Flobots ready to unleash ‘The Circle In The Square’

By ajcolores

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When you ask Flobots what the gist of their new record The Circle In The Square (Shanachie Records/ release date: August 28, 2012) is about and you get an answer like, “All in all, it's everything Flobots, but just more of it,” it actually makes a lot of sense. Socio-political activists cum adrenalized high-energy music powerhouse, they’re a band who not only weave rap, classical and rock into an impenetrable fabric but color it with provocative political observations and philosophical opinions. “Both musically and thematically, this album has more of just about everything,” continues vocalist/emcee Jonny 5. “It's more overtly personal and more political. There's more religious imagery and perhaps more memorable swear words. It's more anthemic and catchy a la [debut album] Fight With Tools, but we get there by exploring new ground- playing with the sparseness and space, layering more vocal melodies, bringing in new types of beats and even a sprinkling of samples and guest artists.

Self-written, recorded, and produced with no pressure from labels, managers or outside sources, The Circle In The Square is the sound of a band who have evolved from having a massive and unpredicted modern rock single in 2007’s 'Handlebars' to being able to conceptualize and control their own creative output. Aimed directly at the heart of the profound economic, political and social transformations taking place around the world (the first day of recording this album coincided with the first day that Occupy Wall Street protesters camped in NYC), this album hits a bullseye with each and every hard-hitting track. From the industrial old school rap of 'Run (Run Run Run)' to the polyrhythmic 'One Last Show' to the rock/rap amalgam 'The Rose and the Thistle', The Circle In The Square is a multi-layered album that serves as a vehicle to talk about the beauty and the danger in the current world. “Our agenda is to create music that is true to who we are as people, and that includes our experiences, our communities, and our world,Jonny 5 explains. “When you have friends who are personally affected by marriage discrimination or immigration policy, it makes you want to say something about these issues.

The focus track, 'The Circle In The Square' which the band posted on their website here:


It is a perfect example of how their experiences of other cultures outside of their own sphere influences their viewpoint. Written on a plane after a two week visit to Jordan and Jerusalem, the song was composed just after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. “The idea for this song came while we were returning from a trip to the Middle East just as the Arab Spring was kicking off,” remembers Brer Rabbit (emcee/vocalist). “So often, freedom can be found only outside the confines of definitions.

Watch Flobots - 'Handlebars' video here:


Formed in Denver, CO when a pair of intelligent, visionary emcees joined focuses with a powerful rhythm section and a classically-trained violist, Flobots fused disparate interests and styles of music to create a potent combination that brings together live hip-hop, strings-laden break beats and symphonic rock-infused crescendos that has earned them a reputation for both originality and authenticity. Written during the height of the Iraq war, their mega-hit 'Handlebars' thrust them into the spotlight, earning the band a #3 position on Billboard’s “Modern Rock Tracks” chart.

We've always looked for ways to use our platform to speak for positive social change,” says Jonny 5. “As a local band, we did this by founding a non-profit org [Flobots.org] that is still in existence today. When we were all over the airwaves in 2008 we did this by registering voters and speaking out against the war in Iraq. With [2010’s album] Survival Story, we invited listeners to help write the story of a more sustainable world. Now it's 2012 and it's time to build community resilience, to celebrate ‘the circle in the square’.”

Armed with musicianship, intelligence, and an ingrained sense of rebellion, Flobots are looking to engage a new musical culture, one mind at a time.

Flobots are Jonny 5 (emcee, vocals), Brer Rabbit (emcee, vocals), Mackenzie Gault (viola, vocals), Jesse Walker (bass) and Kenny Ortiz (drums). The Circle In The Square will be released on August 28, 2012 via Shanachie Records. The first single 'The Circle In The Square' impacted radio on June 26th. The band is currently planning a mini-tour prior to the album’s release and a full national tour in the fall.

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