Vincent Florist is one of Athens' newest bands, comprised of Ethan Philips, Josiah Slaughter and Dylan Campbell. With around 350 Instagram followers and two songs as part of their repertoire, the band is still in its beginning stages, but the trio have been able to play in Athens alongside other local bands such as In Flow and A-Go-Go.
The band’s roots lead all the way back to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Philips and Slaughter grew up together.
“We played football together and then we met really in middle school, in seventh grade,” Philips, lead singer and guitarist for Vincent Florist, said. “I knew he played drums, I played guitar and I didn't really know how to play, but I had a couple songs and I was learning covers. We started jamming and then many years down the line, we had other members join, but we've always stuck together.”
Meanwhile, Campbell, the current bassist, joined Vincent Florist after a random encounter with Philips and Slaughter.
“I met both of them at a pizza job,” Campbell said. “I actually remember I was hanging out with my girlfriend at the time and I got a Snapchat message from Josiah asking if I played bass and if I'd want to come over and jam with them. From that day on, I’ve been here.”
Vincent Florist pulls inspiration from many musical genres including alternative and punk, which they love. Slaughter said the band pulls from sounds of the late 1960s classic rock scene and 1990s alternative groups like The Smashing Pumpkins. They also gain inspiration from rap.
“It's like a psychedelic alternative,” Philips said.
The trio has also found solace in each other, especially through collaboration.
“I think for me a big thing is the collaboration because I’ve been learning instruments since I was 14,” Campbell said. “Doing that on your own and learning and writing songs is fun, but ever since I joined up with them, my writing ability has greatly improved because of the collaboration and being able to bounce ideas around and hang out with them.”
Witnessing their musical visions turn into a reality is another advantage Vincent Florist has noted as a result of their formation.
“Having a group to be able to take the ideas in our heads and make it a reality instead of just being like, ‘Oh, I got this guitar part,’ I know Dylan can help me write this part and then Josiah hops on the drums and then we have a song. That's a really cool feeling,” Philips said.
“We're sitting on an album right now,” Philips said. “We're planning to hopefully release probably two more albums this year. We’re focusing on recording and then we're going to play probably Cincinnati shows, grow our social media and start playing festivals. Just keep moving up and up and up.”
For now, Slaughter says listeners can stay up to date with Vincent Florist via Instagram.
As the band looks ahead to the future, they are excited to continue to play in Athens and spread their following throughout the Midwest.
“We're planning on branching out into the Cincinnati area, but (also) anywhere that we can in Ohio,” Slaughter said. “We (want) to reach out into Kentucky and then eventually even Indiana, just really growing where we're able to play and meet people, so (we’re) excited to keep on pushing.”