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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Cool Perth Night Chats

Axel Carrington chats with FLOSSY ahead of their debut EP launch

Andrew Ryan

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Meet FLOSSY; a four-piece bratty grunge rock band fronted by sisters Sinead and Lauren with Tom Wilson on lead guitar and Steve D'Angelo on drums. FLOSSY is heavily influenced by nineties grunge and bands of the Riot Grrl movement such as Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. FLOSSY have recently finished recording their debut EP with acclaimed WA producer Dave Parkin at Blackbird Sound Studio which is scheduled for release this weekend. 

Axel Carrington chats with FLOSSY ahead of their debut EP launch! Catch their self-titled debut EP launch at Rosemount Hotel, this Saturday April 28, alongside a massive talented lineup CALMLY, Edie Green and Oosterbanger

Axel: It's been a busy few years for you Flossers and congratulations on your first EP! I was curious about how the songs have evolved over this time – what inspired the group to form originally, and what informs how these songs have changed over time?

Lauren: Thanks! It’s been an awesome couple of years. The group was formed about three years ago after Sinead and myself caught up for a coffee, talked about how we felt stuck, felt we weren’t really progressing with our individual music projects. We decided that day to start a band. Our enthusiasm to create something new was out of control. We started writing, put a name to the band and started the search for more members. We went through about three drummers over a year before we landed on Steve - our perfect match! Then soon after came across Tom, and everything just felt right.

How have the songs evolved over time? At first we had no idea what genre we even wanted to play because both of us had such different individual styles. We began messing around with a bunch of stuff we had in our journals and explored styles from blues, to eerie art-rock, to pure pop. We continued writing and listening and sharing music with each other and found our feet through a mutual love for grunge, rock and garage (especially of the 90s) so that now heavily influences our sound.

The songs themselves definitely started off in more of a garage style when we were playing as a 3 piece, whereas now we’re definitely more of a “rock band”. The addition of Tom as a fourth member helped not only thicken our overall sound but his lead hooks and guitar style definitely helped the songs grow. So I wouldn’t say they’ve changed necessarily over time, I’d say they’ve grown.

AC: There seems to be themes of unrequited, well maybe more like vengeance in love, especially in songs like 'Burden to my Lover' and most recent single 'I Want You' – am I widely off base here? How do you approach incorporating your major themes into your work?

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Sinead: No, you’re not off base at all. We do find that we tend to write a lot about our experiences in relationships. The reason for that is still unclear to us! ‘Burden to My Lover’ was not really about vengeance though, it was more kind of an expression of the frustration and resentment that can arise from the feeling of being stuck in a relationship. I know it sounds strange, but it was kind of an apology in a way too, in that it acknowledged a lot that couldn’t be said at the time. ‘I Want You’ is more in the direction of vengeance in love. It’s kind of the “f**k you I don’t need you anyway” response when your feelings aren’t reciprocated but there’s nothing you can do.

In general, we don’t set out to write about certain themes in particular. Like most songwriters, our songs are our outlet; an opportunity for us to express what we find hard to say in everyday life. However, lyrically, our songs so far have tended to centralise around themes of relationships, feminism, self-reflection and mental health. There’s a lot of frustration in some of these themes and so I think our lyrics tend to come out quite dark because of that. I think we (unintentionally) counterbalance that darkness by being sonically fun, upbeat and punchy and having copious amounts of contagious fun when playing our live shows.

AC: I've heard you speak before about your sibling bond and how that contributes to the inner workings of the band, but I am also eager to hear about what the boys Steve and Tom bring to the group? How have their contributions, both in and out of the jam room, added to the growth of the band?

 Sinead: Where do we start?! The addition of these guys to the band has significantly contributed to our progress over the past year. Lauren and I have always played music but our theoretical knowledge has never been very extensive so having Steve and Tom’s knowledge inform our songwriting has been so valuable. It’s provided more chance for us to play and explore and we’re learning more every day. They’re always so positive about songs we bring to the table and are open to basically anything which is awesome. They’re also the most committed band members you’ve ever met in your life - always at rehearsal before us, always keen, always positive.

Outside of the jam room, Steve and Tom literally feel like our brothers. We just have so much fun together and we’re all so close. There is actually no filter between us, we can talk about everything together. It’s just so nice sharing the experiences you have as a band with your best mates.

AC: You recorded these songs with certifiable wizard Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios – tell me what was it like working with him? Did his influence and guidance twist the songs into new, weirder directions?

Tom: It was an absolute dream recording with Parko. For us, it was really our first time recording together in a 'proper' sense, and Dave really helped guide us and helped to find a process that really worked for everyone. I think he appreciated that we had a bunch of trial and error to go through and if he is the wizard of anything, it's patience.

