Coachella has inspired a lot. Whether its musicians at the beginning of their careers or questionable fashion trends, the size and scope of the festival has continually influenced music lovers all over the world, year after year. This includes Richie Colosimo and Aaron Mook. Together, they make up Pittsburgh, Pa’s “Flower Crown“. The duo have been busy making music since 2016, and just released their debut album “GLOW” back in October. I reached out to them a few weeks ago to chat about how they met, the music scene in Pittsburgh, the making of “GLOW” and what 2018 has in store for them. I knew I was in store for a good time when they sent me promo photos of them eating wings, and signed off with “hope all is gravy on your end”, so if you’re not yet convinced of their genius, keep reading to learn about Richie and Aaron and the magic they make.
YAA: How did you guys meet? When did you guys form the band?
Richie: Aaron and I met at a Halloween show (I was Bob from Bob’s Burgers – crucial info) in Erie, Pa in the fall of 2015. In early 2016, Aaron came on a few tours with another band I’m in and we started kicking around the idea of starting a side project. We eventually started tracking demos in the summer/fall of 2016.
YAA: Where did the name “Flower Crown” come from?
Aaron: In college, my roommate and I threw an annual Coachella party where we’d put a live stream up on the TV. Either Richie or I made a joke about how many flower crowns there were in one of the crowds, and at that point we already had a few demos and knew the sound we were going for, so we thought the name would be fitting. We liked how tongue-in-cheek it was.
YAA: What’s the music scene in Pittsburgh like?
Richie: While I’m fairly new to Pittsburgh, I got a glimpse into the DIY scene while passing through with my other band Frame and Mantle in 2015-16. Since the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen so many seriously good artists coming up and some very hardworking promoters, volunteers, and labels that are making the scene here really, really good. Through it’s ups and downs, the Pittsburgh music scene has always been strong and I think it’s getting much stronger as of late.
YAA: How would you describe your music to somebody who’s never heard it before?
Aaron: I try to explain genres like “shoegaze” and “dream-pop” to my family members and coworkers all the time. Those are the genre tags we usually fall under, but for people who aren’t familiar, I’d probably just describe it as dreamy pop music. We write pop songs, but we try to turn them into something special with the textures and tones we use.
YAA: In terms of all your songs, what’s your favorite lyric and why?
Richie: Aaron and I are pretty inexperienced with writing lyrics, so I don’t know if we have anything lyrically that we’re confident enough to say is our best. However, the entire song “Lady of the Lake” is about lying in a hammock, so between the song and the lyrics, it puts me immediately back in a hammock on Presque Isle. Out of all the places the album takes me, that might be my favorite.
YAA: Your debut album “GLOW” was released back in October. Now that it’s out, how do you feel?
Aaron: Honestly, GLOW is a little bit darker than it leads on, or at least some of the circumstances around it were, so it feels good to have some of those songs off our chests. Production wound up being a little rushed — “Pls” was the last song we did vocals on and we literally had minutes left to finish it — and we liked the record, but we didn’t really know if other people would, especially after sitting on it for a few months while it was being mixed and mastered. It’s just a lot different than our EP, simultaneously a lot poppier and a lot weirder. So the positive response we’ve seen surrounding the album has been surprising and overwhelming, to say the least. I keep saying that if people like this record, we can make sure that they love the next one.
YAA: What artists had the most influence in terms of your sound on “GLOW”?
Richie: During the writing process, I was listening to the new DIIV record that had came out in ’16, plus Real Estate and Beach Fossils’ records from ’17, even some atmospheric black metal as sound influences. It’s easy to write something that gets lost in those bands respective genres so I didn’t want to stick to any certain formula. I just know the direction I wanted to head and I wanted to make something fresh that I would enjoy listening to.
YAA: How long did the album take to finish and where did you guys record it?
Richie: I started tracking demos in the fall of 2016 and by early 2017, we had enough to start recording a full-length album. We did a bulk of the recording at my “home studio” in Pittsburgh, but actually finished and mixed the album at Aaron’s house in Warren, Pa.
YAA: Did you guys run into any roadblocks during the production of the LP? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Aaron: I think the biggest issues we experienced during production were simply time-related. I spent a week in Pittsburgh working on the demos with Richie, but we weren’t in great places in our personal lives at the time, so we didn’t get much accomplished aside from writing “Bloodshade.” We scrapped a lot of the vocal ideas from those sessions and waited until we were in a better place to record, which was the right decision. Richie is also more of a perfectionist when it comes to recording, which is great considering I’m kind of the opposite. I remember doing vocal takes for “Bloodshade” over and over and having to step away and get some air so I could convince myself I was a capable vocalist. Recording can be frustrating, but patience and understanding is key.
YAA: Is there anything people should know about the new album or even your music in general?
Aaron: GLOW is a cool record and we’re very proud of it. But the next one’s going to be even better.
YAA: If you could support any artist/band on tour, who would it be and where would you tour?
Aaron: That’s a great question. I think we’d fit great on a bill with Beach Fossils, especially if we branch out a little more with this next album. As far as where we’d tour, this probably isn’t a typical answer, but I’d want to do the festival circuit and watch our name come full circle.
Richie: I think it would be fun to tour with Wavves. We’d probably be booed off stage, but I feel like they would be fun to party with.
YAA: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what song would it be and why?
YAA: What’s next for you guys?
Richie: I recorded and released three records in 2017 and I have three LPs to record in 2018, so hopefully sleep at some point.
YAA: Any parting words of wisdom?
Huge thanks to Richie and Aaron for talking to me! Don’t forget to follow them on social media and definitely give them a listen to see what you’re missing out on!
(All photos received were provided by the artist or retrieved from the artist’s Facebook. NOT our own)