Flare Voyant are a London-based but borderless band, idealised in 2015 by flamboyant young musicians from different nationalities and trajectories. Their paths were crossed in social media due to strong aesthetical and musical affinities, which led Rolling Stone to describe the band as a legitimate child of globalisation.
Early demos caught the attention of legendary producer Chris Kimsey, who produced their homonymous four-track debut EP, released in November 2017. In fact, Flare Voyant’s sonority is deeply inspired by some of the bands from Kimsey’s personal path, such as The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie. However, the group seek to embody their plurality in their sound and go beyond revivalism, pursuing a contemporary perception of rock music through poetry and unusual tones or beats. The second EP, “Seeds of the Flamboyant”, was released in 2018, featuring the early recordings that inspired Chris Kimsey. The band is currently working on new singles.
In a short period of time, Flare Voyant supported The Pretty Things in Paris, performed at many acclaimed London venues such as The Scotch of St James, 02 Academy Islington and The Old Blue Last.
We asked the band about their relationship with the 60s, their biggest influences and their own music.
When, where and how did the band get together?
Rod: We all met on social media due to our notable affinities! There’s a remarkable community of vintage culture enthusiasts on Instagram and Facebook and the algorithms didn’t take long to cross our paths. Officially, the activities of the band started in early 2017.
Tell us about the two EP’s you’ve released. What was the songwriting and recording process like? How can people purchase them?
Rod: Our debut EP was produced by the legendary producer Chris Kimsey, who was the sound wizard behind the production and engineering of many classic albums of our favorite artists. It was such an honour to work with him! He is such a lovely and inspiring person, and he thaught us a lot. We even had the opportunity of using original EQ modules from the Olympic Studios that he brought to the sessions. The second EP, ‘Seeds of the Flamboyant’, reveals the tracks that we showed to Chris when we met him. Both EP’s are available on all virtual platforms! They are not palpable yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to release something on vinyl in the foreseeable future… But music is in the air anyway!
Are you working on any new material?
Rod: Yes, we are! And we are really excited to reveal it soon.
Where do you take inspiration from for your music?
Rod: We’re heavily inspired by the phenomenal and extraordinary music of the late 60s/early 70s!
When and where are you performing live next?
Rod: At the moment we are concentrating on the production of our next release! We’ll be back on the stage around August/September, no dates confirmed yet.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the 60s?
Thomas: Music and clothes!
Rod: Certainly one of the most inspired decades of the history of humanity. That was a moment in history when cultural expressions such as music and fashion started contemplating and blending diverse elements of the past and building strong bridges between West and East. Something similar happened during the Renaissance, also on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and other moments that I perceive as the peaks of humanity.
Which 60s bands have been the biggest influence for you and in what way?
Thomas: The Rolling Stones have been my main influence. When I was a child, my father was always listening to the Rolling Stones in the car when he was driving, they had a strong influence on my lifestyle. I wanted to buy the same clothes as Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones. Their passion for the blues had also an influence on my way to understand, compose and listen to music.
Grisha: The Beatles ultimately set the scene for me.
Rod: So many inspiring things happening all at the same time! From the genial visceral Funk of James Brown to the symphonic jewel accomplished by the Beach Boys on ‘Pet Sounds’, the guitar revolution of Jimi Hendrix, the first albums of killer bands such as Led Zeppelin, the whole path of The Rolling Stones… You’d take a whole life to explore all the masterpieces released on that decade. The avant-garde song ‘Beck’s Bolero’ synthetises what I like about the 60s, this is a truly inspired piece of music performed by a dream team.
Anthony: Early Led Zeppelin and The Jimi Hendrix Experience!!
What other bands/artists are you influenced by?
Thomas: I also love Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Chuck Berry.
Grisha: The list is long and I would say that I’m attracted more to the 60s/70s sound as opposed to particular bands!
Anthony: Mainly other 60s and 70s artists, like Jeff Beck, The Mahavishnu Orchestra , The Yardbirds, Soft Machine, John McLaughlin and many more.
Rod: I’m very inspired by the eccentric rock music of the early to mid 70s as well. I am a huge enthusiast of progressive rock, jazz fusion, hard rock and also arena acts, such as Peter Frampton. I love basically everything that was done prior to the 60s as well, ethnic music from everywhere.. I tried to venture myself on music post-1976 or so but now I am unashamed to state that I repudiate everything that punk rockers, cheesy synthesizers and drum machines added to popular music.. I try to be open-minded, but, as proclaimed by Peter Gabriel in 1973, “I know what I like and I like what I know”. Haha!
Do you think that a creative revolution comparable to that of the late 60s could happen again?
Thomas: I don’t really think so. Now, rap, R’n’B and hip-hop are the new rock ‘n’ roll. When my dad was a teenager, listening rock ‘n’ roll was totally forbidden by the parents. Having long hair was a real shame. The 60s were this period and represented a global revolution, not only in music. Now, I listen to the same music as my parents.
Grisha: No, I don’t think so. The creative revolution happened due to factors like politics, technology growth and global problems. People don’t even go to vote these days, never mind expressing themselves with art and music…
Anthony: Hard to say… Since there was a complete transformation sound-wise back then, much of what we see is taking from what there was back then and building upon it. It is more a rebirth than a revolution! Even though there is some radical change, I don’t think something comparable could happen.
Rod: Hopefully, but I find it very unlikely, unless there’s someone like Ahmet Ertegun in the industry again instead of all these tasteless tastemakers and appaling gatekeepers. The democratisation of production and distribution is an illusion that only reinforces the power of gatekeepers, such as the people behind algorithms. The streaming culture dis-educates the listener and contributes to the “Attention Economy”, forcing you to be a factory of catchy hooks rather than a truthful musician. How could you ignite a creative revolution in a context like that? And besides, an actual revolution would ideally require the support of a strong subculture..
Any news you’d like to share?
Rod: There’s new music coming soon! However, our previous releases might be new for you, so you welcome you to give them a spin!! Please find our band on social media as well, let’s connect!!
Visit Flare Voyant’s Facebook page to find out more about them!