Chatting UK influences and putting on a lethal live show with Warflags

Warflags may be fresh off the mark, but they’re nothing if not focused. With a virulent sound that takes cues from UK grime, balls-to-the-wall punk and thrashy hip-hop, the band have had an explosive start, already having scored a support slot with COG as their debut live show.

As they gear up to take over Frankies Pizza in Sydney this Saturday, we had a chat with the band about their genesis, putting on a lethal live show and basically being two bands in one.


Before they hit up Frankie’s Pizza for their very first Sydney show this Saturday, we caught up with Warflags to chat big beats, UK influences and putting on a lethal live show.

HAPPY: Hey guys, how’s it going? What are you up to right now?

WARFLAGS: Hey! All is well, thanks for asking. We are just putting the final touches on our first film clip to our first single Smash. Will be rolling that out in the coming weeks. Other than that just rehearsing for our first Sydney show at Frankies. Beyond pumped is an understatement.

HAPPY: Warflags are still brand new. What’s your elevator pitch for the band? Music to break shit with?

WARFLAGS: Ha! I guess we would be the perfect soundtrack to bust stuff up to, yeah. In all honesty though I’d say that we are pretty unique sounding sonically, and a very entertaining live band. The songs we write are designed to excite and entertain the senses. They are not passive by any means. And whilst they are definitely stand alone, they are best experienced through a PA at volume with four guys going hard at ’em.

HAPPY: Can you introduce the band members?

WARFLAGS: Sure. Nick Adams plays bass, designs the electronic stuff and does a bit of shouting into a mic every now and again. He also use to play in a band called Mammal a while back. Ben Ellingworth is our drum monster from hell! Best known for busting out his ridiculous skills with Sydney legends MM9 and nowadays thumps for Illy. Daz on guitar is easily one of the best live performers you’ll ever see. We were lucky to snag him after his return from touring Canada for eight years playing in too many cool band to mention in one article! He shouts too. And lastly, Fraksha in the mix with bangers in the clip. Hailed as the Godfather of Grime in Oz having pioneered the national Grime scene down under. We asked if he wanted to try rapping over some heavier grooves and without batting an eye he said, “sure, why not,” and Warflags was born.

HAPPY: Smash and Headshot are out there on Soundcloud, why did you choose these cuts to crack open the Warflags vault?

WARFLAGS: Smash was the first song we wrote and it set the initial tone for the band’s sound. I think Headshot came pretty soon after. I guess they were/are two pretty direct statements in regards to our sound and what to expect initially. Fast forward a year and we are starting to explore a multitude of avenues now and opening up the colour palette a bit more.

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HAPPY: It’s tough to figure out where your sound comes from, but I definitely hear some UK influence. Who are some of your biggest forebears, sound-wise?

WARFLAGS: Instrumentally I guess the idea for this band came from mixing the Rage Against The Machine kinda vibe – big, groove riffs – with the Prodigy spirit of driving, high energy electronica. Those ideologies kinda got thrown into the barrel along with our own collective styles and it became the bed for Warflags sound. Fraksha is a UK born and bred ex-Londoner so I guess that’s the direct UK influence. He gets around artists like Skinnyman, Durrty Goodz and Wiley.

HAPPY: Any Sydney locals you’re all about?

WARFLAGS: We are all about Redhook, n000000000 and The Shadez.

HAPPY: You’ve got a massive electronic sound, yet nobody on synth. How do you pull it off live?

WARFLAGS: We tossed up a “synth guy” for live but decided to run track as its just a sonic colouring as opposed to a dominating ‘instrument’. And its one less dude drinking the rider.

HAPPY: How different is your live set to what we hear on the releases?

WARFLAGS: Extremely different! We are basically two bands in one. We have the “studio band” that writes and records the tracks. But live its a bit more punk rock in nature due to our musical backgrounds and the way we play together organically. All four of us like to throw down hard and play however we are feeling at the time depending on the particular track. It’s actually surprising how different the same songs sound in the two different environments.

HAPPY: You’ve been filming the clip for Smash yeah? Who did you work with on that one?

WARFLAGS: Yeah, we have been working on the clip with Ben Davies who has worked on the Twelve Foot Ninja clips. He has also worked with Dead Letter Circus. But most importantly we liked his haircut so he got the gig.

HAPPY: Any more releases up your sleeve?

WARFLAGS: Yes. We’ve got a bag full of tracks and are starting work on the first EP of a planned double EP release.

HAPPY: You have a gig coming up at Frankie’s… any advice for the punters coming along?

WARFLAGS: No advice. Just come down if you want to see four lads who love sweating over big beats, big riffs and big rhymes in order to entertain you. And the best part is it’s free entry! Game on Sydney.

Catch Warflags this Saturday the 12th of August at Frankies Pizza in Sydney with support from Redhook, n000000000 and The Shadez.

RSVP here.