Is there such a thing as a flying mammal?
That was the question posed to producer Sylvia Massy by her manager, a question which led to a band from Northwest Idaho meeting and working with the legendary producer in several creative situations over the course of a year. The result of this collaboration is Flying Mammals’ latest album titled Vier (meaning “four” in German), the fourth studio release by the four-brother band. Vier is a concept album of 13 catchy alt-pop songs spanning piano-driven pop, rock, funk, folk, world music and electro-rocktronica genres, all connected seamlessly as one continually flowing piece!
The family that plays together…
After a fire took away their family home in Sandpoint, Idaho, the eight Birdsall siblings splintered across the United States, with band members James and Andrew moving to Chicago where they performed in a blues funk band together, Aaron moving to Seattle’s post-grunge scene to perform with an alt rock band and write, and the eldest sibling Jeremy starting his professional music career and record label in Orlando, Florida. Aaron later partnered with Jeremy in forming the west coast division of Kavode Records before starting a label of his own, FM Inc.
The birth of Flying Mammals
Having established themselves musically in their respective cities, Aaron and James reunited as they gravitated back to their Idaho roots, this time setting up shop in idyllic Coeur d’Alene. There the two brothers began co-writing together which resulted in “GO!”, the catchy and empowering song that inspired them to form a new family band and bring in the youngest brother Andrew as the drummer. Thus, Flying Mammals emerged as a trio, creating industry buzz, gaining support from local radio outlets, and developing a loyal fan base all in just two short months from their inception.
First additional sibling joins the band
With the original concept of Flying Mammals being an all eight-sibling band, Jeremy (who had previously booked the band’s US tour routes and joined them on Florida shows) decided to defy geographical logic and officially take the plunge. He became the fourth Mammal, contributing to Vier musically, as well as with pre-production and planning for recording the album with Grammy-winner Sylvia Massy.
The pivotal invitation…
“We met Sylvia through an email actually,” Aaron reflects. “Her manager said that they were debating about birds and which animal group they belonged to. A simple Google search of “flying mammals” brought up our band, and after listening she thought, ‘Hey, these guys are pretty good, it would be cool to work with them on something.'” Massy reached out to Flying Mammals and invited them to record with her. “It was an absolute no-brainer,” laughs Jeremy. After working out the travel and production logistics, the brothers met up with her in Germany to track their next album in a 14th century castle.
Sausages, cassette decks and dungeons
The entire album was tracked in one continuous take on a vintage Neve console with overdubs added afterwards. During the course of the recording process at Castle Röhrsdorf, creativity struck Sylvia and the band as they incorporated some unusual techniques that implemented cheese sausage, cassette deck, and robot filters, as well as a ‘garden hose mic’, resulting in custom signature sounds for their alt-pop-indie music. The foursome also recorded four-part harmonies in the acoustically-haunting dungeon of the castle studio. These unorthodox techniques made their way into Massy’s acclaimed book Recording Unhinged. The experience was nothing short of extraordinary for the brothers, all of whom agree that Vier is their best and most creative work to date.
Flying Mammals LIVE!
The high-energy Flying Mammals live shows are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears, as both Aaron and Jeremy play bass and keys at the same time, and Andy can be spotted playing drums blindfolded on a song or two! In addition to guitar, bass, keys and drums. the brothers also feature a myriad of unique instruments in their piano-driven alt-pop shows including sitar, cello, mandolin, Brazilian surdo toms, and a Gold Tone BB400+ Bass Banjo!
Flying Mammals will be launching a new U.S. and European tour in support of Vier, an album that passionately represents their vision: to make compelling music that resonates deeply with people and reflects the unity and tenacity it takes to make it happen.
Flying Mammals LOVE!
Aaron Birdsall proudly endorses Studio Logic and Source Audio. Jeremy Birdsall proudly endorses Aguilar Amplification, Gold Tone Music Group, and Gator Cases and is a voting member of the Recording Academy / GRAMMY Awards.