At first glance, Flotation Walls might appear to be the gimmicky cousin of Devo. Visually, the band’s yellow and black attire isn’t all that far from an orange jumpsuit. Musically, the beautiful layers of string arrangements and angelic choral orchestrations that are the core to FW’s sound are a far cry from new wave robotic rock. The only thing they might share in common is a synthesizer.
“The yellow shirts were kind of a reaction to people wearing black every day, almost like a uniform,” says vocalist and guitarist Carlos Avendano. “Now, it’s something that brings us altogether on stage as a group— and, of course, it’s just kind of fun.”
Flotation Walls was founded as an experimental electronic group in 1996 by Avendano, but started evolving into what they are today around 2004. Through mutual friends, Avendano met keyboard player Anna Wuerth, bassist Zak Moses and Ryan Stolte-Sawa, who plays violin, keyboards and guitar. Drummer Luke Brevoort, who was a fan of the band, joined up later after he liked the sound and brand of music the band was going for.
“I try to stay away from the typical indie rock guitar sound as much as possible,” says Avendano. “We try to put in something else in situations where you would typically put a guitar. Maybe some strings, maybe a tuba, just something different,” he said.
Their forthcoming album, Nature, which the band has been working on for about three years, is filled with layers upon layers of epic sounds. Behind the vocals of Avendano and the strings and keys, is a choir of backing vocals that are not easy to duplicate live. “We encourage the audience to sing those parts at the live show,” says Stolte-Sawa. “We like to think of them as our choir.”
For more information on Flotation Walls go to www.flotationwalls.com