Buffalo, NY - Once Upon A Flatline has drawn back the black curtains on their third single "Hang Hymn High" from their highly anticipated EP The Theatre Lucy .
A Gothic metal/ theatrical post-hardcore six-piece band of musicians who bring Sweeney Todd and My Chemical Romance to life in each of their monumental productions. Their music carries a sweep of dramatic stage presence and it holds their audience captive. “Hang Hymn High” is truly an inspirational storytelling music drama and it brings a needed message.
We asked the band a few questions and we Answered by Alexis Valentine, vocalist, frontman
- Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
We are Once Upon a Flatline- a concept-driven post hardcore band from upstate New York! We are driven by the idea that a story should accompany our music, so each song, each record we put out will be story based. We have all been such fans of theatrical bands and concept albums that our passion is to tell a story with art and lyrics for our listeners and really give them a full experience with the band. We have been forming from myself, our guitarist and screamer Justin Flatline and our drummer Scrib since October 2018, but we did not announce the band until we had a full line up in June of 2019.
- What is new with the band?.New Album out? New Videos?
We are continuing to release music for our upcoming EP ‘Theatre Lucy’ arriving in 2020- a concept album that is the many ghost stories told in the abandoned musical theatre- Lucy. Each song off the record is inspired by a different Broadway musical, the band already teasing ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Moulin Rouge’ in their first two releases. The latest release ‘Hang Hymn High’ is infused with jazz stylings as an homage to the musical ‘Chicago.’ ‘Hang Hymn High’ was released on 5/1 along with a lyric video and a powerful message for victims of domestic violence to get help if they are trapped at home during the pandemic. ‘Theatre Lucy’ is the first record by Once Upon a Flatline, and is the beginning of what is hopefully a long history of the band’s mission, which is to tell stories along with their music.
- With all this madness going on with the virus…What do you think the music scene will be like in the future…and how are you prepared to make your music heard if there will not be any concerts or festivals for the year of 2020?
Honestly, the future is rather dismal and every day is a learning experience with the virus- we are rolling with new news every day on social distancing, and the state reopening in phases. We are from New York, one of the heaviest impacted states if not the worst? So things here are tight and we are all being very dilligent and respectful of the ordinances for public safety. We just want as much precaution as possible to prevent the loss of anymore lives due to the virus. Luckily for us- with my experiences of working for a record label (Revival Recordings) for nearly 3 years, I learned that bands should plan releases a year in advance. So with that said, even without the option of tour or live shows, we are sitting on enough recorded music and content to take us to the end of 2020. We plan on utilizing social media as much as possible, and taking advantage of live streaming performances to get our music to listeners, however we may wait to release our full EP until concerts can resume. Taking it day by day, just not giving up or stopping anytime soon.
- What got you into music and what is your earliest memory of when you told yourself…”THIS IS WHAT I WANT”?
Luckily for all of us as a band, we all come from very encouraging households where music was really pushed by our parents. My mom is a metalhead and showed me theatric rock like Alice Cooper and KISS, while my Dad showed me Queen and David Bowie. The first time I realized I wanted to be doing this forever was probably my first DJ hosting event called Emo Night here in Buffalo. The day I looked out into the crowd and saw everyone just captivated, singing and dancing along with me- I knew that I wanted to be on a stage. The feeling of controlling a crowd is such a rush and the warmth of all the love that is in a room at a show is something I can live off of forever.
- Who was your first concert and what is your best memory?
My first concert was the most emo concert ever and really set me off in the direction that would be my future- it was the Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour with Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, From First to Last and the All American Rejects. My best concert memory however is anytime I have seen the band Alesana- they bring the party to town, and they are just so incredible through and through.
- If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
- On a scale of 1 to 2593, How good is your newest single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
WELL, LOL I thought it was funny- our most recent single, ‘Hang Hymn High’ as well as the next single we are rolling out called ‘Requiem of the Phantom’ are our two best releases yet. We also are working with a newer engineer who has improved so much in these two tracks that were actually re-recording our first two songs. So these ones are better by far. Especially our first song, ‘For the Wretched of the Earth.’ Our recording experience was NOT with who we are with now- and we are so excited to rerelease that single because the growth we’ve had as a band is incredible and it will really shine through in the track.
- What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
I feel like our best song released to date is ‘Hang Hymn High’ because it’s our “weirdest” song. It’s heavy, but also jazzy. There’s shrieking but there’s also pretty clean vocals. It really captures the art of our band, and that we like music that’s a little heavy and a little different, and hope our fans do too. It carries a powerful message of pro-feminism, pro-human rights and anti domestic violence as well, which is super important to us. We want our fans to know that we are a safe space and we stand up for injustice in our society.
- Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would
you achieve that?
You can ALWAYS get better, anyone who says otherwise is full of sh*t. I am always growing and practicing new techniques. Even since the short time between now and when we released ‘For the Wretched of the Earth’ in July 2019- I have grown so much and have much more comfortability in studio.
- If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
Between myself and everyone in this band – we are a bunch of DnD playing, anime watching, cosplaying, vampire-obsessing NERDS. Most of us are in a cosplay troupe called Weeb City, and we also all play Dungeons and Dragons together- Matt is a phenomenal dungeon master. Half the band also lives together, and the other half couch crashes most of the time. We call our residence the Flatline Haus.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Probably a glittery black crayon. Because while being dark, brooding and emo trash, I also try and be a sparkle in the lives of people we meet, and keep it positive for the most part.
Who are you inspired by?
My heroes musically are Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Gerard Way and Lady Gaga. I am inspired everyday by my band of course, and the rock artists who inspired us. Life imitates art and “the music survives if we keep the songs alive,” so we have to keep on keeping on.
- What’s an average day like one tour? and what about these days?
We have not gone on tour! :C We had plans to this year… 😀
- Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
We love to talk to fans! We have a pretty open-door routine of adding and interacting with fans on social media, and we go live for all our announcements because it’s the best way to talk to people directly. We also have a Facebook group called “The Flatline Family,” that everyone and anyone is welcome to join. The memes are dank, so if that entices you…
- Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Oh yeah of course! But it gets easier and easier as time goes on. Being on stage with my brothers really helps. We’ve all gotten good at reading each other and they can usually tell when I am nervous and one smile or look of enouragement usually shakes off the worry.
- Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
We love the Mohawk Place right here in Buffalo- the staff is like family to me. We also are fans of Photo City Improv in Rochester, it’s spooky.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Just keep going! Don’t give up, good things take time. Don’t skip steps and announce your band without a full line up, and make sure you all have the same goal. BANDS DON’T FAIL THEY BREAK UP!