Humble & Hungry Rockstars: A Conversation With Indie Rock Band flipturn

flipturn © Amanda Laferriere
flipturn © Amanda Laferriere
The young rock stars in flipturn sat down with Atwood Magazine at Hangout Music Festival 2023, to tell us about their love of Paramore and Phoenix, their “Tour Uncles” in Wilderado, and growing confidence on stage. 
Stream: ‘Shadowglow’ – flipturn

Originally from a small town in Florida, the indie rockers in flipturn are a hot commodity in the live music scene.

Opening shows for bands like Mt. Joy and performing at major festivals like Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, and Hangout, flipturn are, without a doubt, a band on the rise. The band consists of frontman Dillon Basse, bassist Madeline Jarman, lead guitarist Tristan Duncan, guitarist/synth player Mitch Fountain and drummer Devon VonBalson.

While attracting much fanfare and excitement, the band has managed to stay humble. Atwood Magazine had the pleasure to chat with them for a few minutes and was pleasantly surprised to see how down to earth they were.

“Shimmery, Gritty, & Reflective”: The Weight & Warmth of flipturn's Soul-Stirring Debut Album 'Shadowglow'


The first question I ask every artist is, “What kind of music do you guys listen to outside of your own? And, who’s on aux when you’re on the road touring?

By their answer, I can tell that they clearly listen to music all day, every day, with nothing but love for their craft.

With fervor, they explained, “Well, obviously it’s like whoever’s driving kind of gets to dictate or whoever’s in the passenger seat of the driver. And we have a buddy system. So, it’s like rolling pairs. Like when Mitch and I are buddied up, we like listening to Bobbing, a freaking amazing producer and artist. But I think collectively we all really love Phoenix and Radiohead. I mean we all have very individual tastes. Pretty much anything new, like we were listening to the new Paramore album when it came out. So excited to see them play tonight, we’re huge fans!”

Paramore, by the way, absolutely crushed that set, but I digress.

Flipturn have been on the road for a while, touring across the country. It makes sense that they have time to explore a lot of new music.

On the topic of traveling, I asked the band about the story of one of their songs, “Chicago.”

It’s the classic tale of small-town kids looking to stretch their legs and explore the world.

We all play pretend
Like it’s something that is real
Like we want to get away
Learn how we can feel
Well, different air
From what we already breathe
So we tell ourselves we’ll go, go, go
But we never, ever leave
Woah, I’m going to Chicago
Somewhere I don’t really know
See the sun rise on the east coast
See it set in San Francisco

“We come from a small town in Florida, so I think a lot of the people, like the kids our age on the island at that time, are always kind of wanting to get out, you know. It’s a small-town vibe so you just want to see more you know, you want to get out. Chicago was really just a metaphor for just going out and seeing the world, trying to expand the people you meet and the experiences you have.”

We started talking about some other indie bands, and I had to mention the fact that they opened for some of my heroes, Wilderado and Mt. Joy.

It seems like we share the same admiration and love for the indie veterans.

“I mean, us too, we love them. They’re all so sweet and down to earth and accommodating. Like I remember with Wilderado, I kept saying they were like our tour uncles. You know it was like touring with your cool uncles, times 5. But it was really cool to like to draw inspiration from when you do their shows and hear their music. And also just like how they were as people like they’re super cool. So yeah, we’re extremely grateful and lucky to tour with them and we got a couple more shows with them this year.”

flipturn © Amanda Laferriere
flipturn © Amanda Laferriere

The band brings so much energy to their live performances, it’s no surprise to see how passionate they are about the little things surrounding tour life. Getting to hang out with your musical idols is awesome, but opening for them is a whole other type of adventure.

We chatted a little about future tours, and who flipturn would want to hit the road with next. Their answer was pretty to the point. No mincing words on their love of one specific artist.

“Phoenix, Phoenix. Yeah, freaking love them. We technically opened for Tame Impala last year – like the main stage at a festival before them,” chuckled lead singer Dillon Basse, “But I mean, yeah, Phoenix, right? We love them, they’re awesome.”

I wanted to know about what inspiration, if any, they’ve drawn from while on tour, and if they have plans to take their music in any new directions. I’ve learned to accept nothing, but an ecstatic response filled with passion from these young musicians, and for that, I thank them.

Mitch Fountain and Tristan Duncan jumped at the opportunity to answer this one.

“I think we’re always kind of creating what feels natural at the moment. Like if there was a cool riff or something that may feel a certain way we kind of lean into or put our own spin on it. So like I’m sure we all have some motivation somewhere. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, never really know until you’re making it. It’s less of like, okay, what do we want to sound like, more like, let’s just, let’s just do, let’s just go feed off of each other’s stuff, like bring each other’s material together and let like the five of us form it into whatever. And of course there’s like different vibes walking in, like some stuff sounds more like funk at first or jam band-esque or rock. We just kind of let it be a natural process.”

flipturn © Amanda Laferriere
flipturn © Amanda Laferriere

Speaking of jam bands, I had to commend the band on their morning performance at the Shein Stage, a couple hours prior to our interview.

They brought an insane amount of energy, and the crowd ate up every second of it. It was the jolt of energy that the crowd needed to ward off the sleepy Alabama sun. But, during their spirited performance, the band decided to slow it down a little.

It seemed like for a few minutes, they were just riffing off one another, feeding off each other’s energy and just simply jamming. They brought the tempo down, but the excitement was still at a hundred.

I had to know where they learned such awesome stage presence and crowd control.

“You learn from those smaller shows. The bigger the stage gets, the more you’ve learned how to do that. Definitely I think we’ve gotten better at it. Since we’ve played a few bigger stages opening for bands like Mt. Joy, just getting to be on that side of the stage and seeing how they do it, I don’t know, like, when we go to festivals like this, like seeing the Chili Peppers playing last night you kind of learn from it all. And there’s also a confidence thing too. When you don’t feel confident on stage it’ll translate. The more shows we play together the more confident we get for sure.”

flipturn © Amanda Laferriere
flipturn © Amanda Laferriere

We finished off by talking about the insane performances we all saw that weekend. The band told me about the excitement building in their tour bus for Paramore, and about the new Thundercat record.

Towards the end of our chat, it really felt like a bunch of music fans all sitting together gushing over a lineup, rather than a bunch of rockstars talking about their peers.

While flipturn is a hot commodity with millions of streams, they are still passionate fans of music and humble twenty-somethings enjoying the epic ride that they’ve found themselves on. I wish nothing but the best to flipturn, and I’m confident that they are going to become a household name soon enough.

Catch flipturn on tour all year long with acts like Mt. Joy, Shakey Graves, Bendigo Fletcher, Susto, and Proxima Parada.

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:: connect with flipturn here ::

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Shadowglow - flipturn

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? © Amanda Laferriere

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