Tell us a little about how you first go into playing music.
I first learned to pick a guitar in the seventies with the aid of a Leonard Cohen song book. First song was Bird on a Wire which I still play from time to time. I still play from time to time but it’s only for pleasure.
Back in the sixties I lived in a town near London which had the benefit of !The Toby Jug Blues Club every Wednesday. It was a ten minute walk from my home at the time though sadly I understand a supermarket now stands on the original site. Those really were the days when it was all happening around London. and this club became a sought after venue for emerging talent. I remember then it cost five shillings to get in (less than 50 cents). I was 14 years old when I first went and totally bowled over.
Who would you say are your main influences?
We saw bands like Led Zep and Fleetwood Mac regularly, along with Status Quo, John Mayal, Chicken Shack,Canned Heat,Captain Beefheart, and too many others to mention. I really love the blues in all its forms as well as rock music. Coming from the flower power generation my main influences are also from that time. I would say
Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Cream, Hendrix , Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Fleetwood Mac and Melanie would just about cover the main ones.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
As a songwriter with about ten songs to my name so far, I really like “Into The Darkness”, even though It’s far from the kind of material most music fans are looking for. My latest song “Sisters of Soul” was released last month by NUB Country Music, with “Avalon Dream” on the other side. Sisters of Soul is contemporary folk rock and you can find out more on my new website here at Peterthelast.com where you can dowload free music in exchange for joining my mailing list.
What projects are you working on that we should look out for?
My most successful song to date has been “Falling In To You” by “The Ultimate Taste Band” which made three of the US airplay charts simultaneously in the spring.
How can we stay up to date with what you are up to?
Right now I am collaborating with Italian composer and producer Giovanni Amighetti on a few songs that are due to be recorded in early 2015. Giovanni also invited me
to contribute to a NASA backed music project with David Rhodes (Peter Gabriel’s guitarist) and I have written some material for that as well.
How did Flower Girl get started?
John: Flower Girl grew organically out of a former band three of our members were in,(John and Bill on guitar, Rick playing bass.) A more straight ahead heavy rock band with vocals.
Rick: We were very much a Stooges kind of rock band, nothing like Flower Girl at all.
John: We started experimenting with long unstructured improvisations that eventually morphed into actual songs. To these songs we then added new elements and extended them with even more improvisations (I hate to use the word “jams”). Hence, our songs are structured to such a degree that they are never played the same way twice.
Rick: Over time, larger and larger chunks of practice time were dedicated to playing this way until the old band didn’t exist any more. Bill brought Mike in one day to play drums and he never left. That was Summer/Fall 2004. It’s been Flower Girl been ever since.
What are your main influences and which albums have shaped your sound?
Rick: I think it’s different for all of us as far as individual influences go, but as a band we draw deeply from the psych well. The old as well as the new. You’re just as likely to hear Grateful Dead influences as you are to hear the Black Angels or Deerhunter.
John: The whole cosmic chain of heavy/acid/ psych/space bands: Hawkwind, Amon Duul, Sabbath, Stooges, Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, AMT, High Rise, Mainliner, The Dead, BJM, Warlocks. Circle. The list could go on and on. Also elements from other genres like pop music, Indian classical music, free jazz, prog rock.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
John: Being selected Good Will Cultural Ambassadors by the United Nations in 2009, which enabled us to deliver our unique brand of psych rock to deprived populations around the globe. Also our new release Vol. VI.
Rick: That or Mike completing the seven shamanic levels of consciousness. No small task there, but he’s a gamer. A good review also makes my day.
What is the band going to be working on next?
John: Volume 7 of course, hopefully out next year. Maybe some deeper space explorations, more sitar, electronics, woodwinds. Also more heavy freak-out guitar stuff!!
Rick: New songs. We have a lot of those in various stages of completion. Also a video or two. The video for ERF – 2017 will be finished soon and then we’ll be doing one for One of the Joes. And yes, Volume 7 and hopefully 8,9, and 10 on and on and on.
How can we keep tabs on what you guys are up to?
John: Check Bandcamp or Facebook for new releases. Email us, write to us, call Billy on his new phone or if your in Philly stop by the cookie factory and ask for Mikey “Moon”, our esteemed drummer, he just might give you the low down in person.
For the benefit of anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last ten years…who on earth are you?
I started Do4Self Records as a movement not just a label. Indy artists need a former to be reap the full benefit of their hard work. Iíve been in the business for over 10 years, started as Black Majik with Soldiez At War a we sold over 100,000 units of our first album. A few years with that crew and a record deal later I became a solo act because my taste in music kept growing. As Mr. Palmer I incorporate Rap, EDM, and Chicago-House is in my roots.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
Freedom of expression drives me; providing a real examination of the type of environment I grew up in, the same neighborhoods that so many kids still have to attempt to survive. Jumping on stage and just painting that picture of my world for the audience and them sharing it with me at that moment is the best thing about being in the music business.
Is there a secret to success?
No secret at all because for many of the greats the keys to success are the same: never be afraid to change and keep the passion for music in you. I like all genres and try something new every time I head into the studio.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Best moments in the business so far have been starting the label, Do4Self Records did that late last year. In my life in general of course its the birth of my two children, my daughter Bailey and my son Dre. Now we are launching a clothing line to support our brand movement.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
Leaving a lot of the street and gangster style behind me – I’m still going to make music about where I have been but now I see its better to change it up and make more music about the many other aspects of my life, and the world around me. Its hard to let the past and your old environment behind you in some cases so I just focused on where I’m going in life – I’m the self made CEO not some thug. So it was easy at that point to change my stage name and build all new material around who I am evolving into – enter Mr. Palmer.