Everyone dreams of being something when they’re younger. Some of us let those thoughts remain in our heads, and others like Elisa Flynn just jump at them. With a punk rock mentality, she got herself a $70 Sears guitar from a shop and went at it. While that sparkly red instrument is no longer with her because according to her, “It looked beautiful but sounded terrible” and she’s no longer playing punk, she is still going towards her music based dreams. We talked about switching things up, religious undertones, her new album that’ll drop this November The World Has Ever Been On Fire and more.
Kendra: Growing up you were set on a punk path. What made you switch up as you got older?
Elisa Flynn: Multiple things – I learned how to play my instrument, my musical tastes grew and diversified. My hearing suffered, after years of band practice with no hearing protection (yes, pretty dumb). I will always feel punk at heart, but the actual music doesn’t have to fit any set structure. Punk is a way of life, a way of thinking about the world. One person with an acoustic guitar can be punk as fuck.
Kendra: Now you’re on a new path, one that you’ve said is filled with a lot of religious notes although you’re an atheist. Are they an homage to your Catholic upbringing, or more so just imagery that you find intriguing as an art form?
Elisa: It’s a combination of both things. I think if you’re raised Catholic, it stays with you. The imagery is huge for me. It works its way into my music and visual art. And the guilt will never completely go away!
Kendra: Your music also deals with a lot of personal hardships, like divorce. Some say that only the greatest artists come from sort of tortured pasts. Agree?
Elisa: I think that conflict and hardship give you a potential for writing material of depth. It’s all how it comes out of you, though. I do think that if you haven’t had a conflicted past, your emotional landscape might be a bit flatter. But don’t most people have a bit of a tortured past? Maybe that’s my impression because I know a lot of artists of all kinds, I’m not sure.
Kendra: With all that said, the religion, the struggle, if you had to sum up your latest, The World Has Ever Been On Fire in five words or less, what would they be?
Elisa: Love is all that matters. (for real – that’s my philosophy of life)
Kendra: What plans do you have to close out 2017?
Elisa: I’m going on tour – some dates on the east coast in November and a week on the west coast the first week of December! I’m really excited about it. And the preparation for that right now is my trying to figure out how to flesh out my live sound as a solo performer in a workable way (for me). I’m hoping to bring some synthesized tracks into it, but I have to do some work first, figure out what gear to use, etc.
Kendra: Going back to your punk days, if you had to make a mixtape based on the music that first got you interested in playing that $70 guitar – what five songs would have to be on it?