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Still Flyin’

Written by Anna Solar-Bassett on February 9, 2009

Still Flyin’ are a San Francisco based act that started as a joke. No, really. That’s not a joke. They were a fripperous folly set up by fifteen friends… They knew the reality of making, and touring music, with over twenty people at times would be insane, to say the least. So of course they did it!

Run by the philosophy that is “Hammjamm” – playing outside of genre conventions and with as many different wacky sounds, textures and time signatures possible – Still Flyin’ believe in a madness that is musical cacophony at it’s finest. As Sean Rawls, their energetic, if slightly loopy,  frontman metaphorically suggests,

“A lot of cooks in the kitchen, but what comes out of our oven is one tasty jam.  If you get a bunch of friends together that love each other and love to have a good time, then a Hammjamm breaks out automatically.  You can’t contain it with us.  When we’re on tour it’s Hammjammsylvania.”

Hammjammsylavania has been promised by Sean to arrive in Australia forthwith – as a major part of the upcoming Laneway Festival touring nation wide they also promise to serve tasty morsels to old and new fans at local sideshows, such as at the Annandale on Tuesday Feb 10. Sean’s an old hand at the new love-child of indie gigs the nation across, admitting that last year’s festival saw him do the “potentially the first ever literal “crowd surf” by surfing on a boogie board on top of the crowd” whilst the “megajamms” that are Still Flyin’ pumped through the air, rocking kids left, right and centre.

“The passion for us is touring, easily.  We are a party band and playing shows and engaging with the audience is what we’re really about.  It’s good to get those megajams on tape but really our recordings are only so people can jam with us when they’re not at our show, which is the vast majority of their lives.”

Indeed, he spills more than stories during interview, admitting that Australia holds a lot more in store for him than simply musical goodness. Instead, he admits that what he is “really looking forward to getting freaked out by the humongous bats in Australia!” Errr, sorry, what?! Yes, you heard right, apparently it’s our mammalian friends that are providing creative inspirational fodder for this young enthusiast:

“I’m planning to write a song about the bats of Aus for our next album.  Tentative title: Batmania.  Although I bet people will think it’s about Batman Two.  Maybe the first lyrics should be “Ooh you probably thought this jam was about Batman Two but it’s really about the bats of Aus ” so we can avoid any misunderstanding from the get-go.”
(Anyone else channeling Robin Williams’ ‘Batty’ character from Fern Gully, here?! The one that left a little to be desired in the upstairs department…)
Mental stability aside, Still Flyin’ are set to groove on down until the go gets low. With Hammjamming being a philosophy on continuing to make music throughout life, Sean expands on the weird experiences this unusual term has brought upon them.

“We played a show in a cave – literally a cave that used to be a secret sex club that got turned into a live music venue,” he volunteers, explaining how he got so… um, excited… that he broke his foot. “During the shows I’d wave around my canes like an old man hammjamming,” says Sean. “I hope to be jamming that hard when I’m old enough to need a cane all the time.”

Well, as long as there weren’t any bats in that cave…
Still Flyin’ will be getting batty in Sydney on the following dates –

Sunday 8th February – Sydney Laneway Festival

Tuesday 10 February – The Annandale, Sydney

With Cuthbert & The Nightwalkers
and Monnone Alone

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