Kansas City screamo + noodles = awesome sauce.
Perfect Future is a post-punk/emo band from Frostburg, MD and parts of VA. They’ve been a part of Count Your Lucky Stars Records for the past couple of years, releasing one full length and many different split EPs.
I recently got a chance to ask them some questions about their upcoming album “Old Wounds: Warmth in the Winter of 1914-1915” and some other things.
You can stream the record on the Perfect Future bandcamp HERE and pre-order it from Count Your Lucky Stars Records HERE. Enjoy!
SYLO: Tell us a little about Perfect Future in general.
Brendan: We are a band that is separated by 3 hours as two members live in Frostburg, Maryland and the other two live in Annandale, Virginia. Different people have compared us to Yaphet Kotto, Kolya, Van Pelt, Black Sabbath, and a bunch of other twinkly emo bands. I’m definitely not going to bore you with how we became a band because it is very average.
Matt: I’ve known Brendan for a pretty long time, and was in a band with him earlier before PF. In early 2010, he asked me if I’d be interested in doing the summer tour with him and joining the band, and I was more than happy to do so. That’s how I became involved.
Ted: Perfect Future is a band that played in my backyard about three years ago and then about a little under a year ago Brendan asked me to be in it and I said “Yes sir” and then I recorded guitar for the new album, and am stoked to be in such a great band with awesome friends.
SYLO: What do you do when you’re not writing/playing music?
Brendan: I personally am a couple of weeks finishing up a Master’s degree in order to teach English in middle and high schools. So the last year has consisted of student teaching, night classes, running into my students at punk shows, and trying to hide my tattoos from other teachers, principals, and parents.
But realistically, when I am not playing music I am watching anime, playing Magic: the Gathering, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or hanging out with my girlfriend.
Ted: I am finishing up a bachelor’s degree in English at GMU, so I’m only a few steps behind Brendan. I also work at a restaurant, play soccer with my Latino homies, skateboard with my girlfriend, be a comedy duo with Matt, play a ton of jRPGs and platformers, play music with a few other friends in a couple other bands, and get pressured into watching Lost by Brendan and John. Slowly but surely.
John: I am a cat whisperer.
Matt: I can be found slaying internet dragons in Azeroth, or working on tons of other musical projects and ideas that never form into real bands.
SYLO: You’ve all been in a lot of different bands. What are some of those and how does Perfect Future differ from those?
Brendan: I’m not going to start listing off bands because we are all in multiple bands right now and because John is the drummer for every band in his area for like the past 4 years. As far as genres go, between the four of us we have been in other emo, screamo, punk, hardcore, drone, stoner metal, folk, d-beat, beatdown hardcore, pop, and slow-core bands. I think what Perfect Future does differently though is mainly in regards to the concept of the band as a whole. The band was basically started as a way to play a genre that I love while writing lyrics that don’t quite fit with the genre. Basically, I wanted to have a traditional 90’s sounding emo band that had songs about colonialism, urban sprawl, resource conservation, militarism, and a host of other societal and ethical problems (Hence the name Perfect Future). However, I wasn’t quite sure how to pull off the project early on, which is why some of those early songs are radically different from one another both musically and lyrically. Since then, we have kind of found our niche as a band and our songs are more focused.
John: I’m currently in several bands in my area: Studying, Kilgore Trout, New Years, Green and Solomon Solomon. Perfect Fu’ture is special to me because it is the only band I have been on tour with, and also it’s the only band that I’m that has been signed to a label. Perfect Future’s genre is unique and unlike any other project I’ve been involved with.
SYLO: Perfect Future recently did two rad splits, one with List and the other with Wits End! How did those come about? How did you enjoy the split album process?
Brendan: Oddly enough, both of these splits began with members of some of my favorite bands emailing me to ask if PF wanted to do a split with them. Our split with Reaching Away grew about a little more organically because I was a penpal with Roger since back when The Pine was together; when he started his new band it just sort of happened that we planned a tour and a 7″ split together. I have liked doing all of these splits because it was a way to write songs that are supposed to stand alone. So rather than think about an overall sound aesthetic and song progression within an album, I was able to write a song. I kind of want to do more split records, but at the same time, I’m also interested in the ep format since PF hasn’t one yet.
SYLO: You’re releasing a new album with Count Your Lucky Stars, Adagio 830, & Sea of Tranquility Records soon. I know it’s a concept album. Can you tell us a little about the story and what inspired it?
