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Interview with


Story behind the name:

We were getting ready to perform for the first time. One of the guys

was trying to explain the drum part of a new song to Tyler. "Your part

sounds like the fa-dum-fa-dum-fa-dum sound you get when you're

driving on a flat tire," one guy said. Flat tire the words stuck in Jon's


Kind of music:  

Simply put, we play music that swings and moves and takes everyone

along with it. Our songs cover 70 years. We play the '40s big band

swing, jump blues, Chicago blues and '90s West Coast swing.


Members and their roles:

It takes five lug nuts to hold a tire on a car. That's what keeps a car

rollin', even with a flat tire.


Jon Todryk: On stage, Jon plays guitar, and he's our main storyteller.

He does a lot of the singing. His gritty voice mixed with his sense of

humor give his songs "grit and grin."


Jim Schustedt: Jim is our musical technician, the voice of reason. He's

the guy who listens to the original song we want to play and decides if

we can do that song justice. On stage, Jim plays guitar and takes lead

vocals on various songs, including "Minnie the Moocher."


Tyler Kobs: Tyler's drumming drives the rhythm section. He takes lead

vocals on "Your Love is Real."


David Le May: Dave plays upright and electric bass or, as Dan puts it,

the largemouth and smallmouth bass. His vocals drive home the song

"Satisfy Susan."


Dan Gilgenbach: Dan and his sax leave their mark on every song and leave the audience wanting more. And that, says

Dan, is the long and the sax of it.


How would you describe your band to a person with no ears?

It's everything moral, ethical and legal that feels right, makes you move and keeps you happy.


What to you do when you're on a break?

It feels great to rub elbows with the people we've been singing to all night. They've been listening to us break time is our

chance to listen to them. They inspire us. And they energize us.


Day jobs?

Yep, we've got 'em. To us, they're our offstage alter egos: Dan, band instrument manager at Mike's Music and Sound;

David, project manager at J.F. Ahern; Tyler, health care assistant; Jim, senior guitar publications editor at Hal Leonard

Corporation; and Jon, sales engineer at The Toolhouse.


CDs available?

We've recorded two: "Broke Down in Oshkosh" (August 2003) and "Pump'd Up" (December 2005). Our CDs are both

recorded live with all of us set up in the studio at the same time, playing together.


What's your personal philosophy toward music?

We have two: "Let's do this." That's how we look at everything we're not sure of. We try it. If it works, great. If not, learn from

it and move on.

"Enjoy it." Enjoy what you're playing. The best thing about Flat Tire is that we all have a sense of humor. Most of our songs

are funny to listen to because we pick 'em and play 'em that way.


Any rituals before performing?

There's a whole lot of strumming, tweaking, blowing, tapping we're talking equipment set up sound here! Then there's

Jon, taking care of his baby the finest vintage amplifier.


What wets your whistle?

Nothing's sweeter than a round of ice cold beers with a "crowd that wants more" chaser.


If your band could jam with anybody, who would it be?

Brian Setzer Orchestra.


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