Where I Comedown" EP is a solid lineup of hooky tunes. What are your plans for 2018? More recording? Touring?
For 2018, we plan on releasing more music for sure. We’ve written 35 songs already for our next release, and I imagine we’ll get to 50 and then start deciding which our favorites are. We would love to find a tour to hop on as well. As far as what we want people to know, we just want our listeners to feel connected to us. Through our music, but also as people. We love to meet people after shows or hear from people who reach out on social media. Writing music is a shared experience and we want to embrace that to the fullest.