flor Interview: "We learn something every day from every tour."

flor Interview: "We learn something every day from every tour."

We met the minds behind flor's vulnerable and meaningful songs.

Approximately one year after their debut album, come out. you're hiding, was released, flor brought their eclectic sounds to The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC while supporting Misterwives. They combine their synth-pop instrumentals with personal, nuanced lyrics to create the signature "flor sound." But with the upbeat, synth-driven melodies come vulnerable and thought-provoking lyrics about "heartache, anxiety, and self-doubt," creating a captivating juxtaposition.

The West Coast-based band had never traveled to Asheville before, so we welcomed singer/guitarist Zach Grace, guitarist McKinley Kitts, bassist Dylan Bauld, and drummer Kyle Hill with open arms on May 8 when they shared their thoughts on touring, songwriting, and their fanbase.

Singer/guitarist Zach Grace

Sophie Harris: Is this your first time in Asheville? What do you think of it?

Zach Grace: It is, and it’s so freaking beautiful! I always forget about these mountains and I really need to stop doing it because they’re so beautiful.

McKinley Kitts: Yeah, it’s like a jungle here. The drive from Nashville was beautiful. Very lush.

Guitarist McKinley Kitts

SH: So you guys have had a really big year. Your album just came out almost exactly a year ago.

ZG: It’s coming up on our first anniversary - May 19. It’s been a really fun year, all because of the album. It’s done some great things for us.

MK: We supported [artists] and built up off the album for a while, and then we finally went out in February for our first full headlining tour.

ZG: And we’re gonna be braving the next one in Europe. We just went over there for the first time a month ago.

MK: Yeah, we supported Walk the Moon in Europe and the UK. And then the day after we finished that tour, we announced our Europe and UK headline tour in September.

SH: I love how you’ve toured with a bunch of different people, like Paramore, Bleachers, Lostboycrow…they span across all these different genres.

MK: I think it’s good to bring people in from all walks of life. And it showed on the headline tour. There was no consistency amongst [the ages of] our fans. There were kids at some show, and then people in their sixties kissing each other in the back.

ZG: And loving flor. flor is what unites all the ages.

Drummer Kyle Hill

SH: So how have all those genres meshed together to influence your style?

ZG: All of us have such eclectic tastes. You’ll have McKinley pumping the country jams one day while we’re driving down the road, [meanwhile] Dylan’s listening to his sweet urban and alt-pop stuff. We just like to appreciate good melodies and good lyrics, whether it’s a song that makes you feel good or a song that makes you feel awful.

MK: We try to have variety from the album to the live show. The album is really sleek - it’s not rough around the edges. But the live show has a little more of the elements. We try to bring a little bit of a different flavor to the live show.

ZG: Yeah, I think that more so than anything, playing with all these different artists has really just given us an understanding of what we want to do with our live show.

MK: We learn something every day from every tour.

ZG: Maybe we can’t really dive into the style of Lostboycrow. And Bleachers is so…Bleachers. When you see Jack Antonoff control a room like he does, you can’t help but be like “I want that when we play music. I want that feeling.”

MK: We’re absorbing little pieces of wisdom and energy from whoever we tour with. Hodgepodge-ing it together on top of what we already have.

ZG: Oh yeah. We keep the “flor style” too.

Singer/guitarist Zach Grace, guitarist McKinley Kitts, and drummer Kyle Hill

SH: Zach, you’re the main songwriter...I noticed it’s very vulnerable. I have trouble expressing my emotions, much less writing them down. So, how was the whole songwriting process a challenge?

ZG: It took me about six years before I even thought to start bringing my songs to these guys. Like, that’s about how long it took before the “flor sound” was even an idea. And even then, it was Dylan saying, “Zach, what you’re doing is good enough, and you can work with us.” And me being like, “I don’t know, I’m not sure!”

Dylan Bauld: What I secretly think is that he was holding back because we weren’t good enough yet, so it would be a way for us to actually get to his level. And he’s like, “Okay, you guys can have these songs.”

ZG: We’ll roll with that one because it makes me look awesome...But, no, it’s obviously a really, really hard thing to do. Maybe it’s not a hard thing for most people, but for me, it’s a hard thing to believe that what I’m saying has value and, more importantly, will mean something to people. It’s really easy to think, “This means something to me, this impacts me, but how can it impact the rest of the world?” You don’t really know if that’s the case until you put it out.

SH: Is there a certain song that you guys feel the closest to?

MK: I think we’ve all kind of come to the conclusion that “warm blood” is most indicative of the “flor sound" melodically. And the way it comes together live, especially. If someone says, “Play me a song,” it’s not like, “Oh, here’s our banger.” It's like, “Here’s the one that sounds like flor.”

ZG: It accomplishes everything I want a song to accomplish. And that’s a really nice feeling.

Bassist Dylan Bauld

SH: So, “rely” was just released as a single...What’s next for flor? Are you gonna release any other singles from the album, or are you gonna start releasing new stuff?

MK: We’re not totally sure yet - we’re still workshopping things. We’re constantly writing and recording, so throughout this summer after our festival runs we’ll be in a studio.

DB: There are a lot of new songs that we’re really stoked on that we can’t wait to release in the near future.

ZG: Yeah, we’re really pumped to take a break after this tour and just sit down and be creative with each other and see what happens.

MK: We’ve been writing on the road, which has been great, but it also inhibits us from being in the studio. So it will be good to kind of sit down and let loose a bit.

ZG: Being on the road is wild because it makes me the most creative. I’ll be in a van, and I’ll have song idea after song idea. But I can’t do anything but just sit there and [make a] voice memo.

MK: There’s always stuff materializing. Whether it’s notepad notes from Zach, or Kyle playing like a simple drum beat during soundcheck. There are lots of tidbits floating around, and [we're] putting it all together and creating something special.

Singer/guitarist Zach Grace and drummer Kyle Hill

SH: Do you have any kind of message that you want to give your fans?

MK: We have a family here. It’s a safe space, as far as belonging. We have a really special group of fans that get along really well together, and it’s a positive environment. We’re lifting each other up.

ZG: Every fan already knows that we’re incredibly thankful for them. Because every band should be incredibly thankful to their fans. They’re the only reason we exist.

flor on stage at The Orange Peel, surrounded by loving fans

Full gallery of flor in Asheville available here.

Keep up with flor on:






Cover Image Credit: Sophie Harris

Popular Right Now

9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

Related Content

Facebook Comments