An Interview With The LA-Based Alternative Band, FUTURE FEATS!
Posted On 30 Apr 2018
The Los Angeles-based alternative pop outfit, FUTURE FEATS, recently returned with a dazzling sophomore track entitled “Same Mistakes.” The band set the bar high with the release of their debut single “Cities Of Wonder” last year and, on “Same Mistakes”, they’ve managed to exceed expectations with a track that will surely please the band’s ever-growing fan-base that has been clamoring for new music since first laying ears on “Cities Of Wonder”. From the moment the drums sequencing and vintage synths kick in on “Same Mistakes”, listeners are treated to an indie pop anthem that calls to mind the New Wave classics that are staples of all our record collections while simultaneously coming across as contemporary and innovative.
The band recently signed to FADER label and their first single “Cities Of Wonder” really got the band started off on the right foot last year – already garnering over 175K streams on Spotify. They just wrapped up tours with The Wombats, Public Access TV + Soft White Sixties and Matt & Kim and Tokyo Police Club in April.
Here are some links to check out the track:
Learn more about Future Feats in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So how has 2018 been treating you all so far? What is one musical goal that you have for this year?
No, no. Thank you for the questions! I had a suspicion that someone would soon come asking if I‘d finally reached “all access” status, but I had no idea it would be you, AllAccess.com. 2018 has been an incredible year for us so far. We’ve toured with some amazing bands, released a second song called “Same Mistakes,” another track from our upcoming debut album, and now we’re currently getting ready for another round of dates with FADER Label-mates, Matt and Kim. I would say that the musical goal for the remainder of this calendar year is to simply continue playing shows, developing as a live act and building our presence as a touring band. It’s been such a joy to see the positive reactions from people that we’ve been able to get in front of, and our goal really is to continue growing that relationship while, essentially, living on the road for the rest of 2018..and beyond.
Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in this band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are? What was your runner up band name?
Since I [Josh] started this project back in 2012, there has been an onslaught of roster changes. However, within the past couple of years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to curate the perfect group of musicians to help carry out my ultimate vision moving forward. They’re also my best friends, and they’re the hardest working and most talented group of kids that I’ve ever worked with. It’s comforting when something really clicks and you find yourself looking around questioning how it all came together so conveniently. It’s an extremely rare thing, and I’m happy to know we’re all in this together. Ah, the band name. Couldn’t avoid this question could you? 😉 I enjoy alliteration. I also wanted to go with something that sounded a bit off-kilter in a sense. It wasn’t very difficult to come up with, and I do feel like it fits the aesthetic of our sound. It also oozes a certain amount of urgency for forward momentum, which is what I was admittedly desperate for back when I started all of this. Unfortunately, there was no runner up. I’m much too obsessively-compulsive on most days to let any other influence invade my headspace.
How do you think being from your hometown of Los Angeles has influenced your sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
I love your questions because of the inherent sneakiness of them. Clearly, I’m not from Los Angeles. However, if it wasn’t clear enough, I’m from a small town in North Carolina. I also spent about 8 years of my life living in the great city of Chicago. Ben and Zach are both from Lincoln, Nebraska. Patrick is from Tucson, Arizona. So to appropriately answer your sneaky question, I would have to say that the fact that none of us are originally from LA is definitely an asset because of the common threads we share as individuals. We are all the underdogs of our own smaller towns. We’re the people that had to dig ourselves out through the use of a set of multi-talented shovels, so to speak. We’re all very similar in that respect. Meaning, we definitely share a mentality and work ethic that allows us to nurture our respective potentials in order to grow a little deeper than what our hometown roots might’ve originally suggested for us.
What did it feel like signing on with FADER label? Why do you think this is the right place for this band and your music today?
