She’s whirling up the criss-cross stairs of a New York staircase when we connect. She tells me she has just woken up. It’s 10:30pm in New York. I take another sip of my cab sav and buckle up. It’s gonna be a ride. We talk about everything aside from the questions I have so diligently prepared. Those are no longer needed, nor wanted. She opens the door to the apartment she shares with her partner. They are sectioning out a loft space utilizing link chain and what appears to be cast-off wooden front doors. Guitars adorn the walls punctuated by scraps of papered art and the authentic weathered brick that every eatery in Denver aspires to emulate.
CPRA: Hey tell me about your cat?
Whitney Flynn: Ya this rescue cat is 4 and has barely any teeth, name’s Kiko.
CPRA: Did Kiko inspire the video for Addvice? (My notes: flying cat loses his shit)
CPRA: Do you have a favorite joke?
WF: Oh my fucking god, yes. This is a horrible fucking joke- the first time I heard it I laughed for an uncomfortable amount of time.
What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball?
<insert gagging sounds here>
CPRA: <laughing hysterically> First time?
CPRA: Tell us about your most recent Days N Daze release, “Show me the Blueprints”.
WF: I feel like this is the first album that people actually took us seriously. We are our songs, we are writing our life story. I was just like, let’s believe in the process to get there. Everybody is fucking broken, but you don’t have to be that bad person. I found an appreciation for my hurt. After I listened to the master for the first time I was like “What the fuck did you just create?” My voice is louder than my own narrative.
CPRA: It seems there is a difference in the harmonies on “Show me the Blueprints” and your earlier work- is there something new going on?
WH: (Marked excitement, nodding in agreement) It was all Johnny (John Carey of Old Man Markley). Johnny is the King of Harmonies. With him, you’re allowed to grow and still be yourself.
CPRA: Do you have a favored track from “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: Rewind! I fucking love that song! I wrote it in an hour. I was going through withdrawals. It wasn’t like I wanted a high. I needed something more. I suppose that’s what addicts say, what we all say. I didn’t want the high. I just wanted to be in control of my brain. I wrote this manic love letter to myself- where did your dreams go? Where did everything you aspire to, go?
CPRA: You have a new split with Andrew Paley from The Static Age; “Caroline”. Can you expand on this song and how it came into existence?
WF: They (Management? Aliens? Never did clear that up…) picked this song out for us and I listened to it like 50 times. And cried like 5 times. It was serendipitous. I love that song, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs. This was our (Jesse and Whitney) first time recording separate from each other, and my first time recording myself to send over. Such an incredibly rewarding experience. Everyone is trying to find their worth and sometimes the opportunity is just sprung on you. And I did it.
CPRA: So you recorded in New York?
WF: Yea, I recorded here, Jesse in Texas.
CPRA: And this was through FLIX AGENCY in Berlin?
WF: Yea, we didn’t know Andrew (Paley) until we covered his song.
(Caroline was mixed by Kay Petersen and mastered by Jurik Maretzki)
WF: This experience reminds me why we chose this label (Fat Wreck Chords). They’re friends- not pushing you into things. You forget that you are human sometimes. It’s not the feeling of “feed me bullshit and make me look pretty”.
CPRA: What are you listening to?
WF: Attaboy! Oh my gosh, so great! They messaged me back on Facebook! Mac Miller. Mall Rat. Amy O. Post Malone- his song “Circles”- I’m gonna be THAT BITCH who plays it on the ukulele! I get asked to listen to a lot of bands and even if I fucking hate it, there has to be someting that I love.
CPRA: So what have you been up to during the shitshow also known as 2020?
WH: My quarn is I’m just gonna shave my eyebrows forever. I couldn’t find a perfect planner, so I started prototyping my own. I love spreadsheets and post-it notes and highlighters. (She starts pulling reams of paper and packages of neon markers from a blue rolling cart and waving them around like a game show prize model.) There’s a crazy planner community- I found these perfect clips and was like “Yay! All the cool planner people have them!” As far as all of my addictions go, I’m not sure it’s the healthiest! I’ve got some 120# paper (waves that around) and some vellum. My partner Sturgeon (Scott Sturgeon/STZA) got me a craft cart for Christmas. It has three shelves and I’m happy. I should be sponsored by planners. (She busts out another brick of paper) See this- this is the good shit! Oh, and I have a printer now! Here’s my planner. Get your shit together- I’m a different person every day.
