Be careful what you wish for...it may come true.
Typically uttered in cautionary tones, the warning to be wary of realized dreams has always held an air of eerie danger; foreboding intent. The pervasion of negative connotation asserts how no good can come from that which is pined for.
In the case of Toronto-based act Flowerchild, however, their eponymous debut (Awesome/EMI) asserts that hopes and aspirations can not only meet but infinitely surpass preconceived expectations. In other words, those who dare to dream might be graciously surprised.
The brainchild of guitarist/vocalist/leader Gregory Vitale, with its guttural drive, vivaciously virulent melodies, exploratory flow and ardent expression, Flowerchild's brand of rock 'n' roll is the product of a life inherently dedicated to music yet fostered by the coupling of visual and aural mediums.
“I wasn't the quiet sibling...I was the loud one,” Vitale smirks about his earliest memories. “I was always singing around the house as a child but it was when videos really started to become prevalent in the music that I was hooked. I'd watch them religiously; become enthralled with new music and artists. That was my introduction to music. ”
Grasping onto those indelible images and compelling riffs/melodies/beats, Vitale formed the foundation of Flowerchild's undulating groove and spiritual drive. When coupled with influence from revered cousin/musical guru Domenic Troiano (a respected solo artist also known for his work with legendary acts including The Guess Who and The James Gang), Vitale's musical trajectory was set quickly, readily and early in life.
Compelled by a congenital need to create and follow his dream, Vitale opted out of joining his family business, the world-renowned Italpasta. However, as confirmation of his impeccable abilities, the minstrel has in-turn contributed to the corporation's most essential aspects: penning their unforgettable theme song.
At that, after years of absorbing and redefining the influence of Queen, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and other musical masters, Vitale's inherent rock footing and driving rhythmic musculature solidifies with Flowerchild.
“This is the type of record I've always wanted to make,” he beams. “It's got some soul, rock and other interesting aspects thanks to those videos. They were just as influential on me as the music and artist they represented. It was a pivotal time in music. Genres were more open so you could see a video by a rock band, then catch a jazz guy like Herbie Hancock. Being exposed to all those forms of music gave you so much more to draw on as an artist.”
While Vitale's own songwriting and technical prowess are clearly the horsepower behind Flowerchild, the amicable craftsman happily gives credit for its pristine production, refined tracks and impeccably honest delivery where due.
Produced by Jeff Martin (The Tea Party, The Armada), Flowerchild's richness, divine rhythmic fortitude and lush melodies shine with unbridled clarity and boldness. Captured in Martin's County Cork, Ireland studio, these tracks are the result of the pair's complete immersion in its composition. Virtually living at the facility, the collaborators would hit the studio moments after rising, resting only to discuss the album's direction, approach and outcome.
“He's a guy I always wanted to work with so it was great that he was into it,” Vitale beams, reflecting on the perfect relationship. “We didn't have any computers in the studio because, as he pointed out, you don't make music with your eyes. You make it with your ears. We also didn't overdub or punch-in. We kept going until we really captured the moment because this was a journey.”
“Featuring tracks such as lead single “Time Won't Wait,” “Photograph” and “Raindrops”—a track Vitale proudly reveals is heavily influenced by the refined grace of David Bowie, triggering his own innate creativity—bellowing forth with dynamic virility, congenital catchiness and captivating harmonies, few can argue with Flowerchild's immaculate conception.
Contextually, Vitale reveals that on songs including “Before I Fall” and “New Day Sun,” the album speaks to a universal context: mankind's overall existence. It questions where we see ourselves, invites pause to take stock in our lives, how we are living and the value of our personal legacies.
“Simply put, these songs are about personal experiences,” Vitale declares. “There are some songs about love and whatnot, but I wanted to delve into other subjects that were more meaningful. Some of the songs are thematically driven by native culture and connections to tribal aspects, recognizing things from the past and elements of our environment we need to embrace. Visual accompaniment to the songs helps to bring out those ideas and philosophies.”
Essentially, many people may be careful of what they wish for in fear of it turning out drastically different than expected. In the case of Flowerchild, Vitale—and, in essence, the band—did much more. By taking that dream and making it a reality without any preconceptions, it has blossomed into its own entity replete with sincerity, vision and one hell of a lot of kick-ass hooks.
“This isn't generic radio music. It's honest. From the way we recorded every note without being absolutely perfect to what the lyrics represent, these songs are natural,” Vitale asserts. “You can hear the hurt in them; the pain and the joy. You can hear how we bleed; cry because it's passionate and that's what real music should be.”
Be careful what you wish for...it may come true.