Aug 222010
Authors: Andrew Carrera

As liberal as their lyrics may sound, not all of the Flobots voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

“He came across as an anti-war guy,” said Jamie Laurie, the lead singer –– commonly known as Jonny 5 –– of the six-member band. “So some of us, but not all of us, supported him. I mean, he’s wavering right now on closing Guantanamo Bay.”

Flobots exploded onto the downtown Fort Collins scene Friday night as headliners for Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, playing to a crowd of 7,500 people.

Flobots’ newest album, Survival Story, dropped March of this year, and was recorded in Fort Collins, making the three-day outdoor music festival somewhat of a homecoming for the group.

“We played NewWestFest in 2007,” Jonny 5 said. “I don’t remember what spot we were, but we were early in the set. To be able to come back and headline the festival is an honor for us.”

Bohemian Nights, a program under the Bohemian Foundation, is the festival’s title music sponsor and focuses on helping bands build their musical rapport.

While the rest of the band lounged in the trailer in the background, the 32-year-old lead singer said what he misses most about living a normal, Denver-based life is teaching.

“I taught at East High School in Denver for so long, and then one day you have to announce that you’re leaving everyone to go pursue a rapping career. It was a hard thing,” Jonny 5 said.

Even after helping write and perform “Handlebars,” the No. 3 most listened to song in the country in 2007, Jonny 5 has not lost his desire for instilling passion and a need to inspire movement in today’s youth.

The Flobots have crafted themselves into a band that not only sings about community activism, but also mobilizes younger generations to “view music as a tool for therapy, community building, leadership development and action,” he said.

The band’s organization,, is the result of the band’s need to make a tangible difference with their lyrics.

After spending many days and nights roaming around Fort Collins in between recording sessions, Jonny 5 has a clear message to Colorado State University students.

“I hope anyone reading this that maybe doesn’t believe that they are an agent of change knows that the world really does need them,” he said.

“Anytime that you see pain in the world, take that personally and find a way that you can take whatever your talent is — whatever your tool is — and utilize that.”

Staff Writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at

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