Flamingo Crash Interview (Part 2 of 2)
(6) I would assume that you've got some bizarre and quirky influences inspiring you all. What sort of stuff got you playing music in the first place, and what sort of stuff got you into the mode you're in right now?
FLAMINGO CRASH: It was the idea that anyone can pick up an instrument and make a song, or use their voice to make a song, and that that right wasn’t exclusive. And it was probably children’s music and nursery rhymes originally, I love those melodies, and I still love how music is invisible. From the top of my head The Rotary Connection, James Chance and the Contortions, New Order, Curtis Mayfield, The Velvet Underground, Fugazi, The Go-Betweens, Kraftwerk, Fela Kuti, Wire, The Slits, Public Enemy and Talking Heads have all had some influence on what we’ve done so far. Also people like Andreas Gursky, Gillian Wearing - people who don’t necessary make music, but somehow help the people that do.
(7) Which leads me to ... what kind of stuff's going on in Brisbane -- or Australia at large, for that matter -- right now? Any recommendations or good label-mates/touring buddies?
FLAMINGO CRASH: Monster Zoku Onsomb! They’re in Berlin right now, but when their home we can expect to stay up late. Also Architecture in Helsinki, My Disco, Bird Blobs,Love of Diagrams, Mountains in the Sky - just good scenes in every city. Although you do run out of cities to visit quickly ...
(8) One thing I really dig about you is how you supplement your awesome material with design and promotional material that's really fitting for your sound. Was that a planned thing, getting concise and purposeful design to represent you? And who's working on it all ... ?
FLAMINGO CRASH: Yeah definitely, I mean you figure that a band who spends some time writing music, melodies, and lyrics would also spend some time doing the same for their artwork, but it’s not the case – I see so many examples where other people (paid designers/record labels) do artwork for bands and miss the mark. We just decided that for the most part, we’d like to take care of the artwork ourselves in the same way that we do with the music- without an external person telling us what to write/what to look like/ what our cd covers have to include etc. etc. I design everything flamingo crash and really enjoy doing it. As long as people have eyes, we’ll have artwork.
(9) This question I continually ask, but sometimes it yields interesting answers: what musical backgrounds do you all come from?
FLAMINGO CRASH: Personally, I grew up listening to The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan - the music my parents played on road trips when we’d travel between Sydney and Brisbane each year. I’ll try my best to speak for everyone – Cate grew up in Sydney and rocked the Casio as a kid and then the sousaphone (yes that huge, huge white tuba that wraps around your body like a giant swan) before the casio again. I’ve heard Marcel was a child prodigy, writing symphony’s as a kid, and then re-learning guitar to Wire and Gang of Four. I know Matt’s heard every Tom Waits and Go-Betweens record (which is great) because his old man used to sit in the attic and just paint and listen to records. And Tom’s background is psychedelia and 60’s pop - so much Jefferson Airplane, Zappa and the Beach Boys, it always comes back to The Beach Boys.
(0) The main thing that's discussed in terms of musical output in Australia is Modular Records (since we Americans like to consolidate things in styles, scenes, and genres). What do you all think about Modular, and how well do you think it represents Australia and the general sentiments of music listeners and developments there?
FLAMINGO CRASH: Well all the Modular bands, and a whole run of really good bands from the east coast have been doing it for a while over here – that scene in Australia has been pretty alive for what seems like well over a few years. So in that respect, it is odd reading UK press about the ‘new sound’, when it’s kind of been in your backyard since you remember.
The only downside is that there’s also so much amazing noise happening in this country outside of Modular, and because it’s an Island physically isolated from a lot of the world, some really interesting sound either never makes it over the water, misses its time, or gets deleted from the history books (see The Saints or The Scientists for examples).
(1) Right -- I'll sign the interview off with that, but I truly wish you all the best of luck with whatever the future holds. I've never heard something like what you're releasing now (and certainly not from Australia), and I can only hope that it all ends up well for you!
FLAMINGO CRASH: Thanks, mate.