Interview with Stabbing Westward Keyboardist Walter Flakus Words By Jesse Striewski/Photo By Brooke Striewski

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It’s been over a decade since the last time the guys in Stabbing Westward passed through Central, FL. But next month, the band will be hitting the stage at the House of Blues in Orlando on February 17 for the first time since disbanding in 2002.

I had a chance to chat with keyboardist and founding member Walter Flakus recently, who elaborated with me regarding the long gap; “Now that I think about it, we haven’t played a show in Florida since 2001! The closest would’ve been when (Stabbing Westward side project) The Dreaming played Sanford in 2015.”

Flakus went on to tell me more about Stabbing Westward’s recent reformation; “It really goes back to when (lead vocalist) Christopher (Hall) and I rekindled our friendship in 2014 when his father passed away. We started trading musical ideas, which led to me joining The Dreaming and contributing to the Rise Again album. While touring on that record, Marcus came out to play some SW songs at the Chicago (the band’s hometown) show. It really felt great being on the stage together again. In 2016, Jason and Kelly Novak floated the idea of SW playing the pre-party for the Coldwaves festival in Chicago, and we thought, ‘Let’s see if anyone still cares.’ The show sold out in 3 minutes, and it just kept building from there.”

I also asked why former bassist Jim Sellers has been noticeably absent for the entirety of the reunion, for which he tells me; Christopher and I talked to Jim about playing some SW shows before the Coldwaves show was proposed. I think he has a lot of projects that he’s working on, and playing shows didn’t really fit. So we turned to Carlton (Bost), who plays guitar in The Dreaming, as well as Orgy. He’s been a great fit.”

Flakus also assures me fans can expect to hear a wide range of songs these days in their set lists; “Of course there’s certain songs which have to be included because they were singles or fan favorites. Recently we’ve been playing most of Darkest Days in order, which has been really great. We’re constantly working up new things to add to the set. This year is the 25th anniversary of Ungod, so we may spend some time focusing on that later this year.” He also tells me new material is not too far off; “We have a bunch of songs we’re currently working on. Hopefully we’ll get something out later this year.”

Be sure not to miss the chance to catch Stabbing Westward at their Orlando show next month…it’s sure to be worth the wait!

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