A few weeks ago, I sat down with new rock-pop trio The Flicks who are making serious waves in the music industry. On an unusually bright and sunny day in November, we met at their recording studio in Warwick Avenue and discussed their X Factor beginnings, their plans for next year and interestingly, what they felt was missing in the current music industry. It became clear that The Flicks are a different type of girl band. They’re opinionated, open, honest and fun and seemingly happy to play the underdog whilst letting their music do the talking. Here’s what happened, when I sat down with The Flicks.
Simon: Hello guys!
The Flicks: Hey!
Simon: I hope youâ€™re all well, I just want to give our readers a bit of a background on you before we start so, please bear with me for the first few generic questions!
The Flicks: Ok.
Simon: So we have Harley
Harley: Yes, hello!
Simon: And we have Lily.
Simon: And together you are The Flicks!
The Flicks: (Laughing) Yay!
Simon: So there we go, awkwardness out the way. So guys, how did The Flicks come about?
Harley: We got together as a band a little while ago when we went on last year’s The X FactorÂ ,and we were put together really quickly and just sort of shoved into the auditions without knowing each other very well. After leaving The X Factor, we just all carried on chatting to each other and decided to form a new girl band, like a girl McFly!
Simon: How did you find The X Factor experience?
Lilly: Itâ€™s good exposure because itâ€™s such a popular show, I mean, for us it helped us put some clips together and thatâ€™s how we got our manager, but it is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions.
Simon: Yeah I can imagine!
Alice: Itâ€™s great experience in terms of getting on that stage in front of all those people, but it is hardcore!
Harley: Yeah and Wembley arena was amazing but I think because we didn’t know what type of band we were then, it was almost like we were kind of puppets if that makes sense? We didn’t know our sound and we were only doing covers and now, we write all of our songs and we know who we are as a band as opposed to before when it kind of felt like we were in the wilderness.
Simon: So, generic question number 2! What is your style of music? Youâ€™ve mentioned McFly..
Lily: Yeah so McFly, Green Day just kind of British Girl Rock Pop.
Harley: 3 Avril Lavigneâ€™s!
Alice and Lily: Yes!!
Alice: We love Avril Lavigneâ€¦and Paramore!
Lily: And The Runaways.
Harley: Yeah The Runaways are a big influence to us.
Lily: When we were deciding what band we would like to be and our style, our manager sent over a load of DVDs to watch and be inspired by and we watched The Runawaysâ€™ film and we decided if that was the sound we were going to go for, then weâ€™d all have to learn how to play instruments which none of us could nine months ago! And so yeah, nine months later here we are.
Simon: Cool, so a kind of Runaways, Green Day vibe with a bit of McFly! Sounds brilliant!
Harley: With a bit of Busted! in there as well because I love Busted!
Simon: I love Busted! too!
The Flicks: (Laughing) Theyâ€™re our favourites!
Simon: And finally with the end of the generic questions: Do The Flicks have a message and if so, what is it?
Harley: Yeah! Weâ€™re all about girl power and girl empowerment. We want girls to stop being horrible to each other! I think also because we play our own instruments we want girls to be able to look up to us too.
Lily: Yeah, I think thatâ€™s part of it too. Because sometimesâ€¦ I donâ€™t know if I can say this but sometimes at gigs, we get treated slightly differently to other bands and we want to change that! You know? Why canâ€™t girls be in a band and play instruments? Why is that such a weird thing?
Alice: Yeah, and we want to challenge that.
Simon: It sounds awful to say, but I do see your point. Iâ€™ve been to gigs where thereâ€™s been a female rock band as a support act and people just leave! Itâ€™s like â€˜whatâ€™s going on there?â€™
Lily: Yeah, see for us itâ€™s more like if the venue is running out of time for sound checks, then yeaâ€¦we don’t get one!
Lily: Yeah, thatâ€™s happened a few times! It actually happened at the last gig.
Alice: Yeah but then we smashed it and ended up with the biggest audience so yeahâ€¦
Harley: I think it’s because weâ€™re three girls, all a bit ditzy and we like our makeup and our clothes and people just assume we wonâ€™t be very good. But then they actually hear us play and itâ€™s almost like you can see people going â€˜maybe we should have given them a bit more credit.’ So yeah, we do have to work with things like that,Â where as guys can just walk in and have that straight away.