It’s a funny thing. I can only assume that most kids pick up guitars and start writing songs with a hope that they’ll one day land that big record deal that will inevitably launch them into the stratosphere. I assume this because I was absolutely one of those kids. I started working with my manager, Robert English, over a decade ago. It was through RE that I was introduced to Jon Cohen and Rob Stone of Cornerstone Agency / The FADER. I still fondly remember making that first trip to NYC and hanging with Jon and Rob at The FADER offices and playing a handful of original songs for anyone that would listen. Throughout the years, it was always my dream to sign to FADER Label, this is true. I wanted to be involved with FADER in any capacity whatsoever because of what they represent. They’re the taste-makers and innovators on all things culturally and artistically driven today. And if I’m being honest, I still hold so many doubts about myself when it pertains to feeling like I’m an artist that lives up to the “FADER Material” status quo. But one thing that definitely keeps me going is the fact that FADER is Home. FADER is Family. And the fact that they believed in me enough as an artist to sign me, and have allowed me an opportunity to share anything with the world is a dream come true in itself. That’s what it felt like signing to the label. It felt like a dream come true. It’s the right place for us because they take chances and invest in people, not just the next sure thing. They push the envelope and we push it back. It’s an incredible team of collaborators, and the fact that someone like Jon makes himself so accessible is something that I’ll never take for granted. Like I said, FADER is Family, and no major label could ever take the place of the people that have been there for you from the very beginning.
Let’s talk about your newest music! What was the inspiration for your latest single, “Same Mistakes”?
Well, it’s all still a bit hazy. It’s also all right there in the title! You see, I used to fuck up a lot. And this song is about one very specific night in which I got very drunk. I blacked out, climbed into a stranger’s car and was pulled out of said vehicle by a couple of evidently annoyed police officers. They cuffed me and slammed my head into the pavement, splitting my head open. Then I was carted off to the hospital to get stitched up. Then they threw my ass in jail. I suppose that’s the gist of events, and I still have the scar to prove it. I’m not very proud of my behavior back then, but isn’t that the point of the song? To learn from your mistakes so you won’t continue to cycle through a rolodex of regretful remains? I’d like to think that’s the case.
How do you think it compares with everything else that you have released?
Oh, you mean the one other song? 🙂 We released “Cities In Wonder” back in 2017. It’s a brighter track, but still just as depressing if you listen close enough to the lyrics. I would say they’re both cautiously optimistic, however, “Same Mistakes” definitely gives a glimpse of the darker musicality that exists on the rest of the album. If anything, it’s an appropriate tonal shift to prepare listeners for more of what’s on the way.
How has touring been going so far this year? What did you learn from touring with The Wombats and Public Access TV and Soft White Sixties? And I am a HUGE fan of Matt and Kim so I love that you are touring with them next! How excited are you about that tour?
This year has been completely monumental for us. We’ve visited so many places we’ve never been before. We’ve gotten the opportunity to play legendary venues that we’ve always dreamt about. We’ve also made so many new friends along the way. I would say that’s the greatest part of touring, and we’re feverishly eager to keep finding our audience while putting on the best shows we possibly can every single night. The Wombats, Public Access TV and The Soft White Sixties were all incredible musicians and people to be around and share stages with. I also don’t want to leave out Nation Of Language, who opened each night on The Wombats tour.
Matt and Kim are so unbelievably awesome. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a very long time, and the fact that we’re hitting the road with them is just so crazy. We can’t wait. We’re hitting Chicago, New York and even my home state of North Carolina! We’re so fucking pumped. What I’m continuously learning about touring, is that there really is room for everyone. Be humble and go out onstage every night with one goal in mind: Give all of yourself to someone else. Be a force for someone who might need it. And the minute you do that, you automatically get all of that energy back tenfold. It’s the greatest experience that I have no explanation for. It’s all Love.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I feel like before you can truly be happy, you must first torture yourself to an extent. If the expression “misery loves company” is to be believed, then my own personal misery definitely enjoys a certain amount of solitude. That’s where I’m most comfortable creating. It’s the stereotypical trope of a reclusive artist pining for that one redeeming moment when a song finally comes together! Because that’s where all of this begins, in the studio AKA my studio apartment. I don’t go outside much. I’m still very broke, however, I very much enjoy the world-building that takes place inside my head on a day to day basis. I’m also a big believer that the “album” is not a dead concept. Speaking on the matter of concepts, I also believe that the art of the concept record is still very much alive and well. So that’s all I’m consistently attempting to do when I sit down in front of my computer each day. I’m out to create a compelling argument that furthers my need for the next story. Apologies, I’ve somehow managed to almost completely dodge your question, allow me to circle back. I’m happiest when I’m happiest. It all has a purpose and everything in between is most definitely worth it. You just have to be in tune with yourself. I can’t wait to finish writing the next album. And I can’t wait to keep touring the world with this first one. There we go.
