It’s been almost three years since their debut, but London indie-pop trio Flowers are as strong as ever and back with album number two. A month before the release of Everybody’s Dying To Meet You, we caught up with Rachel to find out a bit more about the band…
Tell us a bit about Flowers!
We’re an indie pop band from London. We’ve been together for a few years and we’ve got our second album Everybody’s Dying To Meet You out next month, which we’re really excited about.
Your debut Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do came out in 2013 – does it feel like a new album’s been a long time coming?
Yeah it does – the first album came out quite a long time after we finished recording it so it feels like we haven’t been in the studio for ages. We were really excited to go back. The first album didn’t come out how we wanted – it was well received, but it didn’t really sound like us or at all like our live sound, so it’s nice to be releasing something that’s actually Flowers.
Would you say you have a distinctive live vibe then? Do people need to see Flowers live to truly understand what you’re about?
Yeah I think it’s very close to the new album but quite different to the first. It’s louder than what people expect, I think, and bigger sounding – we used lots of reverb and dynamic between loud and quiet. We don’t mind sounding a bit different live though because it’s nice when people do things a bit different on stage.
First single ‘Pull My Arm’ nearly didn’t make the cut for the album – why is that?
It wasn’t that it didn’t make the cut – we’d already recorded the whole album and before we mixed it we went on tour and wrote ‘Pull My Arm’ and it was the best single so we called our producer and asked to get it recorded. It would be a shame to have to wait for the third album.
Definitely not – it’s an amazing track. Is it tricky choosing songs for an album them?
It’s not too bad – this album’s quite a mixture of songs though. It was hard to pick singles as there are quite a few poppy songs like ‘Pull My Arm’ but there are also quieter, more emotional songs. It’s a good range. We recorded 15 songs, but the album’s only got 10 on so we had a choice.
There’s sometimes suggestion of limitation within a three-piece: do you feel like that affects you at all or is the size of your band irrelevant?
I think it does affect us a lot but in a good way. Because there are only three of us we have to make our part as concise and perfect as we can. You can really hear each of us live as well. We often feel like we mess up more on stage than our friends’ bands, but it’s because you notice more when it’s just three of us. If Sam’s guitar stops working, it’s just me and Jordan on drums, which obviously you can notice. We work a lot on making our instruments sounds as good as they can as well. It makes us try a lot harder. And also a lot of bands find it hard touring with loads of people stuffed in a car whereas we all get on well and we have a lot more space on stage than everyone else.
You’ve talked about how much you don’t like the thought of making videos but the simplicity of the ‘Pull My Arm’ one is what makes it so good – are you going to take a similar approach to the rest of the album?
We dreaded the thought because we couldn’t come up with any ideas ourselves. We didn’t want to make a video that didn’t fit the music or that was over complicated. When I watch videos they often detract from the music and they’re just time consuming. But we got our friend Finnigan to do the ‘Pull My Arm’ video, and it came out how we wanted. We’re just going to get him to do all of them, because we’re all really terrible in front of cameras and I think having a friend there takes away the audience.
I suppose performing for a video is a totally different experience to performing on stage.
I’m awful at public speaking, or anything where I have to stand up in front of people unless it’s playing our songs. And it’s different when it’s doing something you love. There’s no adrenaline rush like there is at gigs, you’re just standing there miming stuff.
And what’s the plan for the rest of 2016?
Well, we’re touring the album around the UK from the day it comes out. We’re starting with a Rough Trade in-store in London, then around the UK, then back in London at some point. We want to tour Europe and parts of America, but we’re still figuring out the logistics of that.
Are you well received in other parts of the world?
Yeah! We go down the best in Spain because they’re all really up for a party any day of the week. Spain and Italy love the music as well, and they’ll go crazy even if they’ve never heard of you. New York was amazing too. We played NYC Popfest and a lot of the people there had been waiting to see us for ages, so it was quite a nice vibe.
I feel like London audiences especially are a lot more reserved than that…
Yeah, now that people know us in London they’ll get excited but definitely won’t cheer or anything; but then they’ll come up afterwards and say it was really good. They’ll just never show it during the gig. France and Switzerland are really reserved too. But it works for us now because that’s sort of the reaction we’re used to. Also just from doing more shows you learn how to not get upset if people don’t respond how you want. Friends in American bands think everyone hates them here, but it’s just a different audience.
And finally – if you could have written any song in the world, what song would it be?
Oh god. Erm, a song called ‘She Sings Alone’ – See See Rider. It’s an amazing song but I think you’ll have to find it on youtube. It’s really tricky to find it, but it’s incredible and the melody is so ridiculous. I think we’ve got it up to thousands of views just from drunk listening, so you’ll have to find it.
Thanks a lot for chatting to us, and good luck with the album release!