Flowers are quietly building a strong reputation in London’s independent music scene. Their debut album, produced by Bernard Butler, is due out in September 2014. Here, they set their own questions as they interview themselves.
Why do you think you are drawn to performing on stage?
It’s really strange… Sam and I are both very shy people (Jordan not so much, lucky him!), and in general we want to draw minimum attention to ourselves. And yet, we absolutely love playing our music live, in front of many people as possible, demanding their attention for the length of the set. It’s really an odd thing! We couldn’t get up and speak or act in front of these people, even if we were great at it, we can just play our songs. I think there’s something really wonderful about sharing your music with people, and sharing emotions with the audience. It’s a very touching experience when you can see people moved by what you’re doing. And besides that it’s so much fun! Making a big noise with your best friends in some strange venue somewhere is just amazing.
What’s your routine the day of a gig?
We’re all a little different. Jordan is totally cool and unfazed by anything so he just has a normal day up to the time of the gig, he goes to work or the gym or whatever and arrives on time for sound check cool as a cucumber! Sam gets so excited that he feels the opposite, he gets really grumpy and sleepy all day and tries to stay in bed as long as possible to make the gig come quicker… He feels physically ill until we go on stage and then he feels great while we play and afterwards, until he crashes off the adrenaline and needs to go to bed! And I cope with the excitement by trying to get everything ready REALLY early. I pack up all our pedals and cables first thing in the morning, then realise just before we have to leave that Sam will need to test them before we go and I wish I hadn’t already done everything! Sam and Jordan make sure they’ve had enough beers before we play, and I make sure I haven’t had any, I always worry I’ll forget what I’m doing totally otherwise!
How do you feel making music as opposed to another art form?
I feel really lucky that I ended up doing music as opposed to being a painter or a writer or something… I love writing, AND painting, and in my family there are lots of writers and painters, and I love what they do. But personally I couldn’t deal with the isolation of those professions. My mum locks herself up in her studio all the hours when the light is good so she can concentrate on painting, and it’s a very lonely way to spend time. But as she says, she couldn’t have done anything else, it’s totally necessary for her to paint, like eating and drinking. And I feel the same about making music, it’s something I couldn’t NOT do. So I feel lucky because I get to work with great people and make music with them, it’s the MOST sociable work I can think of, playing shows and making music, and seems to attract the loveliest people, so I get to do a job that doesn’t feel right being called a job because it’s so pleasurable.
Which painting have you most recently discovered and loved?
Manuel Osorio De Zuniga by Francisco Goya – Sam and I already love Goya but we’d somehow not seen this particular painting before. We love the cats! And what really caught our eyes apart from how beautiful it is in general is the fact that it’s almost totally black and white, and then there’s this shock of the best red, our favourite colour! All our artwork for Flowers has that red somewhere, or as close as we can get to it.
Which passage of literature gives you the worst hayfever?
The beginning of The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
What are you listening to this very moment?
“Bring Me My Shotgun” by Lightnin’ Hopkins (Sam is playing the last 10 seconds on repeat)
Did you always presume your music would fall into the “Indiepop” category, or did it just end up that way?
We love indiepop music, so naturally that’s reflected in ways in our own music. It wasn’t premeditated, it just turned out like that. We’ve only ever tried to make pop songs, but the limitations of recording on a broken Grundig tape machine in our bedroom with no other equipment to use, which is how we started, meant that we had the same predicament as the early indiepop bands of ending up with very lo-fi, weird and broken pop songs, not by design but out of our limitations, so I suppose that’s where the connection started! And we’re very lucky it turned out that way. The bands we get to play with in this scene are wonderful and so lovely as individuals too, and the audiences are more appreciative and supportive than you could ever wish for!
Does your association with C86 and twee music annoy you?
Which is better, C86 or C81?
When will you get a dog?
WE GOT ONE! We wrote all the questions for this interview before answering any of them, and when we wrote this question we were still in a sorry state of pining for a dog, but before we even had a chance to answer, “As soon as we can!” or something to that extent, WE GOT ONE! And he’s really, really amazing.
Flowers’ new single, ‘Young’, is out shortly on Fortuna Pop! on 7 inch vinyl and download. You can listen to it online here.