With everything going on in the world today, how do you think your music is a reflection of it all? And if you don’t think it is at all, why is that? Do you find that the music being made today in general is reflecting these politically and culturally charged times?
I’d like to think that the world is more self-reflective than anything else. That being said, it’s also undeniably self-destructive. It’s all very scary and beautiful, all at the same time. However, I mainly write songs about my life, not the times. That could easily change moving forward, and I’m certain it will. But right now, I aim to be relatable from my own personal experiences, not abstract in storytelling. Now I think your last question is a little too obvious. Of course music today is reflecting what’s going on in the world today, but I’d like to add to that. Is it reflecting the times in a positive or negative way? The answer is both, and that’s the way it should be. There’s so much anger and misplaced feelings on so many subjects that are forever spinning out of control. And I feel like, generally speaking, it is an artist’s job to portray every end of that spectrum. To feel it all. To process it all. And then unleash it upon the world in a way that will help humanity learn and grow and slowly prosper through all the shit times. It goes back to that mention of misery, we have to use it to our advantage. And above all else, we must show compassion PLUS backbone in a world where certain people in power are pushing agendas based on a daily diet of fear and oppression. We should never stop fighting for the rights and equality of those less fortunate. The goal is harmony.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it all?
How important is social media to any band or business? Here’s the thing, I do my best to stay in communication with every single person that drops by our instagram, facebook, etc. I have a blast posting stories when we’re on the road. It’s a connection tool. It’s a means to speak to as many people that actually choose to follow you, but if you’re not out there putting in the work to build your profile then you’re really just spinning in circles. I believe touring is the best way to build or break any band. I’m old-school like that. Sure, you can throw a song on the radio and hope for the best, but I’d much rather take my chances on making real connections with real people while doing what it is I really love to do. Playing shows. I want to be a career artist/band. I want the longevity. But most of all, I want to connect with real people. The social aspect of media is always unpredictable, but a one on one conversation could change someone else’s life. I maintain the sites currently, and I’m making my best attempt to keep everyone else’s grubby paws off em’. Because I enjoy it. PS, If I were to let my management take it over then I would be completely removing any amount of my own personality, voice or vibe from the conversation. And then what am I left with? Just the music? I’m not ready to relinquish that kind of control.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
As a songwriter, I would love to find and work with like-minded artists that value what it is I could potentially bring to the table. I also wouldn’t mind getting into some of those LA writing rooms and cranking out big pop songs all day long. Because I simply enjoy collaborating, but who knows what will happen one day? I have the capability, but I’m not currently getting those calls. I know I should probably mention some contemporary artists in this response, but I’m just not actively listening to a ton of new stuff at the moment. I’m currently mining the classics. I’m also going through a pretty heavy Britpop phase. That’s definitely been influencing my songwriting for FUTURE FEATS 2.0.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? What do you hope they take away from one of your shows?
It is my hope that people will find the silver lining within their own life through the songs that I write. I’m just going to continue to explore the favorites section of my own shifting emoticons and embrace whatever the rest of my existence throws at me. And I want people to go to a show and let go and have a blast with us every night. I want to spread a message full of love and understanding, and I urge anyone going through a difficult time to stay the path and continue being completely true to themselves. Because life is short, and it should be fun and filled with memories and experiences that bring about happiness and a positive outlook for a better future. Live loudly. Be ambitious. Be the badass that you already are.
Would you like to share anything else about your music or this band with our readers?
If anyone has successfully scrolled to the bottom and read through any/all of my lengthy responses, then please give yourself a rousing round of applause. I’d like to thank you so much again for the questions and for taking up any interest in what it is we’re doing. We appreciate every bit of the support we’re given, and we can’t wait to see everyone out on the road very soon. More music is on the way, so please stay tuned. And we hope you have enjoyed this revealing, All Access interview. This is Josh from FUTURE FEATS signing off saying, I probably should’ve been a game show host instead. Love you guys, xxFF.