United by boredom and a natural frustration towards the politically correct thought-police of a small college town, Fil, Matt, Mike and Tim decided to makes some noise. Their earliest efforts may have lacked order, but it made up for itself by blindly offending the group's scholarly peers.
Flashlight Brown soon moved to the big city of Toronto, Canada. In the beginning, catching the eye of club owners was close to impossible, so the group made up a fictitious booking agency with themselves as the sole client. Calling clubs from the Harry Wells Booking Agency gave the group enough clout to paste together tours across the country.
Survival on no-frills road trips meant sleeping on floors, cooking canned food on the engine block and begging for beers after shows.
We woke up one Sunday morning / Bought a thousand dollar van / Picked the boys up on the west side / Now I don't know where I am.
The more Flashlight Brown toured, the more they lived to tour. Their performances tightened, their songwriting deepened; the road gave them a chance to hone their talents and to live and thrive as a unit. The four best friends who had spent the majority of their lives on the outside looking in began to click with an audience who felt very much the same way.
Ten Minutes on a quarter pipe / With nothing there but blood and me / David Watts if you call me a loser / I'm afraid I will agree.
This past summer proved to be a major transformation for Flashlight Brown. "We were about halfway through our first tour of the season when we get a call that Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Alanis Morissette, Goo Goo Dolls) wanted to record 2 songs with us."
The band was flat broke and sleeping in a parking lot in Calgary when the date was confirmed. "The next thing we knew we were in Los Angeles recording with one of our idols. It was quite an elaborate change of scenery to say the least!"
Two songs quickly turned into a full album as Cavallo fell in love with the band and their music. "Working with Rob was unbelievable. I remember sitting in the studio with him and every once and a while I'd wonder 'why the hell is this guy working on OUR music??'"
The result of this last minute alliance is My Degeneration, a culmination of a 6 year career of living on the edge between a dream and despair. Fueled by the energy of punk, the power of the great guitar bands, the irreverence of the Simpsons and the surprisingly profound, this album reaches out to everyone who's ever struggled to find their place in a world of borders and cliques.
From the driving anthem Ready to Roll to the sweet melodies of Patricia, My Degeneration proves that Flashlight Brown has one priority: to give service to the music they love. "We think there's room for songs that give an honest portrait of what's going on in someone's head regardless of the outside reaction."
Cops are asking questions but I don't care / Doing time will prove my love is true
Devoid of pretensions and compromise, My Degeneration is a time capsule and a frank diary, full of the sordid details and the bitter perspective of a group of friends who formed their own gang to avoid rejection from someone else's.
Flashlight Brown's music is real. It comes from the same place that all great rock and roll originates; the clubs, legion halls and basements of real music fans. In a day and age when radio is cluttered with manufactured groups and generic studio rock bands, Flashlight Brown gives homage to a better time, while still pushing music forward.