By Tom Munday
The Flower Drums are one of Perth’s most promising bands. After competing for, and winning, the chance to play at 2014’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, the group has gained significant attention from WA’s music industry. Before they head off to the USA, I caught up with the group to discuss their winning streak and position in WA’s ever-expanding music culture.
1. How did the band come together?
Originally, I met Aden while living in Melbourne. He recorded a bunch of my songs at his home studio in Ferntree Gully, but I moved back to Perth literally the day after we finished. I used to skateboard with Sam when we were young curb dogs. I saw Rhian playing at Mojo’s one night and really liked her jacket. One day we ended up in the same room playing music together and it felt pretty good so we kept doing it.
2. How did the band form its signature sound?
I’m not sure what our signature sound sounds like. We experiment as much as possible and encourage the evolution of the music, but I guess I’ve never thought about it. I would imagine it’s a combination of the equipment we use in our studio and the fact that we’re all into dreamy/dark pop music.
3. Whilst researching, I noticed you have several artists you look up to. How have other local artists influenced you and your music?
We mainly look up to bigger artists like Michael Jackson and Prince; you know all that next level 80’s – 00’s pop stuff? We definitely draw a lot of influence from artists like Boards of Canada and Tycho when it comes to recording though. We spend a great deal of time tweaking everything until it’s exactly right. Unfortunately, I can’t say I listen to much local music but I’ve been loving everything Kucka, Catlips and Dianas have been putting out.
4. You have toured around WA extensively since your formation. What drives Perth’s affection for live music?
I’m not entirely sure, although I’ve noticed a pretty massive electronic scene emerging, which is really exciting! I guess it may have something to do with the quality of the music. If there are less venues it would make sense that the quality of live music would be bigger.
5. You recently won the chance to perform at 2014’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. What separates WA’s underground music scene from those of other states? Has the industry changed since you first started?
It’s definitely changed in the last few years; it seems as though more bands are willing to do everything themselves, which is cool! There’s no reason why artists can’t record their own music, design their own artwork and book their own tours.
6. What have been the best and worst moments of your touring experience?
It’s hard to separate the moments into best and worst categories; we’re all really good friends and love playing music together so for us it’s like a holiday that’s already organised and paid for. I’m sure it won’t always be like that so we might as well ride it while we can.
7. Do you think social media plays a vital role in the music industry?
Yeah of course! Our whole US tour was organised online and the reason we were asked to come and play shows on the other side of the world was because different online sources shared our songs and eventually built up a following. It’s the greatest medium in which to spread your music, our generation is pretty lucky like that.
8. Picture this: you are stranded on a desert island and you are left with five of your songs and five songs from other musicians. Which songs would you want them to be?
We would have to choose the freshest recordings, you can only listen to your our tunes so many times before you go crazy. Other than that…
B E W I L D E R B E A S T – Movement_Moment
Q-Tip – Getting Up
SWV – Right Here (Human Nature Mix )
Peaking Lights – Beautiful Son
Limp Bizkit – Re-arrange