Still Flyin'

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Still Flyin’ is an American Indie Pop band based in San Francisco, founded in 2004 by Sean Rawls.

Name of the Band[edit]

The band is based on the song “Never Gonna Touch the Ground”, a song that Rawls wrote and performed in a prior band, Je Suis France.[1] After moving to San Francisco, Rawls recorded the song, which took on a life of its own resulting in the creation of Still Flyin’. The chorus of the song, “Still Flyin’, never gonna touch the ground” was the source of the band’s name as well as its debut album and title track.

Formation and History[edit]

In 2004, Sean Rawls, a veteran of bands Masters of the Hemisphere and Je Suis France moved from Athens, GA to San Francisco, CA. Upon arriving in San Francisco Rawls asked just about everybody he knew [2] to join his new project. Most of the friends he had in San Francisco were fellow musicians he had met through his prior bands, and many of them joined Rawls to form Still Flyin’.

The band played its first live show at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco in November, 2004.[2] Shortly thereafter they embarked on a tour of the US West Coast opening for Architecture in Helsinki.[3] In August, 2006 they went on their first tour of Scandinavia, playing at the Emmaboda Festival [4] in Sweden. During this tour they were joined onstage by Jens Lekman.[5] Still Flyin’ returned to Scandinavia in 2007. In 2008 they performed in Australia’s St Jerome's Laneway Festival, where they met Spiral Stairs. He curated [6] the 2008 Sled Island Festival [7] in Calgary, Canada, and invited Still Flyin’. In early 2009 Still Flyin’ toured Europe and returned to Australia to play St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival once again. They played at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival [5] in Austin, Texas in early spring and summer saw them touring Europe once again, where they performed at the Secret Garden Party [8] festival in the UK.

Still Flyin’ signed with Antenna Farm in 2006 and released 2 EP’s. In 2008, the band signed with Ernest Jenning (US), London-based Moshi Moshi and Australian label Lost and Lonesome for the release of their first full-length record.

Musical style[edit]

Still Flyin's sound is generally classified as reggae [9] or rocksteady.[10] However, the band has coined its own term to classify its sound and outlook: hammjamm,[3][11][12][13] which is loosely defined as "when a good time gets better" [14] and with lifestyle ramifications involving "friends, beers, high fives, parties and enjoying life to the fullest".[12]

Members[edit]

Although the band started and is based in San Francisco, its members now stretch to all corners of the world.[15] The band is made up of a “core” lineup with a long roster of “spiritual members”, who join the band for live performances when geography permits.

The current core lineup is made up of:
Sean Rawls - lead vocals, guitar (Masters of the Hemisphere, Je Suis France)
Yoshi Nakamoto - drums (The Aislers Set, Scenic Vermont, Poastal, Eux Autres)
Bren Mead - percussion, backup vocals (Masters of the Hemisphere, Veteran)
Zach Moran - guitar
Mark Monnone - bass (The Lucksmiths)
Gabe Saucedo - vibraphone, trombone, backup vocals (Red Pony Clock)
Frank Jordan - saxophone (Bright Lights)
Gary Olson - trumpet (The Ladybug Transistor)
Isobel Knowles - trumpet (Architecture in Helsinki, The Icypoles)
Phil Horan - dancing (Maserati)
Alicia Vanden Heuvel - backup vocals, keys (The Aislers Set, Poundsign)
Mindy Schweitzer-Rawls - backup vocals
Marjan Esfandiari - backup vocals
Jaime Knight - backup vocals (Poundsign, Dear Nora)
Maria Niubo - keys, backup vocals

Influences[edit]

Rawls’s songwriting is influenced by a lot of popular music. Of note are the songs mentioned in the lyrics to H-O-T-T-C-H-O-R-D: Electric Avenue, Funkytown, All Night Long, Walk of Life, Turn to Stone and What a Fool Believes.[16] In addition, Rawls is a fan of the music of Talking Heads, Konono N°1, Kraftwerk, Christopher Cross and many others.

When asked in interviews about influences, Rawls has consistently mentioned Matthew McConaughey,[17][18][19] whom the band regards as a lifestyle role model.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

• Never Gonna Touch the Ground, CD (Ernest Jenning USA, 2009); CD (Moshi Moshi UK, 2009); CD (Lost and Lonesome Australia, 2009); LP (Antenna Farm US 2009)

EPs and Singles[edit]

• We Are Better Now – live CDR (Nokahoma, 2004)
• Time Wrinkle EJ – 6-song CD (Antenna Farm, 2006)
• Time Wrinkle EJ – 6-song + 5 dub versions LP (Antenna Farm, 2006)
• Za Cloud EJ – 5-song CD (Antenna Farm, 2007)
• Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here single – CD (Lost and Lonesome, 2008); 7” (Moshi Moshi, 2008)
• The Hott Chord is Struck – 7” (Moshi Moshi, 2009)
• A Party In Motion – 12” (Ernest Jenning, 2010)

Daytrotter Sessions[edit]

Shirts Ripped Off, Runnin’ Through The World’s Largest Sprinkler (Daytrotter, 2009)

References[edit]

External links[edit]