The indie/electronic duo originally from Stoke but have been adopted into the thriving music scene of Manchester. Daniel and Jarred have only just started their new project FLIIIS and have already produced some impressive singles such as Conversations and Sonder. They only released debut single, Feel It, in January this year and have toured with Native People. Meet FLIIIS.
How did the two of you meet and what were you doing before you formed as a band?
I met Jarred through mutual friends whilst studying at University. I was studying Performing Arts and Jazz was studying Music Technology so that took up most of our time before we started playing music together, but of course music has always been a constant since we were babies. Then we were in a different band together in Stoke where we’re originally from, but that didn’t work, and when we found ourselves out of a band we were just casually writing music together and there was this spark that we’d never experienced before, so we rolled with it and FLIIIS was born.
Mnchester is hailed as the music capital of the UK. What is it like to be part of the local music scene?
It’s great. As I said, we’re not originally from Manchester, but it’s where FLIIIS are from. Where they were born. It feels right that way, because our music is ambiguous in so many ways, genre wise for example, gender wise, style etc. so I think the fact that FLIIIS is sort of an entity on it’s own, born in a city that we’re not from gives credence to the idea that it’s a vessel bigger than ourselves. FLIIIS helps us exist comfortably in a city that is so familiar yet so foreign to us at the same time.
Who have been your influences as a band?
I can’t say as we’re influenced by anyone or anything, but more so inspired. We obviously love a tonne of artists and have so many interests that inform our music, ranging from Prince to Michael Jackson to Philip Glass, Chairmen of the Board to Foals, all the way to Jamie xx and J Dilla, stretching to politics and fashion movements and literary works. But I’d say our biggest inspiration is feelings. The things that keep us awake at night. Music for us is therapy. It helps us quieten a world that otherwise is pretty horrifically deafening. We’re driven to write music because, for me personally, it’s the only thing that gets things out of my head, and my head can be a very unforgiving place to be in, so I guess all I can say is that we’re ‘influenced’ to write music because if we didn’t, we’d not be able to cope with life.
What is it like from the perspective of an emerging band, like yourselves, in the current music industry?
It’s hard man. There’s so much industry bull-sh*t to compete with, alongside social media which is purposely making it more difficult for artists to showcase their work. And there are so many bands out there that put on their make-up and pretend to be something they’re not. The industry is saturated with the ‘industry’, and that’s exactly the problem. Sadly it’s less about music and more about money which is making it more difficult for talented new bands to break through, but to be honest, I guess that’s always been the music industry. We’re not sure of our place in that industry yet, I guess the only thing i’m certain of is the fact that with the industry as it is today, i’ll never be able to afford a Lambo, and that is a very, very sad realisation. I’ll get over it though.
What has been the reception of your debut material?
Awesome. Though I’ve just slated the industry, the reception to our music has shown that the audience are still as true to music as ever. I wouldn’t want to blow our own trumpet too much, but I can happily say that the reception we’ve got so far is brilliant. I think it’s hard to get that initial kick-start when you don’t sound like a Nirvana B-Side, or belong to a genre that’s already popular, but it’s been the first time where we’ve felt we’ve genuinely connected with people, and that’s all we can ask for.
Your single, “Conversations”, is class. Is there a moral/message to be heard from this?
Nice one! Well, without preaching, yes. It’s about sexuality and promiscuity. How notches on the bed post aren’t going to fill that void inside yourself that’s been eating away at you, no matter how many times someone tells you you’re the best they’ve ever had, and how inevitably it makes you feel cheap because the exchange was that of bodily fluids, not connection, when connections all you really want. Kinda like ‘erm, well I guess there’s no point in talking because I don’t care about you and you don’t care about me so we may as well just get to it and then I’ll bugger off and cry’. Sorry, that all got a bit graphic, I’ll just leave that one there…
What are your plans for the New Year, in terms of gigging and recording?
At the moment we’re taking it pretty easy on the live front. We love gigging and playing shows, but right now our focus is writing because we’re feeling inspired. I’ve got a lot of lyrics in me at the minute, so I feel that the creative process has to take precedence. We have about 4 more tracks already recorded but unreleased, and we’ve got another 6 or 7 that we’re worming out to take into the studio early next year, so we’re kinda bleeding material and gigging none stop would kinda just be like clogging the wound up, but not solving the underlying issue. But there will be a few live appearances dotted around the UK early 2017, so keep your eyes open for that.
What has been the best memory so far as a band?
Everything man. We live together so FLIIIS is literally our entire life, and I can’t really pick a specific moment, just being in this separated universe with your best friend creating music is overwhelmingly enjoyable. Actually, Jazz got me a kitten for my birthday called Fliii, so if any moment dominates our life as a band so far, it’s getting her!
Who would be your dream artist to perform, with dead or alive?
For me it’s got to be Prince. He’s my f*cking icon man. I’d probably end up forgetting I was onstage and just sit there watching him though. Jazz says The Bee Gees. He loves them. I don’t personally get it. He’s a bit weird.
What has been the best gig you have ever been to?
I’ve been to so many incredible gigs, but the best was the first proper live show I went to see, and that was a band called The Levellers when I was about 7 years old. It’s not the best show I’ve ever seen in terms of music or stage craft, but seeing about a thousand people all singing along to 5 guys on stage that night really stuck with me and I’ll never forget it. It was that classic ‘that is what I want to do’ moment of realisation, so it wins hands down. I still have a tiny Levellers t-shirt from that show that I won’t throw away. I aim to lose enough weight to fit into it again one day but I think that’s a dream best left to be discussed another day.