I don’t ever claim to have the greatest memory but sometimes I even surprise myself with how bad my memory is. This is an interview with THE HELLFLOWERS that I should have posted a long time ago. But seeing as they have a new EP to promote this is still relevant. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Christina: Sometimes I have dreams about songs or a melody pops into my head randomly. It could be a past experience I’ve had or something I have seen a friend or family member go through.
Matt: For me, It’s about finding new avenues. Exploring different sounds and collaborating with musicians outside of the project to push the sound further. It’s really exciting to hear it all come together!
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Christina: Up until this, we had only recorded a demo, making the EP our first official release. I am constantly writing new material, and revisiting songs from the past…an example is how “Johnnie, Jack & Jim” came together. We took an old country song I had written years ago and made it way more rock ‘n’ roll.
I am always pushing myself to continue to grow and learn as a songwriter and look forward to taking it to a higher level during our next recording sessions, which are in the works!
Matt: I was really excited to work with our engineer Dave Klein (Agent Orange, The Ghastly Ones). With his Background in punk and garage, I knew he was going do some really interesting things with our sound. Between Dave’s mixes and Jamison Weddle of StudioCat Productions mastering, The end product was amazing!
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get?
Christina: It seems like people can relate to the topics of our songs and can connect with them because of that.
Matt: We have a song that Christina wrote called “Gone Too Soon” about the passing of a close relative. It’s a very personal song, yet, it is very upbeat. The song transforms itself into a celebration of that persons life. I think people catch on to that. The reaction has been great!
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands do you identify with?
Christina: When we started this band one thing I knew for sure is that I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into a specific genre. I insisted on letting the sound develop naturally. Currently I would say the feedback we’ve gotten so far aligns us with bands like The Pixies, The Ramones, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cramps, Social Distortion, Throwing Muses and Hole.
Matt: I keep hearing comparisons to Blondie and sometimes The Go-Go’s, but when we were writing I was thinking back to 90’s bands like Belly and Elastica. I keep pushing for a Concrete Blonde/ The Damned Hybrid sound. We may or may not get there. The journey is the exciting part.
How did you go about choosing artwork for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Christina: We’re friends and fans of the awesome and talented Casey Castille, so she popped into our head immediately when thinking about album art. She has done amazing album art for her band, Roadside Memorial, along with other bands. She creates posters, flyers and other art, so definitely check out her stuff: www.caseycastille.com
We wanted the album to kind of represent our band name and the feel of the album. Since we decided to name it after the title track “Come On Let’s Dance!” I thought having dancing skeletons on the cover would be awesome.
What kind of topics does each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Christina: This EP opens up with the title track, “Come On Let’s Dance!” which is a song about dancing. “Running Through The Fog” is about how life can sometimes get you down and be difficult and overwhelming. “Johnnie, Jack & Jim” is about an Ex that drank way too much and “Fire In Your Eyes” is about somebody being so captivating you just can’t resist them, even though you know they’re bad news.
I would say the thread is all the topics are relatable experiences that most of us have gone through ourselves.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Christina: We usually title the songs based off the main theme or a lyric within the song.
‘Matt: I guess whatever the hook is in the tune. We want it to make sense and intrigue someone enough to want to listen.
Is digital a format that fits your music? Is digital killing music?
Christina: I think digital works for our music. There are elements of digital that are really good but some of that comes with downfall. For example, digital makes the music very accessible to more people for little or no cost, especially with free steaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music. This makes it extremely hard for a musician without an outside job to support yourself financially. It’s not killing music, it’s killing the working musician.
Matt: Yes and No. Yes, it’s great to be able to share our songs to the world so easily, but with platforms like Sound Cloud, Pandora Etc., where with just a couple of clicks on a phone you can listen to our whole album it leaves no real incentive to buy a CD at a show. Why download it when you can stream it for free? Kind of a drag.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Christina: I would say we are totally a live band. I think playing live is where it’s at because we really connect with our audience. There’s nothing like it!
Matt: Playing live is really the best part for me. It’s my last vice. The next show can’t come fast enough. I always want to improve on the live experience. What would the fans like to see? How can we do it better? Every show is different and that’s what makes it so cool!
What lies in the future?
Christina: A full-length album and European tour to promote the next record!
Matt: More videos! New songs! It’s gonna be rad!