sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Florence and the Machine Interview

with one comment


You could be forgiven for thinking that the future of the very music industry itself depended on the success of Florence Welch and her all conquering machine. The flame haired songstress who has been christened thenextkatebush in reverential tones throughout the land has found herself in the unenviable position of being adopted as the music industries own private tourniquet.

Situations such as this are worrying indeed, as many a young spirit has been broken on the back of expectation and many a raw talent moulded and reworked into Duffy. Results which if applied to what is simply one of the best voices to emanate from this sceptred isle in the last few decades would be no less than tragic.

Fortunately the signs are good. Latest single ‘Dog Days Are Over’ is a tour de force of alt-folk pop and as catchy as hell, and Florence is more than a little bit excited about the songs she has and has yet to finish for her forthcoming album. With the album due in May, a Brit award already cradled under her arm and a slot on the prestigious annual NME awards tour early in the year Florence and The Machine will have more than enough opportunities to prove the hype in 2009. ‘It’s definitely weird’ she concurs. I’m excited though. I’m really excited about putting the album together. We’re going to take some of the old songs and add some new ones and see what works, if it doesn’t work we’ll just throw it out and start again. We start proper recording next week (late December). I’m excited because I don’t feel that I’m just putting out a lot of old music. All of the music is completely new, even on the old songs’ she continues when asked if, given that she has been working at this for quite a while now without getting to the first album stage, there will be a few of the older tracks making an appearance on the album. Not that anything in the world of Florence can be predictable and straight forward. When recording latest single ‘Dog Days Are Over’ at London’s Dairy Studio Florence felt she couldn’t get the right vibe from the main room so relocated the band to the kitchen to capture exactly what she was looking for. ‘Haha, how did you find out about that? Yes it’s true, we used the Kitchen as a percussion instrument…we were in there banging away on everything, the sink, the pans, the microwave.’

Having recently been courted by several significant labels she has signed with Island where such DIY studio improvisation is being actively encouraged. ‘Basically I’ve been doing all this work for a year now, and at the start everyone wanted to sign me but I didn’t know what I was going to do, so the hub died down and I seriously thought that I wasn’t going to get signed at all but just kept on making music. Then the hub came back and I went with Island… what did I like about Island? Well they wanted to give me money to make an album!’ She cries before breaking down into infectious giggles. ‘Seriously though the thing they really offer is freedom, they wanted to release the album I wanted to make and they didn’t want to dictate or change anything. So that’s really cool. Plus the last thing I want to do is just release one good album and then disappear, it’s not about having an album, it’s about a career and that’s something they understood. I mean I’m already excited about the second album,’ she continues, before considering if she has any vague notions as to where the road takes her musically once this debut album is wrapped. ‘I have no idea really. It might be heavier, it might be totally stripped down. God I might be trying to get dropped by then so will come back with a hardcore album and just write 10 minute noise songs. Hmm, actually that’s not that far off what I’m doing now.’

With this revelation we can explore one of Florence’ many passions as an experimental noise career was enough to get Sonic Youth a cameo in her beloved Gilmore Girls…’Oh MY GOD…are Sonic Youth in the Gilmore Girls? That’s so awesome. I love that show!’ Alas as the show has now wrapped there will be no Florence cameo in the Gilmore Girls, however it is not easy to imagine her firecracker energy employed in front of the camera. Whereas some musicians detest the process of the music video Florence is not one. Discussing her latest opus for ‘Dog Days…’ she notes. It was just a bit crazy i gave them pretty garbled instructions. I want an explosion, and then another explosion and then there will be running and people will fall down,’ she gasps resembling Eddie Izzard in glorious flow. ‘Then there was this clown suit I’d been knocking around in and we thought it would be great fun to dress up my dad as a clown.’ (As video extra and sometime tourbus driver you imagine that Florences dad is somewhat long suffering.) ‘So my dad became this creepy clown. Sort of like a Nazi clown. Then there’s a lot or running. But then the clowns are everywhere and sexy and seducing you into some kind of orgy. It was a lot of fun.’ Indeed it looks like it was a lot of fun and highlights various other Florence obsessions including the Mexican day of the dead. It also highlights what a vivid imagination she has and how she constructs fantasy.

‘When I was at nursery one day the teacher forgot about me and I ended up in the library all day on my own. I read every book I could get my hands on. I loved the stories, I’ve always made my own stories in my head, trying to create a dreamscape that you can get lost in, and I think that translates to the music. Sitting in that library reading and creating stories it felt like i shouldn’t be there. it felt like having secrets, dangerous and naughty.’

Which is exactly how everyone will fee later this month on the NME tour as Florence makes you believe that she is just your best friend whispering magical tales into your ear like sweet first love nothings.


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. PMS

    June 22, 2009 at 1:51 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: