Skilled players alone, a great band does not make. For this reason alone Supergroups for lack of a better term, rarely exceed the sum of their respective parts. Last Saturday night however, that ideology (perpetuated by underwhelming outfits such as Audioslave and Velvet Revolver) came crashing down amidst a sea of tribal rhythms and reverb. Ladies and gentleman I give you Fashion Launches Rocket Launches.
Comprised of members from the Midnight Juggernauts, Lost Valentinos and Mercy Arms among others, Fashion Launches Rocket Launches is an ever-changing stable of talented players united by a desire to improvise and inspire. And last week they did just that. Playing in formation such that everyone faced each other (and on the floor no less) Julian and Daniel alternated duties between a drum kit and cluster of floor toms while Kirin traded psychedelic trills with Jono’s shoegazey fuzz. At points they would all play drums, joined by Liam on bass and Adam their transient vocalist. People would walk in and out, trade instruments and fiddle with effects in what I can only describe as Pagan Party Jams. The bedrock rhythm section akin to Krautrock’s Motorik on amphetamines never once wavered, hitting anything – even nearby metallic hand rails to keep the beat surging. One gets the feeling FLRL would use pots and pans if they were on hand. We chatted to the guys to see if there was any method to their madness…
P: what is the ideology behind FLRL?
FLRL: Fashion Launches Rocket Launches is a musical project aimed at eliminating the inherent egos, fundamental flaws and seemingly unavoidable, often clichÃ© problems of bands as we know them. There are no set members and there are no set songs. The group is run by an evolving independent council, inspired by the four key values of improvisation – Trust, Bravery, Exchange & Serendipity, and the four pillars of inspiration itself – Art, Fun, Spirituality & Athleticism.
P: How did the players find each other?
FLRL: A common love of sushi sets brought us together.
P: Do you guys prefer the free form style of FLRL or the more structured style of your respective bands?
FLRL: Depends what we’re doing more of at the time…. we always prefer whatever we are doing least often. Everything ends up flowing into one another at the end of the day. It’s just another influence to add to the pile..
P: For the uninitiated what is a FLRL show like?
FLRL: Like watching Twin Peaks… holds you with just enough humour, excitement, intrigue and darkness but never really gives it all up.
P: What are some common influences between you guys, I know there are Krautrock/No Wave/Psych bands on your Myspace top friends list…
FLRL: Influences are from all our respective bands and again from the four pillars
of inspiration… commit those to memory.
P: Where does the band name come from?
FLRL: It came from an unfortunate moment of serendipity…
P: Is it hard to get together and play with everyone’s shifting schedules, do you jam beforehand?
FLRL: Again all left up to chance and trust… nothing is hard because there is nothing to be hard about… if we suck.. then we suck so long as the four pillars are represented then everything is going to plan… or lack of plan.
We also chatted to Daniel Stricker to get the lowdown on Siberian Nights, a semi-regular event he’s putting on that starts this Friday at La Capana in the city. Incidentally Fashion Launches Rocket Launches are playing so if you’re not an idiot you’ll go down and watch. I promise you they’re amazing.
P: What’s the idea behind Siberian Nights?
DS: To get friends together – have a ‘happening’. Get people doing things they wouldn’t usually do, not worrying about guestlists, or sponsors, or promoting the hell out of something. To create a real word of mouth ‘event’ – to make something special, visually and sonically. To hopefully surprise you each time. Our first one is Black Friday so we are going to create an underground Spanish cavern. We started this label Siberia Records not only to put out music but to be an umbrella for anything in our ‘Siberian World’ – a land that can be anything.. from a fox squirrel to mu.
What kind of acts do you want to champion?
DS: Anyone that’s doing something a bit special and not taking themselves too seriously.
Image via Daniel Boud @ Boudist