Sturgeon also got me this camera for me to play with. It’s a… uhhh Sony Ziess. I like messing around to see what does what instead of watching YouTube videos and saving time. It’s not a two dimensional relationship (with Sturgeon). I told him if I “had to spend the rest of my life with just one person, it would be you” and he’s like “we’re already doing that”. We are in a one bedroom apartment in New York.
(The atmosphere changes, she becomes quiet and solemn.)
It’s been a rough year. My partner lost his best friend recently.
CPRA: The entire community felt the loss of Alec (Baillie), we mourn beside you. He will be sorely missed.
WF: I lost 16 people this year, including my tattoo artist that did these tattoos (motions to her eyes; which are marked by tiny green lines, a sort of hybrid between kitten whiskers and eye crinkles). I got these tattoos because they are my smile lines. They aren’t ever going to go away.
CPRA: Fuck ya. Don’t ever give up. PMA is key.
WF: I talked with my therapist two days ago. I suppose I’m constantly running away from being jaded. I felt it creeping up on me, that harsh apathy, that disconnect. I felt myself looking at everything and just despising it. Trying to get over these hurdles, like I’ve been here before and I smiled again- that’s pretty much how I deal with my depression. I’m grateful for my band- finding the little joys; it fucking makes a difference. A distraction from the harsh reality. You never get to know what happens if you dip out. I think we need to give each other a little more of a fighting chance. You gotta fight for that shit. Or distract yourself. Go to Buzzfeed and take a quiz. Be like: who am I? You are a pancake with a smile on the side. You are lightly powdered.
(We go outside for a smoke and hear what sounds like music)
WF: Hey this is my favorite song! Is he (Sturgeon) working on something new?
CPRA: I don’t know but it sounds pretty cool.
(We realize at the same time we are listening to construction sounds and it bangs. This is how desperate the world is for shows- we both confused construction noise for music.)
WF: Hey check out this Gretsch I just bought for $250! Isn’t she pretty? (She brandishes a 5 string Hunter green Gretsch)
CPRA: (Nodding) Yeah those Gretsch are a piece of art.
WH: I had to leave all my guitars behind in Texas when I moved to New York. This is the first place I have ever lived for more than a few months. I remember back in Texas, when I first bought my trumpet it was between paying the electricity and paying for the trumpet, and as you do, I paid for the trumpet.
CPRA: Excellent choice.
CPRA: Are there any benefits to livestreaming as opposed to playing a stage?
WF: My anxiety (on stage) got really bad. It made me very cold and unresponsive. When I got on stage, I just choked. If you think too much about existing, it trips you up. My new reality was ‘I’m scared of performing, I’m afraid of playing’. I looked fly as fuck though! And then Covid happened.
CPRA: I read that Jesse loves playing 7th Circle, one of our prized spaces here in Denver.
WF: I know 7th Circle! I love 7th Circle!!! Aaron Saye & Crew were genuinely one of my earliest influences with booking shows in Houston. There’s this pic of my playing “Blue Jays” with the crowd in the background- I do believe that playing 7C was the first time we really felt like we “made it”.
(I looked everywhere for this photo. If you have this picture, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it with photo credit.)
CPRA: How did “Go Fuck Yourself” land as a secret track on “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: (to Sturgeon) Hey, she’s asking about “Go Fuck Yourself”, do you want to answer this?
Sturgeon: Who are you?
CPRA: Colorado Punk Rock Army
Sturgeon: Haha! We had this Lyft lady who was completely naked drive us from Denver- Colorado Springs.
CPRA: Ya that sounds right.
Sturgeon: I always thought that DND should put a song at the end of their record that didn’t sound like them. They didn’t have one, so I offered one of mine. I like old anarcho punk records that have that one acoustic song that really connects. So this was like the reverse of that concept.
CPRA: Cool shit!
CPRA: What is a typical show like for you, Whitney?
WF: It’s like when you make friends for a night. Hi humans- I don’t know what’s happening anymore.
WF: Hey! Can I show you my tattoo?
WF: (pulls down pants and thrusts left hip) Check this out: it says LADY VODKA. They made me get a bandaid under it.
CPRA: Hey, is that a cheetah-print bodysuit?
WF: Haha, ya! I’m strapped in here!
WF: Buy all of the tickets. It’s happening. Buy the tickets. The first step to adjusting is buy those tickets. Drink our beers. Buy our tickets. Listen while you sleep.
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