In only a few weeks Silk Flowers have embedded their morose pop carnival far enough into my psyche’ to make me think “Won’t children still want candy at the end of the world?” Silk Flowers are giving the sticky stuff away with a smile. On the Porch today they talk about their New York residence, dream dictionaries, and the all important aspiration to dull the isolation between us.
Q: How are you doing?
Aviram Cohen: I’m doing quite well. Thank you for asking.
Q: How does NYC influence your music?
AC: It’s a modern city with all it’s ups and downs. I think a lot about how environments impact people. This city forces you to move forward and be productive or you absolutely get left behind. Which is great. Although, in that way you need to stay aware of where you’re at and what you’re up to so, as not to get swallowed up in that and lose touch with yourself. That notion kind of became a microcosm of how we handle the band. Identity and where one fits into the world we live is a predominant theme we use. It’s a commonality between the three of us in the sense that individually we’ve each felt as though we’ve lived on the outside.
Q: What themes or concepts were you focusing on for your self-titled debut?
AC: For me, the record is extremely personal. The main theme is reflecting on the past and how to pull away from that. Certain events and experiences shape an individual. After some time, those experiences lose relevance. But, you may still be operating in an outdated mode. It’s important to be aware of this. And filter out habits you use that you no longer rely on. That’s pretty much what the record discusses.
Playing music is a vehicle for expressing things I may not normally feel comfortable with. In that way, it helps me expel feelings that may be oppressive. I try to write in a way that is open so that others can project their own experiences onto what we do. I do this to create a connection between people. Hopefully, dulling the feeling of isolation.
Q: Give me some nouns that serve as inspiration for Silk Flowers, and feel free to elaborate on said nouns.
AC: Movies like Eyes Without a Face, Black Sunday (the horror movie), and the original Cape Fear. Early Hollywood stuff.
Books such as Colin Wilson’s The Occult and The Outsider, Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, Joan Didion and James Baldwin are favorites too.
Some records that were a big influence on me are Alice Cooper’s ‘Easy Action,’ Scott Walker ‘Scott 4,’ Jan and Dean ‘Save For A Rainy Day,’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘A Broken Frame.’
Peter Schuette: As the keyboardist, I don’t think I ever start with a noun. Maybe an adjective, but I can’t think of any right now. I try to give the words and vocal melodies an emotional depth, balance the light and dark, and do it simply. Maybe the adjective / noun combo “Heavy Weather,” but that’s already been taken.
Q: What do you do before a show to prepare the psych-fest?
PS: I try to experience my psych-e…go to sleep, journal my dreams, look them up in a dream dictionary, and then think about their possible meanings in regards to my life. If, by ‘psych-fest,’ you’re not talking about a musical performance, I’ll tell you later.
Q: Band motto?
PS: Ex Obscuris Lux
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
AC: Peter Schuette wears women’s underwear.
PS: Don’t believe anything Aviram Cohen says. He’s a big liar!
On that note I would like to say this video, shot by Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw is amazing.
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