High school students across the nation have dreamed about starting a band and going on stage to perform in front of a live audience. Many of these small “Do It Yourself” bands dream of having the opportunity to tour the country. Most wait a lifetime and have dedicated hard work to have this opportunity. Indie rock band, flipturn has risen up to popularity since their beginnings in 2015 and has been touring the United States since Sept. 2021.
The band began in the members’ senior year of high school and freshman year of college. The name flipturn came about because Jarman was a competitive swimmer in high school.
“Me, Tristan [Duncan] and Dillon [Basse] all went to Fernandina High school,” said Madeline Jarman, the bassist of the group. “We were seniors when we first started. We just had an idea to start a band and thought it would be fun. No one else was really doing that type of thing.
“I was a swimmer growing up from age five until 18,” continued Jarman. “The little turn you do at the end of the lane before you start another lap, that’s what a flipturn is. We really stifled [through] so many awful names or names that were already taken. My parents are super involved and they loved that I’m in a band. They were helping us spitball names and suggested ‘flipturn’. It wasn’t taken.”
The band members are lead guitarist Tristian Duncan, bassist Madeline Jarman, Dillon Basse, the voice of filpturn, Mitch Fountain who covers the synthesizer and Devon VonBalson who is their drummer. flipturn credits their popularity thanks to performing live in a semi-large college town in Florida.
“The Gainesville music scene really took us in and word of mouth was great there,” said Jarman. “That’s still kind of like a hometown show for us. Everyone was our age and it was cool for people in our [college] classes to come out. They would bring five friends”
Since their growth, the band has performed at Okeechobee Music Festival in Okeechobee, Florida. The members are thrilled to be invited to perform at Shaky Knees but this is not their first festival.
“It was cool to [be performing at] a huge festival like that,” said Dillion Basse, the lead vocalist for flipturn. “To be [performing at] festivals that are widely known and outside of our home state really, really is exciting.”
flipturn has been touring since September 2021. They will be performing new music and fan favorites from over the yeats. Over the course of their tour, it has brought upon the dreaded “tour brain”, where one is mentally exhausted from traveling and performing every other night. flipturn has a special way to keep “tour brain” from taking ahold of each member. This special tactic is known as the rubber chicken named Jalapeño.
“He is definitely still a thing,” said Jarman. “[Jalapeño] is like our pet. He’s our comic relief when times are dull in the van and it’s dark or driving on the highway and there’s nothing. He’s great.”
This rubber chicken is used as their way to break the silence or be the comedic relief in a stressful situation while touring around the country. The band has brought Jalapeño on stage with them and will bring him on stage for Shaky Knees.
“Touring has been amazing,” said Basse. “We get to see the entire country which has been insane, places we would have never really gone. This is the biggest tour we have ever been on. Almost every single show on this tour has been sold out. It’s been surreal.”
flipturn will be performing at Shaky Knees April 29 at 1:15 p.m. on the Piedmont stage as well as a late night show at the Masquerade in Purgatory at 11 p.m.
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