Interview – Forgetting the Future
With painfully catchy new single Cherry recently released, we caught up with Thurso indie rockers Forgetting the Future to find out a bit more about what makes them tick…
Describe your music in three words.
EXPLOSIVE, BRIGHT and BANGING!
Who’s in the band, and what do you each play?
Forgetting The Future consists of four northern townie boys: Robbie McNicol as the front man, Jamie Mackay on the Lead Guitar, big tall Max Paul on the Bass Guitar, and Connor Wilson on the Drums.
How and when did the band form?
We all grew up together in a tiny surfing town called Thurso as boys, where myself Robbie and our drummer Connor impatiently waited for each music night at the local Youth Club once a week. We used to play the old reliable covers like Folsom Prison Blues and Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg with a twist of Green Day for a while until one of our mutual friends brought a young Jamie to the jam nights. We got on like a house on fire and continued to jam until he joined our little cover band which transformed into Forgetting The Future as we started to play local music venues, pubs and nightclubs around the county at the young age of 14.
The latest member to sell his soul to the music dream was Max Paul. Max and I grew up together through high school as best mates for years as we would hang out, surf together and listen to the old classics like The Everly Brothers all the way through to Rage Against The Machine. Max had always loved great music and great bands from a young age. A few months passed and after we started to play local venues we had the sudden realisation that we needed a bass player! Max had never ever picked up a bass, let alone a guitar, but we thought he was the perfect man to join us on stage! We invited Max into the band which he was over the moon about until we let him know we had a pub gig coming up in 2 weeks – aha! Which meant the poor boy had to learn a three hour set of songs after playing the bass for about a day. The gig turned out great and Max passed the test. To this day he graces the band with backing harmonies and rich bass riffs.
Where can we listen to your music?
You can find our music on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. You can also find our music videos via our YouTube or purchase any physical copies via our website at www.forgettingthefuture.co.uk.
Tell us a bit about your songwriting process.
I usually begin writing my songs at my kitchen table with the intention of creating a mood. As an example, if I were feeling like writing a more energetic in-your-face rock tune I will take that into consideration and write the lyrics with a bit more attitude, as opposed to writing a nice quiet emotional acoustic song where I’d usually give it more of an intimate feel. Once I’ve written the song I will take the tune to the boys and they will take their part in the direction that they feel the song needs to go.
What do you listen to on the way to a gig?
Before a gig I love to relax in the dressing room with some David Gray and some Passenger until it gets closer to stage time then I’ll throw the big dogs on like The Bee Gees to make me feel loose and groovy, mixed with a bit of The Rolling Stones to give myself an attitude boost haha! And definitely some indie-rock like The Snuts or The Hunna to tip me over the edge!
Which of your songs do you enjoy playing the most?
It changes from week to week but right now my favourite song to play is our first single off the album, Bluetooth. I’m obsessed with the harmonies in that song!
If things go exactly to plan with the band, what would you like to achieve?
If things go to plan I’d love to take this ship as far as we can, playing major festivals and arenas around the world. I mean, who wouldn’t?! But also to produce as many new tunes as possible every year to give all of our fans a huge catalogue of music so no matter what mood they are in there will always be an FTF song that can pull you back into shape or push you further in the right direction!
Which bit of music gear could you not live without, and why?
It would most definitely be my X-VIVE U2 wireless guitar system for me! I go very wild and clumsy on stage so it helps a lot if I don’t get tangled in my guitar leads haha!
What’s your favourite brand of music gear, and why?
My all time favourite gear brand is Fender. I’m a huge Fender man, I just totally love my ‘70s Classic Vibe Strat and I accompany it with my Jim Root Tele to beef up my sound. With some Fender rubber strap locks, you could say I’m obsessed!
What was your best gig ever, and why?
Our best gig ever would have to be when we played a packed-out Edinburgh show at the lovely Sneaky Petes! We played there a week after IDLES did, which was very intimidating but it went incredibly well. We spotted a young lad boogying in the front row and I just had to invite him up onto the stage to have a dance off with him while we played our tune Towers. We also got to have a huge wander round the city which was amazing, because Edinburgh is just beautiful.
What was your most disastrous gig ever, and why?
Our most disastrous gig EVER would have to be when we performed at one of our best mates parties where we were all way too smashed to function, and as always I was flinging myself across the stage but unfortunately this time I landed half on my wah pedal which twisted my ankle and sent me off the stage at a hurling momentum! I received soft tissue damage in my ankle and was punished with crutches for a few weeks haha!
What are your favourite Scottish recording and / or rehearsal studios?
Because we live so far up North in rural Scotland we have always practiced in the highlands where we began in Connor’s lounge in his parents place as kids (big shoutout to his parents for letting us blast the house down with our amps and not throttling us for it like most people would) and now we practice at our local nightclub Skinandi’s because of our great friend Brian who runs the place (to whom we have promised a private jet if we become famous).
What are your favourite festivals to play at?
We absolutely adore Belladrum Festival – that place is a haven! My dad has been taking me to that festival since I was 8 years old, which made it ten times cooler to play at it, and I have witnessed some insane talent there like Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Wombats, The Wailers and many more incredible people! We had a great time playing The Sounds Of The Summer Festival a while back with Neon Waltz, Baby Strange and loads more awesome bands too.
What’s your personal favourite song you’ve released (or are about to release!)?
My Personal favourite song is probably Latch, I just love how that one translated in the studio. That has a lot to do with our amazing producer Ken Allardyce who helped us totally transform the tune with three part harmonies but huge blasting guitar sounds. The man is a musical genius.
If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life – excluding yourselves – who would you pick?
I’d listen to Jimi Hendrix for the rest of my life because that would probably be the amount of time it would take me to steal all his fancy tricks and licks haha. If not Hendrix then The Beatles for the same reason.
How do you promote yourselves? Is there any method you’ve found that has worked particularly well?
The best way to promote yourself as an up and coming band is to just give! Give! Give! to your audience and engage with people. Just be real. Little things like having some great conversations with people at your shows in the crowd after you’ve played is just the best way to connect with people. You have to let your fans know that you care, because without them we would be nothing!
What’s next for you? Any gigs or releases coming up?
We are very excited about releasing new music. We have one more single off the back of our album to release and then we have just finished recording four new sounding slamming tracks at the rock end of indie, so look out for that! As for gigs, it’s all up in the air at the moment with lockdown but I promise you we will be planning a massive tour as soon as we have the all clear!