Corps Fleur haben sich 2019 gegründet und im letzten Jahr ihr grandioses Debüt Corps fleur (hier zur Review) veröffentlicht – sechs intensive und atmosphärische Songs mit düsteren Texten und Gänsehautmomenten. Ihr Sound ist eine Kombination aus Black Metal, Suicide Depressive Metal und Blackgaze. Die vier Musiker aus England beschreiben ihre Songs als „Musik, die in der Struktur einer griechischen Tragödie ähnelt“ – „ein Wirbelwind der Emotionen“. Neues Material ist bereits in Planung, wir sind gespannt! In unserem Interview sprechen Austin, Luke, Steve & Rhys über die ersten musikalischen Erinnerungen, das Debüt Corps fleur und über ihre musikalischen Vorbilder & Einflüsse.
Who is behind Corps Fleur?
Austin: The band was initially created by me and Rhys while a previous project (Ubiquitous) went quiet. Luke and Steve followed shortly to form the band, then we went on to write our self titled EP in the first U.K. lockdown last year.
Luke: I started getting heavily into Post Black Metal, and Austin eventually messaged me asking if I wanted to join.
Steve: I was the last one into the fold. Collectively, we work together to push Corps Fleur forward.
Rhys: Austin and I formed Corps Fleur off the back of another project (Ubiquitous), after things went quiet and a couple scratch tracks were written shortly after. A short while after, Luke and Steve joined to form the band, and writing/forming our sound went on from there.
Can you tell us a few things about the connection between you four and your journey into the music?
Austin: Me and Rhys were actually room mates once upon a time! I can’t quite remember how that happened actually haha. I’ve known Steve since school, we were friends with the same people, so we would end up at the same parties and gigs. Luke was a random Facebook add, I listened to his other project Vulvodynia when they put out their first album and was like DUDE! This is mental. So I added Luke as a friend on FB and we just used to chat every now and again about music.
Luke: I initially started speaking to Austin every now and then around 2015 as I was a fan of his and Rhys‘ band Ubiquitous. I didn’t know the others until I got asked to join the band, but we all talk non stop now and it feels like I’ve known them for years!
Steve: I’ve known Austin for probably 13, 14 years. We knew the same people and would end up at gigs and parties. I’ve known Rhys for 2 or 3 years, he was brought into my old band as our bass player and we clicked quite quickly. I met Luke through joining the band and we’ve built up a solid relationship, he’s a great guy. Collectively, we often share music that we think each other will like, or at least one other in the band will like, which is how I came across bands like Numenorean, MØL and Show me a Dinosaur. They got me hooked, though Austin does it the most.
Rhys: Austin and I met some time ago through mutual friends and he asked me to join his band. We even shared a house at one point, after I had a change in circumstance and had a spare room. Austin wanted to be closer to the city and we really got along of course, so it made sense. I was once in a band with Steve, after his drummer asked me to join to fill in on bass. Luke was a complete stranger to me though. It’s crazy to think I’ve only met him once, due to the pandemic, but we share a lot of common ground and he is mostly a pleasure (wink) to work with.
If you had to describe your music in terms of not music … what would you say?
Austin: I’d describe our music as the famous Corpse Flower, a beautiful flower to watch blooming but what follows is an unbearable scent of rotting flesh … Beauty in Death.
Luke: Like a whirlwind of emotions.
Steve: Like staring out to sea from atop the cliffs in the eye of a storm. Serene, secluded, yet ferocious.
Rhys: Our music is hardship and emotion. It’s everyday despair that outweighs small triumphs, resembling a Greek tragedy in structure.
What are your first musical memories?
Austin: My first musical memories? Damn … I need to pick my brain to remember. I grew up in a pub and my mum was into bands like Mötley Crüe, Poison, Guns n’ Roses, Def Leopard, Twisted Sister, I was basically born into Metal then progressively forged my own path towards Death Metal. I was really into Children of Bodom (RIP) and Cannibal Corpse at school.
Luke: Definitely my dad playing me bands like Pantera, Sepultura, Guns n’ Roses and Nirvana when I was around 4 years old.
Steve: Listening to 80’s Pop music in the back of my dad’s car. George Michael, Spandau Ballet, The Human League etc.
