Locals Only: : The Flux Capacitors

Riding the wave of Surf Rock into under-explored territory

 
Natalie Hager


The Flux Capacitors



I'm watching four suburban Cincinnati white kids on a stage playing pseudo Surf Rock wearing Indian headdresses and sporting terribly applied black makeup on their faces that was probably intended to be used by an athlete trying to keep the sun out of his or her eyes. Earlier in the evening, the same four people tried to convince me that they weren't a gimmicky band.

Gimmicky or not, The Flux Capacitors have spent the last year shaping their own unique blend of Surf and Post Rock infused with Jam-band styling. Formed through a chain of phone calls amongst friends after lead guitarist Erik Stoll was washing his car while listening to Man or Astroman?, The Flux Capacitors are one of the most unique musical acts in Greater Cincinnati.

"I already kind of had a band with Ryann (Walton, bass/guitar), so I called her up to ask her if she wanted to be in a real band, a better band," Stoll says. "And then I was like, 'Hey, Mike plays drums,' so I called him, and then I told Sean (Victory, multi-instrumentalist) I had a band and he complained until I said he could be in it."

Stoll says that playing with The Flux Capacitors is the first music project that he has ever really taken ownership of. Formerly playing brass in a Ska band, he says that there wasn't the same sense of ownership because he was more an auxiliary player and, in his current situation, all of the band members are on the same page.

Walton came into the Flux Capacitors from a similar situation. Her former band was comprised of all women.

"I'd much rather be the only girl in the band," she says.

The Flux Capacitors are a purely instrumental four-piece with interweaving, dueling guitars and tight drum fills, bass and keyboard. Rotating instruments during live shows, the band is trying to fight the impression that Surf Rock in the Midwest is a novelty.

"There is a lot of quality in Surf Rock that gets overlooked because it is viewed as a novelty," Victory says. "We're obviously influenced by Surf Rock as a genre, but we're not a straightforward Surf Rock band. We experiment and branch out."

Fighting the homogenization of the local music scene has been an uphill battle for the band. Without any other bands in the area making similar music, they're often booked with a smattering of other acts. No other local bands seem as diverse as The Flux Capacitors, as they blend reverb-filled walls of sound with dance beats and synthesizers.

"Cincinnati is a rough place for anyone who isn't Emo-Rock/Hardcore," Stoll says, insisting the band isn't against trying to conquer Cincinnati with their fun live shows.

With work finishing up on a debut album, due out in August, the band is playing new songs from the record on their upcoming dates.

"We offer something different than your average Cincinnati band," Stoll says of the album.

First and foremost The Flux Capacitors are fun. They're passing around a pack of cigarettes on the stoop of a building across from the venue of a recent show, with friends and girlfriends discussing how the ghetto is evidently burning. Later, the fire proves to be the Cincinnati Costume Company going down in flames.

Their good-natured humor extends into their records and live shows. It's refreshing to see a serious band that doesn't take themselves too seriously. There's no pretension and no bullshit.

With four different people bringing in different musical styles, The Flux Capacitors plan to continue expanding their sound. Overlooking the irony of a Surf Rock band in Ohio and the novelty of the headdresses, the band might very well be on to something. And they're dedicated to pushing the limits of their ensemble.

"We're a match made in heaven," jokes Victory.

"We can't break up, we saw the Ninja Turtle movie together," he adds, chuckling over the laughter of everyone present.



For more on THE FLUX CAPACITORS, check

 
Natalie Hager


The Flux Capacitors



I'm watching four suburban Cincinnati white kids on a stage playing pseudo Surf Rock wearing Indian headdresses and sporting terribly applied black makeup on their faces that was probably intended to be used by an athlete trying to keep the sun out of his or her eyes. Earlier in the evening, the same four people tried to convince me that they weren't a gimmicky band.

Gimmicky or not, The Flux Capacitors have spent the last year shaping their own unique blend of Surf and Post Rock infused with Jam-band styling. Formed through a chain of phone calls amongst friends after lead guitarist Erik Stoll was washing his car while listening to Man or Astroman?, The Flux Capacitors are one of the most unique musical acts in Greater Cincinnati.

"I already kind of had a band with Ryann (Walton, bass/guitar), so I called her up to ask her if she wanted to be in a real band, a better band," Stoll says. "And then I was like, 'Hey, Mike plays drums,' so I called him, and then I told Sean (Victory, multi-instrumentalist) I had a band and he complained until I said he could be in it."

Stoll says that playing with The Flux Capacitors is the first music project that he has ever really taken ownership of. Formerly playing brass in a Ska band, he says that there wasn't the same sense of ownership because he was more an auxiliary player and, in his current situation, all of the band members are on the same page.

Walton came into the Flux Capacitors from a similar situation. Her former band was comprised of all women.

"I'd much rather be the only girl in the band," she says.

The Flux Capacitors are a purely instrumental four-piece with interweaving, dueling guitars and tight drum fills, bass and keyboard. Rotating instruments during live shows, the band is trying to fight the impression that Surf Rock in the Midwest is a novelty.

"There is a lot of quality in Surf Rock that gets overlooked because it is viewed as a novelty," Victory says. "We're obviously influenced by Surf Rock as a genre, but we're not a straightforward Surf Rock band. We experiment and branch out."

Fighting the homogenization of the local music scene has been an uphill battle for the band. Without any other bands in the area making similar music, they're often booked with a smattering of other acts. No other local bands seem as diverse as The Flux Capacitors, as they blend reverb-filled walls of sound with dance beats and synthesizers.

"Cincinnati is a rough place for anyone who isn't Emo-Rock/Hardcore," Stoll says, insisting the band isn't against trying to conquer Cincinnati with their fun live shows.

With work finishing up on a debut album, due out in August, the band is playing new songs from the record on their upcoming dates.

"We offer something different than your average Cincinnati band," Stoll says of the album.

First and foremost The Flux Capacitors are fun. They're passing around a pack of cigarettes on the stoop of a building across from the venue of a recent show, with friends and girlfriends discussing how the ghetto is evidently burning. Later, the fire proves to be the Cincinnati Costume Company going down in flames.

Their good-natured humor extends into their records and live shows. It's refreshing to see a serious band that doesn't take themselves too seriously. There's no pretension and no bullshit.

With four different people bringing in different musical styles, The Flux Capacitors plan to continue expanding their sound. Overlooking the irony of a Surf Rock band in Ohio and the novelty of the headdresses, the band might very well be on to something. And they're dedicated to pushing the limits of their ensemble.

"We're a match made in heaven," jokes Victory.

"We can't break up, we saw the Ninja Turtle movie together," he adds, chuckling over the laughter of everyone present.



For more on THE FLUX CAPACITORS, check myspace.com/surfthefluxcapacitors.

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