Flavor Savers leaving it all on the stage

BY REBECCA KOONS | MAY 14, 2009 7:27 AM

Beat-based act the Flavor Savers is all about putting itself out there and encouraging others — fans and newcomers alike — to do the same. The Flavor Savers brings its extroverted attitude to the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., on Saturday at 9 p.m. The band is opening for well-known Sublime tribute band Secondhand Smoke.

“Basically, we want to write music that makes people feel sexy and gives them the confidence to get up and dance,” said band member Ian Kibbe. “One of the ways we do that is through our performances, by doing a lot of dancing ourselves and by getting people laughing.”

Much of the Flavor Savers’ rap/club sound is influenced by such artists as Peaches, and the members also listen to a great deal of new indie and dance-rock music. Yet they are also comedically influenced by bands including Tenacious D.

When it comes to the creative process for Kibbe and fellow musicians Matt Cornelison, Josh Cornelison, and Nate Merrill, it is certainly not a matter of strict planning. Improvisation and impromptu ideas are common for the group, and Matt Cornelison said a lot of the band’s music is not planned out.

“Somebody will have a riff or melody in mind, a general idea, and then we program something out,” he said. “We’ll all add something to that and work on it from there. I write most of the music, but we all pitch in on the lyrics.”

This kind of freestyle method of creating music and lyrics translates seamlessly into the band’s live performances. It can also be said the group’s “sexy” factor has its origins in the legendary swaggers of Freddie Mercury, Prince, and David Lee Roth. The energy of the group members, their music, and the crowd prove a successful formula for an all-out good time.

“One thing that stands out about us I think is our live performances,” Matt Cornelison said. “Combining our hopefully really great music, dress, and four people able to move around on stage makes it more than just a typical concert.”

The Flavor Savers especially looks forward to playing in Iowa City, because the band has always had good experiences here.

“I love the atmosphere that college towns have: vibrant, full of life, and a real feeling of community,” Kibbe said. “As far as college towns go, Iowa City is up there at the top.”

Ambition runs rampant among the Flavor Savers members, and the quartet will try to take its work to another level. In addition to recording a new full-length studio album, the group sees the silver screen in its future. Because the Flavor Savers is a very visual group of guys, it aims to put its musical identity onto film — think Tenacious D’s The Pick of Destiny.

“The Flavor Savers members are characters, and that lends itself to videos,” Matt Cornelison said. “We already have fun making shorter videos, but our goal is a full-length, independent feature film.”

The band members remain driven to getting their own kicks as well as providing audiences with high-energy and high-quality shows. The musicians enjoy nothing more, it seems, than leaving it all out on the stage.

“We hope and intend that our performance is something you wouldn’t see anywhere else,” Matt Cornelison said. “Two worlds collide: our ridiculousness and our music. It really is something we take seriously.”

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