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Bloomington band Flower Mouth credits social media presence with its success



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The Bloomington band Flower Mouth is composed of four members — Blake McKean, Gus Gonzalez, Chris Koj and Jonathan “JJ” Van Hecke. McKean is photographed on the drums during a concert.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

Members of the local psychedelic rock band Flower Mouth said they value the band's online presence as much as its music.

Flower Mouth is composed of four members: Blake McKean, drummer/percussionist; Gus Gonzalez, vocalist and guitarist; Chris Koj, bassist; and Jonathan “JJ” Van Hecke, keyboardist. The group has been together for approximately a year and a half, and social media has been a big part of the band’s image since the beginning, said Gonzalez, 21. 

The band collectively runs their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, Instagram is the most important, Gonzalez said, and he would know. Gonzalez is the social media manager for the band.

“A band or an artist is always perceived in every possible sense that a human has," Gonzalez said. "The last thing we ever want to do is neglect any sort of visual stimulation that we can offer people.” 

Flower Mouth gets a lot of pictures for their Instagram from friends. But most frequently, the band uses photos from Matt Jaskulski, known to his internet following as “Vibesome,” said McKean, 22. Other photographers the band uses often include Gabby Steenberger and Chava Arymowicz, he said.

The band members use these images for self-promotion, both on the band page and on their personal Instagram accounts. More importantly, the images give Flower Mouth’s listeners a sense of who they are as a group, Gonzalez said. The band's members want to the group to be seen as more than just music but as a visual art form as well, he said. 

“If you want to be a movement, an event, something that people can enjoy together, you’ve gotta be more than just a sound," Gonzalez said. "You’ve got to have an image.”

McKean credits much of the band’s notoriety to its social media. 

“You can play around town, but you’re only going to be playing to a select circle," McKean said. "It’s nice to branch out to people who might not even be in that scene or might not even know who the heck we are.” 

Gonzalez also said that he thinks social media is the key to musical success. He said that he believes social media holds a kind of power that other advertising methods don’t have.

“As much as I hate to say it, Instagram rules the world,” Gonzalez said. “Most bands around the world are neglecting the power of social media. It’s the power of the internet, it’s communication. It’s being a part of something that’s bigger than what you are.”

Even though social media is an important marketing tool, Flower Mouth still wants to show its love for their fans through social media, McKean said. The band members view their fans as a community, he said, and social media helps this community continue to grow.

“Really what we want to emphasize is love and togetherness, because that’s the most important thing to us," said McKean. "I think that it helps with that.” 

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