“It can be quite mentally challenging to be a musician because you will get a lot of negative feedback and people that don’t believe in what you are doing, but all the positive feelings make it worth it in the end.” – Tom Wills
We “heard a story last night, on the radio..” about The Flavians. If that name doesn’t sound familiar to you yet, you should better keep your ears and eyes peeled for the Berlin based 4 piece, consisting of Liam Blomqvist (guitar & vocals), Anna Vaverková (keys & vocals), Tom Wills (bass & vocals) and Joakim Jägerhult (drums).
The Flavians quest to emulate and re-create the warm sound of the 60’s is at the heart of their identity. With vocal harmonies from a blend of three diverse voices, psychedelic guitar textures and lyrics discussing themes such as destitution and alienation, they walk the tightrope between the surreal and the mundane while staying grounded and focused on writing accessible, melodic, yet experimental songs.
Who are you?
We are The Flavians, but some people call us the Family band cause apparently, we all look the same.
Where are you from (maybe some backgrounds)?
Both Liam and Joakim are from the land of snus (some of you Call it Sweden), Tom is from “That country that isn’t in the EU anymore and Anna from the beer-mecca Czech Republic.
You guys all met at BIMM, how did that come and what do you guys study?
Joakim and Liam met quite randomly in a hostel, after that we all met at Mauerpark karaoke sharing a bottle of vodka Anna had brought. Liam and Anna study songwriting, Tom studies production (although he might have been more at home with the songwriters). Joakim mostly bangs on stuff so we think he studies drums, we’re really not sure.
What’s the best thing about being an artist and what’s the worst?
Tom: Playing live, few thrills that compare to it. But also all the People you get to hang out with. It can be quite mentally challenging to be a musician because you will get a lot of negative feedback and people that don’t believe in what you are doing, but all the positive feelings make it worth it in the end.
The first ever single you guys released in 2018 called “On The Radio”, got spins on several radio stations all over the globe. Congrats! Did you expect such a massive hype and what’s the main inspiration behind the song and the lyrics?
Tom: We were quite flabbergasted ourselves but it has been one hell of a thrill and hopefully a sign of what’s to come. The song itself came together quite easy through a jam session. Liam had written the lyrics and after a few rounds at a bar the whole madman idea blossomed and was later incorporated in the tune.
Who of you “woke up in a hospital bed”and what happened?
This is highly classified information that we will only share with people after they’ve come to one of our shows and later paid our bar tab.
“Non Stop Fun (All I Wanted)” is the name of your second single. What inspired you the most for your this track and where do you guys write your songs? Do you have a special place or even a hide away to be the most creative?
Joakim: Personally I think the most inspiring songs are written during jams or when someone comes with a small part of the song with no general idea of what it is. Those songs also tend to allow each player in the band to infuse more of their personality into the piece. Although it is frickin comfortable when someone slaps a fully arranged song in your face. For this specific one, Liam had an old chord-progression laying around with a simple riff on top, which he introduced when him, Anna and Tom were having a “wine & writing” session in one of Berlins many parks. That’s where the concept started, only to be lyrically finished by Tom’s twisted fantasies.
What’s your favourite song of yours to play live?
Joakim: We love playing OTR as it is the song everyone knows and sing along and dance to, also because I wrote the grooviest of grooves for it which I love playing.
In which way are you influenced and inspired by other artists?
Joakim: In all ways I suppose, we infuse external influences with our internal feelings and out comes a song or an Idea at least.
Have you ever wanted to become musicians when you were younger?
Liam: My uncle was/is in a rock band so I grew up going to their shows all around which definitely gave me some inspiration, but I also wanted to become an ice-hockey pro, motocross racer, football star, CIA agent and a Pokémon.
Anna: I always wanted to be a doctor or everyone was telling me that I wanted to be so I don’t really remember. Music was something that was always a part of my life. I’ve been attending music schools since I was about 5 years old. So I don’t really remember if I wanted that back in days. Probably not, hard to say.
Joakim: Of course, the whole music industry is built upon all of us who can’t give up on our childhood dreams while the rest of the population grows up instead.
Tom: I never wanted to be anything else but of course, it didn’t always seem possible!
Do you have any childhood heroes?
Liam: James “Bubba” Stewart, motocross racer.
Anna: Probably Spongebob or Maxipes Fik (a Czech cartoon about a huge dog).
Joakim: Keith Moon, who else…
If you could be superheroes for a day, who would you like to be and why?
Liam: I’d like to be captain hindsight, cause everybody seems to love him.
Anna: I wouldn’t want to be a superhero, that’s too much responsibility to save the world and you can’t save the world.
Joakim: I’m already a superhero, the Hummus King.
Tom: Dr Who (is he a superhero?), to be able to travel through the entire universe in a blue box totally shits on Spider-Man who basically can just swing around.
Your favourite good morning shower songs?
Liam: anything from “Niandra laDes and Usually just A T Shirt” by John Frusciante.
Anna: I’m not really a morning shower person, but sometimes I sing some creepy Czech songs or opera, or opera in Czech just to annoy everyone haha.
Joakim: “Curse me Good ” by The Heavy
Tom: This morning I had “Marie” by Isolation Berlin in my head
Music is ….. (try to pick just one word)
Pineapple, think about it.
What means fashion to you and how would you describe your style?
Anna: I would say that fashion doesn’t see limits and you can’t go wrong when you ‘can wear it’ i.e. when you feel great in what you wear. Our dressing style very much complies with the music we write. I would say that we don’t want to stick that much to temporary trends but rather wear old classics. You can definitely see some 60’s inspiration from our clothing, especially on stage. Talking about Tom and Joakim, you would catch them almost always wearing something similar they would have on stage as well. I and Liam are not that much stressed about putting on sweatpants and sneakers from time to time actually.
What influences you in the way you dress?
Anna: Maybe some artists we like but I don’t feel that we have that much of a fashion influence. We go second-hand shopping together every now and then and we help each other pick some clothes so it ends up that we’re influencing each other in a way. I guess that we found a style we feel good in as a band, even if some pieces look a bit ridiculous sometimes.
Indispensable piece of clothing for you?
Beards, loads of hair and sometimes Tom’s grandfather’s suits.
What did you pack in your suitcase – do you have any travel essentials?
Having a fresh pair of underwear is always good. But… we haven’t been travelling that much as a band yet since we’ve only been together for a year now but if you ask us next time maybe we have a better answer.
Thanks for having a chat with us guys! By the way, The Flavians are just about to release their third single ‘Silver Car’ on March 22nd 2019 and are planning on an upcoming tour in 2019, you should better get on your dancing shoes in your finest duds!
xx smoke and echoes