Rock ‘N’ Load catch up with Babis Nikou To Discuss “Pan’s not Dead” And All Things The Flower Of Love
“Pan’s not Dead” was released by FYC Records on March 28th 2022, and Rock ‘N’ Load caught up with Babis Nikou to discuss the release and all things The Flower Of Love.
Hello, could you please introduce yourself and The Flower of Love to the Rock n Load readers?
Babis Nikou: I sing and play the guitar for The Flower of Love but also recorded the bass for our debut EP. It is entitled “Pan’s not Dead” and was released on March 28th by FYC records. We are currently a duo and a studio band, yet we will probably get more people involved in the future. Possibly play live as well, circumstances permitting, since I live in Athens, Greece and our drummer Raphael Saini in Sardegna, Italy. If I had to describe our music, I would say it is like a harder version of Wipers meet The Sound, but we are definitely going to include a wider range of “gloomy rock” influences in our next release.
How did The Flower of Love come to be a band?
During the first wave of lockdowns, I and Raphael were frequently chatting, talking about various social subjects and today’s music scene. We were both missing the old days, probably a sign of the existential crisis that many people experienced the past two years. We were missing the true underground feeling of playing music, raw and imperfect, with no other goals than the pure creative joy. I had some songs ready for some time and I asked him if he was interested in recording the drum parts. He accepted and The Flower of Love was born.
You have worked together on a number of occasions now, what is it that makes you repeatedly want to work together again?
From my part, I love Raphael’s drum playing. He knows how to showcase the songwriting but also include his own creativity and ideas. He can do a lot of impressive things but he is experienced and talented enough not to do so, if it isn’t required by the song. But most importantly, we are friends and share very similar views on many important matters. This makes our communication very easy and meaningful.
What is it that makes you work so well together?
As I said, our similar approach when it comes to music and aesthetics, but also our common views about life. I feel that at this point, we are driven by the same need for simplicity and honesty. And these are the perfect ingredients for unproblematic relationships and collaborations.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think it is very hard NOT to be inspired in this day and age!
You have recently released Pan’s not dead, what were your intentions for the listener when you recorded it?
Well, someone said that thinking about consequences when it comes to art is immoral. I believe that having intentions for anyone other than yourself weakens your creativity and produces an outcome that is tasteless and pretentious. We are doing our own thing with absolute freedom and the listener has the same freedom to take it or leave it. We are not advertisers. Our facebook page has like 60 followers because we haven’t invited our friends to “like” us.
How do you approach the writing and recording process?
For most of the songs of “Pan’s not dead”, chord progression and vocal lines happened simultaneously, sparked by the guitar sound which I had already decided that was going to be in the release. I didn’t even re-record some of the demo guitar parts, because they were so essential to what the song was all about. I think that, being responsible for both writing and producing the songs, gives you the opportunity to stay closer to your original inspirations and ideas in a, let’s say, synesthetic way.
What did you get out of creating and recording the music?
Probably this different songwriting approach I, kind of, explained in the previous question. A more free and spontaneous way of doing it. I have released albums with different projects in the past, always trying to find new ways of expression and I am happy this was the case with “Pan’s not Dead” as well.
Do you find music an outlet?
Music and art in general works as an outlet for sure. After years of serious practice though, you understand it is so much more than that.
The EP contains a cover of Policia by Titãs. Why did you decide to cover this track?
One of the subjects that we discussed with Raphael at the beginning of the pandemic was police brutality. I loved the song for years and since Raphael is half Brazilian, I asked him if he wanted to sing it. I am really glad he said yes and he did a wonderful job.
How do you feel about the EP now it has been out for a number of weeks?
I feel absolutely great. It seems that people appreciated what we did and the first edition of “Pan’s not dead” will be sold out soon.
Would you change anything about the EP?
I left some mistakes intentionally in there so, no! That is exactly what this release is all about. We don’t care about perfectionism. We did our thing and we are moving on.
What is the future for The Flower of Love?
A full length album which is currently in the making.
Thank you for your time and wishing you all the best with The Flower of Love.
Thank you for your interest Ed, all the best to you and Rock n Load.
The Flower of Love – My Last Will (Barking Dog Productions)