INTERVIEW: Levitating with Flamingods

Flamingods have been an integral part of the music scene for almost a decade now, ahead of the Broadcast show (16 May) the band talk to Source.

Flamingods are certainly leaving their mark on the industry with their unique sound that breaks boundaries. Band member Charles Prest chats to us all about the new album, Levitation, and the band’s evolution through the years.

When did you realise you wanted to be in a band?

We actually all went to All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) festival back in 2010 and, for me personally, it was a very eye-opening experience. Growing up in Bahrain, we hadn’t really been exposed to music festivals or mind-expanding bands, so that was our first proper music experience once we got to the UK.

We saw this band there called Boredoms, and they had nine or ten drummers on stage which kind of blew my mind. They were all playing in unison and it was this really cathartic, intense experience. It was from that moment specifically that I knew I wanted to pursue music.

For anyone that hasn’t heard the album, Levitation, yet, how would you describe it?

This album is inspired by a lot of disco funk from the 70s. It kind of goes down that route, it’s quite a colourful psyche album. A lot of our albums have delved inside different genres, but this one it the most consistent one that we’ve made. Just a lot of fun disco, bright, colourful stuff.

What was the process of creating it like?

This was the first time we’d all been together since we started the band back in 2010. Our lead singer, Kamal, had to leave the UK due to new visa laws, so a lot of our previous pieces were us writing music from abroad – Kamal and I used to live in Dubai and we’d send music across the internet and make a patchwork album with the band members in the UK.

So, this time around was the first time in a long time that we were able to get together in one room and actually write the music together in a single space.

Being together to make the album made everything more cohesive and we could gather our ideas a lot quicker. It was a lot less writing online about what we want to do, and actually just doing it. It was really freeing for us.

How are you feeling about performing at Broadcast tomorrow?

We’re really excited. It’s been a while since we’ve done a long-ish tour. That’s going to be really fun. We haven’t been back [to Scotland] since last year, for Electric Fields in Dumfries and Galloway, so we’re really excited to be coming back soon. It’s just the vibes. You guys have got it down. We always have such a good time when we’re up there.

You guys have such a dedicated group of fans – how does that feel?

It’s really interesting. The time has flown by and we’ve managed to meet a lot of people along the way. You forget that some people have said they’ve been inspired by us. Recently, people have said they’re happy that we’re such a multi-cultural band, and they’ve found that really inspiring, just because you don’t see a lot of people from places like, where I’m from, Jamaica, or India, really represented on stage making the music we make. We’ve had a few people recently saying that’s quite inspiring, which is quite touching. We’ve just met some really cool people.

What advice would you give to any young people who are considering pursuing a career in music?

It’s kind of a tough one. Don’t take it too seriously, but also think outside of the box a little bit. It’s very easy to see something that you like and want to replicate it, but the important thing to do is take what you love and put your own twist on it, and not make a carbon copy of it. It’s easier said than done, but you can take a lot of ideas from someone and blend it in with your own. Just make a mix of it really.

Flamingods are playing Broadcast in Glasgow tomorrow (16 May), and Eden Festival in Dumfries and Galloway, 6-9 June. Their fourth album, Levitation, is out now. 

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