Brendan: I’ve been really into concept records since high school. I was in a few bands (where I wasn’t the songwriter) that would try to write a concept record, but would write two or three songs and then would drop the whole idea. So after the PF s/t CD, I knew I wanted to try to write one. I also knew that I wanted each song to have a stand alone concept as well. I’m not sure if I remember exactly when or how I became so fixated on the World War 1 Christmas truce, but at some point I became somewhat obsessed and did some pretty extensive research on it: reading whole books on the topic, looking up articles from that time, watching documentaries and Joyeux Noel. Anyways, it seemed like that would be the ideal setting to write.
Basically, the overall plot is about a narrator that writes a letter to a war-time widow at some point (possibly decades later) and reveals that he is the soldier that killed her husband. The narrator kind of feels the need to justify everything before he actually gets to the story, so he tells her about his life growing up in a society that glorifies war and about going to boot camp where he was taught how to not feel sympathy when killing one of the “enemy.” Eventually, the impromptu truce occurs and the narrator meets the widowers husband as they were the first ones to bury the dead soldiers before the truce. The two swap addresses at some point. Later, the commands come down that anyone not fighting will face treason charges, and the narrator is forced to kill the widows husband. This story is made up of a bunch of other stories interwoven to make a more compelling narrative, but it is more grounded in fact than I think a lot of people will realize.
SYLO: How does that compare to the concept of your self-titled record?
The self-titled record is conceptual in its approach to songs that all strive to convey the idea that politically, socially, and emotionally things can and must get better. However, I never really intended for it to have a real narrative. Though I do sometimes think of that record as some sort of personal credo that explains all the problems that leads me toward the inevitable conclusion that things must change, but the solutions are left up to the listener. I think the only two songs that offer a definitive answer to cope with world are Make Fun and If We Dance, which both come to the conclusion that the collective “we” must not try to separate our emotions from our actions and that we need to find joy in even terrible situations to avoid complacency.
SYLO: The new record has a lot of guest vocals and guest instrumentation! Can you give us some examples? Why did you choose to record the album this way?
Warren Franklin, Chris from Pulling Teeth, Kjetil and Tules from Wits End, Keith from Empire! Empire!. These whole bands are on the record in at least group vocals form: Lizards Have Personalities, Two Knights, The Ground is Lava, and The Island of Misfit Toys. Brendan Ekstrom from Circa Survive was initially supposed to record a guitar track, but after we sent him the track with both Ted and my guitar parts, he said that he liked it so much that everything he tried to add just distracted from other elements he liked.
I think the main reason that we went this route was because the concept felt like it needed more bells and whistles than a stripped down four piece band could use. Another factor is that Matt and I have shows at our house, so it was an obvious choice to make bands do group vocals. Although, maybe the subconscious reason that I pushed for all the guest musicians is because Axe To Fall is my favorite Converge record because of all the guest musicians.
SYLO: What has Live Together…Die Alone Records been up too lately?
LTDA was a project I started to put out some records that I made that did not have great USA distribution. It’s been on hold while I got my master’s degree, which has left me in quite a lot of debt. Depending on whether I get a steady job or something part-time will determine if LTDA picks up momentum or continues to put out records infrequently. Either way, I have been toying with the notion of putting out some super limited lathe cut 7″ splits for solo songs. Super limited in that I might make 10-15. The problem with that would be that each 7″ would cost more than most people are comfortable paying for 2 or 3 songs (maybe $9 a 7″ plus shipping), but some people might dig it.
SYLO: Any tours soon?
We are going to be touring New England and the Midwest with Empire! Empire! in July. We are still booking some shows, but it looks like the rough outline is this:
13 – Washington DC @ Wasted Dream – 431 Kenyan Street NW – w/ Carved Our Names In Snow and more tba
14 – Philly, PA*
15 – Robbinsville, NJ @ Jake’s House – 7 Donna Street
16 – Willimantic, CT @ The Handsome Woman – 271 Ash Street – 6PM – $5 – Vegan Potluck – w/ tba
17 – Providence, RI @ tba
18 – Boston, MA*
19 – Manchester, NH*
20 – Bangor, Maine *
21 – Burlington, VT @ tba
22 – Albany, NY *
23 – Wilkes-Barre, PA*
24 – Pittsburgh, PA *
25 – Akron, OH *
26 – Ann Arbor, MI*
27 – Huntington, WV – house show – w/ tba
28 – Frostburg, MD @ tba
It’s usually bad news to plan too far ahead, but in the winter I want to try to go to Texas again. Next year I really want to try to do a tour in the UK or Europe, but a lot of that will depend on the financial state that we are all in.
SYLO: Last words or other things you want to add?
Matt: A big “Thank you ” to you and the people running the site!
