Buzzin’ To Be Here: Flowers And Sea Creatures
Hailing from Montreal, Flowers And Sea Creatures are a duo making some really refreshing music that refuses to be defined by genre. Comprising Belfast-born Graham Baxter and Athens-born Kosta Megalos, they’re signed to dance legend Ben Watt’s label Buzzin’ Fly having impressed him the old school way, by sending him a demo. With a debut album on the way, and a forthcoming London performance I grabbed them both for a quick chat.
I’ve heard so many good things about music in Montreal – what is it about the city that has nurtured such a scene?
Graham: I read the other day that a newcomer to the city described it as a mini, French- Manhattan. I think that might be right. Lots of good acts at the moment have roots in Montreal – some transplanted, others have grown up here. Regardless, I think the Francophone/Anglophone/Allophone mix gives the city a unique cultural twist. The French language can alienate some while attracting so many others, so the city is always hovering at about a cozy 3 million when compared to other big cities which are triple in size, if not more. The arts scene is vibrant, Quebecers are, overall, left-of-centre politically and the city is intimate enough to walk through it in about day. Also, we have long cold winters, which give people a reason to seek refuge in a club with some live music.
Why did you decide to start making music? What was the initial spark?
Kosta: I was always aware of the sounds around me since I was young. I started my vinyl collection when I was 9 but it was when my dad brought his friend’s guitar over one day, that’s when I knew music was all I wanted to do. Graham and I have been working together for a while due to our love of simple songwriting. We both love acoustic guitars as well as electronic music and that hybrid, for us, is a fun area to explore. Whether 60s folk, 70s experimental, 80s underground new wave, or 90s electronic music, they all have something special. We also play off each other’s strengths and limit each other’s weaknesses.
How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
Kosta: When we first started writing together it was to try to write something ‘original’ which might sound a bit clichéd as so much has been done before but we genuinely believed that we had something original to say and through an original medium/canvas. So if I had to describe it, I would say we are songwriters first and foremost and we use electronic music and acoustic guitars to tell our stories.
Where does your name come from?
Kosta: Graham had actually written a melody one time and the words literally, crept out of this mouth when he was working on a melody. The song never saw the light of day but we both liked the words so we named a song after them. When Ben heard the song he then suggested using it as the name of the band. As we were nameless at that point we thought, ‘Great idea!’
Who do you really respect and admire amongst your contemporaries within electronic music?
Graham: The entire Buzzin’ Fly roster! But seriously, there are so many great artists actively working in the scene, Germany’s Superpitcher is great, London’s Clock Opera, Penguin Prison, Axel Boman…
Apart from yourselves which Montreal artists would you recommend checking out?
Graham: Elizabeth Shepherd, DJ Maus, DJ Champion…
What are your plans for the next year or so?
Kosta: We hope to bring our music to as many people as possible while continuing to write more music…
I’ve read various DJs name Stereo in Montreal as the best club in the world. Have you been? If so, what was your experience and would you agree with that sentiment? If not, where else would you recommend visiting (club-wise) in Montreal?
Graham: Best club in the world? That’s a lofty title to have when you don’t even serve lager on tap! But yes, we have been, many times, but not played. It has had several facelifts in the last several years and still continues to draw a crowd, so it is doing something right. However, Salon d’Aomé is the best electronic/house club in the city, hands down. The Fizz Factory team and La Beat Boutique Family have helped our cause in the past and definitely deserve a mention as they run the place for the love of electronic house music, pure and simple. It is an intimate club with great sound, an electronic community that helps out local talent on a regular basis.Flowers And Sea Creatures, music
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