By Connor Ryan | April 5, 2023
What happens when you combine a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde element to songwriting with Miami Beach poolside lounge-vibes, and contrast that with eerie dark-synth notes and tones (*queue Ross Bogan*)? The product is Doom Flamingo, a jammin’ sextet that hails from Charleston, South Carolina. Initially, the group derived from Ryan Stasik, bassist for jam band Umphrey’s McGee, who sought to compile musicians for an Umphrey’s after-party show. Friendships and past collaborations brought together the pieces to the puzzle: The ever-dynamic vocalist, Kanika Moore; the diverse musical background of keyboardist, Ross Bogan; rippin’ guitar riffs of, Thomas Kenney; emphatic sounds from, Mike Quinn, on the sax and keys; and tempo on the drums from Sean Bing.
You won’t want to miss Doom Flamingo this Friday (April 7th) as they hit Brooklyn Bowl with Big Something for a night to remember. Tix available here.
We caught up with Ross Bogan, keyboardist for Doom Flamingo, prior to their headlining show, where he answered a few questions for the groovement.
What was the first concert you went to?
Mine was Jimmy Buffet at the Coliseum here. My dad actually said he brought me to see the Beach Boys, so that was technically my first concert. But the first big concert that I remember was Jimmy Buffett.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Columbia, South Carolina but now, myself, as well as the rest of the band is in Charleston.
How did you first get started?
Ryan [Stasik] (of Umphreys McGee) moved here and was looking to put together a band for an Umphrey’s McGee late night, and he was gonna do a Mega Moose, which is a project with the New Deal guys, but they couldn’t make it for some reason. So, Mike, our saxophone player, had done a show with Ryan as part of a horn section. He and Ryan started getting together and talking about who they were gonna get for the show. So basically, long story short, we all kind of got together to put the band together for one specific show. And I had been listening to a lot of synth wave music at the time. We kind of came up with the concept before we had played a note of music together. After we did the first show, we kind of just hit the ground running and started recording and just tried to play as many shows as possible.
What was the first concert you performed?
It was in Charleston at this place called the Omar Shrine. Which is the only concert I’ve ever even heard of happening at this place.
What is the origin of your name?
So really it just came from a massive text thread of ridiculous band names that we had going. Ryan was like, ‘I’ve always wanted a band with Doom in the name.’ He was in Miami at the time and was talking about flamingos being everywhere. And we all just agreed on Doom Flamingo. Once we had the name, we just started playing with this Jekyll and Hyde band where some of it is really dark and some of it is really heavy. That just kind of came as we were recording. The concept and everything fell into place really quickly.
How would you describe your music – either by genre or general vibe?
I think the biggest thing about it is that we were kind of going for this really tight synth wave sound, but at our core, we’re all like rock and jazz and largely improvisational musicians. So we kind of went for this thing, and then met somewhere in the middle. I think that’s why we have a very unique sound. Like, we could have very easily been a funk band.
What is your pre-show routine (anything you need to do, eat or drink)?
I like going on a walk. I really enjoy walking. I feel like it’s always a good way to see a city when you’re touring. A lot of times, you go into a city, you’re in and out, and you don’t really get a chance to see it all that much, so I try to see as much of it as I can on a nice long walk.
Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
I’m a big Grateful Dead fan. When I was in college, I randomly got called into playing for a Grateful Dead cover band, and I didn’t really know much about the Dead… And I was kind not digging it. I was closed off to it. But once I started playing the songs and really getting into it, I fell in love with it and realized how much is going on lyrically and musically. Still, to this day, I am learning new things about Grateful Dead. Not to mention the whole community that comes with it is amazing. I’m extremely grateful that I have Grateful Dead in my life.
As far as other music, I would say I am very influenced by my friends and the bands I have played in over the years. I used to play in a reggae band before this. I learned a lot playing with them. I really love dance music, especially that ‘punks making dance music’ sound. I love New Wave stuff. I’m a big fan of LCD Soundsystem. I’m constantly floating from genre to genre.
Do you have anything you want people to take away from your music?
I think that the first thing that comes to mind is just following your passion–Whatever weird passion that is. As far as Doom Flamingo is concerned, I think when we first started we were kind of going for fun, dance vibes. But, I think there were a lot of things going on internally with ourselves, deep-seeded emotional things, that came out in a fun way there. It’s almost like when you’re writing music, and there’s no way that you can just avoid what you’re feeling, and you know it’s all gonna come out. So, I think following your passion and being okay with expressing yourself in whatever off-kilter way that may be. That’s the biggest thing I would want people to take from our music.
What’s your dream venue to perform at?
As many as possible.
📸: shot by Kris Julien