Music Interview Magazine spoke with Joe Flynt to discuss the band’s songwriting process, the local music scene in Atlanta, styles that paved the way for Twisted Road and more.
Asphalt Valentine is a band rooted in hard-hitting, guitar-driven rock music. After a four year recording hiatus, the Atlanta, Georgia-based group returned in February 2020 with Twisted Road, released by HighVolMusic. The album marks a lineup change and a demonstration of exploring the lighter and darker sides in life, while branching out into other genres.
Elements of punk, metal, southern rock and blues are contained on Twisted Road’s ten songs, making the collection a stand out among other rock releases. The album was included among musicinterviewmagazine’s mid-year list from the “Must-Hear Albums of 2020.” Asphalt Valentine has graduated from songs about sex, drugs and other vices to lasting relationships and mortality, all without sacrificing heaviness. Check out the title track for the band’s hard-charging rock abilities and songwriting chops.
The songs on Twisted Road are elevated by frontman Joe Flynt’s soaring vocal work. The singer has broadened his range, perhaps zigging when he might have zagged on the blues thumper “As The Crow Flies,” tapping into his upper register during the chorus. Flynt also employed some snarl and swagger to the punk-riffed closer, “Rain,” getting a little more sentimental while paying homage to Rod Stewart’s version of the band Faces’ “Ooh La La,” written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood.
Musicinterviewmagazine: What is Asphalt Valentine’s typical writing process? How, if at all, did the process change for Twisted Road?
Joe Flynt: Most of the songs start with a riff or melody idea that I have. I typically start with a riff and then start building basic verse and chorus guitar parts. I have a small home studio and use Pro-tools, an Audient interface and a Warm [Audio] limiter and compressor. I start building drum beats then start recording my guitar ideas over that. Once I think I have something, I let the music influence the lyrics. I’ll record vocals and then send the song out. The band will tweak and add or change parts, so that’s when it really starts to get the AV sound and vibe. We do also have songs inspired from other band members, who may start noodling a riff at practice and it just takes off from there. We didn’t really change that process for Twisted Road.
Did you consciously try to incorporate various rock styles into the songs?
Not for the most part. Most of the songs are just riffs in my head. Sometimes there will definitely be influences I go for when I think it will complement the record as a whole. But we come from all different backgrounds and have lots of influences. The songs just naturally incorporate all of those influences.
You had several more songs that were omitted from this album. How difficult were those decisions? What are the chances those songs appear on the follow-up?
Most of those were not tough, because most of them were not either fully developed with the band, or it’s not something the rest of the band has even been shown yet. There’s a great potential for these songs to show up on the next record. Though I think we are going to have a lot of material to choose from. The guys are really excited and coming to the table with lots of ideas. The songs that come out the best will make it. Read the full interview here:
Excerpt taken from Music Interview Magazine