Bears and Treehouse are both from Hobart, Tasmania. Bears (not to be confused with BEARS!) has been awesome on every release they’ve done so far. They’re probably known best for their 12″ split with Todos Caerán but they’ve got a rocking demo as well (and Simon put together the 21 songs comp released earlier this year). They don’t let me down on this either. The beginning of Punk Rock is a chill melody to make love to which eventually builds up into a skramaganza that’d make Orchid pee themselves in delight. Scissorwings is a 6 and a half minute jam that pulls at your heart strings. In both vocals are fucking brutal. The musicianship that Bears brings to the table is always refreshing. They remind me of a slower Tristan Tzara. This split was the first time I had ever listened to Treehouse. They’ve got way more of an alternative-rock/lo-fi indie-rock/surf sound. Reminds me of a more punk version of Wavves or Chalk Talk or something. All in all it’s really catchy stuff. For both bands, the recordings are not extremely well produced but it’s actually a relief (seriously Touché Amoré rip off bands, calm down) and it provides a unique sound. This was released only on cd-r (I think) but it’s already sold out!
This is a compilation put together by Blue Tape Collective (started by two dudes in Featherweight). Seriously, this compilation is amazing. It’s building awareness for diy bands in the scene which is extremely important. Also, it hopes to get some exposure for some bands you might not hear otherwise. It’s got a lot of different styles such as screamo, hardcore, indie-rock, noodely emo, acoustic, and spoken word. There are a couple of unreleased tracks on this as well. So check it out! Here’s the tracklisting:
1. Code Orange Kids – Cycles (The Days Get Longer)
2. Old Gray – City Orchards
3. Judges – Cluttered Minds
4. Dowsing – …And That’s Why You Always Leave A Note! (Acoustic Demo)
5. Centennial – Paper Thin
6. Old Accusers – The Wait
7. Deadhorse – No Particular Night Or Morning
8. Aviator – The Definition Of A Dead End
9. The Ambulance – Menacingly
10. Mallard – Kelsey Q. vs. The Holland Tunnel
11. Wifebeater – But, Right Now
12. Lizards Have Personalities – Dear Girl Lying In The Middle of The Road, You Could Do Better. (Demo)
13. Oldfears – 02
14. My Fictions – Same Grave
15. William James – Scene From An American Film (Live In New Jersey)
16. Featherweight – Cul-de-Sac Kings (Live In Connecticut)
genre: Post-Rock/Piano Rock
Winter Dust is a band from Padova, Italy. This was sent to me ages ago but I just got around to listening to it. It’s a lot different from what I normally post but it was so interesting that I decided to post it. It’s a mix of post-rock, pop, and ambient rock. There are some screamy parts though! Very piano driven. Fans of Moving Mountains and bands like that would probably love this.
notes: I wanted to post something a bit different. The Speed of Sound in Seawater is a math-pop band from California. They just released a new album entitled Underwater Tell Each Other Secrets. The music is insanely beautiful and there’s a lot going on. Smooth vocals, noodely guitar, and jazzy bass/drums. The sound is pretty consistent throughout all the EPs but unlike some other bands that’s a good fucking thing. They also have two other EPs entitled Red Version and Blue Version that are included in this download. Fans of Algernon Cadwallader, American Football, Toe, and Malegoat. Do it now. Support them if you can though. They’re DIY as fuck. ps. Happy Mothers Day!
bandcamp (donate $ here!)
notes: Polina is a Canadian screamo band that brings the pain like a more chaotic version of Hot Cross. Well Wisher from England is an mathy indie-rock with semi-screamy vocals. Together these bands fucking rule and together provide a a great mix of music ultimately making this split unique and enjoyable to listen to.
facebook (Well Wisher)
Notes: So i saw a decent amount of other AC uploads on the blog, but for some reason not this 4-song ep. It’s really good, and you should check it out. Look Down is on ‘ere. If some of you don’t know this yet, you should! Great mathy indie-emo, lovely all the way. Get the other two uploads here and here.
Edit: Woops, for some reason it fucked up the download link, but it’s okay now. DOWNLOAD NAO!
notes: Hello there, my name is Nicholai, and this is my first post on SYLO, thanks Fabi, for letting me do this, it’ll be fun. I thought i’d start out by posting Snowing’s recent album, which has yet to come out, it’ll be out on LP and of course on your favorite label for twinkly stuff; Count Your Lucky Stars. The sound is not far from Fuck your emotional bullshit, yet this album seizes me more, and is at points a tad bit heavier. CYLS has put it up, free to download, so grab it at their site.
bitrate: 160 kBit/s
notes: What happened after Merchant Ships broke up? William Bonney fucking happened. Think of Kidcrash, Merchant Ships, and Midwest Pen Pals in a super mega orgy of awesomeness and there you have William Bonney. Jack’s vox are as brutal and emotional as ever. They have a similar feel from Ships but the band is definitely more mature. Can’t wait for more.