Born and raised in Alberta, CMAB Award-nominated Canadian country duo Flaysher (Composed of brothers Ryan & Brad Flaysher) is quickly making a name for themselves in the Canadian country scene. In 2020, they made the transition from rock to country with their catchy debut single, “Flat Broke Famous”. This year, they released their follow-up single, “Ride”– “telling us the candid story of a journey down the road towards self-actualization. ” (Flaysher).
Recently I spoke with Flaysher about their latest single, “Ride”, their music journey and goals for 2021.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing country music? What made you both want to become a country artist/start a country duo?
Ryan Flaysher: Growing up, we were just two brothers in the back of our Dad’s work truck listening closely to the stories in our favourite songs. Songs by classic rock artists such as Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, or The Eagles, and country artists such as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, etc.
Brad Flaysher: We feel a calling to write our own stories in hopes that we can make a couple of kids feel the way we felt in the back of that grey GMC. Today’s country music is the perfect format to deliver our stories.
KP: What has been the most memorable part of your music journey thus far?
Ryan Flaysher: Personally, I’m most proud of how close we’ve gotten with those who support us. Many have been with us for a very long time, even hiring us every couple of years for another barn burner or acreage party and it almost becomes some kind of family reunion. We’ve experienced a lot together, and to me, that’s something really special.
Brad Flaysher: I love it when we see some kind of message or see someone personally affected by our music. We’ve performed for a young girl’s “Make-a-wish” event for example. We also performed virtually to show support for a young girl’s battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. These moments just strike me and make me so proud that we have some part to play in brightening the day of beautiful and courageous humans like that.
KP: Your latest single, ‘Ride’ was released in February. What was the inspiration behind the song? Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making it?
Brad Flaysher: One night driving home from a long day of work a left turn would take me home but I felt like I just had to keep going. I kept going straight until I found myself in the Rockies. I felt my mind get quieter as I watched the full moon light up the mountains. This experience sparked the idea for the tune.
Ryan Flaysher: What I love most about this song is that it’s so honest and liberating. It’s a candid story of someone’s journey down the road towards self-actualization. The song came about very organically; we just gave it space to become what it was meant to be.
Brad Flaysher: Ride is proudly Canadian. When writing, we weren’t afraid to let our Canadian roots show and I think that’s another reason this song is so close to our hearts.
KP: Ride is a slower song compared to your previous release, “Flat Broke Famous”. What inspired you both to go in a different stylistic direction for this one?
Brad Flaysher: I’d say it’s less of a different direction than it is just another side of us. Flat Broke Famous is what you’d listen to when you’re in the mood for a feel-good drinking tune to listen to for a night out on the town with your sweetheart. Ride is what you’d listen to when you need some alone time to process your thoughts.
Ryan Flaysher: This one was just more heavily influenced by that classic storytelling style. We had a lot of fun writing Flat Broke Famous and of course, performing it is always a great time, we just wanted to show some deeper, more self-reflective emotions with this one.
KP: Your musical sound leans more towards pop/urban-country. What made you want to pursue this stylistic direction? Who/which artists would you say, have influenced your sound? If you could collaborate with one of them, who would it be?
Brad Flaysher: We grew up listening to a lot of heartland rock artists. The Eagles, Meat Loaf, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger to name a few. We really take inspiration from artists that show a range of emotion in their stories. In contemporary country, we see some of that with Thomas Rhett, Hardy, Tim McGraw, etc. We like the dynamic stories regardless of instrumentation and that’s where we draw our inspiration from.
Ryan Flaysher: There are so many artists that we love and respect but if I had to choose one to collaborate with, I think it would be Hardy. From the writing process to production, I just think it would be an absolute blast with a fresh blend of the North and the South.
KP: Where do you think the best song ideas come from? What is your ideal setting to write?
Brad Flaysher: The best stories often come from real-life experiences. It’s great to write about a personal experience with trusted co-writers. This often helps keep a song believable and authentic but also universal.
Ryan Flaysher: These days we often co-write over Zoom or Skype but it’s always nice fitting in the occasional outdoor write with local artists when the weather is nice. We live only a few minutes away from gravel roads, so sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city to write.
KP: Looking back, 2020 was a challenging time for many and it especially hit the entertainment/music industry harder than most. What was one lesson you learnt in light of the pandemic that has helped you both grow as artists and individuals? What is one opportunity you had that you may not have had under normal conditions?
Brad Flaysher: There’s nothing in the world like performing live and hanging out with our fans. So many of them are amazing friends of ours so it’s tough on us not to be able to hang out with them.
Ryan Flaysher: The silver lining has been having more time to reflect and write our stories, as well as getting back into the studio with a couple of new tunes. We’ve always been optimistic people that appreciate the little things in life, but for me, it’s never been more clear how important that truly is.
KP: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Ride” ?
Brad Flaysher: We just want to reach more amazing people that we can relate to through our music. We love the fans/friends we’ve made and we can’t wait to meet more and welcome them into our little Flaysher Fam.
Ryan Flaysher: We do have more music coming soon! It was nice to show more of our power-ballad style with “Ride”, but we’re working on some more songs that are a little bit different, and I think they will be really fun. Right now the goal is to release two more songs by the end of this year.
Listen to “Ride” now:
Stay up to date with Flaysher:
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/flaysher/1144992775
Flaysher. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Mar. 20 2021.
Flaysher.“Featured: Rising Canadian country duo Flaysher”. Photo courtesy of Brad Flaysher. Accessed Apr. 6 2021.