Rhys: My uncle, for sure. As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my uncle and would often pester my parents to let me stay at his on weekends. He always had the latest games consoles and played heavy music really loud, all day. I remember he gave me a Kerrang CD when I was 10 and it had Babylon’s Pride by Decapitated on it. He also made me a bunch of CDs that had Cradle Of Filth, Devildriver, Nile, CKY and all sorts on it, so my taste in music developed from there and I started getting into Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash, Tech, Prog etc. He even took me to a load of gigs, though my parents weren’t too keen. He was the driving force behind me taking music as a vocation and even gave me what would be my first guitar. It was a shitty Stagg Stratocaster, but we all have to start somewhere.
What are you looking for in music?
Austin: I don’t go in with a checklist or anything haha, I like to search Bandcamp for what’s “trending” and just have a good listen while I work. I also use Spotify’s “people also listen to” section, very helpful to find new bands. But in terms of writing, I’m not looking for anything really, I struggle with mental health so writing about dark subjects helps in a strange way.
Luke: I listen to a bunch of different genres, so it varies depending on my mood for me.
Steve: Currently, I’m really into atmospheric/melodic music. Whether that’s Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal, like Unreqvited, Show me a Dinosaur or MØL, or Synthwave etc. Anything that has an atmosphere, I guess.
Rhys: Nothing in particular. I often just let YouTube or Spotify auto play tracks from playlists and pick out whatever sounds most interesting to me. It doesn’t even have to be Metal. Most of the time I hear about new bands from Austin though. Recently I have found that I do sway more toward emotive music or technical playing over music that is written for the sake of being “heavy.” When it comes to writing, I always try to write music that is evocative. I used to do a lot of sound design, so I was always putting music to images. I want my music writing to give off the same eeriness or emotion that could fit a visual piece, whether it be something pleasant, gloomy or somewhat uncomfortable.
Which person, artist or incident inspired you when you first started making music?
Autin: I was at rock bottom with my mental health and took comfort in listening to loads of Raw Black Metal, DSBM & some of the more Gaze stuff. Deafheaven, MØL, Ghostbath & Numenorean were on repeat for sure. I’d have to say MØL and Numenorean were the reason I wanted to start Corps Fleur. Huge influences for sure.
Luke: I don’t think there was one specific artist or incident, but I just remember hearing a couple of bands when I was around 12 years old and wanting to do what they do.
Steve: There isn’t anything specific that’s stood out that directed me toward making music, in particular. The people I hung around with at school were mostly musicians and we spent a lot of time in the music rooms hanging out, messing about on guitars, drums etc. I guess that gave me the push to start properly learning bass, and guitar. From there my musical journey has just kind of … happened. Most of the reasons I’ve been in bands is just being asked, or in this band’s case seeing a post.
Rhys: I’ve always adapted my writing to whatever situation, artists I’m listening to or band that I’m in. All the bands I listen to inspire me, even though they’re all from different sub genres. I guess my writing is just representative of who I am and what I am doing in life. My wife got me into more Post Black, Doom and Black Metal that has inspired my recent tracks though.
Last year your debut album „Corps Fleur“ came out. How did the writing of „Corps Fleur“ happen?
Austin: We couldn’t meet up because of Covid so we made a group chat on Facebook messenger and just… sent ideas to each other. We all had DIY studios at home and just basically produced demos like that. The wonders of the internet :-).
Steve: We sent across a lot of ideas to each other, whether that was riffs/sections, bands, sounds and feelings. We’d write parts or full songs out on Guitar Pro to get a basic feel for the songs and we could each learn the parts or have the opportunity to make adjustments and changes early on, which was cool. Then we demo’d it, recording individually at home going back and tweaking or suggesting changes to anything we needed to and then sent off to mix when we were happy with it.
Rhys: We would recommend bands and send demos to each other over lockdown. It was all done online, utilising Guitar Pro and our home set-ups. There were obvious speed bumps, such as songs not gelling well with others, but we worked on each other’s tabs and suggested changes that brought all the tracks together. Using the same production techniques also played a part in forming our sound, so the whole process was a joyous experience. It also gave us a better understanding of each other, so we were able to write together.
Luke: Unfortunately due to lockdown in the UK, we weren’t able to meet up with each other during the whole writing/recording process. Luckily we live in the 21st century, so we were able to just write the songs out on Guitar Pro and send ideas back and forth. We all recorded our parts at home and it ended up working out quite well.
Where does your inspiration for music come from? Which sort of mood produces the best song?
Austin: Like I said above I wasn’t having a good time mentally, I wanted to write music that would make people feel how I felt. I wanted people to feel like shit after hearing our music. But that soon grew into a transcending process, the first half of our EP starts very positive, which then declines into the sorrow filled hole that I intended it to be.
