Flamél discussed their latest single, "Artificial", and revisited their 2017 interview with Desert of My Eye.
Back in 2017, I interviewed the guys from Flamél and recently, I got to catch up with Sergio (guitar), Daniel (vocals), and Angel (bass) of the band. This frontera space rock/psychedelic/dream pop band released an album, Kymojasaky, in 2020 which included the songs Ciudad Del Sol, La Flor Mexicana, and Tenshi amongst others. Each of the new songs reflect a maturity and in the band. Also, as someone who is homesick, the music video for Ciudad Del Sol was really a treat because it's filled with different shots of very recognizable places in El Paso. However, enough about my personal nostalgia.
The guys and I met over Zoom and the first thing we discussed was how they were affected by Covid as a band. Angel responded that it affected them in all kinds of ways especially creative people. It was soon after this that I went on my tangent about their music video, Ciudad Del Sol, making me miss home. But we quickly segued into their newest single. I asked them why they there was a notable change in the sound of Aritificial compared to the album they released last year. To this, Daniel responded, "actually, Artificial was supposed to be part of Kymojaskay. It was part of the songs we started to worked with Manu*, but it didn't really fit with the EP. Like it was very dark and we did not know how to handle it in the moment [...] and instead we decided to release it with Miguel Mattox*. Kymojasaky was very colorful and happy. We also wanted to release this to show this other "dark" side that we have." The "darker" sound is definitely reflected in not only the theme of the song, but the Daniel's vocals and the synth work.
As evident by the lyrics and music video itself (which was edited by Angel), the song touches on artificial intelligence. When describing the video, Angel in part, stated that, "I had just watched the Netflix series, Dark, and the opening has that kaleidoscope/mirror effect. That's where the idea came from. I told the guys about wanting to make it Dark-like. You know, the song talks a lot about conspiracies and internet theories [...] it was about making this collage of images not only of us as a band, but also images with the message we were trying to convey." It's something that is immediately evident in the music video.
In continuing this conversation, which included their identification in genre, I mentioned that in 2017 they categorized themselves as "spacerock". Given their latest material I wondered if it was something they would still label themselves as given their evolution as a band. Sergio, in part, stated that the "space rock" name came from the band Acid Mother's Temple. "We felt great when they said that. Space rock is still with us. But beyond space rock, psychedelic rock has predominated recently. Dream pop is another one that has predominated. Sometimes we feel like that same combination of psychedelic rock and dream pop sounds like space rock in a way. [...] Like I mentioned, they "baptized" us with that genre. I feel like we have been loyal to our style. [...] but if you don't grow as an individual, you can't advance as a band. What differentiates us is that we advance. If you look at our first album, it was psychedelic rock and on the second album we matured as individuals and so did our music. [...] Now that we changed producers, I feel like that was big step for us. Not that we were in a zone of comfort, but we really liked the formula used by Manuel. However, when went with Miguel, he gave us a little bit more freedom in doing things. It's this journey of self growth that has lead us to where we are. We haven't even reached our full potential. We are a band that can keep going and keep going further. We are taking it a step at a time." The rest of the band pretty much agreed with what Sergio said and just added their own observations and thoughts to it.
When everyone was done sharing their thoughts on the previous question, I went ahead and asked them whether they were going to release anything new such a follow up material within the same vein of Artificial. Angel was quick to answer and mentioned that a reason they left working with Manuel is so they could try something new, so when they did come back they wouldn't end up making a Kymojaskay 2.0 album. The guys, again in sync, pretty much agreed with and made a few comments on that same note. It was further made clear that there is definitely new material in the works, but that is not coming out any time soon.
I wanted to end the interview by talking through some of the answers they gave in their 2017 interview and see if they had changed any of their answers. I told them that back then they said that their biggest influences were: Caifanes, Zoé, Porter, and The Strokes. Sergio chuckled and stated, "all of them except Porter." The guys chuckled and now changed Porter for Tame Impala. Other influences mentioned was Rey Pila, Lo-Fi, and other varied genres. To that, Angel made a comment regarding the different influences and how they have a way of translating to their work. Including their latest experimentation while working with Manuel.
That beautifully segued into my next question which entailed asking the guys if they had a dream collaboration. Angel answered right away. "This answer breaks in two. I have my choice and Daniel and Sergio have the same answer so I'll let them go." Daniel, acknowledging this was a hard question to answered, "The Strokes. [...] There are several." To that, Sergio added that Angel's answer would have been Tame Imapala. "Those are like our dream collaborations, but on a more manageable level. Who would we like to collaborate with? Right now we would like to collaborate with Cuceb that was part of Miró and Goyo from Bandalos Chinos." They also mentioned a few other options and stated that they don't have a definitive answer because they have never really dived into what a collaboration consists of.
Inquiring further, and lastly, I ended the interview by asking the guys what their top 5 songs of the moment were and once again comparing it to their answers in 2017. The guys each gave a list, but some of the songs that were mentioned were: The Eternal Tao by the Voidz, Ode to the Mets by The Strokes, Bestiario by Zoé, Drooling by Rey Pila, Reality in Motion by Tame Impala, Sonate Pacifique by L'Impératrice, and Tadow byMasego, FKJ.
Go check out the video below and follow Flamél on Instagram as: @flamel.band.
* The "Manu" that Daniel is referring to is Manuel Calderon. A revered recording engineer and producer that is also known for projects like The Chamanas and Estereoromance.
*Mattox might not be the correct last name. It was a guess from the band members.
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