Words: Future Lover x Interview

Left Bank got together with Colin Lime // Future Lover to learn about his inspiration behind the music he makes, whats to come (hint hint), and loads more. Read below x

Who are your music influences?

Musically I have a ton of influences.  My earliest musical memories are hearing my mother singing, but I also remember listening to records with my dad — Stuff like The Clash, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols.  He used to play “Career Opportunities” from Sandinista, with the little kids, and my sister and I would sing along.  I was probably about 5.  That set me up as a lifelong punk fan, but if you really want to go deep, he took my mother to see the Ramones when she was 6 months pregnant with me.

Later on, I really got into Zeppelin, The Stooges, MC5, Sabbath, T. Rex, anything cool like that really, as long it was loud.  I used to put on headphones and play along to John Bonham every day after school.  I’m kind of a nerd, so I like digging into bands and their influences and related bands, so one album leads to the next, and on and on.  It’s kind of an obsession.  There’s too much to list!  I love 80’s stuff too, like Echo and the Bunnymen, Wire, Talking Heads, Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.  In the early 90’s though, my cousin who had a sweet mullet, a Mustang and 3 earrings got me into hair metal.  The first cassette I ever bought for myself was Appetite For Destruction.  After that, all I wanted to do was skate, play drums and not do homework.

I listen to alot of Krautrock and Stoner rock these days.  Stuff like Can, Neu!, Earthless, Astrodome, Dead Meadow, Loop, Moon Duo, and Black Angels…which crosses into Heavy Psych territory.  Let’s not even get started on that!  I could go on forever, so I won’t bore you!  I’m like one of the record store geeks in High Fidelity.  Jesus and Mary Chain?  “They picked up where your precious Echo left off …”

What was the first album that you really connected with?

I think the first record that really opened my eyes to how much you could do, and how far you could take it was Zeppelin III.  This band was heavy, loud, wild (believe me, reading Hammer of the Gods as a teenager is awe-inspiring), had so much mystique and talent.  That record really hit me.  From the psychedelic and poppy cover art, which barely even hints at the heavy sounds inside — to the incredibly varied tracklist.  “Immigrant Song” kicks it off by punching you right in the face with Thor’s hammer, and it gets weird as it goes along.  There’s a bunch of Acid-Folky acoustic stuff that sounds like you’re sitting around a campfire in the foggy English countryside waiting for Wringwraiths to ride past.  Probably my favorite is “Out on the Tiles.”  Bonzo really shines on that song, and I used to kill my kit playing along to it.  Jimmy’s riffing, acoustic interludes, Plant’s wail and JPJ’s unshakeable thunderous grooves are like a masterclass in what you can do as a band.  The whole record really takes you on a journey, and it was one of the first I really sought out on vinyl.  It kicked off a lifelong obsession with collecting records, unfortunately for my wallet, and my back!

Was there a particular moment when you decided you wanted to be a recording artist?

I don’t know if there’s a particular moment, but there’s a couple memories that really stick out to me.  I’ve always wanted to “be a musician,” whatever that means.  It was also kind of a vague idea, until I was in a punk band in high school, and we almost got signed.  The band fell apart right before we signed on, but that was an eye opening thing, for sure.  I thought, “Oh, I could actually do this for the rest of my life.”  Had a lot of close calls and near misses like that over the years.

When I was in college, I drove down to Nashville and saw BRMC at the Exit/IN, and I lucked out and met (then-drummer) Nick outside the venue.  I was pretty wide-eyed, but he ended up inviting me backstage, which led to some crazy adventures.  I met the band and their tour-mates The Vue, and they took me to a strip club, snuck me into a bar (I was 20) and then we partied all night at their hotel.  A television was thrown through a wall.  I mean, that’s childhood dream kinda shit.  I ended up crashing on my leather jacket in the corner of Robert’s room, and then in the morning eating continental breakfast in the lobby, they invited me to drive to Memphis with them, and then maybe tag along the rest of the way, helping move amps and take pictures.  I know what you’re thinking.  Almost Famous, see the world, kid gets introduced to drugs and learns all kinds of lessons (in fact I’m listening to “That’s the Way” by Zeppelin as I write this).  Hate to disappoint, but I said no.  What with school and all (which I dropped out of that year).  I know, I know.  But don’t worry, I’ve done plenty of wild shit since then.

