Future Rock, from the “windy city” of Chicago, Illinois, have released five albums to date and have performed their music at shows and many different music festivals all across the country. They have just released this breakthrough album, Long Ago, on 1320 Records last month that features a 7 track set list with four tracks that feature a four-song collaboration with singer-songwriter Anna Soltys. Long Ago, is “a juxtaposition between tenses, our band name, Future Rock, and our album name, Long Ago.” – Keyboardist, Mickey Kellerman said of the album released on April 15, 2016. It features a much more minimalist, and rather subtractive approach this time delivering you rich and spaced out sounds with tight dance grooves that give the album life where it has room to breath and expand into a dynamic dance-rock album. For their fifth studio album, they chose to work with producer, Tibaut Bowman and recorded the album in a professional studio to bring you a wonderfully sculpted album that sounds great especially with the beautiful vocals that Anna Soltys recorded for the album.
We were given the opportunity to ask the band a couple questions and are happy to present to you our Q and A with Future Rock!
How has your music evolved and what sets this new album out from the last?
Because we write hard rocking dance music, the urge we have always fought is to go with a maximalist approach. Our previous albums tended towards layering many synth sounds to build tension in our songs. On Long Ago, we really focused on a more minimalist approach. There are way less layers which allowed the vocals and organic drum sounds to really shine through. The end result is a sound I think we’ve had in our heads for many years but finally were able to achieve.
What older influences do you have that can be found within the music of Future Rock?
We draw inspiration from many different era’s of music. Whether that be 70’s prog rock, 80’s synth pop, 90’s grunge or 00’s electronic.
When you guys get together to play music, do you jam and come up with songs on the spot or do you all work on written material together?
With Future Rock, I do all of the writing. I have a studio set up at my place, with keyboards lining the walls. Writing to me is a very personal experience and most of the writing I’ve done is alone. One of the differences on Long Ago, is that once I finished writing the music for a number of the tracks, I sent the music to Anna Soltys who then wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals. She then sent the vocals back to me and I incorporated her vocals into the music and came up with the final arrangement. I found collaborating in that way to be very rewarding and it really helped to take the songs to the next level.
How was it working in a professional studio alongside producer Tibaut Bowman and singer-songwriter Anna Soltys?
Getting the opportunity to record in a professional studio was an incredible experience. The experience of recording the drums, in particular, really blew me away. Darren was an absolute animal – he literally did two takes for each song and honestly we could have used his first take on every song.
Anna’s vocals are just so amazing so it would have been silly not to put in the extra effort to make them sound as good as possible.
When it came time to produce the songs, having higher quality sound sources really made such a huge difference. When you work with someone as talented as Tibaut, the better inputs you can give him to work with, the better end result you get.
Are you looking to work with artists in the future and if you could pick anyone to be your dream collaborator, who would it be?
I really enjoyed collaborating with Anna and Tibuat and I definitely intend to continue to collaborate with them in the future. In fact, Anna and I have already written another track together that Future Rock just starting playing live.
I have so many musical heroes that I would love to collaborate with … David Byrne, Brian Eno, and James Murphy to name a few.
What is an awesome memory you have with the band on tour?
Wow, there are so many awesome memories. Every single day is an adventure unto itself. I would say one of the most amazing experiences being on tour was flying home from a festival in Tennessee to play the very first year at North Coast Music Festival. We played right as the sun was setting and we had these huge fog machines on stage. Our lighting designer, Herm, blasted the stage with fog and the way the sun hit the fog was just magical. It really inspired us to play an extra special set for the incredible audience that came out to see us.
How much do set times affect your song selection for that given festival?
That’s a great question. Honestly, the time of day of the show doesn’t effect the song selection as much as you might think. We are singularly focused on performing a high energy show for our audience and whether it’s 2 pm, 6 pm, 10 pm or 2 am, we want the audience to be fist pumping and having a sweaty dance party.
What festivals do you look forward to come festival season and why?
Summer Camp Music Festival always starts off the festival season in the best way possible. This will be our 11th year in a row playing Summer Camp and it’s always great catching up with so many midwest friends. We are also playing two of our favorite festivals for the first time in a few years … Camp Bisco and Electric Forest. Some of our best festival sets we’ve every played have been at those two festivals. And of course, North Coast Music Festival and Suwanee Hulaween, which are run by our best friends at Silver Wrapper.
Are there bands on tour now that you just can’t stop listening to?
My absolute two favorite bands right now are Vulfpeck and Snarky Puppy. In fact, I’m going to see Snarky Puppy tonight at Park Street Saloon in Columbus, OH. Both of these bands are virtuosos and are creating some of the freshest and most exciting music being made today.
What do you think the future of music will look like?
In my opinion, the future of music looks very bright indeed. The advent of new affordable technologies continue to make it easier for the masses to create, produce and distribute music. No longer do you have to spend fortunes to make an album and be beholden to a record label. With more and more people creating and writing, I believe we are in store for lots and lots of amazing new music.
Below you can find the online album stream plus the download link to Long Ago. More information about Future Rock and their new album can be found including the track list, upcoming tour dates, and links to their media outlets as well as a link to 1320 Records where you can find tons of releases and some live-music downloads if you scroll down past the SoundCloud embedded player.
‘Long Ago’ Track List
1. Take It Back
2. Long Ago
4. Go With It
6. On My Own
7. A Better Way
Upcoming Tour Dates
5/27- 29 | Summer Camp Music Festival • Chillicothe, IL
6/23-26 | Electric Forest Festival • Rothbury, MI
7/14-16 | Camp Bisco • Scranton, PA