Show Preview: Future Teens Interview

Coming to Richmond’s The Camel, Future Teens answered a few questions regarding their second full-length album. The band hails from Boston after unexpectedly forming at a Fourth of July party, and has since released two albums (Hard Feelings and Break Up Season) both full of self-reflection in humorous, but deeply honest and open, multi-layered accounts of all-too-relatable experiences. 

 

 

The band, comprised of vocalists Daniel Radin and Amy Hoffman, and instrumentalists, Colby Blauvelt, and Maya, is a mix between emo and alternative rock. They spoke on what inspired the album and how the processes of songwriting suffice as therapeutic coping mechanisms when dealing with less than desirable circumstances – miscommunication, misadventure and mistakes.

 

INTERVIEW:

 

So you guys formed one fateful Fourth of July party? Can you tell me a bit more about that?

So the band started as a recording project with no real intention of performing live, but then after a few veggie hotdogs and a seltzer or two we decided why not try the songs live. We didn’t sound great…but we did sound bad.

How you’ve grown on this journey?

We’ve grown quite a bit! We’re older, more tired and much better at performing than day one!

What genre would you describe your band?

Thanks to Substream magazine we are now officially a “Bummer Pop” band. We think the title suits us well. 

Where did the name Future Teens come from?

We wondered what a second teenhood might be like if we were to live long enough. One hundred and thirteen year olds!

Who or what other bands inspire you?

We’re inspired by all kinds of stuff, lots of current rock music but also love everything from Frank Ocean to Emmylou Harris to the Pixies to Say Anything. We’ve learned a lot from touring with other bands too. Like The Wonder Years, World’s Greatest Dad and Oso Oso. Watching their live set and songwriting is a big inspiration. 

It’s obvious that your songs make people go through a lot of emotions. How would you say your experiences have shaped your songwriting?

Completely and fully! We write from personal experiences and thoughts and emotions. Writing is a very cathartic process for us and it’s been amazing to see and hear the responses of people having cathartic experiences listening. 

Your most recent album, Break Up Season, seems to be a humorous take on a shared angst that everyone experiences in some fashion. What inspired the album? Was it meant to be an anthemic/concept album?

The album is inspired by two different breakups. One romantic breakup. and one band breakup. It just kind of worked out in a way that both Amy and Daniel were processing similar but very different emotions simultaneously.

How did it unfold in your songwriting?

In a lot of ways, writing the album helped us work through the things we were going through. Performing them too is a very cathartic experience. 

Would you say the writing process of the album was therapeutic for you? How did it affect you?

Yes, definitely! We wrote the majority of the record in real time as all these endings and painful moments happened, and it became a way for us to process, care for each other, and start healing. Also rock n roll is medicine and that’s a scientific fact. 

Do you have a favorite song on the album? If yes, which one and why?

We love all our children equally and tell them so each day before we drop them off at school

Amy, I read in another interview somewhere that you consider this album deeply personal.. How did you decide to open yourself up so much for your fans?

I don’t think I made a conscious decision to be so vulnerable – I was just Going Through It in a way that required me to be honest with myself whether I wanted that or not. I had to lean into my heartbreak and the big life changes that came with it if I ever wanted to find a way through. Writing this record started as a way to process and survive, and it wasn’t until it came out that I realized, “oh god, I feel so exposed!!!”

How would you say Hard Feelings (2017) inspired Break Up Season (2019)?

Well naturally once you start feeling hard feelings breakup season comes next…! But to be honest it did inform a lot of choices when we were recording Breakup Season. Hard Feelings was recorded almost entirely in a bedroom and much of it was written as we recorded. For Breakup Season we were able to write the album as a four piece before we went into the studio to record. We had a vision in mind for how we wanted it to sound and our very talented mixing engineer Andy Park was instrumental in helping us create that sound. 

There are a lot of people who relate to this kind of music, do you strive to create music that is relatable to everyone or do you focus on more introspective, personal music that just so happens to be relatable?

Our goal is always to write music that we love and have fun making. When we make each other feel something or yell a bad word after hearing a lyric/riff/idea, we know we’re on the right track. I think the collaborative way we write lends itself to making our hyper-specific lyrics relatable to a lot of people, against all odds.

What do you guys look forward to most during your performances?

Honestly we love every part of performing, but especially when people are singing along in the crowd, there’s nothing quite like it. 

For someone who has never heard your music before, what would you say to them about the type of music you create?

I’d say that if you like sad songs that sound happy you’ll feel right at home. 

What are your plans post-tour?

Rest! Work! Write new songs and plan our next year! 

 

Make sure you come and check out Future Teens on November 6th at the Camel!

 

By Anna Menendez