Self professed pioneers of “snot pop”, Manchester quartet Flesh are influenced by the guitar scene and the club environment. With a new track out and headline dates in the offing, they explain their DIY ethos
In 2015 if you want to play tunes in a band and have anyone even hear you, you’ve got to put in the graft first. For us this meant pulling our finger out and taking on every role.
In Flesh, we are the record producers, we are the cinematographers, the video editors, the PR gurus, the industry networkers, the promoters, the roadies – basically adapting to any role that has had to be filled, and we buzz off that. Having creative control to construct our own sound and aesthetic from scratch keeps us fresh, stops us looking and sounding like every other act at our level and makes us feel like we have earned and deserve any kind of progress that comes from it.
After all those hours spent on redundant technology in a sweaty home studio chopping up segments of footage, tweaking guitar tracks and emailing blogs around the world, it’s decent to see things take shape. Now we’ve got a manager, a record deal and a booking agent behind us taking on a lot of the stuff we’ve had to do in the past, it gives us more freedom to focus on the other aspects of the things we have to do.
So far, the DIY approach has been our only way, and driving up and down the country in a 15-year-old banger playing shows for little more than petrol money unfortunately hasn’t provided us with the account balance necessary to pay someone to do it for us anyway. For example, we shot a video ourselves in one of our girlfriend’s basements on a smartphone, trekking down to the butchers to ask for access to the waste bin out the back for props and getting our outfits dirt cheap off eBay. We shot another vid in one of our bedrooms on a borrowed camera with a homemade greenscreen set-up that we got on the cheap from our mate who works at a fabric shop on an industrial estate in Salford.
We’ve realised that for one reason or another not everybody can afford to make it down to a show in town on a week night so we have put on our own free gigs in our gaff. It’s liberating to know that you can do all of these things on a budget. You can have a shitty little camera and still make it look good – you just need a sound vision of what you want to achieve before you go ahead. And in rinsing these budget mediums to create what you want you can sometimes stumble across cute mistakes that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
Sure there’s the odd band that are lucky enough to have some cash behind them from the get-go, which is cool and everything. Their first vid looks epic, the first record they release will sound great, they’ll get a decent leg-up into the industry, a load of hype and a big juicy stakey-wakey, but then what? We have found that through taking the time to tour every armpit of the UK playing to a few people each time helps things to grow organically, finding that the second time we play in Wrexham (or somewhere of the like) there will be a few more heads down, and the next time even more.
It’s like that story of the two bulls on top of the hill looking down at a field full of cows. The young bull looks to the old bull and says: “Let’s run down the hill and fuck one of them cows.” The old bull replies: “Nah, let’s walk and fuck them all.”
For tour dates see www.facebook.com/luvflesh