Ninties alternative rock band Oleander is planning their return to the music scene this year as they prepare to release their first new album in over six years. After the band's last release Joyride in 2003, lead singer Thomas Flowers said the band was ready for a break.
“We toured relentlessly, we had done anything that was ever asked of us and more by the record labels, and the payoff was diminishing,” Flowers told Alternative Addiction in a recent interview. “So we made a conscious decision to get back to normal life.”
The members of the band decided to go on unofficial hiatus in 2004, and spent the remaining years working on other projects. Flowers started collaborating in the band Black Summer Crush, it wasn’t until late last year that Flowers began to start thinking about making another Oleander record.
“I just started writing again for Oleander. I just picked up a guitar and started thinking about the guys, and the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met, and the music that we left behind,” said Flowers. “There was just so much left that I wanted to say and that I wanted to write.”
After he made up his mind that there was still another chapter to the Oleander story, Flowers reunited with his bandmates for a rehearsal. The band’s reconnection was almost instant, with an inspired mood the band not felt since their early days together.
“It was like exactly where we left off but without the baggage,” said Flowers. “Without the tension of four guys that had been basically living together for seven years, it was so creatively inspiring.”
While Flowers is proud of the new music that he’s created with his band, but he wouldn’t go so far as to say that the sound was an extreme departure from their previous work.
“I could tell you that it’s different, but its not,” Flowers admitted. “It’s going to retain all the elements of Oleander’s musical past, but the difference is its going to reflect where we are today, both lyrically, melodically, and sonically. It’s going to take on different characteristics of growth and change.”
Flowers says that because the music the band is recording is so honest, its only fitting that it would carry a similar style to their previous albums.
“The cool thing about music when you are being honest with it is that it’s always an extension of who you are,” Flowers said. “In some ways you can’t get away from a sound that is yours, because that is what really makes a successful band successful.”
Ultimately Flowers is looking forward to the opportunity to have fans hear his music again start playing for them live.
“I’m in a rush, I can’t wait to get a record out, our goal is to get a record out this year,” explained Flowers. “I’m dying to get back out around the country and reconnect with the fans.”
Since rumors surfaced that the band was reuniting, they’ve been offered to play a number of shows through out the country but have decided to wait until the time is right.
“We keep turning them down because all our focus right now is to get the record done, and to be able to play big shows out of the gate rather than playing little tune up shows,” Flowers explained. “I’m really looking forward to re-establishing ourselves and forcing the industry to look at us instead of having the upper hand on us.”
In the end Flowers feels that Oleander can still write songs that can connect with people, and because of that, making another record with the band is absolutely worth it.
“It all comes down to the music that you put out and the song strength, and what we are writing right now is sincere, and with our fans, I don’t see any way that we can put out a record and not make an impact again.”
Fans can follow Oleander’s progress on their new album at their myspace page at: Myspace.com/oleanderofficial or on their facebook group. Additionaly, fans can contact Thomas Flowers directly at his webpage at: Thomasflowers.net.
Listen To Alternative Addiction's Interview with Thomas Flowers