FLAMINGODS have been a busy bunch as of late. In the past year they have dropped a whole host of killer tracks including the experimental pop of hit single ‘Jungle Birds’ – taken from their debut album Majesty – and more lately, new tracks ‘Kewali’ and ‘Rhama’. Clearly their delectable brand of psychedelia is striking a chord!
Hot on the heels of their latest music, the band play Are You Listening? Festival in aid of Reading Mencap. Head here to find out more info and to grab tickets for the charitable festival – which takes place this coming Saturday (hasn’t that crept up on you?) – and read on below to get to know the band that little bit better…
You’ve been captivating us with your psychedelic sound, your latest singles ‘Kewali’, and a new recording of ‘Rhama’, channelling it more than most.
Tell us a little about how ‘Kewali’ came to life.
‘Kewali’ is actually a reworking of one of our earliest songs that we put out on a lo-fi album called ‘Away’. We always wanted to bring the song back in some form and decided to take it into our studio and see how we could flesh it out.
‘Rhama’ is quite understated and has a mature sound, whilst previous tracks like ‘Jungle Birds’ steer towards pop. Did you make a conscious effort to alter your sound?
We definitely like to change our sound when we can. All of us in the band are influenced by so many genres that I think, in a way, that’s what keeps the music we make refreshing to us because we all like to dabble in a bit of everything. In the case of ‘Rhama’ we delved into our interest of mysticism and lyrically it refers to some of our favourite films such as The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. ‘Jungle Birds’ on the other hand was an experiment of blending our love for exotic music from the 50’s and 60s with modern day electronica and pop elements.
You’ve just announced your new EP Kewali! Congratulations – what can you tell us about it to whet our appetite even more?
Thank you! I feel like this EP delves into the past, present and future a little bit. Although it’s only three tracks I feel like we covered a lot of ground sonically. We had a lot of fun making it and I think that comes through in the music!
It’s not been long since the release of your album Majesty late last year. What keeps you inspired and constantly creating music?
I feel like all of the music we’re constantly discovering, both what we see live and on records. All of us in the band dig deep for new music all the time and constantly sharing it amongst ourselves. We often get inspired by how a group plays percussion on a track, or how someone approaches a vocal melody or a specific guitar sound for example.
What led you to the Eastern influences that can be heard in your music?
We all grew up in the Middle East and although we didn’t really seek out a lot of Arabic music, or music from India or the far east, it was still very much a part of our upbringing because it was around us all of the time. As we got older and started discovering bands from around the world such as Boredoms, OOIOO, Turkish psych and Bollywood music from the 70s, it really opened our eyes and ears to what we were used to at the time which was Western music.
You’ve been announced for Are You Listening? Festival this April, which is in conjunction with charity Reading Mencap! Are you excited? What made you want to take part?
Firstly, we’re really happy that it’s for a great cause! We feel that everyone should have an equal opportunity to learn, and we have an interest in teaching ourselves. Over the last two years we’ve given workshops to children, teaching them how to play simple rhythms and open them up to music and having fun. We’re excited to be a part of the lineup!
Who else are you excited to see at Are You Listening?
We’re really hoping to catch Anna Meredith who has just been announced, along with Dream Wife and Animal House! There’s lots of great stuff, so we’re hoping to catch as much as we can.
What can audiences expect from a Flamingods show?
They can expect a lot of high energy, instrument swapping and just general good vibes. We hope to make you smile!
How does playing festivals compare to your own gigs? Do you prefer one to the other?
I think the only real difference between our own show and a festival is the amount of time that we get to do our thing. It’s understandable that there’s a lot of bands and changeover stuff to get through at a festival so our sets are usually shorter, but we still love doing them. The amount of music we get to see on a regular basis…you can’t really beat that!
What else is in store for Flamingods in 2017?
We’re still on the road a lot, and hoping to revisit a load of places we came to last year. We’re also putting together ideas for the next record which we’re all really excited about!
Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for having us, and hope to see you at the festival!
Flamingods new EP Kewali is out on 25th May. They play Are You Listening? Festival on Saturday 22nd April in aid of Reading Mencap. Head here for more info.