WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON

Black Futures are an unusual band, some might say a weird band. A two piece industrial noisy punk outfit slotting somewhere between Nine Inch Nails and Death From Above 1979 on acid in a space station crashing towards earth, it was a project that started off as “sarcastic” according to lead vocalist and main orchestrator of chaos Space (yes, they have unusual nicknames too). And although Vibes (that’s the other guy) told us it’s now “quite serious”, we got the impression that statement was also sarcastic, and it’s clear the band don’t take themselves that seriously despite the dramatics of their stage show, backstory and invented world. It’s not supposed to be pretentious and wanky, it’s supposed to be fun. “We want to take people out of their every day surroundings and let them be free and wild and encourage that,” Space told us. “I know bands that just stand and look out but for us, we wanna create an atmosphere and a world, an energy that can’t be ignored and draws the weird elements out of people.”

And their live performances certainly go a long way towards doing that. While the two of them bounce around on stage doing their thing – Space on guitar, keys/synths and Vibes on drums & percussion – they have a mini army of two or more people dressed in full white hazmat suits and looking rather intimidating who are there to act as the band’s “conduits for vibe”. Space explained the hazmats were “a way of giving people a faceless, sexless body to go out and draw people in” and that their role was to “pull the crowd in and get them involved. It kind of started from the very first show we did. It was a completely immersive show and we needed this kind of in between between us and the band in order to pull people into our world and it all developed from there.”

Now, the hazmats have become an important part of their show, not just standing on stage and waving flags with the band’s slogan (never not nothing) and logo on, but also literally getting into the crowd, starting pits with them, joining in, getting people going and hyped up. It really works too, and the dedicated fanbase Black Futures are building up is the proof. There’s even a name for them already – The Black Futures Existential Expedition Club. Or “just the Black Future Expedition Club for short because ‘existential’ is a bit of a mouthful sometimes. After a few beers it’s just the Expedition Club.”

“we wanna create an atmosphere and a world, an energy that can’t be ignored and draws the weird elements out of people…”

But what’s it all about? What does it mean? “It all means nothing,” said Space encouragingly. “We’re just mere specs in the ocean of space but we’re gonna throw as much fucking positive vibes out there, maximum rebellion, maximum life.”

“A positive nihilistic party,” added Vibes, which was essentially the subject matter of single ‘Love’. It was “the first song we ever wrote as Black Futures,” Space told us. “So it’s the birthplace of Black Futures. It’s very simple and anarchic and basically it’s about if it was the end of the world and you only had ten minutes left you’re gonna make as much love as you can, call everyone up and have a fucking party, you’re not gonna go moan to someone, you’ll be like ‘fuck yeah, let’s go.’”

“You never know your future,” added a cheerful Vibes. “You could be dead in a minute.”

“There’s an end to everything,” said Space. “But if we’re on our way down, we’re gonna have some fun on our way. And also do our fucking best to be good human beings…We’ve got thousands of theories on where existence and the human race is gonna go and we wanna steer it towards Newtopia.” It’s the name they give to a metaphorical place or existence somewhere in our future, a place we can hopefully reach by working together, which means that overall then, Black Futures carries a positive message not one of a ‘black future’ necessarily. “We’re trying to make our own present better. And hopefully we’ll end up as the stewards of nature and rock n roll. Not us personally, but us collectively as humans.”

“sometimes you just feel so at odds with your surroundings and you need a little bit of black humour, a little bit of escapism.”

This is all pretty epic and big for a band who only just released their debut album. Entitled ‘Never Not Nothing’, it dropped August 30th via Music For Nations and the guys are pretty excited about it. “We’ve had it in secrecy for such a long time, we’re looking forward to it having a life of its own,” said Space. “We make a lot of music in general with other people [The Prodigy and Acres, no less] and it’s nice just to focus on something for ourselves and now it’ll be nice to let it out on the world to annoy some people.” The band also ‘annoyed some people’ over at Download and Glastonbury recently, the latter of which they have aims for the top. “We love Glastonbury,” said Vibes. “It’s one of my favourite places. The shape of the main stage is pretty much our logo so it makes sense.” Of course, they hope to headline the famous Pyramid Stage someday. “It’s all been leading up to that moment,” added Space.

In the meantime though, fans of the band can expect lots of touring in support of the album and they’ve already started working on new material. “We’ve got some side project stuff we’re doing with some interesting friends,” Space told us. “For us it’s a craft, it’s a lifestyle and an ethic. We’re just gonna be making lots of art. Our imaginations go to some very far out places and we normally make it happen so…it’s gonna get weird.”
More weird than it has already? The two of them just laughed a little darkly, which we presume means yes.
“I think it’s gonna be fun. It depends what happens in the world as well so we’ll react to that. This album’s kinda been a cathartic record for us because sometimes you just feel so at odds with your surroundings and you need a little bit of black humour, a little bit of escapism and a little bit of ‘well if no one else is gonna make it alright then lets try and create a little world for ourselves and invite people in.’”

If you want to be invited in to the world of Black Futures, then check out their album ‘Never Not Nothing’ out now, and you can catch them on their tour round the UK at the following dates with BLACK PEAKS:

THU 03/10/19 UK Manchester – Gorilla
FRI 04/10/19 UK Aberdeen – Lemon Tree
SAT 05/10/19 UK Glasgow – Garage
SUN 06/10/19 UK Birmingham – o2 Institute 2
TUE 08/10/19 UK Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
THU 10/10/19 UK Bristol – Fleece
FRI 11/10/19 UK London – Electric Ballroom

 

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