Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

WY Premiere: Grave Flowers Bongo Band Listen to the exclusive album premiere of Flower Pot 

/ PRV
Photos: Maya Eslami

Gabe Flores works at Walt’s Bar on Eagle Rock Blvd, the pinball beer and wine spot on the corner of the street with the old timey hand-painted sign on top that says “PINBALL” and “HOT DOGS” and “FINE WINE.”The inside of Walt’s is bursting with color and texture and the kind of light that spills in midday and makes your mellow wine buzz feel all the more mellow. There are six or seven or eight pinball machines along one wall, the old school machines that remind you of your childhood and drinking classic Coke out of a bottle. It’s a very chill place. And really no surprise that when Gabe isn’t working here, he’s chilling here with his bearded dragon Bloodbath, and even making friends with customers who let him sit on their ostrich outfitted motorcycle. See below

When Gabe Flores isn’t chilling at Walt’s or working at Walt’s, he’s making music, writing songs, and shredding. Gabe plays in two LA-based bands, Hooveriii, a predominantly metal band that is so hesh your neck hurts after listening to them. His other band is Grave Flowers Bongo Band – get the name thing he did there? And yes, their sound is full of bongo, all around, but it’s also melodic, Eastern inspired, full of trancelike instruments that could easily be mistaken for sitars and tablas. His new album Flower Pot sounds like something the Stones would’ve recorded at Keith Richard’s Villa Nellcote, high on acid, hallucination surrounding them. Brian Jones on bongos, wearing a Cheshire Cat grin. So how did a hesh metal head whip out such a playful collection of songs? “My inspiration was really about having a good time at home jamming with friends all acoustic style and not pissing off the neighbors.”
The album starts off on a faraway planet, with an upbeat, playful rhythm, Gabe’s distorted vocals slowly pouring in as if sung through the tube of a vacuum cleaner. For the recording process, Gabe enlisted Vaughn Christensen on bongo and Andy Calyonbass, and did all of the other instrumentation himself. “I just wanted to do something different,” he says, “especially coming from my background with a lot of heavy, loud ass bands.” That faraway planet vibe plays out through the expanse of nine tracks on Flower Pot, weaving in and out of consciousness, through instrumental tracks and the psychedelic meandering of a mind unleashed on fun. You can even hear the band laughing between tracks. “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.” That ethos shows throughout, especially in the fluidity of how they play, like a jam, amongst friends, maybe stoned, cruising a wave of acute, aware experimentation. “I didn’t even look at my guys Andy and Vaughn ’til the end of the tune. We just jammed to what felt right.”
“I started working on Flower Pot almost a year ago,” Gabe says, “after I played in Landers, this funky town where the Integratron and Giant Rock are, and E.T’s!” Some songs were written years ago, others spilled out moments before take off, and even some in the natural process of creativity emptying out once tapped. Permanent Records is releasing Flower Pot digitally and on vinyl November 16th. “I hope it’ll find loving mother and father lizards and chillers in beautiful Los Angeles.” We’re doing a special sneak peek preview exclusively on WY, so strap yourself into something and press play. This is the kind of album you leave on all day long. Maybe you’re paying attention, maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re on acid daydreaming about Nellcote. But it will sink into you. Like a hallucination, or a round of pinball in the afternoon light. -Maya Eslami 

Sign up for letters from What Youth