Save Rock n Roll

Jetset Records

Hailing the likes of the Stooges, the Sonics, the Wailers, the Kinks and Link Wray as their musical inspiration, The Flaming Sideburns’ line-up of Speedo (Eduardo) Martinez (vocals), Ski Williamson (guitar), Jeffery Lee Burns (guitar), The Punisher (bass) and Jay Burnside (drums) deliver what is essentially a throwback to old school rock etched in primal drive and delivered with Detroit muscle. After several European tours The Flaming Sideburns earned the title as “the wildest rock'n'roll show around.” They've created a sensation at major festivals including Roskilde, Gearfest, and Garageshock with a sound that is reminiscent of everything from the swagger of the Sonics to the white heat of the Stooges and MC5. They debuted with their first EP “Close To Disaster” in 1997 followed by their full-length ten-inch slab “It's Time To Testify” in 1998. The record was modified and issued as a CD in 2000 after reviews of The Flaming Sideburns live set were ‘burning up’ the presses in Europe.

In our conversation with singer Eduardo Martinez mid-way through their East Coast tour (with Mooney Suzuki and Sahara Hotnights) he describes his arrival to the band and the initial spark that put the Sideburns into overdrive. “I had just moved to Finland from Argentina. My mom is Finnish so I went there looking for work. I did a number of odd jobs – washing dishes, working at restaurants, working in a factory – mostly food oriented jobs.”

“I would go out at night to local clubs and check out all the different bands that came through. I would occasionally ask them to listen to my music. One band in particular I really hit it off well with. They thought I might fit in as the guitar player – even though I didn’t know how to play guitar. They invited me to a rehearsal and I told them, ‘I’m not a musician I’m a drinker.’ So they put me on the mic and I sang a couple old Stooges songs. We hit it off.”

“In a week we were doing our first gig and soon after we were booked all over. Our first two records (CLOSE TO DISASTER EP and IT'S TIME TO TESTIFY…BROTHERS & SISTERS) were basically our live set recorded in the studio. Very quick. The second full-length record (HALLELUJAH ROCK 'N' ROLLAH, 2001) came about at the end of a very long tour of Germany. We were all really tired but the record company had already paid for the studio time and the engineer. So we were under the gun to get the record done. We found out we worked great under pressure and delivered it two months later.”

The bands new effort, “Save Rock N Roll” on Jetset Records is more of a compilation of the first two full-length discs released in Europe with a new song (Shake-In) added. Reworked versions of ‘Underground Confusion’ and ‘Testify’ hail from “It's Time to Testify…Brothers & Sisters” while ‘Loose My Soul’, ‘Street Survivor’, ‘Blow the Roof’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Up in Flames’, ‘Spanish Blood’, ‘Stripped Down’ and ‘World Domination’ all come from “Hallelujah Rock 'N' Rollah”. “When we signed to Jetset in the States they wanted to do it this way to introduce us to the US,” says Martinez. “We did tour back in 1999 with the Hellacopters but without the added support of a big label. We’ve been playing these songs for a long time so we know what works live and what doesn’t. We wanted to pack the CD with the best of what we do. We’ve actually already written our next album which will come out in Europe sometime next spring. It may not come out in the States for another year because this one just came out and we need to work it.”

Though the band are in the US for CMJ and doing a handful of shows in and around New York they do plan to come back after the first of the year and give the West Coast a rightful shot. “We want to go all over,” claims Martinez. “We’d like to tour a lot more in the US and get the CD moving. There are a lot of great songs on it like ‘Spanish Blood’ which is a cover from a Croatian band that we met touring Europe. The song was a big single for them about a mixed drink. ‘Lose My Soul’ has this intro in Spanish that came together when we were messing about in a fooseball game. ‘Blow The Roof’ I’m most proud of because it translates well into Spanish. I’m from Argentina so there are a lot of Spanish elements in the songs. ‘Shake-In’ is a really strong pop song that will be next single. ‘Underground Confusion’ is our acoustic piece and of course ‘Flower’ is just different - but in a real cool way.”

“Sonic bubblegum” is what one critic used to describe the quintet’s introduction to the American market. “Of all the bands emerging from the vibrant and exciting Scandinavian rock scene, The Flaming Sideburns are cited most often by their peers as the one most likely to take the world by storm,” quotes another. What makes this band especially distinctive is their soul - their music captures the essence of rock as white soul music. They play this stuff as if their lives depended on it, and that comes through time and time again on SAVE ROCK'N'ROLL. In the words of drummer Jay Burnside, “Since we are white kids born and raised in Scandinavia, we didn't really have a choice...rock'n'roll is white man's soul music and the only thing we really can play.”

Website: Flaming Sideburns