I had the opportunity to climb onto a roof with Graham Brouder from Flyying Colors and ask him questions about his new album titled Ease Mobile, which you can download / stream on bandcamp today! Have a listen and transcend to a place where your hunger is satiated.
GrizzlyGround: What is the name of your new album and what was the vision for it?
Graham: The album is called Ease Mobile. The name of the album came from this doodle I made one day.
Where were you when you made this doodle?
Graham: Probably in my room, where I am ninety percent of the time. It’s a drawing of a little car that is leaving earth with some people in it. And I just wrote "ease mobile" on it. I guess the music is usually about transporting moods or going from higher stress to lower stress.
Did you have any influences for this album in particular? Not necessarily an artist?
Graham: Not so much. I guess I hadn't put anything out for a couple of years and so it didn't necessarily start as all the songs having the same idea or being in a collection. In the past year I have been listening to a lot of this guy Laraaji who is a new age artist from New York. Really meditative, low key, easy listening kind of music. That and Ethiopian music, African music, and reggae. I haven’t been listening to a lot of heavy stuff in the past year. There’s been a lot of instrumental music in my life lately as well. Just because with my job I talk to people all day and my head gets so full of words and language that I just want to sit and let my brain expand rather than putting more words into it.
In what ways has your sound developed over time?
Graham: I think the general project over time is to cut the fat and trim it down to the essential aspects and not have anything extra. My last album was a lot of instrumental and I used a 404. I think I wanted to stray away from that and make something that was more stripped down. I think I wanted to write songs that I could replicate live better. I could never really do my old stuff live because it had a lot of sound and a lot of parts and I wanted to go back to guitar and voice and just really utilize those two elements. Minimalism is key.
If your album was a meal, what meal would it be?
Graham: It would be one that doesn’t weigh you down a lot. It’s not like the big six hour dinner with all your friends that’s really drunk and long. It’s more like a late morning, you’re by yourself and you make a few of your favorite things and you take them to your favorite place and you sit down and enjoy it and not get too full. Just full enough.
How are you influenced by your community?
Graham: I guess in multiple ways. I got to be really good friends with Billy and Terry from Buck Gooter and I was lucky enough to get to know them well and go on tour with them a lot. I am really influenced by their methodology and their ambition and the seriousness that they take in their project. Total confidence in themselves and total confidence in the project but not try to think too much about what other people are doing. There aren't a lot of bands in Harrisonburg that sound like Flyying Colors, and not in a good or bad way, just purely genre. I think it's nice to bring that to the mix. For a while I was self conscious about it because I tend to like more aggressive music live and I was in a pretty heavy band called Malatese which was more abrasive.
I just felt self conscious because when I am alone in my bedroom I don’t feel the want to make noise rock. Im prone to make more introspective stuff. I was worried about maybe being too soft. I have learned that even all my noise rock friends also like ambient music. There’s so much music out there. You can be the practitioner of one genre and still an appreciator of another genre.
But for Harrisonburg in general, my friend John said that people tend to gravitate towards honesty in their songwriting. Across genre I think that is true throughout the best of Harrisonburg. It is an exchange of ideas rather than a rock popularity contest.
Being as unnecessarily descriptive as your can, describe your genre.
Graham: I kinda struggle with that. I definitely have a pop vision, I want it to sound nice and melodic, not abrasive and dissonant. So the word pop definitely comes to mind with the intention. But it doesn’t really sound like pop at all. So I think I would probably go with minimal, experimental, pop. I kind of avoided using folk for a long time because that’s my dad’s genre and I was like “No!! It’s not folk!!” but like yeaaaaa it kinda is, but that’s not a bad thing. I word that I hear a lot is “lo-fi” and that has resonated with me a lot, especially for the recording. I record my music on this old, hissy-sounding tape deck. It has a sound like Ariel Pink, who recorded everything on tape up until 2012.
Also, psychedelic kind of.
Flyying Colors "Not Guilty" music video.
What is in the near future for Flyying Colors?
Graham: We are going on an East Coast kinda tour. We have only played one out of town show with Flyying Colors before and it was in Richmond a while back. Were also having an album release party on the 6th at The Golden Pony, so long as I can get some damn albums made.
Yea we're going to the Eastern Seaboard: Richmond, Norfolk, Philly, Brooklyn, Providence.
We're doing that tour and I am excited and nervous to see what people will think outside of Harrisonburg. I feel much more responsible for the music and the vibe that we bring this time around.
I met this guy Steve, he is a regular at my job and he used to play in bands back in the 70’s and he is going to be on tour with us. He hasn’t been to New York since 1980. He is going to be playing drums. We are pretty diverse generationally
Any other closing thoughts?
Graham: I am excited to finally put this album out. There’s a song on there that I recorded the first version of back in 2014, so like, it’s time. I can’t wait to get it out of my system so I can work on new stuff and explore new territory.
Flyying Colors is releasing physical copies of 'Ease Mobile' in the form of 40 high-bias cassettes, which also includes homemade artwork and linear notes. In addition to this, Flyying Colors will be embarking on tour this April, so be sure to check out their dates in the flyer above.