Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 9th, 2005
Interview with Dan Murray from Flashlight Arcade, New Jersey’s new prodigy.
What was the first album you ever bought?
“Kiss Alive II” when I was five years old.
What was the first concert you attended?
It was in 1986. I was in the forth grade and my father took me to see Metallica and Ozzy Osburne. It was the Ultimate Sin, Master of Puppets Tour at Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey. We ended up scalping tickets.
Do you collect anything?
What song sticks in your head today that you listened to in your younger years?
It has to be a Motley Crue song.
What was your favorite band growing up?
Motley Crue, Circle Jerks, The Dead Kennedy’s, The Comags then into Agnostic Front.
What was the first band you were in?
VLF I was in when I was sixteen. Then we broke up and I started ONE4ONE.
What is your feeling about the East Coast (USA) music scene?
The hardcore scene seems like it is getting bigger and I am not in it right now. When I was in a hardcore band it was united and at the same time divided. The straight kids were at their shows, the tough guy kids were at their shows and the emo kids were at their shows and right now it seems like it is all one show now. Especially the music scene with fashion! Flashlight Arcade has no part in fashion; we wear the clothes we wear everyday. Sometimes I wear the clothes I wear to work when we play. We don’t want to make a scene where we have to go home and get ready for the show.
How hard is it to get a record deal?
It’s not too bad. You just have to go through the right channels. Every five people you meet now work for a record company. They know somebody and you know somebody that can help you out somewhere. As long as you network well it can be easy.
What should bands watch out for when looking for a record deal?
Do not sign contracts. We signed three or four different contracts that we should not have signed. It ended up being stuff that made a big wait for us for about eleven months. Always have lawyers check it out. It is no longer a ‘do-it-yourself’ scene. Everyone’s out for themselves. You got to look out for yourself.
During the eleven months you waited, was the album done and did you have to wait?
The only new thing that is new on the CD is the first and last song. The rest of the album was done a year and a half ago. It got caught in this wired holding pattern of contracts, lawyers and ‘this and that’ that we really didn’t know anything about. We are all hardcore kids we weren’t used to signing contracts.
How long has the band been together?
Since late 2002.
How did the band form?
Three of us were friends. With the bass player and the other guitar player, we put an ad in the Aquarian News, and we found the guitar player. His friend was a bass player. So that is how it happened.
What was the first gig for FA?
We played in Long Island. I don’t remember the name of the club. The second show we played was at Khrome in South Amboy, New Jersey. We had a different bass player at that time and we kicked him out.
Tell us about the recording of the new CD "The Art of Blacking Out."
It took about 10 days to record. If that!
What is your favorite track on the CD?
“The Sun Never Shines on the Bowery” and “Last Call for Demerol.” I guess because I am so use to listening to the other songs, I’m just sick of them.
What is your favorite part about being in Flashlight Arcade?
You never really know what is going to happen next.
If I was coming to see the band live, what could I expect?
We play at a high energy level. We play on a scale of 15 out of 10. So we are flying off the walls .We try to set the mood and 95% of the time, it works very, very well and gets the crowd into it. People going insane with music that they really shouldn’t be going insane to. That is more or less what a show is like.
What would Dan Murray on his rider?
A 30-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a bottle of Southern Comfort, and a bag of pretzels would pretty much do it for me.
What are the plans for the remainder of the year?
We want to get through the summer and see what goes on with the label. Maybe in October/November our manager will try to set us up with a good band to tour with that will work well with us. Maybe the label will buy us. As for now, we are going to write some new songs and go back in the studio. Maybe we’ll do two or three songs and try shopping them around.
What is the feeling like when someone comes up to ask you for an autograph?
It’s pretty cool at first but then it’s a little strange. Ultimately it comes through like second nature.
Tell me your feeling about each member of the band?
Rajon Tumboken - Guitar
I like Rajon. He’s a great guitar player. He gets a lot done and is a hard worker. We like to mess with him a lot. He is the kind of person that takes things seriously but he really doesn’t know we are joking around.
Jay Carlin - Drums
Jay is a really good drummer. He is really a guitar player turned Drummer. He is one of the kids you hate growing up! For example, you could be practicing on your skateboard twenty hours a day and not be able to do anything. Here comes this jerk with the skateboard for the first time and he’s a master! He is the kind of person that masters everything.
Jeff Lahm - Guitar
He is another really good guitar player. I think that some of the time he sells himself short. His songwriting is unbelievable. He writes choruses that are unreal.
Ryan Phillips - Bass
Probably the best bass player that I ever played with and he is lefty.
What was your feeling when 9-11 took place?
I was in Maryland when it happened. It was crazy over there because I was near Camp David. They were closing everything down. I really didn’t realize what was going on until I came back four days later.
Tell me what a day is like being Dan Murray.
Wake up, go to work, come home, book shows. I’m behind the computer most of the time. We are working on new T-shirts and what-not.
If you had three wishes what would they be?
A hit CD and my daughter not having to work a day in her life. The third wish, I would need some time on.
I am going to mention a few words. Tell me you’re feeling about each word.
Emo Music: Emotional
Thanks Dan. Is there anything you would like to say to conclude our interview?
Yeah. Thanks very much for this interview. Thank you to OTR platform. All the bands that helped us out like Escape Enginea and Randy BCNJ. Thanks a lot.
Rock Eyez Review of 'The Art of Blacking Out' by Flashlight Arcade.