2010 has been a big year for you and you have become a punk staple in London in less than a year. Are you surprised by how fast things have moved for you?
Samir: Not really. We thought the scene in London and everything around us was quite stagnant and we knew we would shake things up. There was no-one around that catered for what we wanted to hear.
NME magazine hailed you as one of the best new bands of the year, what was it like having them feature you and giving you this praise?
Samir: The NME's been better these last few months since they started writing about us.
How did Flats form?
Samir: Luke used to a run a chocolate shop in Bethnal Green. Dan would stand outside and stare through the window. Luke occasionally gave him some fudge. They became friends after Dan was hired by Luke to sell the chocolate on Stepney market. And then they ended up living together. Samir and Craig shared a quarters in the Navy. Once, they were on shore leave, walking down Bethnal Green road when Dan tried to sell them some chocolate. We all ended up back in the shop where we realised we all liked the same music and decided to form a band.
Where did the name come from?
Samir: Dan's friend Sam came up with it. It's the English equivalent of the name of a Japanese noise band called High-Rise.
England has been home to some of the most important acts in punk; Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks and more. Do you feel any pressure to try and live up to these acts or the reputation they built?
Samir: No, not at all. We're probably better than most of those bands.
Punk has been desensitized for a while and you are making it dirty and nasty again without being cliché. Is there a method to your madness or just straight up go and seek and destroy?
Samir: There's no ideology behind it. We want to make fast, heavy music.
Who are some of your influences?
Samir: Our influences are our own... We literally wear them on our collar, but we don't feel we want to be a band who namedrops other bands just to get a point across. We're basically influenced by the heaviest sound from the past and the present.
You call about a number of iconic British musicians in your songs such as Paul Weller and Pete Townshed. What do you have against them and why are they not important to you?
Samir: These men have been glorified and been put on a world stage in a way we don't agree with. Their achievements don't match their rewards. They make terrible fucking music.
One of my favorite things about your band is how you approach music; you just want it out as fast as possible and no looking back. You have called out acts that re-release material numerous times and have your reasons for it. Do you wish more bands adopted your philosophy? Or could you care less, this method works for you and maybe not for someone else?
Samir: YES we really do. Every band should churn it out, there's no point sitting on things just because it'll be better off left for the album... That's why modern bands die so quickly. Maybe we will too, but at least we'll have put out loads of records
Your live shows have gotten you so much praise and buzz, what is it about your gigs that has people talking?
Samir: Every other gig we go to we're surrounded by party people staring disinterestedly into space. We have fun playing and we hope that comes across. We're glad that people are responding well at our shows and if anything we want more people to realize that this is what they have been waiting for- something to go mental to.
Will you be making a trip to the US soon?
Samir: We will be doing SXSW in March and some East Coast dates.
Is it a big deal for you to break big in the US?
Samir: Yes. We'd like to be the biggest band in every country.
With Gallows on hiatus and Throats calling it quits, are you England's most dangerous band at the moment?
Craig: To be honest I don't think any of us are aware of these bands material. So much of what we listen too isn't 'current' it's hard to gauge what's going on around us. it's been a bit different i think for us as we haven't risen out of any kind of scene and so what different influences we try to bring to FLATS are pretty varied - some of which are a lot more 'dangerous' than we could ever be.. So if you mean 'dangerous' as some marker of guitar bands playing 'heavy' music id certainly say no - we ain't dangerous at all.
You are heading out on tour in March, what can fans expect? Will there be any surprises and changes to the show?
Craig: We're writing stuff at the moment which is cementing the ideas of what we want this band to be. So on this tour people will defiantly get a truer idea of where we are headed. if people at the shows are into it then they are going be into what the album will end up being, and that's going to pretty exciting for us.
Saying that I don't think there are going be any big 'surprises' or 'changes'... that's not what we're about. People know what to expect when they come and see us by now, and that's completely cool with us.
J Spaceman of Spirtiualized, Jamie Reynolds and Kevin Sheilds have all attended gigs of yours and are outspoken fans. How does this make you feel?
Craig: Of course flattered beyond belief but i don't know how much anyone should read into that. For a start the names of the luminaries on that list seem to change and i'd really have to check out someone's record collection before i could tell you how any admiration feels - whoever they are! But in all seriousness, it's cool when anyone has something nice to say about he band
What can fans expect from Flats in 2011?
Craig: Lot's of new music, pretty intense touring and a disregard for hearing loss...