It is finally here! Flannel Nation is hitting us this Saturday and we are so ready for the ‘90s goodness to come. We’ve spent the past few months checking in with the bands, so here’s a recap to get you up to speed for Saturday.
Everclear has been touring this summer to celebrate their 30th anniversary and the release their previously out-of-print full-length debut, “World of Noise.” They have been playing songs from those early days at the shows, plus the ones we all know and love: “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Wonderful,” and “Everything to Everyone.”
Last year, front-man Art Alexakis gave me my new life motto: “If it is not fun, I don’t want to do it.” He is continuing that way of living and enjoying the time on the road, only taking on events that will continue to “spark joy.” Last month he told us, “But if it ain’t fun, it’s going to make me unhappy. I’m going to make my family unhappy. I’m going to make everybody unhappy because I can’t be fake. I’m not a good faker!”
Alexakis will bring his joyful attitude and distinctive voice along with the rest of Everclear: Freddy Herrera, Davey French, and Brian Nolan.
FLANNEL NATION FESTIVAL
3011 Miner Street, San Pedro, CA
Filter’s Richard Patrick also does what will make him happy and he does not sit still! He is currently at work on Filter’s eighth album, plus he has multiple collabs and projects, recently won an Emmy, scores films, and is very active on social media.
Patrick told us the new Filter is “super heavy and abrasive” and we look forward to what joins recent tracks “Thoughts and Prayers” and “Murica.”He explained, “This is the first record where I’m really just kind of making it for myself. There’s always a tendency to listen to the label and the label wants a Radiohead and blah, blah, blah. This is the first record where I’m just going for it and enjoying the process and it’s brutally heavy.”
An absolute pleasure to talk to, Patrick said he is ready for the show: “I’m looking forward to it! I love playing live. My live band is very good. We are blessed to have such an amazing, talented group of kids. I’m excited; the show is going to be great!”
We expect to hear “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” “Take a Picture,” “The Best Things,” and “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do.” Along with Patrick, Filter is Jonny Radtke, Bobby Miller, and Ralph Alexander.
Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner is another one of our favorites to chat with and he is also working on a new album, a follow up to 2020’s “Hurry Up and Wait.” He is also expecting a harder record. “Absolutely, yeah. It’s just kind of what I’m going for, and most of the material is kind of louder,” he told us. “Ironically, here I am on an acoustic tour – but it kind of cuts both ways. I’m sure that once I have a body of work… I’m working on a song in 3/4, because I didn’t have that yet, so I sort of try to cover a lot of territory just as far as the songs not all sounding the same. It should be a little bit more electric.”
It is crazy to think Soul Asylum has been a band for 40 years, but they are sounding better than ever with Pirner, Ryan Smith, Jeremy Tappero, and Michael Bland. We look forward to them sharing “Somebody to Shove,” “Black Gold,” “Runaway Train,” “Misery,” and “Just Like Anyone” in person on Saturday.
Our first taste of Cracker may have been “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” but they solidified their place in ‘90s music history with “Eurotrash Girl,” “Low” and “Get Off This.” In fact, front-man David Lowery told us “Low” is getting as much airplay now that it did then. “This song has some staying power, doesn’t it?” he said. “It’s pretty funny and it’s weird, in general, alternative rock has a lot more staying power than people really would have thought that it would.”
When not writing songs that become long-time favorites, Dr. David Lowery is helping musicians all over the place. He fights for the rights of artists and has even spoken about it in front of Congress.
Cracker’s founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman will be joined by Bryan Howard, Carlton Owens, Matt Stoessel, and Paul McHugh.
Fastball has been with Everclear on their anniversary summer tour, and has toured with pretty much every band on the Flannel Nation lineup. The Grammy-nominated band just celebrated the 26th anniversary of their debut album, “Make Your Mama Proud.” Their follow up, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” became the platinum seller with “Fire Escape” and “Out of My Head,” and “The Way.”
Tony Scalzo chatted with us from his Austin home and says he is looking forward to Flannel Nation. “I’m excited about this thing in San Pedro just because we haven’t played in Southern California in a long time and it brings back memories,” he said. “I left Southern California in ‘93, but that whole round up PCH from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach to San Pedro. I had to go to work in Redondo Beach at a record store, so I would cross the Vincent Thomas Bridge and kind of skirt San Pedro, you go across the Peninsula.”
Fastball has been releasing new songs with their Patreon, which they put together on the album released this June, “The Deep End.” When I told him the songs “Chump Change” and “Electric Cool-Aide” put me in a great mood, he said, “Well, I wrote them to be fun!”
Fastball remains in their original line up of Scalzo with Miles Zuniga and Joey Shuffield.
Another fun artist to chat with is Sponge’s front-man and founding member, Vinnie Dombroski. The Detroit rock band exploded thanks to their “Rotting Pinata” album. “Plowed” and “Molly (16 Candles),” were all over MTV and modern rock radio stations.
Last year, Sponge released their ninth studio album, “Lavatorium,” and it gives off a ‘90’s vibe, but with a modern sound. When I told Dombroski it sounds like fresh ‘90s, he said, “We can’t escape the ‘90s sound. It’s funny you bring that up too, because I’m involved in this other project called The Lucid and people say it sounds like a metal band with a ‘90s singer. So no matter what I do, the ‘90s thing is just what it is that we do. We’re proud of it and it just ain’t going to go away.”
Sponge has also toured with several of the bands on the Flannel Nation bill and this weekend, we will see Dombroski with Tim Patalan, Dave Coughlin, Andy Patalan, and Kyle Neely.
August 13, 2022
FLANNEL NATION FESTIVAL
PORT OF LA
3011 Miner Street, San Pedro, CA
So there you have it: a full lineup of ‘90s bands that will remind you of “the old days,” but also bringing some new stuff along. Flannel Nation is the brainchild of Scott Tucker of Sellout Productions who we know is amazing courtesy of his other events Like Totally Fest and the beloved So Cal Hoedown.
Grab your flannel (hey, wrap it around your waist if it’s too hot!) and your Docs and join us at Brouwerij West Craft Brewery & Beer Garden at the Port of Los Angeles (110 E. 22nd St. in San Pedro). There will be craft beer and food trucks (The Berlin Truck, Pinch of Flavor, Drippin Wangz, and Streets of Vietnam). The doors open at 11 a.m. and it is an all-ages show.