Interview – Coventry’s explosive Futumche ready to release debut album To The Withered Deity
Alternative outfit, Futumche have fast been gaining a reputation for their explosive live performances. Now that raucous energy has been harnessed in the form of debut album, To The Withered Deity. An album full of quirky experimental sounds from hard hitting guitar riffs to sinister synths. This record flows effortlessly with screeching lyrics to more methodical prog-rock, all of which merge together to create a wonderfully unique debut. We managed to catch up with the guys to delve deeper into their world.
Hi Futumche it’s great to speak to you. Were loving To The Withered Deity album here at Native! How has it been making and releasing your debut album into the world?
It’s been a long process but we’ve loved every minute, it was a collection of sessions at Moonbase recording studios Coventry, with Jon Webb at the helm. I’ve been working with Jon for years with other musical outfits and he never fails to impress me with his speed and attention to detail. But recently he’s upped his game massively, last year he recorded and mixed Coventry band Charles Dexter Ward and The Imagineers’ album “The Search for Franks Brains” and the production just blew me away.
So I knew we were in for a treat with the TTWD sessions. I wasn’t disappointed; the record has a really interesting sound, a different drum sound for each track and a variation of vibes in general throughout the album. Jon let me experiment a lot with different guitars sounds and dealt with great patience for our constant requests of “can you put a weird effect on that vocal please Jon?”.
The release has been great so far, all the feedback we’ve had has been amazing. Steve Weir at Creature Lab Records has been wonderful as always and helped us to no end.
You guys put on ferocious performances, it’s great to see that translate onto this record. How did you manage to capture that during recording?
All the sessions were recorded live in the studio then we added extra guitar bits, all the vocals and synth stuff afterwards. It’s the first time I’ve tried that approach and it was absolutely worth it. I’ll never do it differently now. There’s just something different in the way you play when your stood next to your band mates, soaking up the intensity of Brandons tribal/jazz/punk drumming and watching Jaz wig out on the other side of the room.
I love the dark narrative style of some of the songs on the album particularly on Gazing and Dragging Toes. What inspires these sinister short stories?
Most of our lyrics (those tracks included) tend to be written in a free form style. So we just come up with the odd line then build something out of it. I like to write lines that roll nicely off the tongue then work out what the hell I’m talking about later and try and weave it into something that makes a weird kind of sense. We like to write otherworldly tales; Under The Sun is kind of a lynch mob theme set in a place where people aren’t able to leave their underground home and see the sun, but one guy has somehow managed to go out there and see it, but he’s unwilling to share his experience with them, so their ring leader takes offence and start trying to incite a good old fashioned lynching “he’s a danger to your children”.
Your songs have a great free flowing nature to them. Was the writing of this album a very experimental process?
Yeah our writing sessions tend to be quite messy and disjointed at first then we have to sculpt what we have into something tangible. Half the time we have no idea if it’s good or not. Scrappy phone recordings help us review our ideas, take them home and work out new structures, melodies, words etc. My favourite thing is when we just come up with a song from scratch in the rehearsal room, it’s a real collaborative effort and it feels so organic, there’s really no set sound that we are looking for and we are all influenced by a wide variety of artists, so it’s got a bit of an “anything goes” kind of vibe, which thrills me to no end, we each get free reign to be as weird as we want.
What different musical influences would you say goes into the unique Futumche sound?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly but we each take influences from all over the place, we’ve all come from different musical backgrounds too but I guess we find the most common ground in Post Punk, that’s what got me and Jaz talking about forming the band; we both loved Magazine, Public Image Ltd and The Pixies (I consider them Post Punk anyway…). The great thing about Post Punk is that it’s just so versatile. It’s taking the basic sensibilities of punk rock; aggression, energy, scrappy yet purposeful vocals, and making it a bit artier. We all respectively draw influences from artists like Magazine, Primus, Killing Joke, Thee Oh Sees, The Residents, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Can and also newer people on the scene like Shame, Lice, Sextile, Idles, Priests. This is just scraping the surface really. There’s so much great new music coming out of the rock/alternative scene at the moment, it’s utterly inspiring.
The artwork for To The Withered Deity is also absolutely exquisite! Where has that come from?
It really is isn’t’ it! The artist Ben Thompson is a very dear friend of mine from years ago when I used to live in York. His work was always incredible even 15 years ago so I’ve always been desperate to get him to do some sleeve design. He now runs the Illustration and Animation course at an arts uni in Bolton. He did the design for the EP Gazing Into Misery which sort of served as a double A-side single for To The Withered Deity, everyone was so impressed with it that we just had to get him involved in the album. The title of the album actually came from Ben, he had an idea of what he wanted to, I knew to trust him with it fully so we just let him do whatever he wanted. I couldn’t be happier with what he’s done for it!
And finally whats next on the Futumche radar? Will you be blasting this album out live for the rest of the summer?
Yeah that’s right basically; we are just ploughing on with the gigging now, we’ve got a few Birmingham shows lined up, some further up north, we recently played Deerstock in Nottinghamshire which was just outstanding, best crowd, best atmosphere. Fantastic. We’ve got an album promo show coming in Coventry too on the 15th September at The Tin (Coal Vaults, Taylor Johns House etc.) with MK1 Soundsystem who are a wonderful psychedelic rock band, mostly instrumental and always brilliant. The other support is a band called Fun Sponge, I’ve not heard much of them yet, I’m waiting for the gig to properly experience it, but Steve Weir at Creature Lab highly recommended them so I know they will be good! So yeah just loads of gigs, promoting the album as much as we can, sending it off to everyone under the sun, keep writing new stuff, lather, rinse, repeat.
Written by Tom Godwin. Photographed by Matt Alvey.