FLAWES are a trio of talented musicians who have recently released the Reverie EP. Highwire Magazine spoke to them the afternoon of their release day to see if it was everything they had hoped for.
“It’s funny; the first text I got this morning was from my mum, and she said congratulations on the release, we’re playing it,” said Josh Hussey. “Then she texts me five minutes later saying she could hear my neighbors playing it through the walls. So maybe it’s like this ripple effect, and it’s going to gradually go down the street,” he joked.
The band comprises Josh Carruthers on vocals and keyboard, Freddie Edwards on guitar, and Josh Hussey on drums. They are signed to RedBull Records and have a back catalog with a total of 17 million streams. Last year should have been their year to own the scene, but things didn’t go according to plan. The usual COVID-related setbacks got in the way.
Like many artists, FLAWES have found themselves producing their latest release whilst in lockdown. “We had a couple of ideas for the EP pre-lockdown, but the majority of it was written during the first lockdown,” said Carruthers. “Usually with the album and previous recordings, we go to fancy studios, these amazing studios with fancy mics,” he continued.
This time around, the band had to record at home. No fancy studios or super expensive equipment, just what they had and a little ingenuity. “This time, I literally recorded my vocals for the whole EP back here,” says Carruthers pointing towards the equipment in the corner of the room. “It was quite a cool learning experience where we learned how to record and where we were ringing all our producer friends for tips on things like mic placement,” he explained.
The consensus amongst the band is that it was a very cool experience that they would never have previously had. It’s very much a case of taking any positive you can out of the current situation, and these guys are good at staying positive. “We’ve all had little things we’ve done to get us through. Obviously, recording has been a big one,” said Hussey. He also spent some of his lockdown finessing his carpentry skills. “They’ve been a few building disasters but also some cool creations,” he said.
Still, all the carpentry in the world could not take his mind off of the huge elephant in the room. “I guess usually we would be on tour if we weren’t in lockdown,” said Hussey. “We had this whole year planned in 2020, releasing our debut album Highlights and then touring in America, Europe, and the UK.” They’ve had it all taken away from them but plan on doing a lot of touring as soon as possible to make up for it.
“Were hopeful that by the end of the year, things will be possible,” said Carruthers with a huge smile on his face. “We’re desperate to play live. Playing live is what we do, that’s our thing, so as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be out.” Not being able to play live may have taken its toll, but the band had a temporary solution, a livestream performance live from Lafayette, London, just a few days after the EP’s release.
“We’ve just been rehearsing for that last week,” Edwards tells us. “It’s just going to be an opportunity to play the songs that we never had the opportunity to play live,” he said. The tracks from their debut album Highlights never got to see the light of day because of the pandemic. This makes the livestream even more important, and it’s not just about premiering the tracks from the new EP.
They promised the livestream to be a fun one. “There will be a lot of energy and some cool stage show stuff as well,” said Edwards. They all have different songs they’re looking forward to playing. “For me, it’s ‘What’s A Boy To Do?’ which is the second single we released. I love playing that live,” said Hussey. “Just because I get to hit the drums really hard. I knew that was gonna be the case when I was recording it at home. My neighbors knew that was the case as well,” he adds.
For Carruthers, it is a song off the EP called ‘I Don’t Quit For No One’. He explained that: “It’s quite a down moment on the EP. It’s a reflective song. It’s a proper moment, a big one and then we’re gonna extend out the instrumental section.” For Edwards, it’s the up moment he’s looking forward to in the way of ‘Don’t Count Me Out’, which is one of the singles off of Highlights. “It’s one of the up moments in the set, and it’s a chance for us to all go a bit crazy and have fun,” he said.
Another great outcome of the lockdown for these boys was the creation of their new favorite music videos. Carruthers explained: “This was the first proper project in the way of music videos that we’ve done that are fully us. We wanted to get our personality across. I feel like a lot of our previous music videos were very serious things. You know, like looking off into the distance and all this kind of thing. Whereas here, we wanted our personalities to shine through.”
The videos were devised over the course of months and many zoom calls. “The three of us brainstormed lots of ideas, and through these millions of ideas, we came up with this trilogy, which follows this story and then ends up with the ‘Higher Than Before’ video.