Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tom Flowers of Oleander

Tom Flowers, vocalist for Oleander, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer some of our questions regarding the band's comeback, their new album, and their plans for touring in 2013. If you have been a longtime fan of this band, the new album is sure to please, as it has been far too long since we last heard from them. If you're wondering what caused them to take such a long break from the music business, as well as where the band's attitude is right now, read on.

Lisa Selvaggio: I want to start by saying thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I’m really excited about this one, as I’ve been a fan of yours since February Son. I was saddened when you guys were no longer releasing music, but now you’re back! What made you go away for so long, and what spurred you to pursue your comeback when you did?

Tom Flowers: Thank you for your kind words, it’s good to be back! We made the decision to step away from obligations related to the business of music, not the band. Years of grinding it out on the road had paid dividends, but not enough to justify the sacrifices we were making on the home front. After recording and promoting three albums, we felt that it was time to take a breath, relax, and enjoy being home again; which was exactly what we needed. The time off did us good, allowed for a healthier perspective and drew us back together as friends and as a band. Calls were made, and a reunion was scheduled. We realized about 15 minutes into our first rehearsal that we were onto something special; new songs were flowing and there was a real excitement in the room. Twelve songs later and we’ve written our best album to date.

LS: Your last release, Joyride, was released in 2003, and I remember reviewing it in Paragon (we had just started out back then). We’ve seen the music industry change immensely in the last 10 years. How have the changes affected you guys as a band, coming back after so much time away?

TF: I don’t know that changes in the music industry have affected us much at all. We’re still a group of friends who pour our hearts into every song we write.

LS: Given today’s world that requires you be in front of people’s faces at all times in order for them to remember you, have you found it difficult to reenter the music scene and reconnect with old fans after all this time?

TF: Not at all, social media has created an effective means for immediately connecting with fans on a minute-to-minute basis, much more so than touring. Being accessible to fans has always been something that we’ve enjoyed. In many ways, it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of “the job.”

LS: Do the same things inspire you today as they did when you were a younger band, in terms of the music and lyrics you create?

TF: Absolutely. We’ve always drawn upon our life experiences as a resource for inspiration and hoped that it would resonate with listeners.

LS: You have a few dates set for an April/May tour. What are your long-term touring plans for 2013?

TF: Complete and utter world domination by year’s end. ::laughs:: We’re looking forward to being very busy throughout the year! Tour opportunities are shaping up and we’ll be making announcements once they’re confirmed.

LS: If you have to pick one song off of your new album, Something Beautiful, that really represents the band at this moment, which would it be, and why?

TF: I’d say “Daylight,” because we found it again with this album.

LS: As a fan, I’m happy to hear that your sound remained true to what I always appreciated about Oleander. Some artists come back with a completely different sound after they’ve been on hiatus for a while, or even from one album to the next. But with you guys, it’s like picking up where we all left off. I’m happy to say that the new album is instantly likeable by anyone who was a fan of your music in the past. Thoughts?

TF: It felt like we were picking up where we left off, but with a sharper edge and a lot less pressure. We wrote from the heart and for each other, without an agenda or expectations. In that environment we were able to create Something Beautiful.

LS: How long did it take you guys to write, record, and produce this record? Was it an easy process, did you encounter any challenges or roadblocks, etc.?

TF: We took a little over a year with this album, writing and recording sporadically. Our focus was on attention to detail regardless of how long it takes. There were no deadlines. We enjoyed every minute of the process.

LS: Songs like “Save the Best” and “Never Too Late” have really positive lyrics, whereas some of your older songs seemed to have come from a darker place. Is this a result of your own personal experiences and viewpoints changing, do you want to put more positive energy out into this pretty negative world, or am I really looking into things too deeply?

TF: They’re an honest reflection of our lives today.

LS: After putting so much time into the music industry from the time of February Son through Joyride, you probably learned a lot. Are you coming back into the industry with a new attitude these days (e.g. maybe being more confident, not so worried as you used to be, not taking as much crap from people)?

TF: Yep, we’re fired up again, playing with a bit of a chip on our shoulders and feeling like we have something to prove. We’re in the best possible spot, an epic new album and a vicious live show. Gloves are off, we have nothing to lose.

LS: Okay, that’s all I have for you. Is there anything you’d like to add or say specifically to our readers?

TF: Buy our new album, come to our shows, and tell everyone you know!

No comments:

Post a Comment