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INTERVIEW: flies+flies

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Well enough thanks. Hope we find you in rude health.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Milk & Peppers”?

I can! It was a writing experience that unfortunately only crops up once in a while where we started jamming on the central hook, and wrote it in pretty much two sessions. Jake immediately found the right beat and synths to match the vibe, Martin came up with instantly fitting cello lines – it was great. We have songs that have taken more than a year to write fully, so yeah, this one was  rare luxury! The drive of the song is the same six notes all the way through, so it’s always cool to see how you can build around something simple to create distinct sections and alter the mood instantly by cutting out everything before dropping it back in. We liked the song ourselves, but it was the reaction of audiences we played it to that I think led us ultimately to title tracking an EP with it. It’s been said it’s more accessible than some of our other stuff, which I have no idea is a bad or good thing, haha

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Oh the usual, drawing from doom and gloom periods… The guitar hook was actually inspired by a Young Thug mixtape I was listening to. The end result isn’t at all like anything he does, but one of things I was really getting into was the slow, sub, swelling baselines, and just figured out something on an acoustic guitar fuelled by that that I thought I could bring to a writing session. The high vocal line in the chorus was probably brought on by me listening to a lot of Prince at the time. Again, the connection may not be too clear as far as the end result is concerned, but yeah when you hear me singing that ‘mother of invention’ line, I am trying to channel him! And Barry Gibb. And Jimmy Somerville. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Nothing definite yet but there are a few ideas floating around – watch this space!

Why naming the EP after this track in particular?

 It went down really well when we played it out, before getting in the studio, & we always wanted it to be a single for the album, so it just felt right to lead with it. To be honest it also in a way represents another step in our history as a band. It’s one of the newest the most recent song we’ve written, and many of the songs off the album we’ve been playing for a couple of years, so this feels fresh to us too.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process, as I say, was luxuriously quick. The recording process was fairly straight forward too. We’d already locked in instrumental parts in rehearsal, so just went in, did our parts and then Jake went off and made us sound cool and scary. Everythign went very smoothly and quickly, apart from the vocals, which actually took me ages to get right – especially the high range stuff in the chorus. I’d been a bit ill and my voice just wasn’t up to it week after week, so that added on a fair bit of time, much to the delight of everyone involved!

How haunting and sinister can we expect this record to be?

Very haunting and sinister. I certainly won’t be listening to it.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The music is always a collaborative thing. It might be one of us that gets the ball rolling, but by the end it’s 100% the three of us making the song. We wrote it very quickly, around a central hook, just jamming it out in a couple of writing sessions.  I couldn’t tell you where the others’ musical inspiration came from (I’ve said a little of mine), but lyrically the song charts a man’s anxiety and subservience in a particularly bleak time in his life.

Coincidentally, it was written around the time David Bowie died, & in a bleak time in David Bowie’s life he reportedly lived on red peppers and milk for a long time. I’m an enormous Bowie fan, so that’s where the title came from.

I know there’s some hope hidden in there too, but wouldn’t blame anyone for not seeing much light in Milk & Peppers!

Any plans to hit the road?

We’ve been focusing getting our album ready, so haven’t been gigging so much recently. We’ve got a London show to launch the EP on 30th November but that’ll be it for this year. The album is out next year and we will definitely be hitting the road then

What else is happening next in flies+flies’ world?

An attempt at a Christmas No.1. It’s what the whole project has been building up to. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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