The Floors throw down on the floor yet again.
It’s been a couple years since The Floors’ last album, Dead Beat. It was a document of what they were and it remains one of who they are.
Always playing, ever-improving; constantly throwing that shit down. The stirrings of a new album only come when they are good and ready.
“We moved into a new rehearsal space a couple of years ago and that inspired us to write a bunch of new songs,” says vocalist/guitarist, Luke Dux. “We recorded 16 songs, but only released 10, so we might put out an EP at some point.
“Recording is all about capturing a moment or a time in a bands/artist’s life and I guess it took us a few years to feel like we wanted to document where we were at. We also move really slow. We move in our own time.”
Road-testing new material is always key. While they’re an evolving monster of a live band, being stage-ready means all the cuts and thrusts are already in place once it’s time to record.
“We prefer to jam the songs live to make sure they’re bullet-proof before we record them,” Dux explains. “We make every possible mistake and take every route we can, then it’s ready to record. I had also been playing around town solo a lot and had been incorporating the new tunes into my set to hear if they would work as stripped-down versions just as well as playing them at ear-bleeding volume.”
Listening to Beat It Down is an experience in virtually tripping on guitar leads and kicking over empty bottles as you try and find a place on the (killing) floor. No one here gets out alive without their say-so.
“We play like we do live,” Dux says of the studio environment. “It could fall apart at any moment and we’re trying to tear the earth into two. It’s a lot of fun, but we mean what we play and we choose the take that feels the most dangerous.”
The album was recorded by Dan Carroll, who has overseen efforts by Floors’ colleagues/inmates Kill Devils Hills and Timothy Nelson. He knows where they’re coming from and he likes where they’re going.
“Dan is great at setting a vibe and he understands where we’re coming from musically and sonically,” Dux says. “It’s more about the feel than it is about being perfect. He set us up live with no headphones, just a fold-back speaker and amps turned all the way up. Like we do in our jam room.”
A decade or so ago a debut EP arrived in this writer’s hands from this very same band, albeit with some remarkably fresh-faced lads on the back cover. There was a whole lot of learning in store…
“We were pure, innocent teenagers,” Dux recalls. “Then we were offered the opportunity to spend a few years touring around the country and we were corrupted. We learnt how to play like our lives depended on it. In some towns it did.”
Dux, his bass playing brother, Ryan, and drummer, Ashley Doodkorte, all perform with numerous bands – and great ones at that – the aforementioned Kill Devil Hills, Timothy Nelson (in his various guises), Davey Craddock & The Spectacles, Dux n Downtown, Lucy Peach, Flooded Palace and more. The Floors remain the root of it all, but with new light shining in.
“We’re addicted to finding good songwriters and learning as much from them as we can then we bring that back when we jam together,” Dux says. “I think since playing with other acts we have more of a solid direction that we want to take The Floors. We won’t be coming out with a prog-metal or a folk album anytime soon. Thankfully, we got that release elsewhere.”
Beat It Down will be released on vinyl through French label, BEAST Records, which has opened up the opportunity for a three-week tour of France in May. Time will then tick on just how it does.
“We’ve never taken this band overseas so we’re pretty excited,” Dux says. “We’ve started writing new songs too, so maybe we’ll record something when it feels right. We move slow, in our own time, so probably not anytime soon.”
The Floors launch Beat It Down at Badlands on Friday, March 17, with help from Thee Loose Hounds, BATS and Oosterbanger.