Photo by Bryan Kirks
FUTURE FEATS is one of those bands that’s always been doing their own thing. They made their mark on tour with The Kooks and Barns Courtney this past winter as the band that hangs out with fans after shows and stage dives to varying degrees of success (more on this later). So when I FaceTimed their charismatic frontman, who simply goes by Josh, for an interview, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that he was wearing pajama bottoms. Luckily, I was also keeping it pretty casual so we had a mini pajama party to discuss touring, the new music video for “Cities in Wonder,” and Ariana Grande.
Us For Once: So you just got off tour with The Kooks and Barns Courtney and you just released your first music video ever for “Cities in Wonder.” You must be super hyped right now.
Future Feats: Yes, this past tour was so incredible. It was definitely one of the best if not the best tour we’ve ever been on. The Kooks were incredible and we’re so grateful that they invited us on the tour. And Barns Courtney is this insane person who we love so much. Everyone was awesome and it was the most fun we’ve ever had.
UFO: You’ve talked a bit about The Kooks but you’ve also been on tour with bands like The Wombats and Matt and Kim. What are some of your favorite memories from being on the road?
FF: The Wombats were so awesome and of course we appreciate them for having us out. One of my favorite memories from The Wombats tour involved our bassist, Alyssa Davey. It was one of her dreams to dress as a mascot in high school and she never got an opportunity to do that. So she asked The Wombats if she could go onstage in their wombat costume. So one night in Portland, she dressed up as a wombat, got up onstage and danced and we got it all on film. It was awesome a nice memory for me and for her.
UFO: In the age of social media, a lot of fan interaction can be very calculated and distant but you and the band have been very cool and personable with fans. How do you feel that’s given you a leg up in finding new listeners?
FF: I don’t know if it’s necessarily a leg up or anything. I just know that as a band, we love you guys so much. We love talking to you guys and connecting. That’s why we’re here. We’re playing music and building relationships and meeting not just fans but friends. I think if more bands took less of a distant approach, it would give them a leg up. Because you’re playing music, you’re having fun. You’re meeting people. That’s why I think our band…I don’t know. Everyone in our band has a great personality.
UFO: Well, I’ll tell you what. I wouldn’t have been as quick to seek out your music if you hadn’t been selling your own merch in Dallas.
UFO: Yeah. If I hadn’t met you and Patrick [Retzer] that night, I might not have immediately gone home and looked up Future Feats. It definitely gave you a leg up in that regard.
FF: Well, yeah. With that tall guy waving around like “come over, say hello.”
UFO: He was a force of personality for sure.
FF: I feel like all five of us are basically alphas. We all have such strong personalities. We pick our moments to shine. Like, sometimes if i’m not feeling right, other people can take over. It’s nice.
UFO: Well, it’s certainly making an impact because I know a lot of people, at least in Dallas, got really into your energy both onstage and at the merch stand.
FF: Yeah, Dallas was great! Except for when I fell off the stage.
UFO: I heard you did that a couple times.
FF: Yeah, I fell a lot on this tour. Cause I was going for it! I crowd surfed a bunch, I fell a bunch. You gotta get into it.
UFO: I mean, as long as you’re okay and you still have a good attitude about it.
FF: And as long as everyone else is okay. I did injure a couple of people, but I talked to them after the show and—I’ve gotta be more careful, I guess.
UFO: During your time on the road, you’ve played in some iconic venues. Is there a venue you haven’t played yet that’s on your bucket list?
FF: Yeah, actually. It’s one of my favorite venues in the country. t’s called The Orange Peel and it’s in Asheville, North Carolina. I would love to play that club. And look. I could say Madison Square Garden or a bunch of other big places but like…I really want to play The Orange Peel! Another one is Cat’s Cradle near Raleigh and Durham. And they’re small clubs but I would love to headline them one day.
UFO: I mean, with the big tours and releasing your own stuff, it’s only a matter of time.
FF: I hope so. You know, it’s tougher than you think. Once we start putting some more music out and some more videos, we’ll be able to turn the corner and start selling tickets. But right now we’re still a baby band. We’re still earning our stripes. Even when you get invited on big tours, it’s still a lot of work to win people over.
UFO: Speaking of new videos and new music, what can we expect in 2019? Is there a new album or new videos coming? What are the future feats of FUTURE FEATS?
FF: Our “future feats” are that we have an album coming. We haven’t set a date yet. I wish we did. I wish we could tell people “this is the release date.” What we’re gonna try to do is release a handful of singles leading up to a full album release. And I think the album might be coming sometime in the summer, which is a good time to release music. And I’m about to go back to LA to shoot two more videos. We’ll have a total of six or seven music videos to go with this album. We’re just gonna roll out tracks and videos and generally good stuff and hopefully hop on another summer tour when the album comes out.
UFO: So that’s it for the big questions but I’ve got a few lightning round questions just about music in general. So the game here is to answer and justify.
UFO: Top three albums. Go.
FF: Top three albums? “Abbey Road”, “Songs in the Key of Life”, and “A Night at the Opera”.
FF: Well, I love The Beatles. They’re my favorite band of all time and Abbey Road is my top Beatles album. Stevie Wonder is my favorite songwriter of all time. He’s a genius. And I love funk and soul music. It’s my favorite genre. Motown, Michael Jackson. I love that era of music. And “Songs in the Key of Life” is just…one of the best. It’s a perfect record. And it has so many songs that are important to me and my life. And then third one, “A Night at the Opera,” is just..I mean…and it’s not just because Bohemian Rhapsody came out this year. It’s always been a staple album along with “The Works” and “A Day at the Races.” There’s so many great Queen records.
UFO: So I think you’ve already touched on this a bit, but what’s your favorite decade for music?
FF: I just love the seventies. Early seventies, late seventies. Classic rock. Funk, soul. It’s such a great, rich era of music. And yeah, the eighties were great and so were the nineties. But what I grew up listening to? That comes from the seventies.
UFO: Guilty pleasure song?
FF: Guilty pleasure? Oooh…I do like a lot of pop music. I’m trying to think of the last…oh. Okay. Ariana Grande. I’ve covered her song, “Thank U, Next.”
UFO: There you go! That’s a good one! But I declare you not guilty. That’s a good song.
FF: Right? Because there chords are…they’re very soulful chords.
UFO: Well, that’s it for my questions. Any parting words for the readers of Us For Once?
FF: Please, readers of Us For Once, go watch the “Cities in Wonder” must video. Follow us on twitter and Instagram if you like what you hear and we hope to see you at a show. We appreciate all your support and we love you.
While you wait for our next pajama party tale, be sure to keep up with FUTURE FEATS on Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify! Check out their website as well for the latest updates on new music, tour, and more!