The internet has easily become the most important platform for discovering new music. It's quick, easy and most importantly it has the ability to create buzz. One such buzz which is becoming increasingly unavoidable is Flower Shops. The trippy retro rose petal pioneer took time out of his Chicago DIY lifestyle to catch up with Third Outing.
3rd: Let's start at the with you and the music. Tell us about your music and how you came to be Flower Shops?
Flower Shops: I started recording and playing music around 15/16. I had friends who all liked the same music as me so that's where it all really cultivated. I played in a couple of small noise bands and then later began recording under a couple of different names. The last band I was in Zoo Brother was the first project to really get attention online. I started to feel out the Chicago DIY scene and that's kind of where I find myself today. After Zoo Brother ended last October I started Flower Shops to be a dreamy solo project I can put all my music out under.
3rd: You describe your music as 'rose petal echo pop'. For me it's like soft shoe gazing blended with captured tracks artists.
Flower Shops: I like making music to somehow get out how I'm feeling. I don't know if I'm really looking to just make one type of music. I just use the term 'rose petal echo pop' as a way to avoid any type of self labelling in relation to a certain genre/sound. I want to make songs/records that remind of me people I've met, places I've been, things I've done.
3rd: What is Chicago like for a musician? There's a lot to be inspired by like Wilco or Smith Westerns, for example.
Flower Shops: Chicago is a really viable spot to be for music right now. I think there is a lot of energy in the community that helps make the DIY scene thrive. The only thing with Chicago is that there can be so many bands coming out at once that it can sometimes seem over saturated in a way. There's kind of this sense of urgency or something with so many DIY spots and artists being created/ended over the course of short periods of time; it's crazy but in a good way. I'm not sure if it influences what kind of music I record too much; Smith Westerns are cool, though.
3rd: Your song 'Mood Rings' features in a compilation on Feeltrip Records , a Chicago based label right?
Flower Shops: Feeltrip is this multimedia outlet of David Beltrane from Starfoxxx, he and others have helped bands like Sister Crystals, Yawn and Twin Peaks get their start in the scene. It used to be this DIY space in the south loop that was used for recording bands and also throwing showcases together but once it got shut down it's focus has been more on the labels identity. David and I have been in touch for a while and I'm looking to be releasing a debut from Flower Shops under the label this year.
3rd: The 'Mood Ring' video is brilliant! Retro with skateboards, flowers and bikinis!
Flower Shops: Thank you! Yeah the video for that song was supposed to be kind of ironic. I feel like a lot of people have this fetishism for the beach or summer in relation to dreamy music and I thought it would be funny to have something like that, really in your face, a lot of images all blending together. It's cool people like it, though.
3rd: At Third Outing, DIIV is one of our favourite bands. They started life as a Zachary Cole Smith solo project, similar to Flower Shops. Do you think of getting a band together?
Flower Shops: I'd like to keep the song writing to myself for the most part and then try to find the best way to have the songs represented within a live setting. At the moment I'm still kind of figuring all of that out.
3rd: So when people ask of your opinion on music today, what do you say?
Flower Shops: I think it's really cool to have grown up in a generation where being online is such an important platform for discovering music. There is so much music out there to be found if you just take the time to look for it.
3rd: In a recent video, Morrissey stated "music should be used to make serious public statements and raise level of consciousness". Is that really relevant?
Flower Shops: I think to an extent. Like many art forms music can be a very arbitrary thing depending on who you're talking to. I don't know if all music needs to serve some kind of public statement, people should just express whatever they want to express artistically with knowledge that it can be analysed. In the same way music can affect people emotionally from person to person. It's all subjective.
3rd: What's next for you? Do you have an EP on the way?
Flower Shops: Right now I'm recording for what is to be either an EP or LP depending on how much gets finished. I'm working on each song as it goes and whatever I do release will feel more like a mix tape of feelings or something to me.
3rd: It's said that 85 to 90 percent of new bands fail to recoup their record release and therefore get dropped? In this climate for bands do you think you will make it? Does it even matter?
Flower Shops: I don't think it matters, if you want people to hear what you're doing you'll find a way to get your music out there. I think I'll be fine.
3rd: Well good luck, though we don't think you need it. Before you go, what's your desert island drink?
Flower Shops: My desert island drink would probably be Kombucha tea!