Resuscitation of the year 

The Flatliners return to Whistler June 17 at the GLC

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KROUSKY/COURTESY OF THE FLATLINERS - Young Professional Chris Cresswell and the Flatliners return to Whistler on June 17.
  • PHOTO by Krousky/courtesy of The Flatliners
  • Young Professional Chris Cresswell and the Flatliners return to Whistler on June 17.

At 28 years old, Chris Cresswell is still very much a young man — but he's a young man in an old punk band.

"Our band is 14 years old this year, and that's old for a band," Cresswell says with a laugh, as he and The Flatliners prepare to hit the road for a summer tour of Western Canada.

They take the stage at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) in Whistler on Friday, June 17.

Vancouver acoustic punk troubadour Jesse LeBourdais will open the show.

By punk standards, The Flatliners have more staying power than most.

Formed by four Ontario teenagers in 2002, the band has spent the last decade-and-a-half blasting its way through shows, tours and four studio albums (with a fifth currently on the way).

Just don't call them vets.

"I don't know if we're vets," Cresswell says with a laugh.

"I don't want to come out saying we're punk vets."

He may not want to admit it, but after 14 years, it's safe to say The Flatliners have earned their cred.

The band's last three albums (and 2015's B-side compilation Division of Spoils) were all released on Fat Wreck Chords — the DIY punk label founded by NOFX's Fat Mike in 1991 — and 2013's Dead Language earned them a JUNO nomination for Metal/Hard Music Album of the year.

The first Flatliners album — 2005's Destroy to Create — was written when the band members were between 14 and 16 years old.

Now, in the midst of writing The Flatliners' upcoming, as-yet-untitled album, Cresswell is tapping into some reflective inspiration.

"Lyrically speaking, a lot of it is having to do with the fact that, like, I'm a 28-year-old man, but I feel like I'm a 60-year-old man, just because of all my years on tour," he laughs.

"You're, like, 'OK, cool. So now this is album No. 5 — Alright.' You kinda start to realize like, you're in deep now, you know?

"I mean, we've been touring for at least 10 years, which is crazy because none of us are even 30 yet."

Over the past 10 or so years, fans of the band have watched them grow and evolve with each successive album.

"To be honest, it kind of mutates all the time, which is my favourite part about it," Cresswell says of the songwriting process.

"No two records have been the same. There's been an evolution, I think, in the songwriting, if I can say that without sounding snobby," he adds with a laugh.

But even as it has evolved, the band has held tight to some of its songwriting staples from Day 1 — blazing, rhythmic speed mixed with unexpected breakdowns; distinctive lead guitar riffs over driving drumbeats; group harmonies bolstering Cresswell's distinctive, melodic growl.

"We just keep trying new things, and we're all avid music fans of more than just one genre... we're a punk band that likes a lot of kinds of music," he says.

"I'm excited for people to hear the new (album), I just don't know when they'll be able to do it."

The Flatliners last played in Whistler in 2012, but Cresswell was here in 2014 with Lagwagon's Joey Cape in support of One Week Records — where songwriters hit the studio with nothing but a guitar and one week to record an album.

"It's a cool way of doing things, what Joey Cape's done (with One Week Records)," Cresswell says.

"I was surprised that so many Flatliners fans liked it... It's pretty different, but I guess there's been little tastes of that kind of stuff in the loud band world."

Cresswell and his loud band return with a vengeance on June 17. Tickets are $15 and can be picked up at the GLC or online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/theflatliners.

Catch them while they're still young and full of energy.

"Year by year, we'll get older and we'll get more and more tired and out of shape so we'll play fewer and fewer shows," Cresswell laughs, when asked what the future holds for his old band.

"But that whole future is still way, way in the distance, I think. I'm excited to keep working on this new record and put it out as soon as we can, but you know, obviously we've never rushed an album before so we're not going to start with this one."

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