Flipsyde's music is an unconventional, yet harmonious mix of styles. The top and bottom of their innovative sound is straight-up Hip Hop while the middle punches with Rock. These parts are made whole through Piper's consummate MC skills and stinging rhymes, Steve Knight's emotive voice and adhesive melodies plus Dave Lopez' inspired Latin-flavored flourishes of blazing guitar. Of course ... Flipsyde is a natural amalgam in a post-modern world where cultures, beliefs and music collide like wrecking balls but, at once, coexist, interlace and augment our everyday human experience.
At first, the backgrounds and influences of the three members that make up Flipsyde appear disparate, but, upon closer inspection, their common thread of passion, politics and commitment to music becomes evident.
Piper is a razor-sharp MC from the streets of Oakland whose distant childhood memories of an intermittent father from Brazil opened a window of curiosity to the Portuguese language and the bigger world outside. He weaves both interests liberally with a wicked flow to form precise rhymes. Focused and resolutely opinionated about the political landscape of our times, Piper can shift effortlessly between dazzling bravado and indictment of national and international policy.
Steve Knight's grainy vocals betray the gravely road he's tracked from his spiritual roots of Alabama to a tour of duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and through a self-described "chemical" journey from which he emerged more driven and committed to pursue his love of music in the Oakland scene.
A loyal disciple of the Bay Area music community, Dave Lopez originally immigrated to the U.S. from Chile where he was born and raised until his early adolescence. He carried with him - and has always harbored - a passion for the rhythms of South America and the melodic cadences of Chile's bold and deep-rooted musical traditions.
When asked to describe Flipsyde's unique sound, Piper offers the following analogy: "Our music is like water, it has no form but can cover you ... or morph into anything."
Piper and Knight were originally signed to the same Bay Area indie label where they had each been working on separate projects. They often helped one another by trading rhymes or guitar parts on each other's tracks. But, it wasn't until 2003, in Oakland's Soundwave Rehearsal Studios, that Dave - working there at the time - happened to cross the pair's path.
"Steve barged into me," remembers Lopez of their initial meeting, "and it really irked me. But then he started to play 'Someday' and I was in awe. I thought right away that I might have something to contribute to it and we've been jamming ever since that day."
In addition to serendipitous timing, Piper, Knight and Lopez also share a common dedication to unity and political awareness. This message comes across loud and clear in Flipsyde's lyrics.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, how rich or poor you are or what your religion is," says Knight. "You can break down the walls and communicate. You can gain strength from these things and come together."
Flipsyde's debut album on Cherrytree/Interscope Records is aptly titled "We the People." As Piper explains "It's 'We the People ... of the world;' a new declaration of independence without political boundaries. Our music promotes unity, peace and the empowerment of people." Lopez adds with a confident smile: "Our music is a big mess of love."