This week’s guest is Chris Cresswell. You probably know this Canadian crooner as the singer/guitarist of The Flatliners, as a guitarist in Hot Water Music, or from his work as a solo artist. This year is the 20th anniversary of The Flatliners and the band is marking the occasion with the release of its sixth full-length album—New Ruin, out August 5 on Fat Wreck Chords—and with extensive touring throughout Europe and North America in the coming months. Additionally, Hot Water Music also released an album earlier this year and is also embarking on a 25th anniversary tour throughout Europe and North America. In short, Cresswell is staying busy.

During a rare moment at home between tours, Cresswell was gracious enough to spend an hour speaking with My First Band host Tyler Maas about those exciting modern day developments and his pre-Flatliners musical backstory. Over the course of the conversation, Cresswell talked about growing up in a Toronto suburb, his mom’s musical influence on him, taking guitar lessons in the late ’90s, forming Short Notice (which essentially turned into The Flatliners), the ups and downs of early tours, memorable moments from the past two decades of The Flatliners, and how the opportunity to join Hot Water Music came to be.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and The Flatliners (“Souvenir”).