Brooklyn-based alt/psych band, Futurist Talk With TMI About Their New Single “Olive Mountain”

Hey Guys, so excited to be chatting with you. What inspired you to pursue music?

Hey! The pleasure is mine. I’ve been involved with music for as long as I can remember, whether that be church choirs, school music stuff, piano lessons/recitals, marching band (I was in drum line), and ultimately playing in bands starting in high school. As for the other guys, they’ve had similar trajectories. We’ve all been playing music since we were little and had families that encouraged us to do so.

Can you tell us a little something about each of you?

Well, my name is Curtis and I’m originally from Texas and went to school in Boulder, CO for music composition. As I said, I’ve been playing music my whole life and I am also a visual artist, specializing in graphic design, video, and animation. I’ve got my own business called Avalanche Artists and I’ve mostly been making animated music videos for bands for the past few years (www.avalancheartists.com). I’ve been writing and performing my own music for about 15 years now and I created Futurist when I moved to NYC in the summer of 2008.

Joey Campanella is our drummer and my right hand man in Futurist. He’s been playing drums his whole life and has performed and toured with a number of bands including; Jack Killen, all boy / all girl, Super Capsule, Lord Youth, Jackson Lynch, The National Reserve, Spotlights, and more. He’s been teaching music and repairing instruments in NYC for the past decade, but moving to LA this month to focus more on studio work and gigging around that area.

Robert Sulzer (multi-instrumentalist) and Josh Curry (bass) are the two other main contributors on our latest record. They’ve both had their own musical backgrounds. Rob specializes in guitar and engineering and Josh is a master guitarist, bassist (upright and electric), banjo, and more.

How would you describe your musical style?

We call ourselves Alternative Rock and Psychedelic Pop. We all grew up playing music in the 90s, which has obviously influenced our sound.

What artists do you look up to right now?

Honestly, at this point I am most inspired by my friends’ bands. It takes a lot of work to get a project off of the ground, so I look immediately to people that I know for inspiration. Our friends in the funk band Turkuaz are blowing up! Some other bands we love and support include; all boy / all girl, Mom and Dad, Sam Ravenna, Sharks in the Deep End, and Ransom Pier.

You just released your new single “Olive Mountain” in anticipation of their new album, Omens!! What has been your thought about the reaction to the single?

So far so good. It’s a new record so we’re building it up. We’d love to get some more traction over the rest of the summer.

Listen To “Olive Mountain” Now: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn6wceljVow&feature=youtu.be

Can you tell us how this song came about and the meaning of the song?

As for the song, the title Olive Mountain is a play on the ‘Mount of Olives,’ from the Bible, infamously where Jesus was found praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he was betrayed. So overcome by the horror of what he was to experience in the crucifixion the following day that his sweat was apparently “like drops of blood” and he prayed for strength from God. I think that story is a good metaphor for what the lyrics in this song are ultimately about. 
 
The song is split up into two parts, the first being more personal; “Here I am again wallowing in it. Look at the mess you’ve made of your kingdom. It would appear you’ve gotten your comeuppance.” It’s a plea and a reckoning with a former relationship that was collapsing in front of me and the ways in which I had a hand in the matter. But I continue more haughtily; “I don’t want to know the reason you’ve been  throwing stones at me.” There’s nothing I can do. The sides are drawn. The possessions, social circles, and love is cracked into halves and I’m too proud to show my underbelly. The tone shifts in the prechorus to something more sincere; “Okay, I get it. You’re happier, paid off the cable news networks and they’ll spin my words.” This was my internal monologue. The things I would say outright if things weren’t so twisted and hostile.
 
The second half is more of a birds-eye view, the current state of the culture. It’s constant outrage, nihilism, and an ever-diminishing middle ground. Everyone virtue signals to strangers on the internet constantly about how THEY are on the right side of history, but couldn’t last two seconds outside of their own echo chamber, much less attempt to understand or tolerate a difference in opinion. I mean, no one is immune to confirmation bias. The second prechorus echoes the more tender inner thoughts of the first, except now aimed at the world at large; “Okay, I get it. It’s the end of the world. We might as well all go home and give up. I mean, what’s the use in ignoring the control freaks? They’ve had a leg up since before we were born.” It’s a bit tongue and check, but honest.
 
However, it’s the choruses that are the true sentiment I’ve ultimately arrived at; “Bad undertones and diamond science.” And what  makes the diamond shine? It IS all of that heavy and relentless pressure. Is that all you got?

Your new album is coming out soon!! Can you spill any details about the new project?

The new record is called Omens and it comes out September 27. It is our second LP and it’s a major evolution from the sound on our debut album.

What do you hope your supporters will think of the new album?

We hope that they’ll want to share it! Good music gets out through word of mouth more so than marketing!

Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?

Joey is working on his own funk project called Mr. Rebound and our next record is concept album, loosely set for Spring 2021.

Why do you think social media is so important for singers today?

Um, probably because everyone is addicted to it. It’s good and bad because its sort of destroyed the gatekeepers, but some times it can be a bit discouraging because we’re all just so oversaturated all of the time.

What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?

I’d say Instagram gives us the most observable interaction. Check us out – @futurist_music

How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?

We want to push each other. If you like what we’re doing, let us know. That way we feel more motivated to keep going and become better ourselves and get more fans. Feedback loop.

What’s an average day like for you guys?

Well, I can speak for myself here, but I’m pretty disciplined with my days. Every day I sing, write, meditate, and practice Spanish (my sister in law is from Mexico City and they just had a little Texicano baby, so I’m getting ready). Other than that, I’m practicing music, writing music, or doing the menial legwork for the next few months. I’m also always working on an animation project for myself or a client. Right now I am finishing up our music video for our second single, Bad Air, Still Water, which is out August 16!

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