The Lunacy Of Flowers: I make music in a very visceral way
On Friday, one-man band inspired by 80s post-punk and industrial music, The Lunacy Of Flowers released his debut album How Could You Let Me Grow To Then Just Let Me Die? In an interview with Sander Varusk he spoke more about the ethos of his musical alias and admitted that although he don't really experiment, he makes music in a very visceral way.
Congratulations on your first physical release as The Lunacy Of Flowers! It is also your first release here in Estonia. How pleased are you with HCYLMGTTJLMD?
I'm happy with the record I made. It's exactly what I want it to be. It's the material that I made when I first started The Lunacy Of Flowers so it has been with me for some time now. It's the start.
You moved to Tallinn quite recently, why is now the right time for this release and has a change in scenery affected the music of Lunacy?
I just have a lot of material, I always plan to release all my music but sometimes things do not go to plan. The fun part for me is making the music but not actually releasing music. Things can go wrong with releasing music and arguably releasing music isn't that fun. I think I'm just in my own head with making music so planning releases can throw me off.
HCYLMGTTJLMD? is dense and aggressive with a strong industrial undercurrent with touches of synth-pop and you do everything yourself. What has influenced you and what has led up to this collection of songs.
This album is basically where The Lunacy Of Flowers started in 2019. It is pretty much the live show before COVID-19 hit, minus a couple of tracks, which will hopefully come out also. This album was me recreating the live feel in my home studio environment. I make music in a very visceral way; I don't sit and write songs. I don't really experiment, I have ideas of things and go with that. I just go with a feeling. I guess I make my music that way because it keeps me interested and being interested is probably the biggest influence of all.
Could you elaborate on not only the album title but also the artist moniker? The Lunacy Of Flowers and How Could You Let Me Grow To Then Just Let Me Die? seemingly have a connection, if metaphorically?
It's romance. It's Ballardian. Flowers are grown and then just wilt away. People and lives are very similar. Some friendships and relationships also. They grow and are just left to die. The Lunacy Of Flowers was a coincidence of thinking of a name that existed somewhere else. A lot of the time, being a musician is madness – especially when you are a solo artist and you only work on your own. There is a lot of talking, singing and thinking to yourself, you play musical instruments alone, you play your own music out loud to yourself and you get used to that and you get very comfortable being that way. It does feel like madness sometimes, and probably is, and I probably am mad so the word 'Lunacy' really joined me as a feeling of what it is I'm doing. The Flowers part came from my obsession of early Public Image Ltd (PIL) and their 3rd album The Flowers Of Romance and also the band The Flowers Of Romance which PIL's member Keith Levene was involved in, they never actually played as a band, they are almost a myth, which again has a strange appeal to me. So the name came from there really and then I googled it to see if the name was taken by another act and a J.G Ballard quote came up:
"believe in madness, in the truth of the inexplicable, in the common sense of stones, in the lunacy of flowers, in the disease stored up for the human race by the Apollo astronauts. "I believe in nothing."
I was quite proud of the coincidence and there was an egotistical feeling of great minds, but things like that happen a lot in art. You can realize quite quickly that things already exist. But that knowledge also helps me go where I've gone with The Lunacy Of Flowers. Allowing things to be and just happen. Letting things be sometimes brilliant and then terrible. It's visceral work, so it happens. The album title is in relation to my name The Lunacy Of Flowers, but is also so much more too.
HCYLMGTTJLMD is released on cassette, why the choice of fromat?
I think this music actually suited a cassette release. I was going to go straight to vinyl, but it was encouraged to me actually by Tom Of England, he thought it could be a nice thing to do before putting out vinyl. I had only previously released on vinyl so it was something different and is something to experiment with. I'm seeing cassettes as quite a fun thing and I'm meeting and finding people that are real collectors of cassette so it's nice to have music out on that format. It's definitely made me think differently about physical releases.
You did have releases back in London under the moniker Dave.i.d, even with one track selected for a Soul Jazz Records release (Cold Wave #2). Why the change to Lunacy of Flowers and is Dave.i.d left in the past?
Dave.i.d was an ambitious project. It was kind of doomed after the British music press got a sniff. Being compared to Burial, Radiohead and Apex Twin by The Guardian at 20 years of age was actually one of the biggest insults at the time, such hyperbolic comparisons are not so helpful when you are a new artist that is offering a different take on things. It came before a lot of what exists now for what it was, it was a different time for that kind of music. It was just a bit ahead of time, really. There was no Yves Tumor or FKA Twigs or Young Fathers around then to really align with for example. When people hear Dave.i.d now they say "this sounds like XYZ modern artist..." and I'm like "you mean they sound like Dave.i.d, haha". I guess it is how it goes, sometimes you are the guinea pig. I got sick of the expectation of Dave.i.d. People just wanted to make money off it and didn't know anything that I didn't already know. The Lunacy Of Flowers was a way to move on from that. Once I had the name, I then had a gig a few weeks later and I was off. I never performed or made music as Dave.i.d again.
Quite a busy schedule of live performances has preceded this release, including festival appearances. Do you enjoy the increase in demand here in Estonia and would you think your music stands out as unique here?
It's been great to play so many shows in Estonia, I wasn't sure it was even possible but it has been and I'm very grateful because I think I need to play live with The Lunacy Of Flowers. It's the reason I started the project and I feel that with releasing my music physically, I need to back it up with live shows. I think standing out is always an aim but I don't think about it so much, it's better that way for me, I don't ever think about if anyone is going to like the music I make, it's the last thing I do.
Now that the cassette is released, are there any further near-future plans – presentation, other gigs and events, next release...
I have another album that is pretty much ready and a mixtape coming as well; maybe they'll come out together. I also have some singles that I hope to release physically. Some shows may follow.
The Lunacy of Flowers will perform live at Uus Laine on 20th of May.
Editor: Merit Maarits