After I left school, I moved to NYC with about $600 and a pair of cowboy boots.  I ended up living there for a little over 11 years, and I loved every minute.  At one point I was living in Bushwick, years before it turned into what it is today, off the Myrtle Ave. J train.  I was living with 2 other broke musicians, who are to this day very close friends of mine.  We were so broke that we couldn’t pay the gas bill, and it was in arears, so they shut off the gas … in November.  That was a very cold 3 months until we got enough scratch together to pay off the man.  We passed the time huddled under layers of blankets watching the only DVDs we had, one of which was the Beatles Anthology.  We watched that set over and over, and it set me wondering if it’s possible these days to be a recording artist and not tour.  The answer is no!  Ha, but the important thing is to always be recording.  At the time I had no idea how, and it all seemed very exotic and expensive, but I set my mind to start collecting recording gear and learning as much as I could.  Long story short, the artist that really showed me that I could do it all myself was Twin Shadow.  When Forget came out in 2010 I was blown away.  I’d always known that dudes like McCartney did it all, and recorded themselves, like on Ram…but that’s an ex-Beatle!  Here’s a guy living in Brooklyn, like me, doing it all himself and the record is phenomenal and haunting!  That really gave me the final crystalizing shove to chase after it.  My Future Lover EP is really inspired a lot by him.

Good segue … If you could go back and change anything on your upcoming album, what would you change and why?

Don’t tempt me!  You can mix and remix, tweak and do endless takes, but unless you let the music live for itself, you slowly but surely cover up the original feeling with technicalities.  I’m pleased with what I made, and I want to let it take on a kind of life of its own now.  I’m past that, and working on new material right now.  I want to have an EP out in August, before I move to Los Angeles.

So, what’s your idea of ‘making it’ as an artist?

The classic model of Zeppelin, or the Stones flying around in their own jet is pretty dead for rock bands.  I mean, there are some out there that sell like that, but without getting too specific, if you want that level of fame and wealth, you give up a lot.  You give up personal freedom and privacy — not to mention giving up something truly unique in your music.  To appeal to that many people, you really have to dumb things down and wash it out to be appealing to everyone.  You become the pumpkin spice latte of music.  Sweet, easy, unhealthy in large quantities, empty and completely forgettable.  No thanks.

All I really want is for my music to be heard, and for the people listening to connect with me on some level.  That’s all I really want, and whatever that leads to is totally cool!  I’ll tour the world, playing songs and singing rhymes that I wrote, telling people how I feel and dancing with them and then they tell me they like what I’m doing, buy my record, and send me along to the next adventure.  When they like it and buy it, or come see me, then I can concentrate on making more music.  What a badass way to live!  That’s my idea of making it.

Final question- Future Lover … how did you land on that name?

Back when I was a rocker-skater in po-dunk Indiana, one of the ways I connected with the outside world was the internet.  Back then, one of the only social-media websites was Makeout Club, run by a buddy Gibby Miller who runs Dais Records now.  This was before Myspace!  You had a tiny profile picture, about 4 lines of text and that was it.  It was all punks and weirdos, metalheads and mods, chatting on bulletin boards.  All the cool people!  My name on there (I was on page 5) was Futureboy, which is the name of a character from a classic Hayao Miyazaki series called Future Boy Conan, which I highly recommend for fans of post-apocalyptic stuff.  When it came time to name my band (can one guy be a band?), Futureboy was taken, and didn’t really fit anyway.  I knew I wanted something with “Future” in it, and I randomly settled on Future Lover.  It just popped in my head and felt right — I dig it because it has a few different meanings …

Listen to one of our favorite tracks from “Summoning” coming out June 17th, digital and gatefold LP