Interview with Flourishing
When corresponding with Garett Bussanick (vocals, guitar), Brian Corcoran (drums), Eric Rizk (bass) from the NYC -based trio Flourishing, we touched upon what took them so long to put out their debut EP, their approach to songwriting, and the pros and con
How did Flourishing form?
Garett: The project that would eventually become Flourishing came to be in 2001, after a band Brian (drums) and I were in called Cardiovascular Sub-Hypothermia split up. We had various, incomplete line-ups under a few different names for a long time, one of which included Eric on 2nd guitar for a few years. We eventually settled into our current situation as a three-piece in early '09 and chose this name. We decided that after spending a lot of time in limbo with line-up issues that it'd be wise to keep things simple with just the three of us. We are old friends, making for a good and productive working situation. I think bringing in other people would be difficult at this point unless they shared a very similar musical goal, not to mention unnecessary. Although on one hand, we could use another guitarist when playing live, since one guitar isn't sufficient to portray what we write. However, it works fine and I'd rather make what we do clear with recordings.
Why did it take so long to release the latest album?
Garett: We went on hiatus for a few years, and when we started playing again we thought it would be cool to release the EP. I had became busy with playing in Wetnurse and wasn't sure if this project would ever be active again. We've managed to hook up with The Path Less Traveled Records for the release, which we're very happy about.
How would you describe Flourishing to someone that never heard you before?
Brian: "Dissonant Deathgrind" is my reply to someone that is somewhat familiar with "heavy" music. For those folks that are unfamiliar with metal and the hundred sub-genres that lie within, for classification sake I'll say Flourishing plays "Extreme Metal" for lack of a better term.
How does a Flourishing song get written?
Eric: I think songs get written many different ways in the band. Sometimes Garett has a riff, or sometimes he comes in with a rough structure of an entire song. Other times songs come out while we are all jamming together at practice. The last few songs we have written were created by all three of us in that way. We are very democratic with the song writing process and try not to set limitations. Experimenting and trying song arrangements that we haven't done before are approaches we tend to use and we're always trying to push the envelope with the intent of writing something fresh.
Do you prefer the studio or live gigs and why?
Eric: I personally like live gigs. I think playing music like we do is best represented in a live setting. It is great to connect with the audience through the songs. I also like seeing new bands that we play with that I may have never heard of before. I discover a lot of local bands that way. We've been talking about playing some regional shows over the summer, which I'd like to do. I enjoy the studio as well since it's cool to be able to fully realize a song in that environment. I like the idea of being able to add many different layers and elements to help create nuances that wouldn't be able to be done live, being that we are only a three piece.
When I’m not in Flourishing, I’m…
Brian: Frolicking through the park, editing audio books for work, or squeezing out the last few reps in a superset while listening to tough guy hardcore music at the gym.
What are some of the pros and cons of being a NYC band?
Erik: Pros: There are many different places here for a band to play regardless of genre. I think the majority of the local bands we have played with seem to be supportive of each other. There is a pretty strong metal scene here in New York that not a lot of other cities have. Cons: Transporting all the gear around is a pain and difficult without owning a van. Practice spaces can be really expensive. There is a lot going on so people have like five different shows to pick from on a given night and this can lead to no one showing up at your show since there could be something else going on the same night. Considering this, people can be jaded here.
Who are some of your influences? Any we’d be surprised by?
Brian: Dim Mak, Righteous Pigs, Immolation, The Police, and Luscious Jackson have all been major musical influences for me. Growing up listening to Slayer also contributed to my musical misdirection and Dave Lombardo's playing provided the motivational factor and inspiration for me to want to pursue drumming. Drummers whom I listen to for inspiration lately include: Alex Marquez (Malevolent Creation), Brandon Thomas (Dim Mak), Dave Witte, and Stewart Copeland (The Police). Not too leftfield I reckon, but you may be surprised with what I treat my ears to on any given day though. Today's Playlist includes: E.Town Concrete, Ulcerate (AMAZING Death Metal band from New Zealand), Swamp Gas (AWESOME Old School Style GRIND from FL), Jamiroquai, The Swans, Remembering Never, and Sqaurepusher.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Garett: I don't think there's one large, specific challenge we've dealt with. Something off the top of my head is simply finding a good spot to rehearse in. The place we're in right now has a few good points, but there are many factors that make getting a new place something we need to do, and that in itself is somewhat of a challenge. I suppose also worth noting is writing our songs, which I find to be the challenge that is most rewarding. We strive to touch on various vibes, all of which we wish to roughly reside under the umbrella of death metal and grindcore, or just some form of heavy music. So that becomes the challenge: writing songs using disparate inspirations that come together as a cohesive whole. We want the songs to make sense while taking the listener on a journey, all the while straying from usual genre confines.
What’s on tap for the next few months for you?
Garett: We have a few shows in NYC coming up in late spring and into the summer. We're nearly done writing for a full length, so we'll be working on finishing that stuff, which I would say is the main priority at this time. There has been talk of filming a video for a song from the EP, which is in the preliminary stages of conception. Also, we're talking about playing a couple of out of town shows in the northeast toward the end of the summer.
Be sure to check out A MOMENTARY SENSE OF THE IMMEDIATE WORLD and find Flourishing on the web @ www.myspace.com/elahrairah.