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Dave's input definitely pushed the songs in new directions (well, new to us), and when we wanted to get weird he was fully on board which was super encouraging. He has an amazing ability to see songs from multiple perspectives. We really hadn't had much input from an outside eye with regards to song structure, parts, etc. before so it was great to receive that from someone like Dave. We really loved that he always provided his honest feedback but never made us feel like the song was being taken out of our hands. There's a genuine honesty in his approach and intentions which is all too rare.

He definitely pushed us to experiment and be a bit more 'on the fly' with regards to the recording process too, which definitely helped bottle that gritty essence we wear so proudly. I think myself and Dave could have sat on the floor of Blackbird for days playing with pedals! He took us for what we were, pushed us to explore what we liked further, and it definitely shows in the final product.

AC: It would be remiss to not ask about your crazy video for latest single 'I Want You' – it's certainly different from any dinner party I've been too! Does the video reflect the theme of the song? What was it like making it?

Sinead: I mean Toby is a delicious man but we don’t particularly want to eat him, haha. The video didn’t directly reflect the song but was more of a whacky twist on the themes of desire, greed and revenge that exist within the song. Making it was both absolutely hilarious and also up there with the weirdest and grossest thing we’ve done as a band. The vibe in the room when we were filming got really weird because we were playing classical music to help us with characters, and everyone was so committed to their roles and really believed in the idea, so it actually kind of felt like we were existing in this strange alternate world for a while.

Lauren: We didn’t want to play it safe with this one. But there were moments when we were chewing on meat and looking at each other while our half naked friend was hogtied on the table and we thought; have we taken this too far? It was also just really funny when we were devouring the food because all you could hear was everyone’s chewing noises and food enjoyment noises and it was just so weird. But it made for a great video!

AC: Gimme a list about the highs and the lows you've experienced while playing in the band – don't spare on the bad stuff, but also bask in the glow of the many good things, like dope supports or audience reactions that make it all worth the while.

Steve: Well there are more highs in this band than you can poke a stick at but some of the main ones include:

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Playing shows - nothing can beat the feeling and thrill of performing the songs you’ve worked so hard on. Bonus points for when you look up from the stage to see people dancing and getting into it. And yeah, we have been lucky enough to support some really sick bands. It’s hard to pick a favourite but Abbe May’s birthday at the Rosie was a pretty amazing show, and when we played recently for End of Fashion at the Indi Bar the vibe was out of control. WAMFest was also a massive highlight and being nominated for fave new act was the cherry on top!

Friendships - we have gotten to meet so many amazing people through music, whether they be other musicians or punters at gigs that come over for a yarn after the show. The scene we play in seems to attract such fun loving and genuine people.

Growing together as a band - spending so much time together in jam rooms and at shows means the four of us not only get to help each other with our musical journeys but also grow together as friends who can rely on each other for anything. To be honest friends isn’t even the right word… we’re like a little family.

As for the lows thankfully there aren’t too many. The hardest part would be trying to manage life whilst having such a demanding passion for music. Money, work, friends and family commitments mean we all have so much on our plates at any given time and it can sometimes put a strain on you mentally. Luckily we are all so aware of this and care enough for each other to make sure FLOSSY is as much a support network for us as it is a band.

AC Any surprises (well, that you may or may not reveal) to expect on launch night? You've put together an amazing, varied bill that speaks volumes of the greatness of Perth's local music scene right now – tell me about why you love them!

Steve: Yeah, we will be doing the whole show in mime. It’ll be good because we won’t need to bring any instruments. In all seriousness though, there will definitely be a couple of surprises on the night. But we can’t reveal anything, you’ll just have to come see!

We are so stoked about the lineup for the launch. Each act pumps out grade A bangers without fail and they are also such talented, driven musicians and genuinely cool people. We also wanted the lineup to have a strong focus on women in music because that’s really important to us, so we wanted to showcase some of the many talented and inspiring gals that are rocking stages all over Perth at the moment. We are really proud of the lineup, it just means we are going to have to really bring the thunder on the night to keep up with them all!

AC: It sure must be a load off to have the EP released – but where to next? Plans for the rest of the year and beyond?

 Tom: Feels like a cinder block being removed from the chest - phenomenal. I think the plan is to keep on keepin' on! We've got a little tour planned for mid-May so we'll get to go say hello to our East Coast buddies for the first time and spread the word about the EP! Outside of that, we’ve got some new songs in the works, there's definitely going to be a bunch of shows, and maybe a party or two along the way. The recording bug has definitely bit us so it won't be too long before we're at it again, who knows, maybe a surprise Christmas album?