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Flowers - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 31 / 7 / 2013

Flowers - Interview


Anthony Strutt chats to East London indie pop trio Flowers about signing to Fortuna POP! and their just released second vinyl only single, 'Until You're Dead'

Flowers are Rachel (vocals and one-stringed bass guitar), Sam (guitar) and Jordan (drums), a young band that has freshly signed to Fortuna POP! and who have just released their second 7" vinyl only single, ‘Until You’re Dead’. They live in a house together in the East End of London, and their music recalls the Primitives and the Shop Assistants Pennyblackmusic spoke to Rachel, who explained the band's adventures to date. PB: Why the name Flowers? R: It's simple, and has lots of contrast when compared to our sound. We're pretty noisy live and distorted, which isn't what you'd expect from the name. We like surprising people, and we like the contrast. We also like giving context to such a common word. PB: I believe you all live in the same house in the East End. Is that for you guys the perfect arrangement? R: Yes, it's been very useful this past year all being together to rehearse whenever we need to in our flat or in the practice room around the corner. Being in the East End is perfect for us! We used to live farther afield, and going to or playing gigs always meant a long journey, especially after the tubes stopped running. But now we live in walking distance from most of the venues we play. PB: How did you all meet? R: Sam had been looking to start this band since his old one ended. He knew Jordan vaguely from college, so he looked him up and bought him lots of beers to get him to join Flowers, and then I answered an ad Sam put up on Gumtree for a singer. PB: Were any of you in previous bands? R: Sam's old band is The Notes, Jordan's been in loads of bands and I haven’t been in any. PB: What are your influences? R: We just make music we like to listen to ourselves, so inevitably it has similarities to other music we enjoy. We listen to all sorts... The old Sarah Records bands (Brighter, Another Sunny Day etc.), post-punk like Joy Division, the old, great 60s girl groups like the Ronettes and the Shangri-Las’, and some noisier stuff too like Ramones, Misfits, the Sonics, Iggy and the Stooges... And specifically ‘Like a Prayer’ by Madonna! PB: You signed to Fortuna POP!, Is that because you met Sean Price and you liked the label? R: Sean actually emailed us out of the blue and asked if we were interested. He hadn't heard us live or anything. He'd just listened to our early demos on Bandcamp. But apparently he'd had recommendations from people we'd played for and with. We were over the moon when we got the email, as for us, Fortuna POP! was our dream UK label. PB: You have been together a year, but I believe there's another 7 inch out there on Cloudberry? R: Yes, we released that in March this year. All the songs on both 7 inches we've released were written and recorded at home by Sam and I. In fact everything we've done so far is. The songs on that Cloudberry record were actually never finished (to our ears) because, when we'd nearly finished them, our computer got literally rained on when our ceiling gave in to heavy rain. But we'd come too far with the songs to consider starting them over again, and, despite wanting to tweak them further, we were happy with the sound, so we sent them off to Cloudberry as they were! PB: I heard you do a lot of CDRs with new tracks on them and sell them at gigs. Are these like demos of works in progress? R: Mostly they're our very first recordings. When Sam and I first got their writing heads together, we made about thirty songs in the first three days, and the number kept growing from there! So, there are lots of demos that aren't finished songs, because they were done on tape machines that since broke, or just because we realised the song would never end up as a full Flowers song, but they're little bits of music we like the sound of, so we thought it'd be a shame for them to get forgotten. PB: How's the album coming along? R: Well, we don't exactly have a shortage of songs! Through Sean and just through meeting people at shows, we've had some exciting offers of producers to work with, so we're trying out that for the first time. Being used to just doing everything ourselves, it's a daunting prospect, but also an exciting one. But we aren't used to waiting for other people's schedules to free up. Sam and I make music as a full-time occupation, so while we're trying out different studios we're also just recording everything ourselves at home for the album. We'll see what comes out best, and go with that! We just want to make the best album we possibly can. PB: You remind me of the Shop Assistants and the Primitives. Do you know these bands and do you like the comparisons? R: Yes we know and love them! We've had these comparisons before too and we do understand them. We love how the Shop Assistants never make a song longer than it needs to be. We definitely do that too! And the Primitives are just great! They make perfect pop songs, and that's what we always hope and try to do. PB: Have you enjoyed touring so far? R: We've done two tours so far, both early on, with Two Wounded Birds and the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. We only did a few dates with TWB, but they were a great learning experience as we started the tour on our third ever gig! The TPOBPAH tour was incredible... Again, it marked a huge learning curve for us, as we did this tour straight after the TWB one, so we'd still only done very few live shows, but the Pains were so kind and helpful, as well as their incredible sound guys Al and Lorien (we've since stolen Al to help us full-time, and he's absolutely amazing), that we had a great time on a tour that could otherwise have been pretty scary for a new band. We can't wait to tour some more... Music is all any of us want to do, so getting to do it every day is a pleasure, if an exhausting one! PB: How did the one string bass playing come around? R: Well, I can't play bass properly... I'd never played an instrument you had to pick before, so when I picked up a bass I strummed and made an awful racket on all the strings. Sam took the top three strings off for me to avoid this problem. PB: And lastly what are your future plans? R: Just to keep writing and recording, which we do every day, and keep playing live, which we do as much as possible. And to have the album done when it's done. It should be out on Fortuna POP! in the UK and Kanine in the US early next year. PB: Thank you.

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Flowers - Interview

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