Quinn Banford ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
A few days after the band came to Boston, Matt Padgett, vocalist and lead guitarist for the band Flagship, spoke with me about Flagship’s upcoming self-titled debut album and he definitely had a lot to say. The five-member band has started strong, releasing their EP blackbush in the spring of 2012. Matt and I talked about the album and the qualities that make Flagship a different sort of band with the unique soul of Charlotte, North Carolina.
On writing songs with the band, Matt acknowledged the creativity that continues to interplay between all members of the band. “When we write music we’re always trying to capture a moment that we’re in at the time,” he said.
Each band member has his role in the song’s composition. “It’s pretty much always us set up together. It just feels right that way,” Matt said. The band members come together with their music. They’re presenting the core of themselves and how their hometown of Charlotte shaped them.
“I met most of the guys in high school and we grew up playing in churches […] which gave us the opportunity to play on stage, even when we were terrible,” Matt said with a laugh. Being able to confront the issues that were bound to happen onstage early on was key into improving the talents of Flagship’s members. “I owe everything musically to this city,” he said.
It was last year, by traveling throughout the United States on tour, that Flagship dipped into the experiences and quirks of other metro areas. When asked about their cross-country trip, Matt remarked, “I loved every city. Every city I went to was ‘this is where I’ve gotta move!’” Touring opened new possibilities for Flagship and brought them to understand who their music impacted.
“I want [the fans] to really connect to the emotions behind the lyrics. Music can be life changing and I hope our album is one of those albums that can change someone who’s going through something tough,” Matt said. Flagship draws inspiration from an array of alternative rock bands, citing Radiohead as a major influence for their upcoming album in particular.
There is, however, a different kind of yearning from Flagship. Their city life mentality eventually needs a moment to breathe. They find solace outside of touring and outside of Charlotte by relaxing in the natural landscapes of rural North Carolina. Matt felt like the album was written along the same wavelength as “waking up to the mountains.” This dichotomy between these two settings is seen best in Flagship’s music videos. Both the visual and lyrical aspects search the provincial, woodsy settings, and the two art forms arrive somewhere in the middle.
Flagship doesn’t consider themselves to be ego-driven publicity fiends, but instead see their band name as a position they aim to attain. “Maybe it’s a prophetic name,” Matt pondered while we were talking. He recognizes the meaning behind ‘Flagship’ as something that can gradually reveal the promise of their talent. Flagship’s debut album will give listeners a chance to hear this North Carolinian band at their freshest. Make sure to catch it on October 8th when it is officially released.