So as many of you know, I am a huge indie rock geek, so I am constantly finding new stuff that has such a distinct, unique sound to it. Fortunately for me, I've been listening to this indie rock band that not many people are familiar with called Florence Rose! They followed me on Instagram approximately eleven weeks ago (today is March 19, 2019), and I have been trying to follow up on their new music ever since.
Are any of you trying to find something kinda fresh and modern to listen to? Neato! Well you, my friend, are in luck because I have a solution that will satisfy every curious ear in the public.
I asked them a few questions and lead vocalist/rhythm guitar player, Braden Norris, came forward and answered anything that I was willing to ask. Here are the questions and responses as follows:
What are the names, ages, and respective instruments of each band member?
Braden Norris, vocals and rhythm guitar. Christian Fedrick, aka Feddy, plays bass and any keys we use. Gage Estes plays lead guitar. Conor Gass is a madman on the drums.
How long have you all known each other?
We've all gone to the same school since elementary but I, Braden, was never close with the other three. They have all been close because they were in the school band together. Our senior year, we all had a class together and we were the only ones in the class and then things snowballed from there.
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
Florence Rose was actually my solo project. After I released Attention, I needed to find some dudes to help me play live and I asked the fellas if they'd be down and thankfully, they were. This was at the beginning of our senior year. We started having band practice at my house and we thought we would just play one show and that'd be the extent of it but then a lot of things kept falling in place and we formed an actual band.
What is the origin of the band name? Have you changed the band's name before?
I hate answering this question because I always feel like the answer is a huge letdown haha. But I found the name 'Florence' by googling 'top British male names' and Florence really caught my eye. I'm fascinated with the UK and all of the bands that come from there. But ye? The band name was changed. Before Florence Rose, the project was actually titled 'American Boy.' I was making some really crappy music so I thought it'd be best if I started from scratch.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
This is a tough question. Our style used to be all over the place. Indie rock, pop, rock and roll, ballads. It was pretty crazy. But now we think we've found our sound and we believe it is indie rock. A lot of our newer stuff that will be on the EP is centered around guitar riffs, which is dope.
Who are your major influences? Favorite artists?
I'd say we all have different influences. My influences are Declan McKenna, The Smiths, and Cage the Elephant. Feddy listens to a lot of Radiohead and The Beatles. Gage is into a lot of alternative rock and other rock stuff. He likes a lot of The Strokes and also is in love with Metallica. Conor, our drummer, is actually a jazz drummer in college so he loves anything jazzy/funky.
What can you tell me about your instruments? Are you subject to brand loyalty? Like, what made you choose the instruments you have now?
I can't answer for the others but I am definitely not loyal to any one brand. If I think a guitar is pretty, I'll buy it no matter the brand. Probably not the best approach to buying instruments but oh well. All three of us play Fender guitar when we play live though, so I guess Fender would be our top choice. I wish I could answer for Conor but I do not know anything about drum brands.
Where have you performed so far? Have any of you guys had to deal with performance anxiety? Any upcoming shows?
We've only played around Oklahoma. We actually don't focus that much on shows, right now we're just writing a ton and focusing on this debut EP. We have played at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was our favorite venue that we've played at so far. I don't think any of us have struggled with performance anxiety because it just feels very natural. The other three have been playing concerts for the school band so they're very used to it. We have an EP release show scheduled in April and another show in May back in our hometown. We're talking with a booking manager right now to also plan a summer tour outside of good 'ole Oklahoma.
Which songs are your favorite to play? Do you play any covers?
I think our favorite songs to play are 'The Day We Met' and 'Growing Pains.' 'The Day We Met' isn't on Spotify but it's a heavier rock song with some sick solos in it and it always gets the crowd really excited. 'Growing Pains' is an obvious one just because it is such a B-O-P. It's always a great feeling to see the crowd singing the lyrics back.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes/topics for most of your songs? Any hidden meanings behind the songs?
It used to be me writing most of the songs but as we've progressed, everyone has a hand in all of the songs now. It will usually start by one of us sending an idea, whether it be a guitar riff, vocal melody, or a drum beat. One of our upcoming songs on the EP started with a vocal melody idea I got while I was at work. So I went to the bathroom, took a video of it and sent it to the band. Two minutes later, Gage had already put guitar chords to it and made it a chorus. It's a great song and also a cool story behind it. The main topics are definitely girls, girls, and more girls. What else are teenage boys going to write about? Unfortunately, there's no hidden meanings behind the songs. Just a lot of songs about my ex and other girls I talk to. It's always funny sending a song to the girl you wrote it about and her having no idea.
How do rehearsals go? Is there a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
Rehearsals are amazing. We try to get together once a week and everyone will come down to my house and spend the night. I live two hours from the boys so it's not every day we get to hang. We usually run through our setlist two or three times and then work on any new songs we're writing. There's no set schedule or anything, I'd definitely say it's very spontaneous. It's hard to put a schedule on creativity.
Has your music evolved since you first began playing?
Oh my word, yes. It's insane to look back at the progress we've made. I can't even listen to songs from a year ago without cringing and wanting to go live under a rock for the rest of my life. I'm very thankful that I had family and friends who supported me or else I would no longer be a musician. But it's a wonderful feeling knowing that growth has been made and knowing that in a year from now, our music will also be a lot better than it is now.
If you all hadn't become musicians, what would you most likely be doing right now?
Oh tough. I'd be playing college basketball. I actually transferred colleges after I quit my college basketball team, it sucked! Feddy said he would be a magician, surprisingly enough, I had no idea. Gage said he would be making video games and Conor would be doing motocross.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How did you overcome that challenge?
Probably our biggest struggle is trying to reach more and more people. You could be making the best music that anyone has ever made, ever. BUT, if you have no way of reaching more people, you'll never get recognized. We've had some luck on Spotify with reaching people. 'Growing Pains' has 40,000+ plays but we're definitely striving for more. So I guess we haven't really overcome that challenge just yet, but hopefully one day we breakthrough.
Do you guys have any advice for people who might want to start their own band?
For sure! Just go for it no matter how tough the beginning stages are. I got some hate behind my back when I first started making music, it sucked (can't wait to win a Grammy and thank this kid named Leo, it's gonna be legendary). Anyways, just surround yourself with as many supportive people as possible. We have a great mentor and producer who makes us a hundred times better. Also, release as much content as possible, don't be scared to put your music out there. You never know which song is gonna be that one song that hooks somebody.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music and keep up with any updates?
Finally, and probably the most important question: The Smiths or The Cure?
GAH! How dare you. I'm gonna have to say The Smiths but I hate to disrespect my dads in The Cure. You just cannot beat the wonderful voice of Morrissey, it's simply beautiful and his lyrics make me want to dance and cry with all of my emo queens out there.
The band members of Florence Rose are some pretty funny dudes if I do say so myself hahaha.
They haven't really been lucky in spreading, so tell all of your family and friends about them! Their stuff is pretty sick and all they do is release nothing but bangers (currently listening to 'My Friends Don't Exist')!
Check their music out on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, or whatever listening platform you have!
Don't forget to give them a follow and show your support on their social media pages! @florencerosemusic on Instagram and @_florencerose on Twitter!
Catch their new songs coming out around the second week of April 2019!
The Smiths, but modernized, ya know?Source: Florence Rose Twitter