Lily: True, but weâ€™ll show â€˜em!
Simon: So you mentioned writing your own music and playing your own instruments, how does it work when it comes to the songwriting process? Do you all chip in with lyrics or riffs?
Lily: Itâ€™s varied, sometimes we all sit down and come up with lyrics or tunes, or weâ€™ll write individually as well. All of our songs are really honest and they all tell stories. I think what makes us different is that there is a lot of House music out there and our songs, although they’re quite wordy, all tell stories and are all based on truth, you know they’re all based on this ex and this exâ€¦.and this ex! (laughs) or how we feel about social media and other stuff thatâ€™s going on so yeah, there is always a story.
Harley: Our first song was created through WhatsApp messages! How weird is that? And weâ€™ve looked up quotes about â€˜girl powerâ€™ and wrote songs about that, so yeah just songs like that really.
Simon: Cool. So moving on, what do you guys think of the current music scene? What do you think itâ€™s missing?
Simon: (Laughing) Yes! Love that!!
Alice: Iâ€™m being serious! There are so few or any girl bands out there who rock it out, who can all sing and play instruments and that are actually honest! Thereâ€™s not a girl band like us. There are loads of boybands, but weâ€™re completely different and there hasn’t been a girl band like us in a long, long time. And I think itâ€™s needed!
Harley: Yeah, I don’t think thereâ€™s a girl band out there who can say, hand on heart, that they write their own music and play their own music all based on their own lives. Maybe, except for Little Mix. Because we all love Little Mix! Sorry but thatâ€™sâ€¦
Simon: No, don’t apologise. Itâ€™s honest. Itâ€™s nice to hear an actual honest answer. A lot of bands claim to write their own songs when theyâ€™re actually co-written, so itâ€™s nice to hear that you guys are all about writing your own music and lyrics and I agree, itâ€™s something the music industry is certainly missing.
Simon: You mentioned social media earlier, we obviously live in a world where social media plays such a huge part in everyoneâ€™s lives. How important do you think it is for a band or an artist to have a big social media following? I spoke to Kygo about this at Wireless Festival this year and he basically said that itâ€™s vital to get anything you can out there. Do you agree?
Lily: Yeah, 100%.
Alice: Thatâ€™s the way now, you can write great songs, but if you don’t have many fans or followers then thereâ€™s not much point because it wonâ€™t be heard.
Harley: Obviously, social media is really important but at the same time you shouldn’t rely on it.
Lily: Yeah, you should have a life! For me, sometimes when we go out, we see so many people on their phones, taking pictures and videos all night and just not reallyâ€¦living. Do you know what I mean? Weâ€™ve written a few songs about it and obviously itâ€™s a platform you need, and I love social media, I use all of them, but I do thinkâ€¦
Harley: You should put your phone down sometimes!
Alice: You love Snapchat, Lily!
Lily: Iâ€™ve deleted it! It was driving [me] mad! When we started writing lyrics for one of our songs InstaFamous it just made me think!
Alice: I am shocked youâ€™ve done that!
Lily: Yeah and the memory on my phone has been amazing since!
Simon: Yeah I bet everything is so much quicker. Your phone isn’t dying all the time! See, I don’t think I could delete Snapchat, not that I use it all the time, Iâ€™m rarely on it. But I completely agree with you, people are always on their phoneâ€¦just put it down!!
Lily: Exactly, and you see people on dates or going out for dinner and they’re just always on their phone. If I go out for dinner now, I just put my phone in my bag. Itâ€™s quite fun watching people on their telling everyone theyâ€™re having so much fun when theyâ€™re not. They like, jump up and down for 10 seconds and then itâ€™s just likeâ€¦see ya later.
Simon: I know what you mean though, my girlfriend and I went out for dinner last night for our anniversary andâ€¦
The Flicks: Aww, happy anniversary!!
Simon: (Laughing) Thanks very much! We just put our phones down and we actually conversed with each other and it was lovely!
