By Mike O’Cull www.mikeocull.com
Flame of Life exists on the fringes of every music scene there is. Together since 2015, the group makes experimental music that defies description, so much so that the band considers itself to be in a genre of its own called Lazer. The members come from backgrounds in industrial, nu-metal, and goth but have created a sound that can’t be bound by such simple descriptions. One listen to their recent 25-track album Red Sunset will confirm that the band is playing music the world hasn’t heard before and doing so in a deeply artistic way.
Flame of Life’s DJ Arxonix was gracious enough to spend some time with the crew and I at the Mike O’Cull Music home office and studio complex not long ago and brought us up to speed on the inner workings of one of the most compelling outsider bands working today. Here are the highlights of our conversation. Check out Flame of Life on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/lamefife.
How did Flame of Life begin?
It started in 2015 when vocalist Fazer and guitarist The Bottle decided to make music together. They knew each other before. Dead Flower answered the ad and soon joined the band. The guy lived in a cemetery prior to joining. We don’t know why but he did. I met Fazer in the club where I used to work. I was offered to join so I became the fourth member.
Would it be accurate to call Flame of Life’s style experimental or avant-garde?
Yes, it’s really experimental. When we first appeared, people didn’t know what kind of music it was. There was nothing like it, so we called it Lazer.
What is your most recent release?
Red Sunset is the most recent album. It was released in 2019 and there are 25 songs.
Who or what influences your music?
We’ve come from different styles but they’re pretty much from industrial, nu-metal and grunge. Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Alice in Chains, etc. Fazer is a fan of Marilyn Monroe, though.
Describe your creative process.
Usually we come together and start to record new songs. Some of us have pretty much material by that time. We like to experiment mixing sounds into something strange or create new effects. Every instrument sounds special. We’re trying to stay away from any other genre to be unique. It’s about song structure too.
Why do you make music?
We like this process. We’re not friends but like making music together in the way we do. I’m not sure we’re going to become popular because our style is too strange for most people. Fazer and The Bottle say we must not be too popular. It can kill our underground atmosphere.
Does Flame of Life have a message to communicate?
There’s no common concept. Every song has its own message. Our common message is to show people Lazer and share our atmosphere.
Is your music political?
No, absolutely not. We don’t like to be too particular. Our songs rarely take up particular events and stuff like that. Usually, it’s about personal feelings. Some of them are about ecology, though.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2020?
We have some stuff and plan to record new songs. Also we’re going to promote the latest release.
What have you been listening to lately?
Adema, Filter, Society 1, The Mars Volta, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Mushroomhead (especially the song “Indifferent”), and Pearl Jam!
What’s the most important thing listeners should know about Flame of Life?
Flame of Life is the thing you can’t understand completely. We can't even do that. It’s always going to be something unreachable, strange and sometimes scary.