Looking for Lowe & Townshend
Like I said somewhere earlier in this issue, Fatal Flowers is one of
Holland's hottest acts at the moment, and rightly so! Taking in account the
short time that they've been around, it's incredible that this band already
have reached a level at which they can compete with practically any foreign
band currently coming through our town. Their sound grabs you by the throat
and will never let go as soon as you hear their records or, preferably,
see them in concert! England's already beginning to smell the scent of today's
"tulips from Amsterdam" by means of the sound who rewarded the Flowers' first
mini-album with four stars. This will certainly help the trendy Enlish
record buyer to go out and at least have a listen to this fantastic slice
of vinyl. And since I like all you Americans (well, not all of you) so much,
I'll give you free advice. I understand that you care a lot for our 'sixties'
bands like Q65, Outsiders, Motions, Golden Earrings (!) etcetra. You even
like to pay a lot of money for their long out-of-print records. Well, to
save you lots of money in the future, I suggest you go out and buy the Flowers'
record right now, before they vanish and can only be found at record fairs
or in some crazy auction list in one of the numerous collector's magazines.
You do that, and one day you'll all be grateful to me, for the Flowers'
record will belong to the prime of your record collection. "Say it with Flowers!"
Our roving reporter & jack of all trades Rene Klaassen was just in time to
pick 3 of the 4 Flowers before they were sent somewhere quiet to finish
their second album. With a watering-pot in one hand and a bottle of pokon
in the other, Rene started to pour in the following questions over them:
How did Fatal Flowers form?
Richard: It must've been sept. '84. Henk a I just had stepped out of
a band called MIDNIGHT TO SIX and since we wanted to form a new band, we
had to go out and find new musicians. We've been looking for them
extensively, even as far as England. However, it was impossible to find
someone willing and able to play the music we had in mind! Anyway,
MIDNIGHT TO SIX often played gigs with another band, called AWACS. So we
knew Erwin Wolters and Marco who were in that band. Just for fun, since
we had nothing else to do, the four of us jammed a lot and one day
THE OTHER SIDE (a now defunct and sadly missed legendary beatcombo-TLW)
asked us to support them on one of their gigs and that really started it all!
We've been practicing 4/5 times a week since then and in the end that
became too much of a struggle for Erwin who had his studies to take care
of. He decided to leave and we had to find us a new guitarist. Dirk
(Heuff) played in a band called the BOYSCOUTS and we'd seen him play
couple of times. It occured to us that they didn't let him play, as in
freaking out, that much and with a little persuasion he was quickly
convinced that his guitarplaying would be hetter of if he played with us!
With this line up, we did our first gig on jan. 1 1985.
Tell me more about the cover-songs you're doing. Do they show your
Marco: At first we played some BYRDS and VELVET UNDERGROUND songs and
also "Don't Let Me Down" we did that in punk version. At the moment we
play Rock and Roll and R and B songs like some stuff from DR. FEELGOOD
Richard: Our sound is more heavy lately. We do those covers because
we like them. Especially during the encores. But we're not exactly
copying them, instead we give them the FF treatment!
Does an 'Amsterdam Scene' really exist, and if so, are there any
possibilities for a band like your within that scene?
Richard: Well, yeah I think there is a, what you would call a scene,
but at the same time I think it's fading fast! This year will be crucial
for a lot of bands of the so called scene, with almost every band I know
of, releasing records on either a major label or independent. We were the
first band to get a contract with a major label and everybody went 'what
impossible', they really round it hard to believe. I think it's a real
pity when a good band can't get decent recording facilities due to the
limited financial possibilities of the independents.
How did you become supporting act to the Long Ryders during their
first tour in Holland?
Richard: Ha, after we played with them in Amsterdam, we just called
up the owner of the concerthall the Ryders would be playing, telling him
that FF and the Long Ryders came in one package deal and they simply
wnt for that!
Marco: Playing support act to the Long Ryders is probably ono of the
best things that could've happen to us. They're very nice, and we like
them a lot!
Who is writing the songs and how are they written?
Richard: We all write, but I wrote most of it. Sometimes I co-write
with either Henk or Marco.
(to Dirk) Do you write also?
Dirk: No, well, not yet! FF and my previous band are so worlds apart
and I had very little experience playing in a band. I didn't understand
what made a song, a SONG, you know what I mean? But I'm beginning to
understand now, so who knows, maybe in the future I'll write my own songs.
Hey, but I think I've done a great job in getting the band to play "Fire"!
Do you think a professional band can survive without a hit in
Holland? I mean, can you make a living out of just playing in a R and R band?
Richard and Marco: Definitely not!! If not for the moncy from the
unemployment benefit, that is. Otherwise, forget it
When can we expect new material?
Richard: We're going somewhere quiet now, away from the pressures of
city life to write a couple of songs for the next album, we already wrote
enough for one side of an album. We hope our next pletter will be released
somewhere in april or may. There might be a single first.
Any thoughts 'bout who you want for producer?
Richard: Pete Townshend or Jimmy Miller!!
Marco: Nick Lowe!
Dirk: Alvin Lee!
Huh, what about Rory Gallagher, Dirk?
Dirk: Yeah, great!!!
Richard: Just wishful thinking of course, we never could afford any
of those guys.
Did it surprise you, considering the fact that FF haven't been around
for a long time, you've already made quite an impact?
Richard: At one time it did get a little too much but on the other
hand, I think that the band is developping much quicker due to the
pressures, succes is laying on us. Before we knew it someone was telling
us 'okay, within 3 weeks you'll be recording in London!' and that came as
a shock. Struck like lightning! Boy, we were only around for 3 weeks(!)
What was it like, recording over there?
Richard: We had very limited studio time. But all went well. That's
the good thing recording with Craig Leon, he's got a lot of experience
and knows what he's doing. Bit it sure was guite impressive to be
recording in the same studios as PINK FLOYD did!
Okay guys, thanks for the interview and lots of luck with the new
album. Right, so you've noticed their name appears a couple of times in this issue
and I bet you'll be pretty curious by now how they really sound. We planned
a flexi of FATAL FLOWERS to go with this issue, but it all became too
expensive and so that plan fell through, better luck next time! We can only
advice you to go out and buy their records (you won't be dissapointed).
If you, by any chance, have problems in obtaining either their mini-album
or the single "Billy", get in touch with us, ask for details and we'll get you
one! In the meantime: try and pick some Flowers!
Fatal Flowers discography
Fatal Flowers (six track mini album) WEA 240 7001 1985
Billy c/w Who Loves The Sun WEA 248967-7 1985
Note: There's also a recording of a radiosession. FF play about 8 songs
and among them a cover of "Won't Be Wrong" (Byrds).
bron: Rene Klaasen, The Long Wryter, a Long Ryders fanzine Februari 1986