The past couple of years has been sort of nonstop for Ray Flanagan. New music coming from every which way, and he’s still on a roll with plans for a full-length album with his band, The Mean Machines slated for this year. We talked about that, his latest single “Come On Sugar” and more in this back-and-forth exchange.
Kendra: In the past year, you’ve dropped so much new music from an EP to “Come On Sugar,” which you penned on the best thinking seat we have in modern times – the toilet. Whether it’s the toilet or the shower, the bathroom seems to be this commonplace of creativity. Do you think it’s because it’s one of the only places we can truly be alone with our thoughts? Unless of course, you’re a parent – I definitely burst in on my mom to ask about fruit snacks and whatnot back in the day.
Ray Flanagan: The bathroom is definitely a place for solitude. There is something about pushing out a turd that conducts creativity.
Kendra: After listening to “Come On Sugar” a handful of times back to back, I wanted to ask – if you had to compare the last person you crushed on to a cup of coffee – what would the flavor profile me and why?
Ray Flanagan: I barely know the difference between Maxwell House and a French Press. It would definitely be sweet, and maybe it would have cinnamon in it. And maybe cayenne. Somewhere between a nice night on a good porch and standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and looking outward into the cosmos; a pure wonder.
Kendra: Like I said, I listened quite a bit to this song because it took me back to the mid-00s when artists like Paolo Nutini were owning the airwaves with genuine adult contemporary music I fell in love with as a kid thanks to the likes of Sheryl Crow and Matchbox Twenty. There’s this new documentary about the genre out now discussing its rise, but for you – where do you think of the current state of AC and AC rock?
Ray Flanagan: I don’t have any opinions on the current state of AC. I do sometimes listen to “My Favorite Mistake” on repeat.
Kendra: So I did want to bring up your musical family, The Mean Machines. You’ve noted they’re like brothers to you, and with that, I’d love to know what TV siblings would you say you all are most like when you get together?
Ray Flanagan: Great question. Somewhere between ‘Home Improvement’ and the cast of ‘Spongebob.’
Kendra: So time for a side note – with love in the air, I’d love to know what is the #1 song you’d put on a mixtape as part of a Valentine’s Day gift?
Ray Flanagan: So many great love songs. Off the top of my head, Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind” from Live in NYC because I’m a sentimental fool.
Kendra: Lastly, with “Come On Sugar” out now, what else is in the works as we head towards the spring?
Ray Flanagan: Planning on making a full-length record this year with The Mean Machines, and hopefully getting out of town some.