Now here’s a band I miss seeing around. I’m taking about Future Suck outta Naarm. Following a promising demo they were impeded by lockdowns, but came out stronger on the other side. Here is there debut album, mixed by themselves and released on the label co-founded by vocalist Grace Gibson. It’s the first LP out on Rack Off and it just came out a week ago, packed with 11 tracks showing new sides of the band’s prowess.
We had a chat with the band to talk about their debut album and the experience recording it.
Simulation is your first vinyl release and your first since the excellent demo from 2019. What made you decide to go for an LP and not something more humble like a 45 or an EP?
Grace: I think we decided on an LP just because we’ve got so many songs we wanted to record. We put out our demo at the end of 2019 so have had almost three years in between releases. We probably would have gone for something smaller like a 7” if Covid hadn’t hit but through all of the scheduling and rescheduling of band pracs, shows and recording, it just seemed worth it to go straight for the big one! It’s kind of funny though because the album is really different to the demo and we haven’t had anything in between that shows like any progression in our sound, just from one thing straight to being like a different band.
It can be hard to create a really great punk or hardcore album, since that energy often comes in short bursts. What do you think makes a great album?
Kyle: I like when a bit of personality shines through. People always talk about tracking live which definitely helps. The natural changes in tempo you always get when you play together with other people can be really exciting. I don’t think anyone expects a profound level of musicianship with this sort of stuff, so long as the audience can tell you’re having a crack, I think it’ll normally translate well. I also appreciate when a band doesn’t take themselves too seriously. I find it really endearing when you listen to an album and notice little slip-ups in playing or funny artefacts in the recording. At the end of one of our “Harley” takes Rhys’ phone rung out. I cut it out but now I kinda wish I hadn’t. I also really like Grace’s lyrics on the more recent songs for the same reasons – lots of it is tongue in cheek.
Could you name a few punk long-players that who think are the pinnacle of that format, or just music that has inspired you during these last few years riddled by lockdowns?
Grace: One band I stumbled across a couple of years ago that influenced the way I thought when we were writing this album is The Comes. Their album No Side got repressed a couple of years ago and really combines those simple 80s punk riffs and rock’n’roll guitar solos and hardcore elements. I think we’ve tried to do a similar thing with our album. There’s a band called Dollhouse from New York that I listened to a lot while we were writing that’s members of Hank Wood and L.O.T.I.O.N. and a bunch of other bands. I really like how their vocalist phrases things, that whole Toxic State scene is really cool.
The line-up of the band has changed a since you started – how would you describe the spirit that is at the heart of the band? What do you all have in common?
Grace: The lineup has just changed slightly with Bec leaving at the end of last year to spend some more time on her other musical projects that are going offfff and Kayley Langdon joining on bass. I think we’re all just really good friends. We have pretty different tastes in music and other interests but just all get along really well which I think is all you really need to make a band work well.
You’re releasing this record on your own label, what’s your plan for reaching a wider audience outside of Australia? Do you have plans for more releases in the future?
Grace: This will be the third release on Rack Off Records which is the label Isobel Buckley and I started last year. We’ve been chatting with lots of distro, record stores and media internationally and everyone has been super supportive and cool to work with so it’s nice to have a few people advocating for us and the music we’re putting out overseas. Rack Off has got another couple of releases coming this year and another LP planned for the start of next year too – so lots on the horizon to keep an ear out for.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt about music during the pandemic?
Grace: For me it was just how important the music community is in Melbourne. It was really hard not running into the people you just normally see at shows. We’re really lucky to live in a city where the music scene is so active and there’s so many cool people doing really interesting stuff. Just learnt not to take that for granted.
Kyle: That, in the broader community but also just in the band itself. More than anything we all play in FS together to have fun and because we enjoy each other’s company. It was lousy not seeing each other for so long. Makes you appreciate all the time you spend together chatting and hanging out when you’re not actually playing music – while you’re loading into a venue, taking a lunch break at practice, having a beer after playing. That side of things was rough.