High school students across the country have dreamed of starting a band and taking the stage to perform in front of a live audience. Many of these small “Do It Yourself” groups dream of having the opportunity to tour the country. Most wait their whole lives and have put in hard work for this opportunity. Indie rock band, flipturn have grown in popularity since their debut in 2015 and have been touring the United States since September 2021.
The group began during the members’ senior year of high school and freshman year of college. The name flipturn originated because Jarman was a competitive high school swimmer.
“Me Tristan [Duncan] and Dillon [Basse] all went to Fernandina High School,” said Madeline Jarman, the band’s bassist. “We were seniors when we started. We just had the idea of starting a band and thought it would be fun. No one else was really doing this sort of thing.
“I was a swimmer from five to 18,” Jarman continued. “The little bend you make at the end of the lane before you start another lap, that’s what a bend is. We really suffocated [through] so many awful names or names already taken. My parents are super involved and they loved that I was in a band. They helped us name the balls and suggested we turn around. He was not taken.
The band members are lead guitarist Tristian Duncan, bassist Madeline Jarman, Dillon Bass, filpturn vocals, Mitch Fountain who covers the synthesizer and Devon VonBalson who is their drummer. flipturn credits its popularity to its live performance in a semi-major college town in Florida.
“The music scene in Gainesville really appealed to us and word of mouth was great there,” Jarman said. “It’s always kind of like a local show for us. Everyone was our age and it was cool for people our [college] going out. They were bringing five friends”
Since their growth, the group has performed at the Okeechobee Music Festival in Okeechobee, Florida. The members are thrilled to be invited to perform at Shaky Knees but this isn’t their first festival.
“It was cool to [be performing at] a huge festival like that,” said flipturn lead singer Dillion Basse. “Be [performing at] widely known festivals and outside of our home country are really, really exciting.
flipturn has been on tour since September 2021. They will be performing new music and fan favorites over the years. During their tour, this caused the dreaded “touring mastermind”, where one is mentally exhausted from traveling and performing every other night. flipturn has a special way of preventing the “brain of the tour” from taking over every member. This special tactic is known as the rubber chicken named Jalapeño.
“He’s definitely still a thing,” Jarman said. “[Jalapeño] is like our pet. He’s our comic relief when times are boring in the van and it’s dark or you’re driving down the highway and there’s nothing. He is great.”
This rubber chicken is used to break the silence or be the comic relief in a stressful situation while touring across the country. The band brought Jalapeño on stage with them and will have him on stage for Shaky Knees.
“The tour was amazing,” Basse said. “We get to see the whole country that has been crazy, places we would never have really been. This is the biggest tour we’ve ever done. Almost every show on this tour was sold out. It was surreal.
flipturn will perform at Shaky Knees on April 29 at 1:15 p.m. on the Piedmont Stage as well as a late night show at Masquerade in Purgatory at 11 p.m.