After a 3‑year hiatus since his last album, Fliptrix’s new album ‘Mantra No. 9’ recently landed to critical acclaim.
We caught up with Fliptrix to learn more about his ninth solo release, what drives him a musician and the future of High Focus Records…
Congratulations on the new album. Tell us a bit about what this album means to you and how it all came together.
‘Mantra No. 9’ continues where my previous projects left off, there is a lineage running through them. I really just wanted to bring it back to the proper traditional sounds that my fans have always resonated with most. The biggest shift has been moving to Portugal, which has greatly influenced how I write, surrounded by nature and in a clear headspace. That move has definitely helped the vibe.
How long has this album been in the works? After a couple of years away from releasing, why did now feel like the right time?
When the world flipped on its head in 2019, my wife and I agreed to make a positive out of a negative situation, so we bought a motorhome, traveling to Portugal and just adventured around. I was living in a van for a few months which was pretty mad because I was running the label out the back of it, as well as having my young son with me.
At that point, I wasn’t really writing lyrics, I was just taking time to learn about my surroundings and getting used to being a Dad. It was a really strange transition going from playing loads of shows to doing none at all. Despite that, I was just taking in inspiration the whole time, which gave me more to write about. ‘Verb T’ hit me up needing a verse for a ‘Four Owls’ tune, which was the first verse I’d written for that entire time. I had so much fun writing that verse that I linked up with ‘Illinformed’ shortly after and wrote “Eden” and it all just snowballed from there”.
So “Mantra No.9”, fill us in a little bit on the name, what is your “Mantra No.9”?
It starts mainly from when I was early on in my career. I was a huge fan of Bob Marley and he was a massive inspiration to me. I found out that he actually blew up on his 9th album and that he had been playing for so long before he got worldwide recognition for his talent, which was powerful motivation for me.
The number 9 has so many deep meanings behind it. It’s the highest number before you go back to 1’s & 0’s. This felt like a really significant album for me and as I said before my music is all part of a journey. When I was making the “Third Eye Of The Storm”, I started to wake up to a lot of things, developing as a human being and putting those messages into my music.
How are you feeling about getting back to touring, given your time away from playing shows?
I’ve always loved the live element. That’s where I truly get to test out the art and see people’s genuine, real-time reactions. Living quite remotely, it’s really fun to dip back in and still get to embrace all of the enjoyable parts like performing live. I’ve got a lot of love for all the cities I’m playing in, so I’m really looking forward to it.
Tying it all together, are there stories from times on a previous tour/gig where you wish you had a mantra to guide you through a tricky situation?
In the earlier days, we definitely used to be a lot more wild and get a lot more waved. I’ve actually stopped drinking for a long time now, but I definitely had to learn the hard way. After a while, you realise that it just isn’t sustainable and your body is your temple and you should treat it with respect.
Finally, it’s been sixteen years since you released your first album and you’ve achieved some incredible things. What does the future look like for Fliptrix in sixteen years from now?
It’s been such an incredible journey and I’m so happy with where I am right now. I don’t know where I will be in 16 years, but it’s exciting to see people who were huge inspirations to me when I was young still absolutely smashing it. It gives me a lot of motivation to keep going. I want to be an inspiration to people like those before us and motivate those after us to create their own art, but moreover, live the life they want to live. If I can keep doing that I’ll be happy.
Listen HERE to Mantra No.9