Who is Futurebum?
Futurebum was basically started as a solo project of mine almost by default. I had been writing a bunch of tunes that didn’t fit into any other projects that I was working on at the time.
How did you come up with the band’s name?
The idea of time travel and futuristic themes, whether it be in film, music, or art have always appealed to me on some level. Also, throughout the years I’ve become quite the collector of old shitty analog toys. Most of the sounds that I’m into these days are extremely lo-fi and gritty. The Futurebum moniker just sort of fell into place almost as a descriptor of the project itself.
How did you get started in the music scene?
I started playing guitar when I was about twelve. Like most kids, I reached that fork in the road where it’s either sports or guitar. I’m still terrible at sports.
Have you ever thought of playing another type of music?
Sure, I’ve experimented with other genres. I was previously in a Trip-hop/IDM group called Tryptamine. I played in a Middle Eastern group that performed Garba music. I went through a Michael Hedges phase where I played mainly acoustic finger-style weird tuning/time signature stuff. I’ve been in a couple jam bands. I think that every genre has something interesting to offer.
Distant Dump Stars. Can you tell us more about what went into the recording and writing process for this album?
I typically start with sequencing a sparse pattern on a drum machine of some sort, then record live drums over top to give it more of a humanistic feel. Any breaks or imperfections that occur at that point act as a skeleton to the rest of the track as it develops. The accidents end up being important factors of the overall tune.
As far as recording goes, I am very open-minded. I only have two mics. Most of the live drum tracks were recorded in the bathroom. I surrounded the kit with old karate mats, covered it with sheets, and used the toilet as a drum throne. A lot of the guitar tracks and organ/key stuff were recorded onto an old reel to reel (or tape deck) first, then bumped into software in order to give it more of a warm analog vibe.
How would you describe your music?
For this EP, I tried to take what I love about traditional dub music, and mix in everything that I love about electronic and ambient music. Ahh whatever it’s just pop music.
What are your music influences?
I have so many heroes there isn’t any possible way to list all of them. To name some of artists that I hold in the highest regards, Dan Deacon, Saul Williams, Deer Hunter, James Pants, Madeski Martin and Wood, Miike Snow, Barrington Levy, Unkle, Mike Patton, Daau, Miles Davis, The Books, Cody Chestnutt, Bill Laswell, Square Pusher, D’Angelo, Fourtet, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Battles, Del tha Funky Homosapien, etc…
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
I think it’s more rhythmically driven at the moment. Anything melodic or lyrical tends to come after the fact. The track, “Dub you like a hurricane” came about during a nasty storm. I was mimicking the severe weather siren on a kiddy xylophone and the rest of the tune just kind of followed suit. As I mentioned earlier, I like to leave in all of the initial mistakes that happen along the way and use them to help develop the song. I like taking that route rather than having a finished product that sounds polished and sterile.
What has been the funniest moment you have had while touring?
During the Tryptamine project, Chuck (the bass player/producer of the group) had been working on producing a spoken word album for another local artist in town, who went under the moniker “Thee Royal Black Falcon”. We ended up recording all of the backing music for him on his disc, so in turn we also performed live with him after the album had been finished. Well, the Falcon tells us that he had booked a slot opening up for “The Last Poets” at this huge black history awareness festival in Louisville, KY. If you are not familiar with them, The Last poets are legendary spoken word artists, as well as original members of the Black Panthers from way back. This was without a doubt, a BIG deal.
When we reached the main venue in Louisville, we were stopped immediately as we headed back stage for load in. Not only had they never heard of us, we were not even on the roster of artists that were to perform at the festival that day. It turns out that the Falcon had never actually spoken with anyone in regards to us playing the festival. He just decided on a whim that it would be badass to play at it, and rather than trying to book an actual slot he figured why not just crash the whole thing. Of course this would have been a nice to piece of information to be aware of before we just strolled in uninvited with all of our gear.
Somehow he managed to plead with the powers that be, and ultimately score us a 15-minute slot opening up for The Last Poets. Unbelievable. The crowd ended up really digging on our set to the extent that we stretched it out to 30 minutes. Although this story has a happy ending, this was definitely the last time we left it up to the Falcon to book venues.
Are there any plans for the near future?
I am in desperate need of some new clothes, first and foremost. That is definitely on my radar.
Do you feel you are moving in the right direction?
Possibly, but I’ve been going about everything in reverse so we’ll have to wait and see. It’s been a good run so far.
Check out more at: http://www.facebook.com/Futurebum