A prominent Minnesota band from the late-’90s that had too much fun to formally call it quits — “It kind of just ended out of laziness,” frontman Brynn Arens now says — Flipp also isn’t calling its first show in a decade a reunion. Instead, Friday’s gig at First Avenue (8 p.m., $15-$20) is billed as “the return” of the makeup-wearing hard-rock quartet.
“I’m hoping we can keep the train rolling now,” said Arens, who previously played in the ‘80s hair bands FunHouse and Obsession. He jump-started Flipp in 1995 with a remake of the Who’s “My Generation” (posted below). The band soon became known for working with Kiss’ original sven-gali manager Bill Aucoin, and for pulling off such memorable stunts as dropping cereal and feathers on festival crowds from helicopters. Flipp played its last show in 2003.
“I kind of had an identity crisis when it ended, and was leaning too heavily on substances at that point, so I kind of fell apart along with the band,” Arens admitted, breaking from character. After focusing on his garagey, pinstriped newer band the Oddfathers of late – who recorded tracks with legendary producer Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Jimi Hendrix) -- Arens said he opted to flip the Flipp switch again because “at some point you realize to appreciate the good things you have, and I think that band was very good.”
Heyday-era Flipp bandmates Greg Eidem (Cherry Forever) and Eric Bretl (Kilo Bale) are rejoining the fun. So is Brynn's brother Kii Arens (aka Chia Karaoke), who's now one of Los Angeles’ most reputable rock poster artists and a known videomaker. Brynn is not entirely sure whether he's going to bring back the old face-painted look or not for Friday’s show. “It really depends if I feel like it,” he said. He did hint that they have a few surprises planned, but, he injected, "The big stunt in this case is just putting it back together, and maybe not stopping."
"There's kind of a black cloud hanging over rock 'n' roll right now, with so many of our legends dying and everything that's going on in the world," Arens said. "It could use a little lightening up."