Flipsyde

A unique mix of hip-hop, rock and Latin rhythms creates something new.

With cultures, beliefs and musical styles constantly colliding, Flipsyde is a natural reflection of the world we live in.

The band, which hails from California's Bay Area, uses a unique mix of hip-hop, rock and Latin rhythms to create a sound that crosses all sorts of musical boundaries. And last week, that led to breaking down yet another barrier when "We the People" (Cherrytree/Interscope) entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 43.

Originally released last summer, the album was relaunched in December to coincide with the single "Someday" being chosen by NBC as a theme song for its Winter Olympics coverage. For the past few weeks the song -- and the band -- has been prominently featured in the network's ad campaign for the upcoming games.

Flipsyde vocalist Piper sees the pairing as a perfect fit.

"'Someday' basically communicates desperation, perseverance, optimism [and] being surrounded by darkness and fighting your way out because you know that light exists somewhere," he says. "The athletes [are] working out twice a day, six days a week for years [so] that they can make it to this competition, so I see it as the perfect song for the Winter Olympics."

Although Piper and his bandmates Steve Knight (vocals/guitar), Dave Lopez (guitar) and DJ D-Sharp come from different musical backgrounds, they have been able to use their various influences to create their own unique style.

"We call it slash music -- because it's hip-hop/acoustic/Latin/rock/30 more things," says Piper. "We don't confine ourselves to one thing. We have a certain element of rock in our music. There's an even bigger element of Latin. There's rapping on every song. I don't know what we're doing. That's why we call it slash music.

"You know what our [fans] look like?" he adds. "You've got some hardcore cats straight from the 'hood. You got some singer/songwriters. You got some rockers. A whole lot of Latinos. It's a mixture of people. It looks like the Bay Area, the picture of America."

Although Flipsyde's music can seemingly appeal to a wide audience, there are still a lot of challenges ahead in a world that likes its artists neatly packaged.

"It's kind of sad the way the human brain works. People put labels on things," he says. "If you see something completely new it's almost like you don't see it. You don't pay attention to it till it catches on.

"A lot of radio is saying you guys got too much rap or you guys got too much guitar. We don't control whether or not our song gets played on the radio, but we can control our show," he adds. "We're gonna bring our guitars and throw it down right there in front of your face and let you see how we do it. Let you know that this is real."

Recently the band has toured with the likes of Snoop Dogg, the Black Eyed Peas and the Game, so on the surface it seems as though Flipsyde is cozying up to the hip-hop community. But Piper is quick to point out that the group's music offers something for everybody.

"Hip-hop is so huge. It's everywhere," he notes. "People who have listened to nothing but rock their whole life are now confronted with hip-hop, and they like it but they're not gonna stop listening to rock. There are people who have been listening to flamenco and salsa their whole life and now they're confronted with hip-hop, but they're not gonna stop listening to salsa. So [artists are] gonna have to incorporate more things into [their music]. It's inevitable."