Future Teens - Sound In The Signals Interview

Adam Parshall
I recently had the opportunity to interview Future Teens. We discussed how their songs evolved during the recording process for upcoming album, ‘Self Help’, creating the album’s artwork, writing new song, “BYOB” and filming the video for it, their upcoming tour with Camp Trash and Rat Tally, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Thank you for wanting to interview us!

You recently announced your new album ‘Self Help’. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process for the album?

Daniel: We wrote the record together but didn’t finalize a lot of it till we were in the studio for two reasons. The first is that since we were able to record the album all together in a live room at Gradwell House and knew that things would evolve as the recording process went on. We didn’t want to be too precious about anything so that if a song needed to change in any way we could just try out new ideas on the spot. We also had the incredible Andy Park in the studio helping us shape the songs. It was amazing to have another set of ears in the room and was a first for us.

Can you tell me more about the meaning behind the artwork and album title?

Daniel: The album title came about during the recording process. We noticed the theme running through the record about how multiple songs delved into the difficulty of needing and asking for help. We ended up talking through that theme with our producer Andy and came up with the record title on the spot. We all grew up in the 90s and watched our fair share of VHS tapes so it seemed an appropriate aesthetic to tie the album title into.

You also released new song “BYOB” with the album announcement. Can you tell me about writing that song specifically?

Amy: BYOB traces my first 6 months or so of sobriety. I think some part of me knew for a long time that I needed to quit drinking - I half heartedly tried countless times before and had “feeling best when I feel nothing” sitting at the top of my notes app for at least a year - but I kept making excuses and avoiding being honest with myself, even through that first couple of months. Admitting and accepting that I needed to keep choosing sobriety and seek accountability in that choice changed my entire life.

You filmed a video for the song and I really like it. Who came up with the concept for it?

Amy: The idea came from Daniel, but was originally a lot more demure - game plan shifted pretty dramatically the literal night before the shoot. I think our post-UK tour delirium contributed a lot to the “we need to make this weirder” energy. Michael Herrick, the director, did an incredible job focusing our ideas and bringing it all together. He’s unbelievably good at what he does and such a hilarious, creative, thoughtful person. We loved getting to work with him again.

What was the video shoot like and do you have a favorite scene from the video?

Daniel: The video shoot was a blast, we’ve worked with Michael Herrick on three other videos before this one and so it was a no brainer to work with him again. The night before filming I called him and said, “what if we kind of make this a horror video by the end…?” He was on board and coming up with ideas right away. It was a long shoot and we were exhausted by the end but I LOVE the scenes at the very end where we are playing for the captive audience. The lightning in the background is just so good.

Which was the easiest song to write on the album and on the other hand which song took the longest to complete?

Daniel: The first song on the record (Doorknob Confessional) took a while to arrange in the studio but we are so happy with how it came out. The quickest was probably the second track (Good Reason). The thought in my head while writing it was, ‘Joyce Manor writes a Dystopian Children’s Song’ and I think that’s kind of exactly how it came out.

You also announced a tour with Camp Trash and Rat Tally. How did that tour come together?

Daniel: Honestly, it came together easily. We work with an incredible booking agent, Alex Martin, and told them that we want to do a little headliner and can we please and they said “I’m on it”. It was an easy process and we couldn't be more excited for it. It’s a real dream and privilege to get to pick the bands we want to tour with and Camp Trash and Rat Tally were the first bands we asked and they said yes. A dream come true honestly.

Do you have any surprises planned for your live show? Will you be playing a lot of songs from the new album?

Colby: Definitely going to be playing a bunch of new songs and some old favorites. It’s wild to have three full length records and an EP to pick from so it’ll be tricky but fun to decide what to play each night.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Daniel: Thanks for all your support over the years, we can’t wait for everyone to hear the full record!

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