George Samaras, otherwise known as Plastic Flowers, has made some significant changes in his life. After moving to London and the release of the band's debut album, Evergreen, the Greek-native found himself stuck with a creative block. Some issues in his life compounded to the point where he couldn't write or even touch an instrument for months. He realized that he could no longer create as a band and amicably parted ways with fellow bandmate Angelos Paschalidis.

As Plastic Flowers became Samaras' solo project, his concentration on more synth-driven songs increased. Plastic Flowers' second record, Heavenly, is the result of making the changes he felt necessary and self-examination over the two years in which they happened. Samaras sees his music as a part of the dream pop world, in which some of his main influences are Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Spiritualized. Andrew Darley talked to George about the dark period he had to overcome to make Heavenly.

Plastic Flowers is now a solo project and no longer a band. Has this change influenced your creative process?

Yes, I think so. I decided last year to choose a new path in my life and in order to follow it I couldn't keep playing in a band anymore. It is definitely easier and allows me to experiment in-depth, use the appropriate equipment alone and develop new ideas only when I feel ready to do so. It is kind of stressful to be member of a band nowadays.

Did you begin then with a clear idea of what you wanted to write and how you would do it?

There was no clear idea at all, just an instant spark that marked the beginning. The first song I wrote was 'She Fades'. I clearly remember that day: friends came to my place and I left them to record in my room. We were listening to Mojave 3 for two hours and somehow Rachel's voice guided the opening chords of the track.

You've said that Heavenly details the past two years of your life. Can you tell me about what happened during this period?

After the release of Evergreen in 2014, I felt empty and couldn't record any new material for months. At first I thought it was temporary but it took me nearly two years to get back on track. As a band we wasted a good opportunity to sign with a big record label and that totally destroyed me. Heavenly talks about these two stressful years. I've been through a couple of breakups and while trying to recover, it was necessary to focus on my job, complete my degree and play gigs. The weirdest part is that I couldn't even touch any instruments for months because I had no inspiration at all. Then somehow, out of nowhere we recorded Summer of 1992 EP, which was the beginning of something new for me.

How did you arrive at the title Heavenly for the album?

Two close friends of mine died from cancer last year and although am not a religious person, I wanted to believe that they somehow "teleported" to another world where they are happy and healthy again.

What mood did you want to start the record with on the first song 'Stay Home'?

I was sick and at home alone listening to some insane drum recordings I did in a basement. They couldn't fit with an earlier song so I started a new project on my tape recorder where I cropped the drum tracks and sampled every little sound I could hear in my flat.

Is it a sample of your own cat in there?

Yes, Flamingo was hungry and very tired of hearing all these crazy sound textures. I'm a huge fan of Run the Jewels' meowing remix album so I immediately placed the microphone in front of my cat. He nailed it.

A number of its songs appear to be about relationships. Does songwriting give you clarity in your life?

Some of these songs are indeed about people that I fell in love with. In fact, 'Mary (Del)' and 'Silence Again' talk about my previous relationships as I wanted to keep those memories "alive". I like to use weird tunings to create dreamy melodies. The past can always be a good guide for the future.

You've released your records on cassettes and vinyl. What would you say to people who argue they're dead formats?

When I was young I liked to copy and rewrite cassette tapes. On long road trips with my parents, the Walkman was my favorite gadget. There is something very romantic about these two formats. Technically, nothing compares to the analog sound and CDs are just a cheap piece of lifeless polycarbonate plastic.

What are your goals now as Plastic Flowers?

I am going to release a new EP this summer, called Absent Forever and it will be accompanied by a limited pressing too. I'm currently shooting two new videos and will also be touring Europe in September.

How do you hear this album progressing from Evergreen?

I guess that my lo-fi side is resting now. During the recordings of Evergreen I was only 23 years old and a rookie in production, so I had no idea what I was doing. Evergreen was an honest and very optimistic album, while on Heavenly I explored uncharted waters.

Do you think you've changed personally after moving to London?

Life in London seems like a rollercoaster. When I first moved here in 2014 I felt very strange and lonely. Maybe I'm growing up faster than before. I get nostalgic sometimes and am also very shy. However, moving away from Greece was an easy decision as life there is getting harder every day.

Heavenly is out now.