In the truest sense, rock n’ roll is about being yourself, being free, and doing what you want to do, how you want to do it. That sense and feeling of liberation is what drives The Flamingos Pink and their latest record, Free Livin. Released last month through LL Artists, the album is about living life as you see fit, not how you are expected to or conditioned to. It’s all about YOU, and the guys have captured that exquisitely with their energetic, riff-heavy approach, ideal for a live setting. It’s an intense record that keeps the buzz going throughout, only taking the foot off the gas a couple of times for some special, introspective acoustic rock.
While they sound like a band, The Flamingos Pink is actually a two-man act. Both hailing from Montreal, guitarist and singer Sacha Gubany and drummer Julien “Julz” Corrado are a perfect pairing, who have a particular knack for capturing the essence of live rock n’ roll and putting it down on tape. You will find no lack of vigour or energy in this duo’s offerings, specifically thanks to their classic punk, garage-rock feel.
Today we are getting to know a different side of The Flamingos Pink with our latest Purely Provocative interview, in which Julz Corrado discusses the less glamorous side of life.
Most public situation you’ve projectile vomited?
Julien “Julz” Corrado: “Post show in Sherbrooke, Quebec, out of the van window, onto the doors, on the highway. It was gnarly!”
Weirdest place you’ve ever taken a shit?
“On a playschool plastic picnic table in my own pants. I’d like to point out that this was ages ago, but it really sticks with you, both the feeling and the poo. Today I am an avid bidet user, my explanation is this: you wouldn’t wipe dog shit off your arm with dry paper; you’d rinse. Why don’t we do it with our asses? I pride myself on having a clean ass. I have no qualms over where I take my dumpy-dumps. I’d say I’m proud of that too.”
Grossest person you’ve ever hooked up with, and why?
“It’s not cool to call people gross. She did have an eye patch, though; I never got her name. We walked back to her place, it was snowing, and as she puts the key in the door, she said: ‘I have to tell you something: I’m a dominatrix.’ Yes, the walls were covered in black velours adorned with metal chains and weird-ass tools (not to be confused with weird ass-tools.) There was a big cage and a leather-bound doctor’s chair. She had a really cool 1950s-era fridge but no dog to be seen. Love knows no bounds.”
Any near-death experiences?
“Ouf. I’ve seen death take my mother slowly in front of my eyes. That made me spiral in more ways than one. I’m glad you asked; not many people have the guts to approach the subject. I’m realizing that it was more traumatizing than I let myself feel at the time. Maybe that was a survival mechanism. I numbed it with drugs for a long time, but interestingly enough, it’s when I spoke about it the most. Not only could I speak more openly about my emotions unabashedly, but I feel like my friends were more receptive to hearing about it too.
“I’ve chosen a little over a year ago to carve out the hard drugs from my life, so I have to check in with myself without the chemical boost and recognize when I need help. The real challenge is knowing how to ask for it when you need it. I’m getting better at it.”
You find someone’s wallet in the street. It contains a ton of cash and/or a winning lottery ticket inside and their ID. What do you do?
“Return it. Karma’s a bitch. But there might be a finder’s fee, administration fees, and a bunch of hidden fees, not to mention taxes. There’s always taxes.”
What’s one of the most fucked up things that’s happened to you as a musician?
“Being pushed to sign a lifetime publishing deal when we were trying to get in the game. That’s fucked up. Especially when you’re told, ‘It’s normal, you’ll see, we’ll do everything we can, and we’ll make it together.’ And then ghost, shelf your project and give you the runaround, plus bogus numbers.
“In Canada, and in Montreal especially, it feels like loads of people in the industry are trying to hoard contracts in order to access more government grants. But maybe I’m wrong.
“We believe in ourselves, in what we do, and how we do it. We’ve learned to trust our instincts and get out of the passenger seat of our own lives. Say what you mean, and fucking send it.”
If someone stole all your band’s gear, then you caught the dickwad, and no one would ever know what happened next; what would you do to him?
“Spank him (or her or them); I don’t want to assume any gender here.”
Your instrument/gear (drums, guitar, etc.) has a catastrophic failure on stage, and you have no backup; what do you do?
“We carry an electric generator in the van in case the power goes out in the venue, and we gotta finish our show. Or if we want to play a full-on electric show in the middle of nowhere. When The Flamingos Pink show up, THERE WILL BE MUSIC!
“If the generator were to fail, we’d go acapella and drums. If the drums broke, it’d be acapella and tambourine. If the tambourine broke, well, we’d be fucked.”
Name some of your biggest pet peeves. You know… the ones that make you want to wreck shit!
“Being bullshitted. I hate when somebody is telling me what they think I ‘want’ to hear. You can smell inauthenticity from a mile away, and it stinks. And also racists, bigots, misogynists, and any other type of ignoramus out there. #getthefuckouttahere.”
Name someone you’d like to punch in his or her stupid face and why.
“Any bandmate who’s ever said to a drummer: ‘the songs aren’t YOUR songs because you’re ‘just’ a drummer.’ I think that’s whack and definitely a punchable offence. You accept a lot of garbage behaviour when you’re in a band sometimes because you’re scared about the ‘what if I’m actually nothing without them? What if I am just a drummer?’
“I have a huge chip on my shoulder. A need to prove to myself that I’m good enough. We both do and try our best to address it.
If you weren’t a musician or totally in love with your job, you’d be…
“Probably a hummus salesman with a company-owned Prius and slicked-back hair. You know gas prices are crazy; how could I say no to that?”
Describe when and how you lost your virginity.
“I thought you’d never ask! I lost my virginity on Michael Jordan’s birthday. I’m also born on the 23rd day of June.
“There was a framed picture of Jimmy Page on the wall, and the wallpaper was pink. I’m born in the year of the dragon, and my astrological sign is Cancer. I’m still trying to make sense of it all.”
Tell us about the worst lie you ever told someone.
“I’m alright when I wasn’t. Lying to myself is lying to everybody else. Fake interactions, saying what I thought they wanted to hear to keep them away. And I was good at it too, so you end up thinking everybody’s an idiot when in reality you’re the one who’s being an arsehole.”
When was the last time you cried, and for what reason?
“It’s been two months since I had my second daughter, so my emotions are kind of all over the place. I cried a week ago because sometimes it all gets overwhelming. It’s hard to look yourself in the eye, your kid, your spouse, your family, and your friends as a new father, as a musician coming out of a pandemic and as a man, to put on a brave face, and try to make it all happen.
“Sometimes I feel embarrassed about being me, but I know that voice inside my head is just trying to make me react. I’m doing my best to keep it all steady. It’s not always easy, but nobody said it would be. And that makes me feel alright.
“Sometimes life feels like it’s just kicking the shit out of you, but it’s how you get back up, stand in your truth and try to be happy that the real sense of accomplishment sets in. To feel the satisfaction of facing and overcoming yourself.”
Describe your wildest drug experience.
“It gets way wilder when you cut out the hard chemical drugs and try stepping into yourself. Where do we send our CVs (laughs)?
*NB: all of these themes are addressed in some way or another on our new album Free Livin. Go listen.”