Q&A with the author of Florence Welch's biography – Zoe Howe!

Przedstawiamy jedyny wywiad z autorką An Almighty Sound – Zoe Howe zgodziła się odpowiedzieć na kilka naszych pytań dotyczących procesu tworzenia tej wyjątkowej dla nas książki i oto one!

We’re incredibly glad to present you the unique Q&A with Zoe Howe – the author of An Almighty Sound. Zoe agreed to answer some of our questions and here they are!


1. When have you first heard of Florence and the Machine?
I listen to BBC Radio 6Music, who were very early supporters of FATM, so they played her quite a bit. I will never forget first hearing ‘Kiss With A Fist’. The frenzied energy of the song and the clarity of Florence’s unusual voice really made me sit up. Also, it was angry and fun at the same time, major key, playful vibe, but obviously about an unhappy, violent relationship, so that was confounding and interesting in itself!


2. Why did you decide to write a biography of Florence Welch? What made you choose this particular title?

I was commissioned to write the book by my publisher because I had some history of writing about strong, interesting and influential women from the music world (my first book was the biography of punk band The Slits, for example). I agreed because I knew there was something different about her and I knew there would be an interesting story. I really enjoyed getting to know her path in greater depth, it made me appreciate her music more, and her style.


3. Where did you find all this information about Florence? We know that there is a lot of info based on interviews and articles you can find on the internet, but there is also some that you can read only in your book. Did you meet any of her friends or relatives or even Florence herself? If so, was it difficult to get in touch with any of nearest and dearest of her?
Well, I spent hours and hours researching every scrap of information I could find, trying to get away from the obvious stuff, but I also interviewed former colleagues from art school and beyond, early adopters of her music in the business, people who had worked with her… Unfortunately it was made clear to me that there wouldn’t be a way to interview her or those very close to her, which on the one hand I can understand but it was a real shame, and it was not for want of trying. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I always made it clear it wasn’t going to be a ‘hatchet job’ – I’m not that kind of author anyway (why would you want to spend over a year of your life doing someone down?) – it was always very much aimed at Florence’s fans, and so naturally it was going to be a celebration of Florence and her career so far. That was the angle I took.


4. How much time did it take for you to write this book?
About 18 months.


5. Do you have any favourite track by Florence and the Machine?
What The Water Gave Me.


6. After having written the book, did your perception of Florence as an artist and as an individual change? Did she become ‘Flo’ not ‘Florence’ to you?
Yes, I definitely could appreciate her more, and I was seriously impressed by how kind she is to her fans, who are clearly devoted to her! When you have that level of adulation it is important to take responsibility – she clearly is such a role model to so many young people – and you can see that she takes that seriously.


7. Did writing this book influence you in some way? Did ‘the Florence story’ inspire somehow?
Writing about and learning more about creative people always inspires, definitely. Florence is a visual artist too and very creative in every way – how she dresses, decorates her space, writes songs… so maybe that helped to wake up my own creativity a bit.


8. Did you know that your book was translated to Polish? We believe that it’s the only translation besides the original one.
Yes, I worked with the translator on it, who was great to work with. I know there is also a huge amount of interest in Brazil for a translation, so I really hope that happens soon!


9. Do you know how many books were printed and how many of them were sold? As far as we know, all the fans were very excited when they heard that the book was going to be published. What’s more, when the information that there is Polish translation coming soon came out, all the Polish Flows were more than pleased!
I don’t, I’m sorry. But I am very glad there is a Polish translation and that the Polish Flows are happy!


10. We were lucky enough to meet Florence and her Machine backstage in Cracow before CLMF 2013 concert. We took some of your books with us. We are sending you the scans of the covers signed by Flo herself. We think you should be proud!
That’s so lovely, I am proud! It always feels strange when you have written a book and haven’t had contact with the artist themselves directly, so this was kind of the closest I came to acknowledgement and I was thrilled when I heard this. Thank you.


EXCLUSIVE: Zoe revealed us a little secret! She’s working on another biography… a biography of Florence’s biggest inspiration, a woman, who has inspired her in the most intensive way – STEVIE NICKS! Florence has mentioned Stevie in many interviews, saying she’s the one, who had inspired almost everything about her – her style, her music taste, her sense of beauty and many other aspects of Florence’s every-day-life. Soon we’ll have the perfect oportunity to find out more about the amazing artist!



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