Each of the members of Brooklyn-based band FLOWN
, Margot Bianca (vocals and guitar), Kate Ryan (vocals and drums), and Caroline Yes (vocals and bass) have played in a number of bands together including Frankie Rose and the Outs
, the Clearing
, and the Assault
. And although each of those projects have a completely different sound, Bianca, Ryan and Yes bonded over their mutual love of Black Sabbath
, Iron Maiden
, Sleep, the Melvins
. in many ways, FLOWN is a bit of a return to their black metal roots.
As you all may know, I wind up hearing about bands in a variety of ways. Sometimes a friend puts me on to someone that I should be interested in; in other cases, I receive emails from publicists or from the band themselves; and on occasion, I find out about a bands at live shows. In the case of the Brooklyn-based trio of FLOWN, I caught them open for White Mystery
and Shonen Knife
at the Bell House
last year, and was really impressed by their sound. As I wrote at the time FLOWN played a “noisy set that consisted of sludgy power chords and complex song structure reminiscent of prog rock. In some way, thematically I was reminded of the Sword’sWarp Riders album.”
At the end of last year, the band went to the studio to write and record the material that became the band’s debut, Eye of God/Yearlong Eclipse 7" and it’s probably one of the hardest, heaviest album I’ve heard this year — both songs have moments of plaintive beauty but much like a force of a nature, at it’s heart it has an underlying primal immediacy and power.
In this Q&A, I had a chance to chat with FLOWN’s Margot Bianca about the new 7” which you can pick up now in limited edition vinyl with special artwork (you can read more about that and see some of the actual artwork below); the band’s songwriting process; her advice on artists trying to make a name for themselves; and of course, more.
And of special note, FLOWN is playing several dates to support the release of the new 7” including their album release show at Secret Project Robot on May 17th.
How did you get into music? And when did you know that it was the only thing you wanted to do?
I’m fairly certain that we were all sung and played to in the womb, so love of music was pretty ingrained in our psyches. It’s not the only thing we do by any means, but an important one.
How did each of the members of FLOWN meet?
Caroline and I met in college and toured together across the country with my old band, The Assault. She was our tour manager. Caroline and Kate met working together at a coffee shop and realized they were Gemini twins (born on the same day!) and started playing together. Frankie Rose recruited all of us to be her backing band in 2009, and the three of us have all been playing together since then.
How would you describe your sound?
Stoner witch psych metal.
Sabbath, Earth, Sleater-Kinney, Iron Maiden, Sleep, [the] Melvins, Girlschool, Motorhead, Coven… 70s protometal and 90s sludge especially.
Each of the members of FLOWN had been in projects whose sounds were completely different than that of FLOWN. How did you come upon the band’s current sound? Do you get a thrill out of thwarting expectations of how you’re supposed to sound?
We all really, really wanted to make heavy music again - as we had with some of our older projects. There was a real need to have an outlet for our aggression, to deliver our emotions into the music. I’m not too worried about people’s expectations because in a lot of ways this is a very personal project for all of us.
The band’s sound has a forceful, primal feel to it. What inspires that?