Since releasing his debut solo album in 2016, Chris Langwell's indie rock project, Flash Floods, has been lifted by a rising tide of success since inviting childhood friends Frank Mosier (drums) and Zack Krishtalka (bass) into the fold. The group has played together in various projects reaching all the way back to junior high, and that bond has helped the band reach new heights with Flash Flood's newest album, Halfway to Anywhere.
Recorded with Eric Davis of Hembree, the second Flash Floods album (released December 2022) achieves an expanded sonic palette and deeper grooves on which Langwell's consciously-crafted indie pop songs effortlessly coast. Opening track "Long Distance" kicks off the record with jangly guitars, an upbeat groove, and dreamy verbed-out vocals. "I Don't Wanna Know" is arguably the album's standout single and serves as a terrific introductory song for new listeners. "Stobe Rides Again" leans into the band’s Americana roots with a more atmospheric sound highlighted by bright fingerstyle acoustic guitar.
The band plays regularly in the KC/Lawrence area and has visited eight states so far on tour. Follow Flash Floods across platforms here.
Describe the Flash Floods sound is six words or fewer.
Midwestern indie yallternative rock
How did you begin creating performing your music? How has your approach to your music evolved over the years?
The three of us started playing in bands together in middle school and throughout high school. We wrote all original material; most of the songs back then originated from jams we had in my parent’s basement after school. Zack always played bass, but Frank was on guitar, and I played drums. Eventually I started learning guitar when I turned 21 and began writing as many songs as I could. At first, I was too insecure of my playing skills to ask anyone to join but I also didn’t want to be known as a solo project either so I started releasing songs under the name Flash Floods, hoping that people would think it was a full band. I eventually convinced Frank and Zack to join the band but my approach to writing hasn’t changed much. I’m always writing songs, but I also feel like I’ll always be a student of songwriting. I don’t know who coined the phrase “The more you learn the less you know” but I feel like anyone who’s tried to write music for an extended period of time can attest to that. Over the years I’ve gotten more comfortable digging down deep and writing something vulnerable without being embarrassed about it. I’m a super shy person so singing in front of people never came naturally to me but it’s something that gets easier with experience. Years ago, I was scared to sing in front of anyone but now it doesn’t really phase me at all.
What does a typical songwriting session look like?
A typical writing session usually begins with a chord progression and a melody. I try to keep it as simple as possible, normally with just an acoustic guitar or piano. I’m a big believer in showing up consistently to do the work but I also believe there’s a certain spirituality to songwriting; you must always remain open to all ideas in case the song gods decide to visit. Sometimes the best songs come when you least expect them.
Tell me a little bit more about your bandmates and what each brings to the development of your overall sound.
Me (Christopher Langwell), our drummer Frank Mosier and bassist Zack Krishtalka have been friends since childhood. Having the friendship that we have makes it easy for us to feel comfortable pitching ideas to each other. We can hold each other accountable without anyone’s ego getting in the way. Our personalities are different enough that we can mesh together well with the music. Zack has the most playing ability out of all of us, so I like to let him run wild with whatever bass ideas he has for a song. Frank is like a real-life version of a Jimmy Buffet song, and he always brings those good vibes with him on the drums.
What other artists or styles inspire and influence you as an artist? How do you find that these show up in your work?
We all share a common love for mid 2000’s indie rock bands like The Strokes, Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Redwalls, Spoon & many more. We’re also into classic rock bands like The Beatles, CCR, Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty, The Traveling Wilburys and more. I personally really enjoy bluegrass and old school country. My favorite artist for the past 5 or so years has been Charley Crockett.
You released your latest album, Halfway to Anywhere, on December 23rd of last year. How did you celebrate the new release?
We held our album release show at The Bottleneck in Lawrence. We made the show an ugly sweater themed party since it was near the holidays. We were stoked to have Tyler Gregory and Christena Graves band kick off the night. It was one of the most fun shows we’ve played to date. Definitely one that we’ll remember for a long time.
What can a concertgoer expect from a live Flash Floods performance?
You can expect good vibes, simple 3-piece rock & roll, and upbeat songs that make you feel good.
Flash Flood's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
Maybe We’ll Make It by Margo Price
Four Shots in Oskie by Justin Wingerter
Better, Not Bitter by Jusef Salaam
The Fighting Soul by Ari Rabin-Havt
Vibrate Higher by Talib Kweli
Rock Bottom Rhapsody by Pokey LaFarge
The Man from Waco by Charley Crockett
Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan
For more, check out this Bibliocommons List.