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WPGM Interviews: The Mind Flowers – Psychedelic Rock, 60’s Influences And Japanese Hills

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After journeying through the depths of contemporary Hip Hop and fleeting Indie subgenres the Internet offers on the surface, I fell through the looking glass and into The Mind Flowers. The psychedelic Danish trio from Copenhagen capture this monumental feeling of togetherness; with their powerful hallucinatory licks reminiscent of The Beach Boys. I had undoubtedly stumbled onto something wonderful.

Here I had found a band with no coverage. The chance to bring that feel of 60’s rock to the 21st century was just too tempting. Virtually the only place I could find information on the mysterious trio was on their Facebook page. Here I found the self-description of The Mind Flower as “the sprouts that crack the concrete walls of bourgeois society”. An intriguing line that led me into the story of the group. Levitation Records, an indie Danish label founded in 2012 signed the band. The label was signed with a host of unheard artists including names such as The Hedgehogs, Dirty Grass and Baby Jesus. I was pleasantly surprised to come across the beautiful absurdity of music I’d never imagine existed in the dawn of 2015.

“Down the Line”:

In May 13, 2014, their 7″ split single “Down The Line” was released. The first riff undeniably gets you into the groove before knocking you into motion with a punchy blues lick and waves of surf rock chords flowing enigmatic vibes through your very core. The band’s debut single “Japanese Hills” on the other hand, sparks beautifully visceral sounds that gently rise to an echoed chorus in fitting with the mesmerized state they have immersed in. This song has that West Coast experimental feel, all while holding a unique stamp that each different song has that they have released. I was lucky enough to secure an interview with Jonas, the Drummer and backing vocalist. He tells me their beginnings, musical processes and upcoming events.

“Japanese Hills”:

Hello The Mind Flowers. What are the names of each band member and your roles?

Emil on guitar and lead vocals, Jonas on drums and backing vocals and Neil on bass guitar and backing vocals. We write the songs collectively. Sometimes the songs grow out of jams and sometimes one of us will bring an idea or some lyrics that we develop into a song together. Usually it’s a long process, but sometimes It happens very fast. One of the songs on our upcoming album, we wrote in the studio during the recording sessions.

I have seen your Facebook Bio and listened to you myself but what would you describe your sound as?

We think of our music as psychedelic, simply because that is the most fitting term we know. We didn’t wake up one day and go “we should totally become a psychedelic rock band”, it’s just a label that says more about the content than many others. For us, psychedelic rock is about challenging your (the listener’s) perception by means of conceptual music. Sometimes that music can mimic a trip, sometimes it can be inspired by the mind-set derived from psychedelic experiences and sometimes the music can be a trip in itself, you know.

Hopefully you have learned something afterwards, by experiencing yourself and the world in a different light. We believe that those experiences, which can and do grow out of music, can change the world. Literally, change the world, when enough people take the ride, so to speak. And the world desperately needs change.

Beyond psychedelic, or garage rock. What guitar tones do you use, do you mess around with a lot of reverb, gain etc?

Yes, we go all in on sound effects. Echo tanks, reverb, fuzz… All that jazz!

I saw that your influences include Hendrix, 60’s rock, West Coast Experimental bands but who are some other artists or bands that have inspired you?

Too many to mention, but of course we’re hugely influenced by The Beatles (like most bands, knowingly or not) and many other classics. Bands that we listen a lot to currently include Strawberry Alarm Clock, 13th Floor Elevators, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and KAK (also known as KAK-OLA). All from the late 60s. Of course we also listen to many new bands. We recently went to a really good show with The Wands here from Copenhagen, at Christiania, for example.

When was the band founded? What sound or ideas did each band member bring to the group?

We have played in different groups together for years. Since we were kids, basically, so we know each other really well. The Mind Flowers saw the light in late 2013, and we played our first show in January 2014. Shortly after we were signed to Levitation Records, and we released a 7-inch split with The Roaring 420s on that label in May 2014.

How did you get signed?

Well, they digged our stuff and we got along well, so they offered us a deal for a 7-inch. They put out a whole series of 7-inches last year, with Danish bands like The Hedgehogs, The Wands, Fribytterdrømme and more. Our debut album will be released on a larger label, from outside Scandinavia. We can’t really say much more right now, but it’s a big deal for us and we look very much forward to getting the LP out. Also, our single ‘Japanese Hills’ which has only been available digitally until now, will be part of a psych box set, also featuring songs by Iron Butterfly, Chocolate Watchband, The Fuzztones, MC5 and others, released by the American label, Cleopatra Records this year.

Is there a fan following that you know of for The Mind Flowers?

Yes, things are definitely going the right way, both in terms of live shows, sales and plays online. We are very grateful for the attention we get. You can’t take that for granted when you just make the music that you want to hear yourself. We look forward to playing a bunch of shows outside of Denmark soon. We are going on a European tour, starting with some shows in Sweden and Norway, followed by some shows in Germany and Switzerland. And we have just been confirmed for Celebration Days Festival in France in August. Hopefully we will also get to visit the UK soon.

Do you know the exact dates for your upcoming debut album release? Also do you know the dates for you upcoming album tour in the UK?

It will be out in the Spring 2015. Follow our Facebook page for updates on the release date and tour dates. Check out our Bandcamp, to stream/download our music or to buy a t-shirt or a vinyl here.

So on this early morning at 3:48AM, I am in the tranquil company of The Mind Flowers earthy tones. Although currently lurking outside our radars, this psychedelic powerhouse show a lot of potential in the field of contemporary Psychedelic rock. Some want progression, more synthesizers and steady beats, but I say let’s keep hold of the nostalgic 60s sound with that unique Danish quirk. I will be checking up on The Mind Flowers in 2015 for their first album release, which will be their chance to shine on.

Keep Tabs on The Mind Flowers: Bandcamp // Facebook

The Mind Flowers Down The Line
Words by Connor Carver-Carter // Edited by Ayo Adepoju

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