Having built up an impressive reputation with high-profile gigs supporting the likes of Stone Sour and Those Damn Crows, as well as a number of equally high profile festival slots, Welsh rockers Florence Black recently dropped their eagerly awaited debut album Weight of the World. Shortly before the release of the album, we caught up with bassist Jordan ‘Foz’ Evans for a chat about the record, how a PRS Momentum Fund award helped the group through lockdown, and much more.
Thanks for your time. How is life treating you at the moment?
Jordan Foz Evans: “Thanks for having us! Life is good, we are about to release our debut album Weight of The World, gigs have started back, we are excited that things seem to be on the up!”
You built up quite a momentum pre-COVID. How challenging have the last 18 months been?
“It wasn’t nice not being able to gig, but we made the best of a bad situation and really concentrated on writing and finishing the album throughout the lockdown, as restrictions lifted we were able to go and record in Longwave Studios with Romesh Dodagonda. So even though we weren’t playing any shows we were still busy with behind-the-scenes stuff.”
On the flip side, you won a PRS Momentum Fund. How much did that help overcome the challenges you faced when trying to record an album?
“Being an independent band, our budget is small and tight, without the PRS momentum fund we would have had to record the album in a more DIY fashion. We were up for the challenge but knew we wanted something that sounded high quality and professional. The momentum fund gave us the freedom to work with Romesh who was able to help us get that sound. The fund also had a knock-on effect as it freed up budget for other parts of the project like the printing of CDs and vinyl, PR, and all the other things it takes to bring an album into existence.”
You recorded the demos with Michael Paget from Bullet. What was the biggest thing you took away from those sessions?
“Padge is a great mentor, his experience and advice can’t be matched, he helped us develop the songs and take them to the next level. He also helped us decide which songs worked well together to create the album.”
Tell us a bit about the album then, what can fans expect from it?
“We wanted to create an album that touches on many aspects of music. We take influence from so many different artists and genres and writing an album gives you the freedom to experiment a little more with what you would normally release on an EP or a single. So fans can expect anything from riffs, solos, and big choruses to gentle melodies, soft rock, and ballads.”
As I said at the start, you built up quite a momentum supporting the likes of Stone Sour. What did you learn from those experiences?
“Playing with the likes of those bands gives you insight into what level of professionalism you need to be successful in the industry. As a band, we are always learning something new, whether it’s to do with playing or writing or to do with how the industry works. It makes you hungrier after having a little taste of how the people at the top do it.”
You’ve been compared to the true classic rock bands. Would you say that is a fair comparison and who do you think your music would appeal to?
“Yes, that’s a fair comparison. I’d also say our music would appeal to people who like grunge, hard rock, and nu-metal, but it’s quite hard to say really!”
In terms of influences then, what were the bands and albums that changed your life?
“Personally, Nevermind by Nirvana is special to me, it was the first album I had heard which made me fall in love with music. Metallica, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, and TOOL are others that have had a big influence on us. We just love music and you learn something new with each band that you fall in love with, they all have something to offer which you didn’t know before!”
As three lifelong friends, how did you end up in a band and was it through a shared love of music?
“Yes, we had been in different bands before with other people and one day we happened to play a cover song together at a local band day, like a band karaoke where everyone meets up and plays covers. When we played together something just felt right, we decided to start as a band about five minutes after we had played together, and we have been on the journey together ever since!”
There must be some embarrassing stories along the way you have about each other… care to share any?
“We have got plenty of stories and made a lot of memories, but I’m not sure what I can share with you; I’m sorry, my lips are sealed! One day though, way in the future, I would like to write a book about our journey and all will be revealed in that!”
2020 has been quite a busy year for you despite all that has been going on. What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and then 2022?
“It would be nice to see out the end of the year with all our plans still happening. With COVID seemingly getting worse again, all we can do is try to keep each other safe and keep venues open at the same time! Same goes with 2022, I just hope we can do our business safely and smoothly!”
And as we’re nearing the end, what can fans expect if they turn up early and catch your set when you support Bokassa next month?
“You can expect a show full of energy, we love what we do, and put 100 percent into every show!”
Thanks for your time. Over to you to wrap things up…
“I would just like to thank you again for featuring us, and to everyone who has taken the time to read this. Please give our album a listen, follow us on social media, and come say hi at a show! We fucking love you all!”
Upcoming Tour Dates (w/ Bokassa):
10/13 – Southampton – The Engine Rooms
10/14 – Manchester – Rebellion
10/16 – Dublin – Grand Social
10/17 – Belfast – Voodoo
10/19 – Glasgow – Audio
10/20 – Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
10/21 – Cardiff – The Globe
10/22 – London – The Underworld