Is it possible to live in both the past and the future at the same time? For UK-based band The Future Shape Of Sound, both have provided the inspiration needed for a batch of music unheard of in the present. Classifying themselves as “Space Age Gangster Soul,” The Future Shape Of Sound is hard to miss with their catchy tunes and unique sound. They combine the quirky, space-age sound effects seen in B-Movies from the 50s and 60s with the passion and play of 60s soul, adding in a sprinkle of spoken-lyrics on top of it all. Listening to them is like hanging out with the Jetsons, that is if the Jetsons happened to be going to a late-night dive bar in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a fan of the B-52s, Fitz And The Tantrums, Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings, Gnarls Barkley, or 60s pop music, do not miss the awesomeness that is The Future Shape Of Sound. Their new single, “Thinking Bad Thoughts,” is now available on iTunes! I sat down and email-interviewed Captain Future and Big Daddy Kai of The Future Shape Of Sound about their sound and about themselves:
Pick&Pen: How did the band form?
Captain Future (right): It’s a great Rock’n’Roll story: We met at a party. The end!
Big Daddy Kai (left): That’s mostly true but Captain Future in fact crashed the party and while very very drunk we made a pact with the devil.
PP: What inspired you to begin writing music for The Future Shape Of Sound?
CF: Too much electronic music around and re-discovering the great old sounds from the 1960s and before.
BDK: Captain Future has to write the music, it’s a small print sub clause in the devilish pact.
PP: What is your process – how do you write the lyrics and set it to music?
CF: Usually I would come up with an instrumental tune and we would talk about what the song is about. Big and Nomtai write lyrics and melodies which we’ll try out in the studio and mould as necessary.
BDK: It’s not true… he beats us and starves us and says nasty things until we bleed lyrics… honest.
PP: What bands inspire you?
CF: Big Daddy Kai, Lucille Bogan, John Lee Hooker, The Champs.
BDK: Alex McGowan. Public Enemy. James Brown. Pink Floyd.
PP: What type of music do you classify yourself as and why?
CF: Space Age Gangster Soul!
The Space Age is a futuristic era in the sixties defined by space travel and man on the moon. A futuristic vision from the past.
Gangster refers to soundtracks to 60s and before, gangster movies. Not to be mistaken with Gangsta rap.
Soul as in Northern Soul.
BDK: Years ago there was a programme on TV called ‘Tomorrows World’ – their vision of the future always had us driving hover cars wearing silver overalls and taking a pill which tasted like a full roast dinner by the year 2000… and that’s why we do what we do.
PP: Why did you turn to soul, blues, and space-age rock?
CF: Blues inspired me to start playing the guitar as a kid. Not sure about Space-Age Rock. Could we add a ” ‘nRoll ” to that?
BDK: Because they’re true.
PP: What inspired your look and why?
CF: Hats and suits are elements of times gone by
BDK: Tony Soprano, Ice Road Truckers and Elmer Fudd… nuff said.
PP: What’s next for The Future Shape Of Sound?
CF: The Single and the E.P. coming out on Mostar Records. Gigs and more gigs, increasing the size of the band (we’re up to 10 just now) shouting and then more shouting, lots of dancing and laughing our asses off.
PP: What’s the first album you ever bought?
CF: The Rolling Stones: Mile Stones
BDK: My Dad was a DJ so our house was full of records, the line between his and mine blurred a long time ago. I think it was Slayed By Slade.
PP: Where do you go to find new music and why?
CF: New old music can be enjoyed at retro club nights like Gypsy Hotel, The Big Ten Inch, The Opium Den, Ladyluck, Black Cotton Club.
BDK: There is nothing new under the sun.
PP: What is one thing you can do that’s pretty unique?
CF: I can… no I can’t say that here. What else? ….mmmh, can’t think of anything. I’m replaceable. Oh yes, one thing comes to mind. I can take longer to get ready to go out than my girlfriend.
BDK: Nothing… no wait, I can take longer to get ready to go out than Captain Future… but I am bigger. I can also spend endless hours in the studio with Captain Future and not say a single serious thing. Oh yes and I can suck my own penis. Warning! One of the aforementioned is a complete lie.
PP: What is your drink of choice and why?
CF: Port. It’s an elegant drink and tastes lovely.
BDK: Bourbon… I love the way it makes you drunk from the feet up. You can be sat having a completely serious conversation, get up to go to the loo and your legs are pissed.
PP: If you could play with any band, still around or not around, who would you choose and why?
CF: Big reminded me of the saying “You should never meet your heroes. You will probably be disappointed”. I’d love to be disappointed by Brian Eno.
BDK: The Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band… great musicians and funny as f**k.
Check out The Future Shape Of Sound on their website, and download their new single on iTunes! Also check out Mostar Record‘s website for more information on The Future Shape Of Sound and on other great UK bands!
Here’s a 30-second preview of their new single “Thinking Bad Thoughts.”