Q&A: Lead singer Zach Grace of Flor on their sophomore album, ‘Ley Lines,’ tour life

The West Coast alternative band will play the Amsterdam Bar this Wednesday.

From left, Kyle Hill, Zach Grace, McKinley Kitts and Dylan Bauld. Courtesy of Travie Shotos.

From left, Kyle Hill, Zach Grace, McKinley Kitts and Dylan Bauld. Courtesy of Travie Shotos.

Norah Kleven

Where did you draw inspiration for your latest album, ‘Ley Lines?’ 

We actually mostly drew inspiration from myself, and I know that sounds kind of silly, but it’s true. After touring on ‘Come Out. You’re Hiding.’ for as long as we had, we had a really clear idea of where we wanted to go next with our sound. And really, all we wanted to do was capture the live energy that we have from ‘Come Out. You’re Hiding.’ [Tour]. So that was our goal, just to pour that energy and that kind of rocky, more rock-driven feel into the music. And I think we accomplished it with ‘Ley Lines.’ 

What does the name ‘Ley Lines’ mean to you?

It’s this idea that these important places of power are connected. And that connecting factor is called a ley line … spiritually, it’s like a place of power. It can help to ground you. And it can give you the confidence to kind of keep pushing forward. When we started writing this album, I’d been having a lot of trouble writing. I wasn’t finding inspiration. I wasn’t focusing on the things that were important to me — these anchor points, if you will. And I found it in my friends. I found it in my family. Obviously, I find it in music — all kinds of music — whether it’s our own, or another artist’s … and that’s kind of the same for the whole band. We set out these points. We set out what we wanted to accomplish and we followed that goal and in the end, it’s created this path. So it really seemed to make too much sense when we thought about it. 

Since you released your single ‘Heart’ in 2014, did you ever expect Flor become as big as it did? What has this whole experience been like? 

Yeah, this is always kind of [a] tough question. Because, obviously, when you’re writing in your bedroom, the dream is to someday be playing these songs in front of arenas of people, you know? I never really expected any of this … I didn’t expect people to connect with songs like ‘back again’ and ‘hold on,’ but they did. And it’s what we have always wanted. We’d be lying if we said this isn’t a dream come true. 

Tell me about some of your favorite memories from tour so far. 

It’s all kind of been show-related just because the excitement and the energy from the crowd has been blowing me away. Playing in Austin was absolutely the craziest show we’ve ever played. It just felt like everyone [was] so connected and we were part of a huge thing. [Then] we packed out this room in Boston, and people were singing the songs and dancing around. Everyone was just screaming at the top of their lungs … just being able to look out every night and see all these joyful faces just being stoked to be in a room, listening to music and being together … that’s been my favorite [part] of it all. 

What is the achievement you are most proud of? 

It’s cool to have hit 100 million streams on our debut album. That’s a whole lot more streams than I ever thought would happen. We’re also just stoked that we get to come back to these rooms [where] we’ve opened for other artists and just sell them out and fill them with that same energy and that same excitement that we’ve had the honor of being a part of with other bands. There’s really not a feeling like it. It’d be … impossible to describe it to you, I think. Maybe it’s a bit like being a proud parent. Maybe that’s the closest you can get to it. 

What is the dynamic like on tour? 

Well, it’s a lot of work … we’re demanding the most from ourselves and that is kind of manifesting itself in lack of sleep, exhaustion and all kinds of fun, exciting ways that we’re pushing to the extremes. But through it all, we remember that we’re a team. We’re brothers and sisters at this point. We’re family. So the goal is to keep that in mind. You know it’s amazing what kicking a soccer ball around can do for your mood. We bought a soccer ball and we’ve just been kicking around on tour. And even that has just been making us feel so connected and it’s a great stress relief. 

What: flor, with joan and Lostboycrow

When: Wednesday, Oct. 2

Where: Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Cost: $18

Ages: all ages

This interview has been lightly edited for style and clarity.