Article and Photos by: Sam Carbine
Recently on the road with bands like Alabama Shakes and Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Worn Flints are a three piece band comprised of frontman Kenny Stiegele, drummer Jake Smith, and bassist Steve Trabulsi. Currently planning a headlining tour, the Columbus, Ohio band made a stop on the sandy beaches of Alabama for a set on the BMI stage at the annual Hangout Festival. From the opening notes of the set, there is a raw emotional energy that projects out of every cord leaving the audience no choice but to release from the rest of the world and step into a melodic bliss of heavy vox toned guitar, hard fast paced drums, and thick bone shaking bass. All of this is topped off with a voice that seems to transcend from the vintage rock gods of the ’60s. After the show, I had the pleasure of interviewing the band:
“It’s a hell of a release,” says Stiegele, “I flip the switch on man and another part of me comes out. I don’t know, it’s just wild.” The first impressions conveyed from this group is a sense of realness and clarity, which many artists seem to lack. Grounded, yet highly talented, the band says, “our musical sound will always be traditionalist, revivalists of sorts … (but)an ever evolving process… When we did Clementine, it was basically just written about when we were out on the road…(We wanted to) keep it short, sweet and put a little jam on it.” They go on to say, “Touring with Catfish (and the Bottlemen), we realized we needed to make an album we could play live. The three of us.” While it may be evolving, there is no doubt the instant you hear one of their tracks – you know it’s the Worn Flints.
Another aspect of their latest record is the ability to convey the energy they resonate on stage to the album, which the band said was a major focus for them when stepping into the studio. Just seconds into the set Stiegele’s long brown hair is already flying around the air as he somehow gracefully flails around the stage never missing a note, only taking a break from his manic march around the stage to swap guitars between songs.
As the band knows all too well, it takes more these day than just putting on a damn good live show. Making full use of the latest technology at their disposal to stay independent of labels, they turned to tools such as location reporting of Spotify plays to help them plan stops. They are also working to master necessary, some might say evil, social media, saying the biggest hurdles have been “Learning how to not over saturate and still be present. It’s a really weird formula… The ability of exposure it allows us is amazing.”
For now they say their upcoming tour will most likely be on the east coast, hinting at cities such as Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Nashville as potential stops.
With this success has come more responsibility as the band noted “We have always taken a ‘let’s just have fun’ approach but obviously you have to tighten the hinges at some points and get a little bit more professional. You learn the professionalism, you learn how to tour but at the end of the day when you get on stage you release everything you’ve got.”
One thing is for sure, this is a very special band that understands what music truly means to so many of us. “That’s what is so great about playing live music. Everyone is there for the same reason. The artist, the crowd, all there for the same reason. For this release, to have fun, and whatever emotions happened an hour ago, they don’t have to matter right now.”
We will look forward to the official announcement of dates for their upcoming tour. In the meantime, go hit up iTunes and grab the latest album by the Worn Flints entitled Clementine.