One of the hottest alternative rock groups to come from BC’s interior in the new millennium has been The Flu, formed in Kelowna in 2009, within a year the lineup was filled out by Felix Roberts on vocals and guitars, Jonny Karroll on guitars, bassist Alex Nuyten, and drummer Oz Frie.
Drawing from the likes of Alexisonfire, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Foo Fighters, they forged a hard-edged sound based on a modern interpretation of a classic rock sound. With a live energy that could power a small city, they quickly became staples on the independent scene throughout the Okanagan, and soon graduated to the entire BC circuit. They were finalists in the Battle of the Bands contest in Penticton at the 2010 Rock The Peach Festival.
They entered the studios later that year and released their self-titled debut EP in the spring of 2011. “Dead City Radio” and “Critical Mass” both got good airplay throughout BC, and by the time the other provinces were catching on, they’d also cranked out videos for the songs that personified their attitude and energy. They continued honing their chops and building a fanbase through their live shows. “Dead City Radio” was also picked by Kelowna radio station K96.3 FM for its compilation album to promote Okanagan talent.
2012 was kicked off with a bang for the group, having their biggest concerts in their young career when they opened for Paul Rodgers of Free, Bad Company, The Firm, and Queen fame on his BC tour. After some western Canadian dates on their own, they returned to the studios to finish up work on their second EP. At a special listening party at Vancouver’s Club Sapphire, they released TERRIFIRE that December. The band surrounded itself with some of the best studio personnel in the business, with Jeff Dawson (Daniel Powter, Kelly Rowland, State of Shock) producing, and Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Elvis Costello, Buckcherry, Hedley, Mariana’s Trench, Van Halen, Theory of a Deadman, Buckcherry, Slipknot) mixing the album.
The lead single “Monsters” took the BC rock airwaves by storm, and before long had made the playlists at several other stations across western Canada. Other noteable tracks included a re-worked version of “Forever Entitled” from the first EP, and the lead-off “Domestic Violets.”