Luke: I feel like I have a constant flow of riffs stuck in my head. I’m in a couple bands so I’ll always be writing out rough ideas for one of them. I personally work best when I’m in a good mood. Depression/sadness may work for some, but I find I can’t get anything done if I haven’t had a great day.
Steve: I take a lot of influence from Post-Black and Atmospheric bands and just play on my guitar trying to break certain parts down to get a better understanding as to how particular elements were introduced, then apply a similar approach to my writing, layer-wise. I try not to over-saturate sections with multiple parts, but it doesn’t always pan out the way I intend, as I sometimes go back and layer about 6 or 7 different parts and Rhy or Luke will have to remind me that we only have two guitarists! In terms of mood, I don’t necessarily need to be happy, angry or sad. I do try to lean toward adding emotional weight through the music and I aim to be at a point where the music can apply as much emotional weight with or without vocals, but it’s definitely been an interesting journey for me, delving into writing music as opposed to just lyrics.
Rhys: I don’t write music that represents my feelings as I’m more of a visual person. I do often write music based on images I see in my head or a particular sound I want to convey. In fact, I often can’t write when I am feeling angry or frustrated as I get a mental block, so I am my most inspired when I’m calm and a little recluse. However, I do feel that the best songs are written with time and consideration, over emotion.
Which instrument will surely NEVER be heard on a Corps-Fleur-track?
Austin: Never say never! We used a few weird and wonderful sounds during our writing process. But I can 100 % say a fucking Kazoo won’t make the cut!
Luke: Good question! I guess steel drums don’t have a very Post Black sound :-).
Steve: I don’t think there would be any specific instance of an instrument we’d never use. A different question might be a particular instrument’s prominence in a song or mix, but that’s hard to predict.
Rhys: Nothing is off limits. When sound design is a keen interest, you realise that you can use a variety of instruments and sounds to create something new.
No alcohol is no solution either. What booze combination will definitely dissolve all your troubles and issues?
Austin: It’s funny you mention alcohol. When I was recording the vocals for Solace I was pretty wasted, it touches on a subject that’s hard for me to dig up, so through that recording process I progressively got worse as I was screaming the words I wrote back then. It was difficult to dig those feelings up again but I think they translated through quite well. My usual go to for a drink is Jack Daniels Honey neat or a bottle of wine! Some IPAs are nice as well.
Luke: Red wine for sure.
Steve: Stella Artois is my staple lager and I’m having one now as I type this out. Basically, I’ll drink nearly anything, except neat Vodka, Mead or neat Whiskey. Rhys knows all too well I’m fond of Prosecco and Champagne from a tour we did together, I don’t remember much but the video of that show was … interesting.
Rhys: I don’t drink. A good sulk and few expletives are the best remedy for me.
What is the most surprising record on your CD/Vinyl-shelf ?
Austin: Oh fuck, you’d be surprised with A LOT of my vinyl collection! I’m not sure what I’m willing to admit! The slime filled Dahlia Murder is my absolute treasure but most surprising would have to be Yungblud – Weird! I have that on vinyl.
Luke: I’ve only just started collecting vinyl, so there’s nothing surprising there yet, unfortunately!
Steve: Ooooh, not sure how surprising they are but I have +44 – When Your Heart Stops Beating. Loved that when it came out. I have the Pokemon Movie Soundtrack CD somewhere, but I was 11 when I got it …
Rhys: I don’t have anything that is particularly surprising. It’s kind of a free for all of guilty pleasures, bands that I’m really into and bands that you wouldn’t expect me to listen to.
What are your plans for the near future and what do you wish for?
Austin: Plans for the near future is hopefully getting a couple more songs out, I think we can squeeze out a few more tracks for everyone. What do I wish for? I think this is going to be the same answer for everyone right now … for this virus to go away so we can play our music live, it really sucks not going to gigs, I used to just go to shows on my own in the week, now they’re gone I don’t have anything to do.
Luke: We’re definitely going to be writing a follow up to our EP this year, so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully we’ll be able to get on stage sooner rather than later, too!
Steve: I’d like to just keep writing, recording and releasing music, get together and jam, be able to hang out more as we’ve only hung out all together once, due to Covid. I’d love to play the EP live soon, maybe do a few short runs of shows in the UK/Europe but Brexit may complicate some of that.
Rhys: Anything is possible! Writing a full length, maybe work on a split or even a video. Who knows?!