The Unicorn Princess Royally Interviews ‘FLIES’ and Crew

- Posted February 3rd, 2016 by
Happy February, everyone!

This month will feature a couple of articles by yours truly! This first one is an album very special to me that I only recently came across.  FLIES is an experimental artist without limitations from Massachusetts. His newest EP, ‘Exi(s)t,’ exhibits interesting mixtures of memorable chord progressions, voices, beats, combinations of clear and lo-fi samples, and textures. While not in the chip realm, I wanted to expose those who love that genre with others that integrates otherworldly elements to hopefully inspire, and continue to expand the beautiful world of music and sound design.


Photo by Frank Price

My advice for our readers is to listen to the album from start to finish — there is a little bit of something to appeal to everyone, from IDM to trip hop lovers, and each segment is articulated with his own branding style. With album title tracks written eccentrically, Frank Price, also known as FLIES, has another idea in mind for the listener. Can you solve the puzzle with track name clues?

Because I feel a musical project resurrects more with visuals to compliment, I also interviewed visual artist, John Kahl, to give their take on what they gave to the project. Hopefully, too, this will help all those looking to network be brought together.So, without further ado, let’s start with FLIES himself.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into music?
FLIES: My name is Frank Price, and I like to post memes in weird Facebook groups. I’m a college student (computers) by day, and an electronic musician/multi-instrumentalist by night. I also work part time at a liquor store. I have been playing music for as long as I can remember. My first tracks were composed on a Casio keyboard with a drum machine. From there, I got into playing guitar, singing, playing drums, and eventually clarinet.
When was FLIES created?
FLIES: I forged the idea for FLIES in 2013. I was tired of looking for bands to join, finding musical chemistry with other people, and especially the politics of being in a band. I was heavily into LaVeyan Satanism at the time. So I created FLIES as a surefire, selfish outlet for all my ideas. I don’t worry about the music I release as FLIES conforming to a particular genre, or about maintaining a particular lineup of musicians. There are some collaborators on the new EP but it is a revolving door. FLIES is mine and mine alone; I just use the name to release any music I really want to put out.
What are your long-term goals for the project, or with yourself in music?
FLIES: FLIES will be around forever as it is my main outlet of expression. As of now there are people interested in listening, and I only expect this to grow. I am booking a lot of shows for this year, especially for this summer. Next on the itinerary is New Brunswick, NJ at Nanner Manor with Molly Drag, which I’m super excited for.
How do you create music for FLIES?
FLIES: I don’t have a particular method for creating music. But I will say a lot of the songs on the EP have some major psychonautical influences. I usually start by finding the samples and sounds I’m going to use- if a sound moves me in some particular way I will dig deeper and go with it. The rest of the song forms around this initial feeling.
What’s your favorite memory from creating the album?
FLIES: I remember when I finished mixing ‘Underwaterslide’. I was on a Megabus toward Amherst to see my ex-girlfriend. I was so impressed with myself, and how it sounded. I shoved my headphones on my bus-buddy’s head and said “listen to what I made!” He seemed genuinely impressed, and a little scared.
Tell us about your first ever show. What would you improve? What went well? Where was it?
FLIES: My first show was in Beverly, MA at a little tavern. I planned to be that cool-guy DJ/producer who just chills and plays his music. But that’s not me. I just looked really awkward for the first half of my set and wore these lame sunglasses. For the second half I realized I couldn’t pull this off. I started going crazy and bounced around the stage. Tore down my banner and knocked everything over at the end! This was better received and much more real, that’s how my shows tend to go now. Shout outs to Nashville.
Who are the other people involved in on the project?
FLIES: On the new EP: John Kahl (the visual artist), PJ Carmichael (the distributor/producer), Dann Disciglio and Ben Batchelder as musical collaborators!
Three favorite words?
FLIES: Pizza. Daleks. Facebook…
Favorite synth?
FLIES: Is the 808 considered a synth?
The Unicorn Princess: Yes!
How did you come up with your artist name?
FLIES: FLIES is some sneaky devil-worshipping illuminati-type-shit. I could tell you but I’d have to kill you.

What advice would you give anyone starting out?
FLIES: Don’t let anybody get you down or tell you that your music is not good. There’s an audience for every type of music. And if you really think it’s good, then it is. Be real.
How is this album different from any other music you’ve written?
FLIES: The first FLIES song was a skramz/emo tune. I was in punk bands and indie bands before that. This is my first full release of electronic music. It is also my most cohesive release. I put a lot of thought into recurring themes within the songs, the art, and even the song titles. There’s a secret message in the titles, actually.  

What inspires you?
FLIES: Some of the experiences I have found most inspiring are, I guess, good friendships. Communing with myself and the world. I’m trying not to be vague! Listen to the EP and you’ll know. I love haunted, abandoned places.
Top three favorite albums?
FLIES: 1. Choirs of the Eye by Kayo Dot.
2. Give Up by The Postal Service
3. Lineage by Shigeto
How do you think you are perceived by other people, both as an artist and as a person?
FLIES: You know, I’m not sure how I’m perceived by other people anymore. That’s something I’ve worked really hard to stop thinking about, and I’m finally about there. I hope they perceive me as “just me.” Both artistically, and as a person, because if I’m doing it right it’s the same thing.  

Michael Jordan or Larry Bird and why?
FLIES: I’m not huge on football.  

If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
FLIES: Anyone can master an instrument if they want to. I have chosen to spread myself around.
Any future collaborations in the works (mehehe)?
FLIES: Making a fire new track with Jamie Billings. Also working on a spoken word part for one of my tracks with a really cool poet named Anna Xie.
How familiar are you with chiptune/8bit music?
FLIES: I love chip tunes, but I wouldn’t say I’m super familiar with a lot of particular artists. Hehe Where am I? I love this band called Crying from BK though. I love to cry while watching football.  
What else should we know?
FLIES: Hit me up on my personal Facebook to collaborate, or just chat.

Thank you for having me on the show!!!!

Buy a CD | Bandcamp | Facebook | Mass Love Distribution 

 Next up, we have visual artist, John Kahl.


Photo by John Kahl


Artwork by John Kahl

Tell us about yourself. What’s your name, and what was your role on the record?
John Kahl: My name is John Kahl. I survive by collecting income from a job at a marketing company mostly doing data entry. When I can I make art in various forms, primarily drawings, animation and photography. I contributed the visual artwork and design for the FLIES album.  
How did you meet Frank?
John Kahl: Frank and I met in college. We shared an interest in exploring the surreal atmospheres of the woods at night and an abandoned asylum near our campus.
Tell us about the first piece of art you remember creating.
John Kahl: I don’t have an exact memory nor would I consider any specific one to be particularly significant. I was lucky to attend a rather alternative school with an emphasis on arts and I remember we would do watercolor nearly every day so I was fortunate to be exposed to principles of composition color theory, etc., as a child.
What inspires you?
John Kahl: The idea that there is something else out there.  
How did you create the artwork for Exi(s)t?
John Kahl: The Album cover was made using a painting that incorporates some collaged material and then edited in Photoshop. Other elements include photographs mostly macro shots layered over each other.
What projects are you currently working on or planning to work on?
John Kahl: I am currently working on an animated adaptation of a horror story by Arthur Machen.  
Where can we keep up to date with what you’re working on?
John Kahl:

I hope you all check this album out; it’s something that stood out to me, and I’m so glad PJ sent it to me. I’m currently awaiting my physical copy to arrive in the mail, and cannot wait. Keep your eye on FLIES, and the good people involved!

Till next time,
The Unicorn Princess


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