Tuesday, 14 August 2012

FUTURES // Interview & Live Review

Having just finished up on the Karma Tour Futures have had a busy year thus far. After leaving their deal with Mercury behind the four-piece went it alone, launching self built record label Indigo and releasing their debut album shortly after. 

Est.1987 headed down to Manchester’s Sound Control as Futures headlined the “A Declaration All Dayer”. We chatted to the guys about the new record, making the right decisions and having a Bon Jovi moment!

"We're coming for you boardmasters,
we just have heat and traffic to deal with first."

You were down in Newquay yesterday playing at Boardmasters and Manchester tonight; good weekend? – You got a bit hot in the traffic I saw?
ANT [West, vocals]- Yeah, that wasn’t our legs I will tell you that! [laughing] He didn’t pose for that photo, it actually happened and we just documented it! But yeah Newquay was fun, it was good to be by the sea.

You just finished up on the Karma tour last month after postponing it because of the album; how was that? How did the new songs go down and is it nice to finally be able to play stuff other than songs from The Holiday?
ANT- The tour was really great; highlights were like London and Manchester and it was cool to get out there and play again.
CHRISTIAN [Ward, bass]- We’ve been waiting to play the new songs for ages so it was awesome to finally get out there and be able to play them.
GEORGE [Lindsay, drums]- It was definitely a relief!

Futures "The Karma Album"

You left Mercury and set up Indigo to release “The Karma Album”. Your last EP [“The Holiday”] came out in 2010; is it nice to finally have a full length release out to show musical progression and a new dynamic to the band?
ANT- Yeah, I mean it’s coming up to two years since we started writing the new album and then recorded it eighteen months ago. So to have everyone listening to your old stuff when you have new stuff written is kind of weird so it’s good to get it out.

The album has gone down so well; is it kind of a relief? Made everything worth it now?
CASEY [Roarty, guitar]- Yeah, we definitely came out on top in terms of getting off our old label; it could have been a lot worse.

Futures on stage in Manchester
Yeah, it was quite a bold move to leave a major label; was there any point where you were regretting it or did you always know that you had made the right decision?
ANT- There was probably like a week of decision making…
CHRISTIAN- Those thoughts go through your mind, because you’re leaving quite a big thing. Your whole life you are thinking that’s what we have to get, get a major deal
CASEY- …and then you’ve got to get out of it.
CHRISTIAN- But you come to that point where you realise you will actually be better off without it.
GEORGE- We all realised as well, it wasn’t like any of us were doubting
ANT- When the suggestion was made it was like we all clicked and were like yeah that’s probably the best idea.
CHRISTIAN- It’s something that we wanted for so long [the record deal] but then it just wasn’t what we expected.  

Indigo records; how’s that going? It gives you more freedom but are you under more pressure to do everything? 
ANT- In a sense there is less pressure.
CASEY- Yeah, if we had to send a song to a label and they say it’s shit then there’s nothing we can do really
ANT- But now we just send it to ourselves; “oh yeah, yeah that’s really good” [laughing]. When we were on the major label the album kept getting pushed back for three months every three months, whereas when we started Indigo we set one release date and it stayed with that date the whole time.

"Bradley Wiggins celebrating his Gold in the FTRS Snapback"  
You’ve designed some cool merch, photoshopped lots of images, you did the “Futures and Friends” session that you recorded; is this all down to the fact that you have creative freedom now?
ANT- Yeah, we definitely have that freedom now.
CHRISTIAN- We can just do things on the spur of the moment and don’t have to go through anymore- no board room to go through, because that’s actually what it was like. Each decision we would make had to go through like twenty different people. The vision that we had of what it would be like was jaded by the time we wanted to leave.
To watch the "Futures and Friends session click HERE

Futures front-man Ant West
You just released a video for “We Had It All”- was it fun filming around on a bike? And that you can just release these freely now?
ANT- Yeah, that was an impromptu, decided on the day thing; an energetic evening. We started at like two in the morning, that was crazy. It was the heaviest rain and we were like “let’s go outside and film”. The photographer filmed down on me and I was on the floor on my knees looking up to the camera like Bon Jovi or something, and yeah that was the one bit that go cut out [laughing].
CASEY- Save that for Futures the movie.

You’ve also signed “Morain” to Indigo; they’re playing today- how did you get involved with those guys?
ANT- They played with us a couple of years ago in Leeds and we liked their stuff and they haven’t got a deal with anyone, so it’s good to help out a band. It’s good to help out bands that want to release their music but can’t, so yeah we’ll just take it as it comes and see what happens at the moment. 

And here's what happened when Futures took to the stage...

Futures headlining the all-dayer at Sound Control
It was Sunday night and whilst most of the nation was settling down to watch what was deemed as “the best after-party ever” [The Olympic Closing Ceremony] Est.1987 were watching perhaps the second best after-party in the UK. Who needs The Spice Girls and Take That when you have Futures. “Who feels like this is their gold medal?” laughs front-man Ant West. And it is safe to say that by the end of the set the Olympic Closing Ceremony was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
As soon as Futures take to the stage to headline the all day event they hold the crowd in its entirety; opener “Start A Fire” is rocky, punchy and layered in sounds and melodies, still with a catchiness at its core. The band’s set showcases their knack of holding down both slower numbers, such as “Indigo”, and rockier anthems. The new album was a long time coming, but definitely worth the wait.

Ant West plays keys on "Karma Satellite"
The incredibly infectious “Holiday” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” [taken from the band’s 2010 EP] prove obvious crowd favourites, but noticeably new songs from the latest album were greeted with the same reception. West switches from guitar to keys on the slower and building but nevertheless anthemic “Karma Satellite”; the entire crowd singing along, the song echoing through the venue. Futures are slick and their set is tight, but they still hold down a raw on-stage energy that is engaging and exciting to watch. Songs, such as “Islands In The Sea”, taken from “The Karma Album” are gutsy and honest and Futures give a very assured live performance that is overflowing with big hooks and tempting melodies. Futures are finally out doing their own thing their way and it is certain there is a lot more to come.

Stay tuned this weekend as we chat to Futures about Merthyr Rocks Festival in our preview series. The boys are set to play the festival on the Friday night and we chat to them more about the event and all their festival "do's and don't's"