Inside of the gatefold sleeve of Doom City – illustration: Xsullo
Who would’ve thought that soon after the release of our debut album Doom City the whole world became pretty much a Doom City? A world floored by a virus. People wearing masks. Governments punishing citizens who gather in crowds. An apocalyptic image. And the worst of it all… no more concerts! (hehe)
Right before Covid-19 had hit Europe, we just finished a small tour in France. With a new drummer. Because just after the release of Doom City, the drummer of FLOWERS and one half of the duo, had decided she wanted to leave the project to make space for other things. Luckily Joris Frowein (Rats on Rafts, Lewsberg) wanted to jump in and join me on tour.
FLOWERS at Le Temps Machine Tours, FR – Photo: 2ème Rideau Association
There were more shows planned after that, but they all got cancelled due to the virus, like all the live shows for every other performer. We were all stuck in our houses. On our little private islands. Hoping it all will pass soon. Trying to make the best out of it. Trying to use the time as productive as possible. Looking for new routines, things to make, things to learn and things to do. Things you usually never have time for. (I heard so many stories of people exploring unknown territories, sometimes compulsively to not lose control or your mind.)
FLOWERS at Le Petit Bain Paris, FR – Photo: Céline Non
Through the Luik Music Twitch channel I started to do a lot of livestreams, collecting and playing ambient tunes (one of my favourite things to do) while making live drawings. It gave me a weekly routine, which was quite nice, to not go mad or get bored. I started learning more about coding, starting free Harvard courses and learning how to make Instagram face filters. Thinking, maybe things will get to normal at some point. But it didn’t.
After some weeks in these weird Corona times I slowly started to switch from missing playing shows, and waiting for venues to reopen again, to thinking about the future of FLOWERS. What would be something I would want to make next with this project? In a time without shows? And also with a change within the band. In these times I couldn’t do many things, but I could go into the studio alone… So I did.
I started to write some songs again and tried out new things with my guitar. Inspired by bands like Nadja, Sunn o))), other doom metal bands and ambient artists I started experimenting creating ambient drone doom. Just with my voice, my guitar, and some new pedals. I surrounded myself in a gloomy, sensitive, dark, but uprising atmosphere. And I am still in the writing process, but something is growing. I don’t know yet where it will lead me, but I do feel that it will grow from where I ended with Doom City – the ballad: Island View.
And today we’re releasing something special for this song, a visual ode to celebrate the one year anniversary of our debut album. A 360 Island View on a Doom City reality. Made by the magnificent artist Amos Mulder. So excited to share it. Hope you enjoy watching it.
And on top of this, more good news: last week (finally!) I was extremely happy to hear that one of our cancelled and rescheduled shows was actually happening. I was on stage again, after more than six months. Oh man, what a joy. Sharing your music with others, feeling the growl of my guitar, headbanging, listening to other bands live, talking with strangers and friends about music after the show. I feel so grateful this could happen. Hopefully we’ll play some more soon!