You’d think after eight years in Music City, The Future might want to branch out and look for some new band members. After all, they’ve played every venue in town, and have seen all the local talent from Franklin to the East side. But no! The beauty of The Future is that they stay true to their past — and all the band members involved with it.
Brothers Adam and Jordan Culver first started playing shows in Bismarck, North Dakota ten years ago, when Adam got his first guitar. That’s where, he says, his ability as a musician first started its “slow burn.” That’s also where the brothers realized that if they wanted to be the best band in the world, they’d have to leave North Dakota. It simply could not accommodate their long-term goals, or their tightening indie-rock band style. So, after summoning friends Bryan Fleece and Eric Sadowsky, the group made their way to Music City, where all indie-rock bands are welcome.
After a few years of battling the stakes in Nashville’s competitive music scene and concentrating their effort in Adam’s home studio, the way was paved for some features in the national spotlight. Along with scoring two “Artist of the Week” spots on Lightning 100, their early music earned them several seconds of fame on MTV hit shows Friend Zone, Teen Mom and The Real World. With a full-length album under their belt (Grow Young), and four singles released throughout the spring and summer of 2013, the stage was set for the dropping of their sophomore — and latest — album Blood Moon. This album features a spacy synthesizer, light vocal harmonies, and several moments of shocking yet well-placed acoustic/electric guitar switches.
There’s no doubt that Adam’s “slow burn” has combusted into a very lively sizzle. Anyone who’s seen The Future live knows that his stage presence can get you just as excited as the music can. In fact, the onstage performance is so unique that it’d be hard to imagine anyone else standing up there with them.
With a rocking live personality and beautiful in-studio comradery, these guys have made it to the top of the local scene without any change to what makes the band what it is. Adam and Jordan Culver, Bryan Fleece, and Eric Sadowsky will continue to rock every venue in town, and we can’t wait to see where their music takes them next.
What’s your favorite part about the local Nashville music community? Has that been decisive to your success as an artist?
Being real honest, I love hanging out with the other bands and musicians. There’s like zero percent competition between us. We’re all just trying to make things great for our bands, and we all get how hard that is. We’re really supportive. We go to each other’s shows and bump into each other at 3 Crow, you know? Sometimes I go out in East Nashville all by myself and know that I’ll run into a friend from some other band, and it’s going to be a fun night. So I love that, and I also like seeing the improvements in other people’s bands. Like if I haven’t seen my friend play in a year or something, and I go see him again, he could have all new songs! He could have gotten better. I mean, when we came here it was daunting. It was like, “Oh my god, everyone’s really good,” and you can go see someone amazing every night for $5.
Even for us, it was like we had to get better or quit. Those were really the only two options, and so we just slowly got better!
I think it really has been decisive to our success. I mean one of the realities of playing in Nashville is that you’re playing for a lot of musicians, and so if you actually enjoy hanging out with them then a ton of people are willing to be your friend and come to your show!
You released four singles throughout the spring and summer of 2013, right before the release of Blood Moon. Why four singles, instead of the usual one?
I was like, “Hey, we could work faster, you know?” We wanted to have things come out regularly. We had actually thought about putting out twelve singles! We ended up just putting them all together on a disk.
I really want to have more immediacy. Like, “We wrote this, and know it’s available.” I get tired of that gestation period being like a whole year. Like, “Oh, we wrote this so long ago,” and you’re totally not amped about it when it finally comes out.
Having listening to Grow Young and then Blood Moon consecutively, it seems that, over time, your sound has developed into something more electronic. Why did you bring in the synthesizer?
The way that we write is this: I’ll be sitting in the studio trying to make the song work, and I’m not really good at guitar, or bass, or even synthesizer, but I’ll play it and if it works then it’ll just stay on the track and be there forever. So I just try and stumble into things. There’s a song called Grid that’s a real heavy synth-sounding thing. It actually had a lot of guitars, but we took them all out and asked ourselves, “Does this fit with the rest of the record?” And I was like, “I don’t even care.” It’s still The Future even with a different kind of production, you know? I wanted this album to have a broader production. It’s more important for the song to sound good than it is for it to sound like the rest of our songs.
Adam, you’re known for your energetic stage presence. Do you have any wild pre-show routines that get you amped up?
If we’re playing outdoors, then I’m drinking water like no other. I get so dehydrated, especially if we’re playing outside. Sometimes I’ll stretch my legs before I get onstage, just so I don’t pull a quad or something. I mean, I just want to be in a good mood when I’m up there. Sometimes I’ll drink a few beers before, and sometimes I won’t. It’s fun either way! Mostly I just try to stay hydrated though. I drank six Gatorades before a house show a few weeks ago. I just totally absorb it. I wasn’t even going to the bathroom. There’s something weird about my body. I’m like 60 percent yellow Gatorade.