Thursday, 15 March 2012

Interview with Jess Guille from FLAP!

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We were lucky enough to catch up with Jess
Guille from the band FLAP! on the eve of their new album launch “A great day for the race” at The Port Fairy Folk Festival. On the way to the festival we came up with a buch of questions that we wanted to ask her and this is what we got....
Your new album, “a great day for the race” has just been released you must be excited, tell us a bit about it?

j: It is exciting! It's great to have it finally completed. 3 years have past since the first album, and it's obvious that we've all grown musically and creatively. It's certainly related to the first album, but it is definitely a continuation of the journey rather than songs from the same place. 

The cover and album art are amazing where did the concept come from?

j: I'm quite into old cigar box art, and anything to do with palm trees. Our wonderful graphic artist designer friend Luke Stockdale and I luckily have a very similar aesthetic. The way he made my little ideas into a big fat awesome reality was rather astounding and incredibly gratifying...

The actual album has gold leaf writing and a beautiful book.

Tell us about your time recording at Sing Sing... 

j: We love Sing Sing! We call it The Sing Sing Holiday Camp. There is something really special about that place, and we're very happy indeed that we chose it to record, mix and master the album at. The wonderful technicians also help! I kept hoping to bump into Paul Kelly at the biscuit jar. 

First live band...

j: I grew up going to lots of music festivals and gigs with my parents so that's a tricky one to pinpoint. Gigs that really stick out are the first times I saw The Hoodangers and The Band Who Knew Too Much - both Melbourne bands that are responsible for the way I make music and still make me dance my face off every time I see them. I would have been about 13-14 years old when I first saw them. My first stadium gig was the Red Hot Chili Peppers (back when they weren'tcompletely shit house!), in 1996. Again, I was about that age. It was really exciting to see!

The Hoodangers

First album...

j: I had a tape when I was 5 that I played til it played no more. One side Buddy Holly, the other The Travelling Wilbury's. I was totally nuts about it! The first CD I ever bought, I'm pretty sure, was Eric Clapton Unplugged. 

Fantasy line up...

j: That is a monsterous question! And I don't know if I can answer it. The only thing that I must say is, that is has to include Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass. It is the daggiest, happiest and most ridiculously fun music. Oh, and Perrey and Kingsley, creators of wigged out moog music in the 60's. I am unashamedly, a rather large dag.

Where did the name FLAP! come from?

j: Long story short, I (and all my compadres) were rather drunk at Port Fairy Folk Festival. The sun was coming up and the birds were doing their morning thing. I looked up to see a bird flapping it's face off and not getting anywhere at all. At this point, I pointed to it and exclaimed 'FLAP!' at it. We laughed, and carried on drinking. We later decided that it was a good name for the band because of the connotations to movement (of wings, or dancing peoples arms and the like), and 20's jazz. We also hoped that it being such a short word that it would help people remember the name. We still regularly get 'The Flap', or better still 'The Flaps'. From time to time, we're remembered as 'Slap!', and misheard as 'Flab!'.

Not the actual bird!

I heard from the Woohoo crew that you are also a suspension performer,  tell us more and will we see it in a FLAP! show soon?

j: I think my suspending days are over :) I explored, and conquered! I never really 'performed' it though, it was more of a thing I did for myself. People are so incredibly frightened by pain, and I wanted to explore not being scared of it and actually take control of it somewhat. I had some overwhelmingly amazing experiences, and even though my mum thought I needed to see a psychiatrist, I believe I'm much stronger for it...

Is it true the band met at Portfairy folk festival?

j: We did indeed! We were already friends before the festival, but a drunken jam sealed our fate. I am exceedingly grateful to my ricockulously talented band mates for wanting to go on this adventure. I have never been in any other bands, and feel very lucky indeed!

FLAP! in a field. 

Go outside and look into the clouds... What do you see?

j: Nothing much, it's 10.55pm I'm afraid! Although, I did once see a rabbit with a top hat. 

Who would you like to have cook for you?

j: Shaun Micallef. Don't know what his cooking skills are like but fuck he makes me laugh. 

lamas or sloths?

j: SLOTHS! It's all in the face. They're ridiculous.

rock, paper or scissors ?

j: Scissors. Not for strategic purposes, I just like cutting stuff. I make cards for friends made entirely out of cut out paper - words and all!

Did you know that there are 62 different types of deers and that most of them have musk glands behind their eyes?

j: Ya know, I hadn't even pondered how many different types of deer there were, let alone where there musk glands hide. I keep Australian Spiny Leaf insects as pets, and you've just made me realise I don't know anything about their glands... Off to google I go! 

Blatant use of cuteness  

Sack race! respond

j: ball sport! 

What exactly is a FLAP! slap?

j: I suspect this refers to the infamous gin soaked Woodford where Marky Mark (Flap!s beautiful double bassist) and I slapped a lot of people firmly on the bottom to, in a fashion, wake them up. We long ago discovered that a proper paddle to the botbot gives one quite the jolt of adrenaline. Very good if you're feeling a bit tired, or attempting to 'liven up' before getting on stage! 

When are we going to have a gin and tonic with cucumber and lemon?

j: Good question! I should hope jolly soon. 

Currently seeking Hendrick's sponsorship! 

Which is one of your fav live music venues to catch a show? 

j: There are a few different places that I like for completely opposite reasons, but I reckon Speigeltents (there are quite a few getting around these days!) are so wonderfully transporting and magical. Great fun to play in, too! 

The Famous Speigeltent!
Words by Daniel Ogilvie and Jess Guille.
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