Q&A // Flowers

by AdamTait
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on 29 January 2016 in Features


It's been two and a half years since London three-piece Flowers released debut longplayer Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do. Armed with a desire to sound like early Madonna played through a broken tape player, and prestigious support from the likes of Bernard Butler, the record was undoubtedly a mission statement.

Internal and external pressures weighed heavy on the band while creating that first record. Sophomore album Everybody's Dying To Meet You, released 12th Febraury, promises a more authentic Flowers listening experience.

Vocalist Rachel Kenedy tells us about what's changed, how effortless it is being in Flowers and offers a cautionary tale about looking after your records in the summer (even in the UK)...

Hello Flowers, where are you at the moment and what are you doing there, other than answering these questions?

Sam is mixing a song, I'm answering these questions while our dog is licking my arm and making it very hard to type, and Jordan is at work.

You're poised to release your second album - explain it to us in five words. Be weird about it.

Better than the last one.

What are the most significant differences and similarities between Everybody’s Dying To Meet You and Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do?

I suppose the main similarity is the fact that we're still trying to make simple pop songs like we always have, so the songs are still all pretty short and to the point, and we always like to have as much contrast as possible, so as with the first album there are some more up-beat pop songs and some very quiet, softer songs too.

The biggest difference between the albums is that the last album came out sounding much tamer and more "produced" and polished than we ever wanted it to. This new album is a lot closer to how we sound live, and how our demos sound. Rougher around the edges, noisier, more distorted and tapey, more reverb.

What are you most excited about regarding this new record?

People hearing it! We recorded it last summer, so it feels like we've been waiting forever for everyone else to have a listen.

What do you think will surprise people listening to the new album for the first time?

The presence of a proper 4-string bass, it's kind of sacrilegious for Flowers to have a bass with more than 1 string on it but we've upgraded now.

The first record was worked on by Bernard Butler - did that increase or alleviate pressure on that release?

Um... I don't know really. It was just a very weird process making that first album. Sam was really unwell, we weren't really ready, we'd written all the songs and THEY were ready but we had no idea about going to a proper recording studio and we hadn't expected to work with a producer and didn't know how to say what we wanted. We weren't even thinking of having anyone work on that album with us until Bernard got in touch with our label and asked to be involved, but we said yes because Sam was too ill to record it himself, which is what we'd planned to do before, and the labels were really keen to get something out. The whole situation was quite pressured in general, but not because it had Bernard's name attached.

You had Brian O'Shaughnessey behind the desk for this record. How did working with him compare?

Working with Brian was wonderful. We got on great right from the start, and he really took the time to listen to our band to understand what we wanted to sound like, then he just helped us recreate that sound in his studio. He's worked on some of our very favourite records, so it was an honour to work with him on ours. The whole process was so much easier this time around, just because we went into it a lot more experienced and prepared. We really miss going to his studio every day actually, it was so cosy. We really had a great time.

We understand Sam and yourself restore vintage instruments. What's the coolest/weirdest thing you've worked on?

Yeah we do, we find old broken things to fix up and sell to make some extra income, the problem is we love musical instruments so much we usually fall in love with whatever we've fixed and don't want to sell it again! So our flat is overflowing with amps and things, we use them as tables, chairs, pretty much every piece of furniture is some part of an amp or flight case. We couldn't pick one coolest/weirdest thing... Everything is equally great. Although a couple of days ago we nearly got electrocuted by an ungrounded fender musicmaster bass amp so that one is the least cool.

We also understand you're a couple - historically couples in bands have brought mixed results... What are the benefits and what are the challenges?

To be honest there aren't any challenges. We wouldn't have got together if there was anything difficult about it! All three of us are best friends, we all get on great all the time, sorry to give such a boringly positive answer but it really is very easy being in our band!

Judging by what you have planned for the first few months of 2016, this is going to be a big year. What are Flowers absolutely determined to achieve this year? Be specific.

Well, we're touring around the UK and then Europe and doing some festivals over the summer... We're determined to tour America this year though! We really wanted to for the last album, but we weren't able to make it outside of NYC because it was just too expensive at the time. But we've been saving up and this year we're definitely going!

What will you be resolutely avoiding?

Melting our record collection.... Last year we had a really awful event involving a very sunny day and some of our favourite records :(

And finally, what's the best thing that could possibly happen in 2016? You can't say world peace.

They could invent an actually good tasting decaf green tea.

You can catch Flowers live at tons of places over the next few months, find one near you on the list below.

12 February - LONDON - Rough Trade East
17 February - BRIGHTON - The Prince Albert
19 February - PRESTON - The Continental
20 February - BIRMINGHAM - The Rainbow
25 February - MANCHESTER - Fallow Café
27 February - LIVERPOOL - Leaf
28 February - GLASGOW - Broadcast
03 March - READING - Oakford Social Club
04 March - CARDIFF - The Moon Club
05 March - FALMOUTH - Beerwolf Books
11 March - LONDON - Sebright Arms
09 April - LEICESTER - Leicester Indiepop Alldayer
27 August - ALBURQUERQUE - Festival Contempopranea


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