Sustainable futures, artistic credit and the bold message of Full Flower Moon Band’s LP Chinatown

The potent pairing of Babyshakes Dillon and Gabriella Cohen, Full Flower Moon Band recently kicked their pyramid scheme to the next level with Chinatown, an incredible audiovisual release which was both an album and a feature film at once.

A bold move which certainly defies the modus operandi of your average Australian indie band, we were blown away by both the production value and artistic intent with which Chinatown was handled.

Ahead of a tour supporting the album, we caught up with frontwoman Dillon for a chat.

full flower moon band babyshakes dillon gabriella cohen chinatown movie

Off the back of a film release paired with their magnificent album Chinatown, we get the latest from Melbourne’s Full Flower Moon Band.

HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

BABYSHAKES: Hi, I’m good. We just finished playing a show and I’m just online looking for accommodation in LA.

HAPPY: How did the Chinatown movie screening go?

BABYSHAKES: The premiere night was amazing. People laughed at great moments and gave the film new life that I could not have seen while editing it.
We also had an awards ceremony at the end and gave out trophies to the lead actors and producer.

HAPPY: You say the album and film follows “an artist living in the future”. Who is this protagonist? What has happened to music and art in this future?

BABYSHAKES: I am the protagonist. In the future, where you spend your time and energy contributes to your line of ‘credit’. Because the earth is a sustainable place, having food and shelter and healthcare is a given and this way artists are able to have sustainable art practices without the threat of poverty. However, if your work is considered to contribute to society in a larger way, then your credit grows.

HAPPY: I think it’s awesome what you’ve done, going for a film alongside an album. Where did the idea come from?

BABYSHAKES: I became very interested in the ‘hero journey’, and the ‘8 plot points’. I had already been sketching ideas for the future of society, like city planning and credit systems. It became impossible not to apply all of this to write a concept album/film.

HAPPY: Favourite music film ever? I’m partial to The Wall or Interstellar 555.

BABYSHAKES: 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini), The Holy Mountain, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Blade Runner.

HAPPY: Chinatown, the album, has been out for a few weeks now. How has the world been taking it so far?

BABYSHAKES: I had sent the record to a lot of labels before its release, and no one seemed to think it was worth anything financially. So I am pleased to work on my next project now.

HAPPY: You’re heading down to Sydney for a Tuesday night gig with Cobra Club. Is this your first Sydney show with FFMB?

BABYSHAKES: Yes, and I am very excited. We played the same club with Gabriella Cohen a few years ago, so I know what to expect which is good.

HAPPY: What’s the best thing you ever got up to on a Tuesday night?

BABYSHAKES: Renting $1 movies on Cheap Tuesday when Blockbusters where still around.

HAPPY: You have a few other shows on the horizon but otherwise, what’s coming up?

BABYSHAKES: Gabriella and I are moving to LA at the end of November. So exciting. Please spread the word.

HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!


Catch Full Flower Moon Band on their Chinatown album tour, including a free show at Sydney’s weekly Cobra Club.