"My imagination tends to take me to dark places which can make reality difficult because I’m constantly imagining the worst case scenario... It’s good for writing songs but bad for trying to have a settled mental existence.” - Florence Welch, on the pros and cons of being unbelievably creative.
“Something in me is dissatisfied and I’m striving to understand myself and striving to understand why I do things, and why I act the way I do.” - Florence Welch, on using music as a jounrey of self-discovery.
“I do things with enthusiasm rather than skill but my voice is the one instrument I can control and use properly as opposed to just hitting things, like the piano or the drums.” - Florence Welch, on mastering her voice.
Feb 8, 2010. By Jordana Borensztajn.
Florence Welch creates a fantasy world for fans which isn’t too far from her own reality. Filled with burning passion, intense emotion and explosive imagery, the UK songbird thrives on creating songs that boast dark and disturbing themes inside beautiful musical arrangements.
According to the 24-year-old, the conflict created by this juxtaposition closely mirrors her day-to-day. “I’m so overjoyed by music and singing for me is such a euphoric thing, but then my own brain is my enemy. I will be thinking about something which will start positive, and then it will turn into something a bit darker,” Welch explains to Nova, looking down while kicking her feet back and forth.
“My music is a mixture of that internal conflict and generally being dissatisfied. Something in me is dissatisfied and I’m striving to understand myself and striving to understand why I do things, and why I act the way I do.
“It’s like with every song, you’re figuring out a piece of your make-up and figuring out a bit of yourself. You’re trying to understand how you see the world but you don’t express it in a way that’s obvious, so you can hide behind it. It means you can confess everything, but you don’t have to say it so literally.”
Welch’s personal journey of discovery – and affirmation – is one that’s resonated with far more people than just her bandmates. In fact, the songbird’s incredible insight and enormous talent has had such an impact on music lovers and industry experts that Florence and the Machine has been touted as one of Q Magazine’s artists of the century, alongside music greats like U2, Kings of Leon and The Killers.
FATM featured on the BBC’s Sound of 2009 list, appeared on last year’s prestigious NME Awards Tour, won last year’s Critics Choice title, and has already been nominated for three 2010 Brit Awards.
Welch says the huge spotlight from these accolades added some pressure, but paled in comparison to her own expectations. Fusing garage rock, punk, jazz, soul and pop, Florence and the Machine pushes any and all boundaries within reach.
Unlike so many of the Lily Allen VS Amy Winehouse artists that have spawned out of the UK over the last few years, Welch is markedly different. She’s modest, creative and uninhibited, with a rawness that’s impossible to replicate. With impeccable control over her voice, Welch uses it like a finely-tuned instrument, and her execution is remarkable. “Not being a skilled musician and not having equipment was probably the factor. I do things with enthusiasm rather than skill but my voice is the one instrument I can control and use properly as opposed to just hitting things, like the piano or the drums. When I first started writing songs – like “Dog Days Are Over ” and “Between Two Lungs” we were doing it in a studio which was about the size of the back of this room and we had one drum. So we had to use the walls, and I had to use my voice to fill in for all the equipment that we didn’t have,” she explains.
“I’ve always had an overactive imagination. I just get into weird thoughts like ‘There’s definitely something under the bed’ or ‘Someone’s going to come into the room’ and my imagination tends to take me to dark places which can make reality difficult because I’m constantly imagining the worst case scenario, like monsters in the bed and all the bad things that can happen. It’s good for writing songs but bad for trying to have a settled mental existence.”
Despite sending the music world spinning over the six to 12 months, Welch admits there was a time, fairly recently, when a record deal seemed doubtful. “There was a six-month period where it seemed like no one would sign me. I wasn’t sure quite sure what music I wanted to make and I hadn’t written songs like “Dog Days Are Over” or “Between Two Lungs.” People wanted me to write a whole album with songs like “Kiss with a Fist” but I didn’t want to go down that garage rock road. I wanted to make something that was a bit different, that was a bit more orchestral; that people could see as beautiful, not just as rocky. But during that period, no one would sign me at all, and that was tough. Gradually I got signed and made this album but it’s taken a long time. I’ve had my whole life to lead up to this moment, and I’ve been working really hard for two years.”