Flobots recently stopped by Colorado Public Radio to discuss the inspiration behind NOEMENIES with Ryan Warner of Colorado Matters, and to play new songs from the album for CPR’s Open Air. Discussing the idea of modern day protest music and the themes behind NOENEMIES, fans can listen to the interview with Ryan Warner here. The Flobots’ Open Air Session, debuting new music and songs from the DIVISIONS collaboration, will air today, May 5, at 12 noon MST. Listen to is at http://www.cpr.org/openair.
In celebration of the release of NOENEMIES, Flobots and Denver’s Wonderbound dance company will partner for a unique live performance collaboration, titled DIVISIONS. Set to Flobots performing live renditions of songs from NOENEMIES, DIVISIONS
DIVISIONS opens with three shows at Denver’s Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School (1001 W. 84th Avenue) on April 14, 15 and 16, moves to the PACE Center (20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker) on April 22 and 23, and then to the Newman Center for the Performing Arts (2344 East Iliff Avenue, Denver) on April 29 and 30. Catch an exclusive sneak peak of DIVISIONS when Wonderbound hosts the show’s official DIVISIONS Teaser Episode on March 23 at the Wonderbound Studio (1075 Park Avenue West, Denver). Get complete DIVISIONS details and purchase tickets now at wonderbound.com.
NOENEMIES is, without question, Flobots’ most ambitious and sophisticated statement to date - both lyrically and musically. Funded entirely by a Kickstarter campaign that garnered $31,000 over its goal, the music on NOENEMIES is undeniably Flobots music, but it’s also assuredly music made by artists who have matured and expanded their horizons.
Influenced by stories shared by Flobots’ friend and longtime mentor and Southern Freedom Movement historian and professor - the late Dr. Vincent Harding, and inspired by the band’s recent grassroots community work hosting workshops, classes and keynote speeches about using collective song to build social movements, NOENEMIES is a body of songs that speak to the urgency of the current moment.
Each of the tracks on NOENEMIES serves as a powerful, poignant new anthem, many packed with surprises both subtle and grand. Taken as a whole, the album is enormous in breadth, enveloping and electrically charged, befitting of the finely crafted, carefully chosen words. NOENEMIES virtually begs the listener to delve and to contemplate, to share and revel.
For the recording of NOENEMIES, Flobots’ core trio - emcee’s Brer Rabbit (Stephen Brackett) and Jonny 5 (Jamie Laurie) and drummer Kenny Ortiz - enlisted the help of trusted musical friends to bring their vision of the album into reality. Musician/Producer Gabriel Otto worked intimately with the band to craft a distinct sonic landscape, recruiting a string section, horn players, and a gospel quintet to layer recurring motifs over the band’s signature grooves. They teamed up with founding Flobot Mackenzie Gault (viola) and longtime musical collaborator Serafin Sanchez (saxophone, keys) to co-write a number of songs. The band incorporated voices, melodies, and words from throughout their collaborations - both on and off stage - into the songs on NOENEMIES.
From the beginning, Flobots’ sound defied categorization. Weaving conscious hip-hop lyrics and classical viola solos over live instrumentation, their anthems captured attention from all directions. When Flobots first catapulted onto the global scene in 2008 with their platinum single ‘Handlebars’ from their first album release Fight With Tools, it was the fastest charting song debut by a new artist in 10 years. Released during the frenzy of that year’s election, the band’s call to envision “another America” resonated with a generation experiencing a sense of profound political and social awakening. In a span of months, Flobots went from playing at local clubs to selling out tours internationally, performing on late-night television, signing a major label record deal, and receiving constant rotation on alternative radio.
Now, a decade later and with three critically acclaimed albums under their belt, Flobots are still dedicated to creating and performing anthems for a better world. And in 2017, amidst a nation taking to the streets, for Flobots that means delivering a unique brand of protest songs. Enter NOENEMIES - bringing the songs back to the people.