flipturn talks upcoming single ‘Playground,’ connecting with their audience

Angela Lim, Life & Arts Senior Reporter

For flipturn, home is wherever their music takes them. With over 30 million streams on Spotify, the Floridan quintet continues to impress with their unique perspectives and timeless, refreshing sound. The band will perform at Esther’s Follies on March 17 at 9 p.m. ahead of the release of their new single, “Playground,” March 25.

The Daily Texan spoke to flipturn about their humble beginnings, creative process and love for sharing their sonorous presence onstage.

The Daily Texan: You started out as a literal garage band! How did you come together as a group, and what was it like creating from this space?

Madeline Jarman (bass): We started in my parents’ garage when we were seniors in high school. It was me, Tristan and Dillon jamming out in the garage (and) learning different covers to learn how to play together. None of us had ever been in a band before … We brought on Mitch and Devon a couple years ago. Now, we just practice at our house, so not really in the garage technically, but we’re a house band now!

DT: What does your upcoming single, “Playground,” represent?

Dillon Basse (Lead vocals, rhythm guitar): (It’s) a lot of the youthful naivete … As you get older, things become more real. The whole song is meant to capture that idea (and) put it into this little universe.

MJ: For the song and music video, all of us got that same sense of – it reminds us of old 80’s movies – so it goes hand in hand with the childlike youthfulness and nostalgia factor.

DT: How does your creative process usually go? How do you incorporate everyone’s ideas into a song and bounce off of each other’s energy?

DB: Somebody will come up with a riff, and then we’ll bring in the whole band (and) just jam with it (to) see where it’s going. From the original idea for “Playground” a while back, we had this (awesome) riff. We had the progression, then that double time thing in the chorus (was) added later on. Everybody (shares) their ideas, and then we put a melody and some lyrics over to it.

DT: Where do you find inspiration for the music you make? How do you decide what stories to tell?

DB: Just everyday life, pretty much … We never try to be too on the nose with what the story is about. We want to draw inspiration, but we want everybody to be able to relate to the song in their own way. We try to leave a little bit of that vagueness there because those are about real things we’ve all experienced.

MJ: All of us are music lovers, and you can just connect with a song, even if it’s not what they originally wrote about. Leaving it open to interpretation so  people can find something to grasp on to and make it their own … We’ve been traveling a lot recently with touring and (being) on the road together, so we draw inspiration from that too.

DT: With SXSW back in person, what’s the best part about performing live in front of an audience?

flipturn: The energy.

MJ: We know it’s going to be a good show when people are just as amped as we are… The energy’s the best because everyone feeds off of it.

DB: There’s much more of a connection than just putting on headphones. You’re actually there with those people, and that’s why I love playing live so much. There’s bands and artists that (have) this separation between the stage and audience, (but) we all really love breaking that wall down and saying, “We’re all in this together, this is a mutual exchange,” and it’s completely unique to that audience and venue.