Florida Room are an indie rock quartet that formed 3 years ago. They released their first EP 'After The Autumn Hours' in late 2012, followed by a mini European tour, opening for acts such as Pete Doherty and Bush.
We met up in St Martins (Trafalgar Square) at the annual Cockney Rhyming Slang festival, whilst we were getting our 'whistle and flutes' on, Frazer from the band fell down the 'apples and pairs' whilst on his 'dog 'n bone', injuring his 'peg', we were too busy tucking into our 'Ruby Murray' to notice. We chopped up a few 'Patsys' and invited the band to answer some questions, here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
We’re Florida Room, a four piece from East London who make pop rock music with a certain sincerity and cleverness to it.
You’re called Florida Room how did you come about choosing this name?
We were looking to re-brand ourselves after a few changes in our line up, our old band name had to go.. At the time our music was moving away from the dark, grandiose route and when looking for names we came across a quote describing a Florida Room as ‘a room that’s designed to let light in’. We liked the way the name sounded rhythmically and the meaning went with our new direction, so decided to go with that.
‘Other Lives’ is a catchy rock tune, very impressive, what is the inspiration behind this?
Other Lives just kind of fell into place one time at rehearsal one day. Mike came in with this really simple upbeat stabby guitar riff and we all interpreted our own parts pretty much how it is on record instantly. And we really wanted a statement to illustrate just what we’re about with working day jobs to support everything we do with Florida Room.
‘Silhouettes’ is a winner on this EP, what is the story behind this?
‘Silhouettes’ was a real journey for us. We spent the better part of 2013 figuring out where this one was going, what we wanted it to say and how it should come across. It went through so many changes until we started all pulling back more on what we were playing individually to really let the space do its work. It’s multi-layered so you’ll hear something different each time you listen to it; subtle things creep in and out, which I love about it.
You recorded at Stakeout studios, why did you choose this recording studio?
We went with Stakeout Studios just because our drummer had recorded there with his old band. Jason our engineer was ace through the whole process. He really knows how to get the best take out of you, which could annoy you sometimes, but I don’t think the tracks would sound as good as they do with out that real push to get things perfect.
Tell me a fascinating fact about the members of the band?
One of us is a scientist; another is related to someone famous, one of us recently had their nipple pierced on a stag do, and two monkeys have attacked the other.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
It’d have to be the dog I reckon. A.) Because I don’t know how to sign language and B.) I’ve heard gorillas are really needy and always complain about how hard they have it.
Can you please explain what Mama Perera's home cooking is like?
Haha, lets just say we all went to a BBQ a few years back at the Perera household and we all still talk at length about the journey the food took us on and how good it was. Like that’s always a great conversation piece for us. Feel like I’m selling it short.
Based in East London, which is your favourite pie and mash shop?
Oooooh, can’t say I eat pie and mash that much! So I don’t know. I’ll be sure to try more out to avoid this ever happening again.
What is the process of the band when writing a song?
It usually starts with one of us bringing a riff to rehearsal and it growing from there. We usually go through 3 or 4 waves of exploration before arriving at something that makes sense. But it’s the ones that lock in instantly with everyone that usually end up getting put down on record. I mean there’s no method. One day things sound great, and the next they don’t. That’s all part of the journey I guess, knowing when to hang in there or pulling the plug.
How would you describe Clapton to someone who has never been?
Clapton’s great. Think of something you really like and then imagine a place that’s like that thing, then imagine that place was in London, then add some parks, shops, roads and refurbished pubs made to look run down and that’s Clapton.
What was the first guitar riff you ever heard that made you feel like you were having an orgasm?
It wasn’t the first but the one that sticks out is Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins. I just remember hearing the intro when the distortion kicks in and it felt like being hit by a wave in a thunderstorm out at sea. It was exciting to find that music could possess that sort of power, that you could create something tangible from it.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
I can’t think of anything. I left this one until last but nothing came to mind. Actually maybe I’d say that I’m never going to edit another one of our music videos again haha.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
This is an impossible question to answer! But as of late, I did think Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories would be one of those albums that’ll stand the test of time. That’s an album I just love hearing beginning to end. But is it the BEST ever? Definitely not. Another one I feel has slipped under the radar in terms of recognition is Elbow’s Leaders Of The Free World. Its rare nowadays to find an album with so much imagery and balance as that one has for me.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Its not classic in the traditional sense but I wish I’d recorded ‘Let Down’ by Radiohead. More specifically from the bridge until the end. When Thom sings ‘ A chemical reaction’ and then the ‘You know where you are’ comes in. Haha I had to put it on just answering this. Its just puts me in a trance every time I hear it, without fail. I don’t know it’s hard to explain but I guess everyone has that song that just ignites that part of them that isn’t really accessed in any other way.
First gig you ever went to?
It was at The Joiners in Southampton. Some punk band I can’t remember the name of now. I guess they weren’t that good.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
Trey Parker, Rick Rueben and Irvine Welsh. Trey just because I’m a massive fan of his work, Rick Rueben for the stories and Irvine Welsh’s my favourite author.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Check out Felt Tip, they’re ace. They’ve got a new single out called Simple Things which definitely deserves a few listens.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
I’d like to think Paul McCartney has us in his record collection somewhere.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Our music would be Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
I’ve never seen a chicken cross a road. I don’t think they can because they’re stupid.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
We’ve just release our new single Other Lives, which will be doing an acoustic version really soon and we’ll be heading to Berlin for a few shows this summer. After that hopefully we’ll be heading back to the studio to record.
The Cockney Rhyming Slang festival was coming to a close so we all decamped to the nearest 'Jack Tar' for some 'Pigs Ear' and some 'Vera Lynn', on the way, we were accosted by a 'Thirteen Amp' who relieved us of a 'Paul McKenna', we hurried along as our 'Edward Heath' were starting to hurt and our 'Runner Beans' were getting wet....After all this 'Gor Blimey' East End chatter, we decided to change the subject and ask the guys some quick fire non cockney slang questions....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee please
Coke or Pepsi? Neither
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal
Mac or PC? I use a Mac so I guess Mac.
Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin or CM Punk? Hulk Hogan brother. Why isn’t Macho Man Randy Savage on there?
Fry up or Sunday roast? Sunday Roast
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Lemmy!
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or Motorbike? Car
Acoustic or electric? Electric
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? Pacino. He was great in Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler.
God or Google? Same thing? That’s a real douchey answer isn’t it.
Interview by Mark Wincott
We would like to thank Florida Room for taking the time to chat to us and answer our questions, we admit, none of the above cockney slang makes any sense at all so please don't bother trying to decipher it, I think we'll stick to our own version of the English language from now on....'me old china' !!!