Icelandic songwriter Axel Flóvent has released his first record of 2017. His single, entitled “Quiet Eyes,” comes from Flóvent’s sophomore EP. In 2015, he released the Forest Fires EP, which has since reached streaming numbers of over 20 million. The modern indie folk artist will be out on tour this month supporting fellow artist Ásgeir in support of his latest release, the Quiet Eyes EP. Learn more about Axel Flóvent and his plans for 2017 from his responses and be sure to check out “Quiet Eyes” below.
Three words to describe yourself?
“Terrible with decisions”
Who and what influences your music? Why?
For the biggest part probably my brother – he’s a musician as well – and has been all my life, so I’ve had someone around that has been making and releasing music all my life – and he really motivated me to start to write and record.
I started writing before I knew what the process of writing really meant – and when I had questions I could always ask him and he had the answers.
What are some of your hobbies?
It’s mostly music related things – but I love to draw and paint, take pictures and work on my potential album covers and I skateboard on good occasions.
How often and how long do you practice?
It depends on how you define practicing – I write new ideas, and rotate around gibberish nonsense for about 3-5 hours a day, which includes vocal practicing in a way – but I try to practice my live program an hour a day on good days – but I really should spend more time on that to be honest. 😎
How would you describe your writing process?
Now a days I mostly use this one writing method I really enjoy, I put two mics in two different places in my room and press record, I amplify my guitars and connect my “Nord stage” directly to my computer and I go nuts in writing all kind of nonsense for about an hour – 2 hours a session. Then I go over the recordings and I bounce the ideas I like and I make better shaped demos of those ideas. But sometimes I’m just rehearsing or playing my guitar and I fall into writing mode and start recording ideas on my phone.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Quiet Eyes”?
Well, yeah, I was in the process of recording the Quiet Eyes EP, and the only song we had already recorded back then about a year ago was “Your Ghost” which is the first track on the EP. I was deciding which tracks I wanted to put on the EP and I felt like there was something missing to the few songs I had in mind. Therefore it didn’t really feel like a complete project – those songs combined. There was always one demo that I had recorded few months before on my phone that I really enjoyed and I wanted to finish – and I kept listening to it when I went on tours. And so, in the process of doing the album cover arts for the EP – I created the EP cover for Quiet Eyes – I officially decided that name on that track and the EP. The album cover really influenced the vibe I wanted to create with the track – a little sunset feeling, which created the vibe for the rest of the EP as well. Lyrically it’s about “codependency” and how being codependent can really change who you really are.
What is your favorite track from the upcoming record? Why?
The last song, “Lighthouse” – there are few reasons – the typical reason, it’s still fresh for me, the song is only about a year old. And it keeps evolving for me. It’s actually mostly directed to people around me more then myself, lyrically. It’s a conversation between two couples that have found what they have been “looking” for and now they can stop looking. And they see the best things in their partners cons. “The perfect love story”.
How is your new material different from your previous releases?
It’s mainly just more band-based and bigger in overall production. I feel like it’s a comfortable sequel to the first Forest Fires EP, which for me is more afternoon songs, whilst Quiet Eyes EP is more evening songs.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been addicted to a band I recently discovered called The Midnight lately, the two new tracks from Mr. Jukes (Jack Steadman’s solo project), Mew, and Gorrilaz just released a new album so I’m going to dig deep into those two!
Do you play covers at practices or shows? If so, which ones are your favorites?
Oh man, I’m so lazy when it comes to doing covers and I don’t have any specific once I do in my set yet – but I’m meaning to do that more for sure! But I like doing RnB covers the most – that’s what I do the most at home. The only few covers I’ve done which you can find online is “Swim Good” by Frank Ocean and “Pillowtalk” by ZAYN.
What do you typically do post-gig?
Hmm, I don’t really have a specific post-gig routines, but I try to sit by myself for a little bit before I go out and interact with fans and friends when I’m playing solo. If I’m playing with my band, we celebrate a good show and/or discuss the failures on occasions.
Are there any specific images that you intend to convey through your music?
Yeah, definitely – But it changes with every project I guess. In my new EP Quiet Eyes – it’s a cold Sunset, an evening mixtape. I use “ghosts” a lot in my lyrics on Quiet Eyes “as it is a version of yourself you don’t like – that you have to find a way to control.” But in most of my earlier stuff, I’d use the “forest” and the “sea” a lot.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences thus far?
The most rewarding experience is probably all the tours we got to do last year, and getting spots at festivals such as Slotsfjell and Citadel last summer was quite amazing. I’m still not really over the fact that I’m supporting Ásgeir on his tour in May.
What is something odd you want fans to know about you?
I once dyed my hair green when I was 14 but It only lasted for about 2 months and it was really dark green and not really “all in”- and, yeah, the first artist I really got into was Eminem. I already had 5 of his CDs when I was 10.
What is your favorite kind of cookie?
It’s called “knoppers” and it’s magnificent! – I was kinda addicted to them when I lived in Denmark at the age of 10-12.
Any hidden talents?
When I was 11 I saw a guy, at a similar age as me, master juggling for a talent show and it made me want to learn it – so I guess I know how to juggle – but I’ve come to the conclusion that it was much more impressive back then and not really at all when an adult does it. So, not really a talent at all.
What else can we expect from Axel Flóvent in the coming months?
A whole lot more music and and a whole lot more touring, after this summer!! WOOP!