Harley: Yeah and we forget to do that now don’t we? And with our song InstaFamous itâ€™s like you could be Mr Simon Says and have 100,000 followers on Instagram and suddenly youâ€™re â€˜famousâ€™ because you’ve got that following. Itâ€™s ridiculous. Like Kim Kardashian, I think sheâ€™s a legend, but she is really famous from social media.
Lily: And sheâ€™s turned that into a business. So you do need it butâ€¦
Simon: Itâ€™s a bit of a catch 22 isn’t it? Weâ€™ve already said we detest people who use it to the extreme but then at the same time, businesses just don’t work without it.
Simon: Ok, so with 2016 coming to an endâ€¦ itâ€™s been a hell of a year!! What does 2017 have in store for The Flicks?
Harley: Well, that is the big question!
Lily: Well, hopefully a record deal! Thatâ€™s what we want!
Alice: Yeah, we’ve got a publishing deal which we worked really hard for but yeah, hopefully a record deal next year!
Lily: Weâ€™ve had a few meetings and theyâ€™ve gone really well.
Harley: Yeah, so hopefully that will be set in stone in 2017!
Simon: Any tours or festivals?
Lily: Yeah, weâ€™d love to do some festivals! Weâ€™re hoping to do a summer festival next year but until then, weâ€™ll be gigging in central London and the Camden area.
Harley: Yeah, festivals would be great so we can perform to bigger crowds. We played at The 02 Academy in Islington recently and that was a big, big crowd and that was really fun, so if we could do festivals with a bigger audience that would be really good.
Simon: Cool. Well finally, how do you guys feel about playing a game of Netflixâ€¦Â with The Flicks??
The Flicks: (Laughing) Yeah!!
Harley: I love a game! I do get quite competitive, though.
Simon: Right, I mean to be honest I don’t know how competitive this game can be, but weâ€™ll see! Ok, Iâ€™m going to paint a picture/ scenario for you, so everyone close your eyesâ€¦ itâ€™s a Friday nightâ€¦ youâ€™re not going out, youâ€™re with baeâ€¦ what do you put on?? Letâ€™s go, Alice, first!
Alice: Oh! That guy who murders peopleâ€¦
Harley and Lily: Making A Murderer?
Alice: No, but that is amazing!!
Alice: Yes!! I love Dexter, Iâ€™m addicted!!
Lily: Am I allowed to open my eyes??
Simon: (Laughing) Yes! I think I also heard you say â€˜I don’t understand, is it what I like to watch?â€™ Do you understand?
Lily: I also zoned out and thought your name was Bay as well, I got really confused!
Alice: Lily! Itâ€™s 2016!
Lily: I travelled back from Ireland this morning so Iâ€™m so tired!
Simon: Ireland isn’t that far away!
Lily: Yeah, I know but I got back at 5!
Harley: So what would you watch?
Lily: I donâ€™t know! If I had my own way then probably a Disney film. Is that allowed?
Simon: Yeah, I think so. I think there is a Disney category on Netflix so yeah. There we go, a Disney Film!
Lily: Not very rock is it?
Simon: Erm.. no. You should’ve said The Runaways documentary! And finally, Harley?
Harley: Either a comedy, or a thriller. But a movie, Iâ€™m not about series, I canâ€™t deal with that! But I like Making A Murderer! So yeah, something like The Girl On The Train, something that makes me want to know what happens next.
Simon: Did you watch The Girl On The Train?
Harley: Yeah but I read the book and the book was insane, and I liked the film but I’m not sure it was as good!
Lily: Is it like Gone Girl?
Harley: Yeah but that was rubbish and the book was really good as well!
Simon: I quite liked Gone Girl!
Harley: You need to read the book then!
Simon: I will! Guys, I think that’s it! Thank you so much for speaking to me and I hope youâ€™ve had fun.
The Flicks: Thank you!
Alice: Yeah itâ€™s been really fun!
Simon: And hopefully weâ€™ll get to see you perform live soon! Thank you guys!
To keep up to date with what 2017 will have in store for The Flicks, check out their Twitter @tweettheflicks, Instagram @theflicksofficial and their Facebook www.facebook.com/theflicksofficial