Flowers & Sea Creatures

Belfast meets Athens in glorious floral, underwater musical adventures

Graham Baxter and Kosta Megalos are back with their brand new EP on Ben Watts Buzzin’ Fly label…

Graham, Kosta welcome to DMCWORLD Magazine. When I told The Buzz Chart team I was interviewing you, they said that they could listen to you all day – which from that lot is some going! You are making waves again with your ‘Head First Then Heart’ EP. Can you talk us through this release…

Kosta: “The new track was created in the wake of the album’s release and very nearly made the album but it just wasn’t ripe enough. So during the dark winter months we took some time to work on it a bit more and we finished it just before spring.”

You met through the Montreal club / bar scene, you were both looking to work with new musicians on projects – what was it about each other that you thought could work out?  

Graham: “Firstly, thank you for the kind words. With regards to the early days, when Kosta and I first got together we knew that we had complimentary talents and personalities. Musically, our ears enjoy the same sounds. We each give each other enough space to create things, whether music, vocals, melodies and then we try to piece it all together. Personality-wise, we both enjoy each other’s company and whereas Kosta is happy to create deep into the late-night and early morning, I can often wake up early on the other side and fortunately have something to work with during the opposite hours.”

Kosta – you moved to Montreal from Athens when you were, leaving behind the sunshine for sub-zero winters. What’s the story there?

Kosta: “At that time Greece wasn’t a good place to be politically speaking. My parents had some friends who relocated to Montreal and thought it would be a better life for us….unlike the current political and economic climate in 2012 which is just fantastic!!!!”

Graham, you moved there when you were just eight, leaving behind Belfast – again, what’s the story there?

Graham: “Somewhat similar…albeit we didn’t leave any sunshine behind. Politically speaking Belfast wasn’t fantastic either and my parents had an opportunity to move to Montreal. Although we consider ourselves ‘Montrealers’ we both still stay close to our early childhood roots. Fortunately in 2012 the headlines out of Belfast are about Mcguinness’ handshake with the Queen and Rory Mcilroy’s love life, so things  have changed quite a bit…”

How did you come to start working with Buzzin’ Fly and Ben Watt?

Graham: “The true story is that I had ordered a new copy of EBTG’s “Temperamental” CD and there was a Buzzin’ Fly flyer inside and I went to the website and saw that the label was accepting demos. We originally sent off an instrumental track by email as Kosta and I weren’t even sure that we wanted to include vocals on the songs and we were contemplating more of a club instrumental approach. A month and a half later I found Ben’s email reply in my hotmail junk folder and it had been there for 5 weeks. He said he liked the music and that it might sound good with vocals, so… I recorded a vocal track (without telling him it was me for fear of him not liking it) and he actually liked it and that was the beginning of it all, which lead to multiple collaborations with several DJs/producers, and eventually the first couple of EPs then the album.”

What are your thoughts on now gaining attention from folk like us in the noisy rave arena?

Graham: “We L.O.V.E. it!!! We enjoy the full production album aspect as well as the clubby-vampire rave arena tracks. At the moment, we are really loving the clubland experience. It’s a nice world to live in and to receive some favourable feedback from the club world (like DMCWORLD) is a real privilege.”

DMCWORLD are the proud owners of the Back To Mine album series which Ben actually compiled one many years ago. If we were to come back to yours after a show, what would be your Back To Mine 10? No particular order..

Graham: “Yes, we know the DMC Back to Mine series quite well and it was a great concept so congratulations for that great idea! Here’s a quick list (all of which might not work very well after a show, but you get the drift…):

Stevie Wonder – Creepin’
Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
The Ananda Project – Cascades of Colour (yes, I am stealing Ben and Tracey’s 2001 addition here but when I first heard this track on the compilation I played it to death for months!!)
The Verve – Judas
Lullaby of Clubland – EBTG
Anne Clarke – Sleeper in Metropolis
Art Of Noise – Moments in Love
Trisomie 21 – La Fete Triste
The Glove – A Blues in Drag
Kraftwerk – Radioactivity

How would you describe the sound of the band?

Kosta: “Electronic and acoustic camp-fire songs…Actually, we’re not really sure ourselves, we just try to write songs that people can sing as well as moods that people can also enjoy.

What are you currently working on in the studio?

Graham: “After finishing ‘Head First then Heart’ we both felt that we wanted to write a track for ‘noisy rave arena types’ so we are in the process of doing just that! Perhaps les vocal, less seriousness, and lots of clubbing.”

What do you love and hate about living in Montreal?

Kosta: “I hate the winters but love the summers.”
Graham: “It’s not London (and I love London) but Montreal is a great city, very multicultural, open, tolerant and it’s also very affordable city which makes life a bit easier…it’s home…”

Greatest album ever made?

Kosta: “The White Album (The Beatles)”
Graham: “Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby)”

What is your idea of a perfect Sunday

Kosta: “Spending time with family and friends.”
Graham: “Pub, pint, newspaper, Sunday pub lunch or pub dinner with family at pub or at home and then finish it all off at a pub!”

Musical influences dead or alive?

Kosta: “Anne Clarke, Tangerine Dream, Giorgio Moroder.”
Graham: “Chet Baker, Marvin Gaye.”

And finally, what are the live show details for summer 2012?

Kosta: “Unfortunately we missed out on touring the album following its release due some things we just couldn’t control. We have been playing shows in the meantime in town and will continue to do so this summer before looking at getting back to UK/Europe as soon as possible!”…