Josh, the singer-songwriter and frontman for indie/alternative rock act Future Feats, has some stories to share. One night awhile back, Josh got way too drunk, got arrested, ended up getting his head bashed in by the cops, was then transported to the emergency room to get stitches in his head, before immediately being throw into a jail cell. This is all alluded to on one of Future Feats’ three singles currently available to the public, “Same Mistakes”. But unless you really pay attention to the lyrics, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to determine that this was about a serious situation, as the words are surrounded by soaring melodies and catchy alt-rock hooks.
But that’s just it; this is the modus operandi for Future Feats: serious lyricism that’s translatable to people through catchy indie rock reminiscent of acts a la Matt & Kim and The Wombats (both of whom the band toured with last year.) Shameless got to jump on the phone with Josh a couple of weeks ago while the band were on the road opening up for The Kooks (they had just played Oakland’s Fox Theater a few days before). While they only have a few songs out at the moment, it becomes very apparent after just a few minutes chatting with Josh that Future Feats really do have something special cooked up that they just haven’t revealed yet. They’ve got an album set to release later this year, with songs that all have a single through line: focusing on real life events, talking about them, and learning from those situations.
Note: Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity purposes.
To start things off, I wanted to talk about the three singles that you guys have put out, as well as the remix for “Same Mistakes”. This might be kind of an obvious question, but when can people expect an EP or an album? Essentially, what can people expect as a follow-up to three really stellar singles?
Well, I believe the tentative schedule that we’re working on is that we’re going to release three singles leading up to an album release. That’s hopefully going to be this year, probably in the summer sometime. We’re just not sure of an exact date for that yet, or for the singles, for that matter. But we’re working on a schedule and the release plan. We’ve put three singles out, and there’s twelve songs on the album, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
So you guys have already recorded the album then?
Yeah. We finished recording not too long ago. The first album is ready to go!
In that case, when you’re releasing these singles, are you releasing them in the order that you recorded them, or is there a different kind of structure to the release schedule?
Well, we’re still having those conversations. As far as those three singles go, I think we were even talking about putting out “Same Mistakes” first, but the overall call was like, “No, ‘Cities [In Wonder]’ is the right move. ‘Cities’ is the one to lead with.” We actually shot a music video for “Cities”. We’re going to be reintroducing that track for people that might not have found it yet. There’s a whole world of people out there, and we’re trying to find fresh ears and fresh faces.
We shot a lot of music videos, and I’m very excited to roll out this album. Over the course of this year, it’s going to be my dream come true.
Without giving too much away, since you’re going to be releasing more news as time goes on, would you say that there’s any kind of lyrical theme that ties the songs on this upcoming album together?
You know, the lyrical theme…every single song on the album is about a real life event in my life, be them happy or traumatic. Every single song is about a real life event, from a real life date, a specific moment in time. I touch on everything from substance abuse, my marriage and divorce, and I touch on things like the death of a family friend from when I was in high school. It’s pretty heavy stuff, but they’re also just masked with melodies and lyrics. They’re big catchy rock songs, but they have deeply personal meanings to me and my life.
Definitely. I found it very interesting to hear that in songs like “Same Mistakes”. It’s this very upbeat and positive indie/alternative rock song. But then the lyrics take on these deeper subjects and darker concepts. I thought that was a really interesting concept.
Yeah, man. “Same Mistakes” is definitely about a real night. (laughs) I think I’ve told this story so many times, but it’s a night that I went out in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I was living at the time. Essentially, I got way too drunk, got arrested, got my head beat [sic] in by the cops. I got stitched up at the hospital, and then they threw me in a jail cell. So it was an incredible night. (laughs)
You said earlier that you have music videos coming out. Given that you’ve said that there are a lot of stories going on within each of these songs, what do the videos add to that experience for the listener in regards to understanding these songs? Are they very literal in that meaning? Or is it more metaphorical?
No, the videos absolutely tell the story. That’s the beautiful thing about it! We’re telling the story with music, lyrics, and visuals. There are so many exciting things that we are working on with the videos. I mean, not every one of them are carbon copies of what happened, but definitely the main singles and driven to show the listener a glimpse of what happened on that particular day. I can’t wait for you guys to check out the videos.
I feel like music videos are starting to make a much bigger comeback. I see so many bands starting to utilize them now as storytelling tools. There was awhile where people weren’t using them at all.
Yeah! Storytelling is the most important thing for any artist, especially if you’re writing music. And you’re right, there was a period of time where music videos weren’t really telling a story. It’s that kind of thing that I think draws people in and gets them to pay attention. That’s what we really hope to do with this record.
To change gears a little bit: given that you guys are a newer band, and that you really have only a few songs that are released at the moment, what can people expect when they come to see you in a live setting? If there’s anything that you guys do theatrically, if there are any key elements to your live show, what can people expect?
I think we have such an exciting live show. It’s five best friends on stage together, all with energetic stage presence, and we’re all killing it up there. If you come to one of our shows, I think you’ll walk away smiling and full of energy. We put on a good show, and it’s just so much fun. The first half of this tour has been incredible, and I can’t wait to travel to places like Chicago and New York. We’re going to hit a lot of markets that we haven’t hit on previous tours. We just have fun up there; it’s not a job.
With the music that you’ve currently released, and with everything that you’ve got coming up, what do you hope that people take away from the music of Future Feats?
Well I think the takeaway is that this a project that I started back in 2012. This is something that easily could not have happened, even with a record deal; it could have basically just fallen through the cracks. But the things is that you have to keep moving, you have to keep working hard and not give up. You’ve gotta find the right people and the right band. The takeaway is don’t give up on your dreams; you can do anything that you want, as cheesy and cliche as that sounds. I’m the most cheesy and cliche guy you’re ever gonna meet.
Future Feats really is as literal as the band names suggests that it is. It’s about making it to tomorrow, not making it in general. It’s a big idea, and it’s something that people should always hold close to themselves. They should always hold the big ideas close, because that’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.