Por: Alberto Zayas Montilla
Especial para Puerto Rico Indie
En el verano tuve la oportunidad de ver a Future Punx abrirle a Parquet Courts en un show en Brooklyn. No sabía nada de la banda, sin embargo tan pronto empezaron a tocar ni yo ni los que estábamos ahi paramos de bailar durante todo el set. Desde entonces los he visto tocar varias veces y puedo decir que de todas las bandas sonando en el último año en NYC, tienen una de las propuestas musicales más particulares, no solamente en cómo se apropian del estilo de ciertas bandas de la escena punk del Lower East Side de los 70’s y 80’s, sino que también en la manera en que le añaden a ese estilo para crear algo propio: un sonido que, más que todo en vivo, presentan con una energía y seguridad que no hay manera alguna de quedarse quieto sin bailar y disfrutar desde el comienzo del set hasta al final.
Su talento creativo, profesionalismo y compromiso con la escena independiente niuyorquina los ha establecido como una de las bandas más codiciada de la escena—recientemente teniendo la dicha de servir como titular una noche en el famoso local de manufactura de pedales y espacio de shows, Death By Audio, en su última semana de operaciones. Ahora, gracias al esfuerzo de Dead Mofongo Records, los tendremos en la isla una semana tocando en tres shows: el 30 de diciembre, el 2 y el 3 de enero. En Puerto Rico Indie no podíamos contener la emoción de tenerlos próximamente de visita en nuestra escena favorita así que aprovechamos la oportunidad para hacerles unas cuantas preguntas que incluimos a continuación.
PRI: Who are (the) Future Punx?
Chris Pickering (CP): We are a post-wave band from Brooklyn, NY. I am Chris Pickering, I play bass. I am joined by Jake Pepper on Guitar, Jason Kelly on drums and Brit Boris on Keytar. We all share vocal duties. Heather Strange takes care of our stage lighting, projections and other visual concerns as well as band management duties.
PRI: Post-wave sounds like an interesting term to describe your music, but I’m not really familiar with it, how would you describe it? Along these same lines, Future Punx kind of reminds me of bands like Talking Heads, Roxy Music (not only in terms of the sound but also by the fact that you guys sometimes dress up for the show), Devo, and even Wire. Would you say that these comparisons ring true, did these bands inspire you? Are there any other bands that inspire the FPunx?
CP: We call our sound Post-Wave. Simply put it’s post punk / new wave but it also implies that it’s after all “waves” of music so far. Futuristic punk music no doubt contains electronic elements mixed with classic punk sounds. Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Devo, etc are all definitely big influences for us, as well as Orange Juice, Gary Numan, Bush Tetras etc. We also draw influences from many scenes outside of punk. Jason is really into afro-beat and incorporating those funky rhythms into our sound. In that vein, we are all fans of William Onyeabor, Ata Kak, and really anything released by Awesome Tapes from Africa label.Personally I’ve been drawing from 90s dance music for influence on our new material. Artists like C&C Music Factory, Technotronic and Milli Vanili that left a big impact on me as a child. Jake is like a human encyclopedia of post punk music. He is always turning us on to cool funky underground stuff. I think post wave is a culmination of all these past influences into something palatable in the current state of music.
PRI: I know that you, Chris, have family in Vieques and I also know you’ve visited the island at least once before. When was this and where you aware by that time of the independent music scene in the island? Did you manage to check it out when you visited and/or did you know of any bands from PR? What have you heard, if anything, about it?
CP: When I visited Vieques almost 10 years ago, I was unaware of any indie music scene happening, though I wasn’t ignorant enough to believe it didn’t exist. Feels like around that time I had heard about the Screamo band Comadre coming over to PR to play some shows so I knew it did happen from time to time. I still know very little about the scene and look forward to seeing it first hand. I’ve checked out most of the bands we are going to play with and am excited to see them play. Especially excited to play with Campo-Formio and Rebecca Kill.
PRI: You guys are going out of your way to play in the (main) island. It is definitely a whole different commitment than getting a van and touring around the US. For starters you have to invest in airplane tickets; where in the US you invest in a car, gasoline and sleepless nights, you still get most of the money back (if not all of it) and then some. Coming to Puerto Rico from the US seems like a whole different commitment, most likely a bigger, more expensive, riskier one. What is the driving force behind this initiative?
CP: We are very passionate about our music and hope to spread it to as many people as possible. The fact that bands rarely make it over to PR is even more incentive for us to go. Hopefully we can inspire some of the local music fans to try something a little different within their own music projects, or at the very least inspire people to dance and have a good time. From a financial standpoint it definitely is not profitable but making money is not a huge priority for us as music is a deep passion. If making money was a huge factor then we shouldn’t be playing in a punk band, as it is rarely a profitable endeavor no matter where the tour takes you.
(Nonetheless) It’s a good feeling to bring new music to places that are usually ignored. We also look forward to a break from the New York winter. Really the chance to submerge ourselves in a different culture is the best part of the opportunity.
Foto principal: Heather Strange