All photography by Drinking Flowers ©
Bands often get in touch with Third Outing and ask us to review their music and it’s great. But sometimes Third Outing hear of a band, are blown away by their work and we find them. This week Third Outing discovered Drinking Flowers, and we went to them to find out more!
3rd: Drinking Flowers. Hello. What was the idea behind the formation of Drinking Flowers? How has the idea evolved with time?
Drinking Flowers: We essentially started hanging out and talking about music all the time. That was back in 2011. We were in a band before Drinking Flowers was together but that quickly fell apart because certain members were into some heavy stuff and went kind of crazy. Drugs are weird. We decided to form our own project. We don't know what specific ideas we had in mind regarding our band and our sound or our philosophy, but we definitely knew we didn't care about getting laid and playing 'friendly' music. I think we still have this same punk attitude towards music and the 'scene'. Hopefully it has become more sophisticated and nuanced over time but we are really not the objective observers who could say so.
3rd: Has that triggered the clear shift of sound in your new EP, then?
Drinking Flowers: Well the recording process was certainly different, and that had a great affect on the songs. Aside from that though, I think we wanted to step outside of the garage-y fuzz sounds that dominated our last release. We all wanted to make something different, and we all have matured and wanted to have more going on in our songs, more competing melodies, less one note drones.
3rd: How is the LA music scene at the moment? Is it still drone-y? Does LA influence your playing style?
Drinking Flowers: I think the LA music scene is going through some sort of revival. I think for a while there wasn't a new great band hailing from LA. San Francisco had a pretty solid monopoly on the folk, psych and garage sounds. But Los Angeles is so big and there's so many places to hide out, I probably missed a lot of cool behind-the-scenes artists making mischief. There's been a lot of sixties and paisley sounds, but also a growing interest in sounds from the eighties as well. Not in the typical horrible new wave sense but the strange sounds: shoegaze, postpunk, deathrock.
3rd: What makes you better than any another band in LA?
Drinking Flowers: We don't get a sense that a lot of these bands are actually thinking. When it comes down to it you really have to ask yourself why you're making music, and I don't think these bands have a satisfactory answer for their existence. That being said I don't think we're nearly the best psych-pop band in LA. We're a group on a mission and I think people notice that and maybe that's what sets us apart.
3rd: We absolutely love the new EP 'Shadow Show' and 'Pop Underground' is clearly a tune! It refers to the International Pop Underground Convention. If there would be another one in 2015, which bands would you like to see taking part in the event?
Drinking Flowers: I think it's up to K Records and Calvin Johnson who plays the International Pop Underground Convention. I read a book on K Records' story and got inspired and I really liked what Calvin said about why the IPUC started. Originally bands like Built To Spill, Fugazi even Bratmobile and Courtney Love performed. Considering that line up it's hard to imagine who would be appropriate to bill now-a-days. I think looking at the current K catalog would be a good place to start. I'm sure Dave Grohl would be into a hologram Kurt if the money's right, joking of course!
3rd: That's a blast from the past. Do you think we're lacking of new bands that would define our generation in the future?
Drinking Flowers: Yes of course, we always need people who are willing to define themselves and their time. So there will always be a lack especially in our vapid fascist pop culture machine here in America. America is great at destroying art and re-packaging it into a commercial. I do think there are bands who will and have left a definitive mark. I think people like Ariel Pink or Ian Svenoius are a perfect snapshot of the weird times we live in and how being crazy is the only sane choice.
3rd: Flowers seem to be a big theme in music names at the moment, what made you Drinking Flowers?
Drinking Flowers: Yes we've noticed some of that. Drinking Flowers just sounds weird. And it's also a reference to a Chester B. Himes novel 'The End of a Primitive'. The two main characters sitting in a bar take note that most couples buy each other flowers, but they drink theirs. It's all very dark and grim in the book, a lot of benders and crazy sex scenes.
3rd: What's next for you? What are you working towards?
Drinking Flowers: We're slowly compiling songs for an LP. It should be all ready to go and pressed by midsummer. We all have different interests and characteristics we bring to the table and they all interact differently with each song.
3rd: You are signed on Lolipop Records. Tell us about your recording process on the new LP and the label itself?
Drinking Flowers: Our recording process is always different. We usually do half of the sound live on a tape machine and then do additional backing tracks somewhere else. This time around we think we're going to do things differently and really reflect on the songs and have more subtleties in the sound, and really take as long as we need. We aren't going to squeeze an album out in a month or two; that's a little insincere. Lolipop has helped us record all our albums, Wyatt recorded our very first recordings in his parents garage. Lucas the singer of Dahga Bloom runs a studio in OC and helped us engineer 'Shadow Show' after we got mixes back from Lolipop Studios. He was really fun to work with.
Lolipop is a group of highly motivated, super down to earth dudes who all play music. That's what makes them different from traditional labels, even indie ones. They actually know the craft of song writing, they do it everyday. We're glad they believe in us.
3rd: With the support of Lolipop you seem to be gaining a big following in LA. But if you were to come to the UK and play any festival, which would it be? Would you pitch a tent or go VIP camping?
Drinking Flowers: Hop Farm festival looked great a few years ago. Latitude Festival looks fun but also overwhelming with the amounts of hands and people. I've pitched a tent once and hated it. Never again... too many fake hippies.
3rd: It's been a pleasure, Drinking Flowers. Finally, what's your desert island drink?
Drinking Flowers: Anything with alcohol in it preferably, but we'll settle for a Coconut.