Fight With Tools- Flobots



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Year of Release: 2007 (re-release 2008)
Label: Universal Republic
Genre: Alternative Rock/ Alternative Hip Hop/ Rap Rock


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Members:
  • Jamie "Jonny 5" Laurie - lead vocal
  • Stephen "Brer Rabbit" - lead vocal
  • Andy "Rok" Guerrero - guitar, lead vocal
  • Jesse Walker - bass guitar
  • Kenny Ortiz - drums
  • Mackenzie Gault - viola, vocals
  • Joe Ferrone - trumpet (session member)
Jonny 5- Jamie got his nickname from the movie Short Circuit where a robot, Number 5, is struck by lightening and ends up off the Nova camp of robot creations, and into the arms of an animal- lover. She teaches Number 5 nature and the death of it, and by doing so the lightening that struck him essentially brought him to life. Just like the issues in our nation struck Jonny 5, bringing him to the life of reality.
Brer Rabbit- Stephen chose his nick name from the character Brer Rabbit, the "trixter" who suceeds through his wits rather than his strength. By twisting authority figures and making social values his own.

VITAL STATS
"Fight With Tools" was Flobots best selling album around 292,055 albums. The album was placed on seven music charts, and on the Billboard 200 chart at #15, after jumping 168 places. The featured songs listed on this album are Fight With Tools, and Handlebars. Fight With Tools was on three music charts, along with the Digital Song Chart for 28 weeks, listing at #8. Handlebars was listed at #37 on the Hot 100 list for 20 weeks. The most popular song on the album would be Handlebars, becoming very popular on Modern Rock Radio. After the re-launch in 2008 Flobots performed live on Late Night Television, The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien, and Carson Daly. Along with performing live, after having an expensive concert, they led a anti-war march into the streets of Denver during the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The video below shows clips of the experience in Denver at the time. During the 2008 election, they performed live in Washington DC for the election.

Background
Six different characters came together to create the band Flobots. Formed by Jonny 5 in the year 2000, coming out of Denver, Colorado, creating a sonic boom with their album "Fight With Tools." The album talked about struggle and change going on in the world, and how mistakes and decisions within the government has formed our nations history. With the interestingly topic based album, they went on tour with this album in the United States, and Europe. When "Fight With Tools" came out, so did the websites flobots.org, and fightwithtools.org. Flobots.org was created for the purpose of involving art and music within the youth as a community builder, and a social changer within the communities of the world. The website helps from school fund raising, to assistance to become a registered voter. With the determination of music, Flobots started this non-profit organization for kids from school to musicians so they can come together and share what they know, along with learning what other people know in a safe environment.

Within the album, the song Handlebars became a huge hit. Jonny 5 wrote the song, along with the rest of the Flobots members. The song was a huge inspirational hit about how the Presidents decision by sending troops to invade Iraq was a nation changing event. Then the song started to talk about the idea of accomplishment, and the question of "What exactly it is they hope to accomplish?" The whole Iraq event made Jonny 5, and the Flobots members angry, sad, and confused. In their opinion war is the most fatal tragedy, and this message of "change" in our nation truly inspired the listeners to Handlebars, and the rest of the "Fight With Tools" album. More and more people join the Flobots website along with donating their time and money to help spread the message the Flobots are trying to send within music. "Fight With Tools" isn't just another album, it is a wake up call to the nation to stand up and use the privilege of freedom to speech. While the people are being inspired, the Flobots continue to relate to each other creating music that this nation loves.

Technical Details
To put this short and sweet, the instrumentals spoke a story of its own. Expressing how each and every member in the Flobots felt at that particular time in performing the song or recording it. The lyrics can speak for its own and explain verbally of what is going on in each moment, andevery second of that song. But the instruments smack the listeners right in the face to listen and absorb each and every emotion flying into the ears of each and every listener. Personally, I had to listen to the album twice. Once to listen to the lyrics and read the story within the lines, and second to heartbreaking but inspiring instrumentals that exploded into a story of its own in each and every song.


Track Listing:
  • There's a War Going On for Your Mind
  • Mayday!!!
  • Same Thing
  • Stand Up
  • Fight With Tools
  • Handlebars
  • Never Had it
  • Combat (Explicit)
  • The Rhythm Method (Move!) [Explicit]
  • Anne Braden
  • We Are Winning
  • Rise
  • "Iraq" (UK bonus track)

Media/Video
"Handlebars"


"Rise"


Flobots at the Democratic National Convention

Flobots at the Democratic National Convention

FLOBOTS | MySpace Video

-Live performance at DNC Convention in Denver for Iraq Veterans against the war. Make Peace not War.


"Never Had It"

Personally, "Never Had It," is my favorite song on the album. This song truly shows the balance in the instrumentals from chorus, to verse, to bridge. With transitions from guitar, to trumpet, the instrumentals create a song on its own. But on top of the great instrumentals, the lyrics truly show the theme of this album. In each songs the Flobots always use the underdog for overcoming such challenges, but in "Never Had it," it shows how this underdog is so close to reaching their life goal. Throughout the song it keeps repeating, "Keep on wanting something more," because it is trying to show that achieving your goal is something that a person has to dedicate and keep on trying to reach. Overall, from instrumentals to background singing, the song pulls together as the heart of the album.


"Anne Braden"

Anne Braden was an American advocate for racial equality. A girl raised in the typical white middle-class family in the south, in the mist of the racial era. Throughout the song, Anne Braden's speeches from the Civil Rights Movement are heard. While explaining her thoughts about civil rights, some fifty years later the Flobots pay tribute to her hard work. As Flobots right a song based around Braden, they also show how the civil rights impacted our lives today. This song is a great example of the point they are trying to make about our American History.

Sources:
http://flobots.com/about/the-story-so-far/
http://flobots.com/band-bios/
http://flobots.org/about.html
http://www.fightwithtools.org/
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0308-01.htm
http://www.myspace.com/flobots/videos/flobots-at-the-democratic-national-convention/44584854



"Creating positive change by harnessing the power of music and those who love it"-Flobots