NRW Gets to Know Futurecop! in an Exclusive Interview!
Manzur Iqbal of Futurecop! talks 'Fairy Tales' and his new Burger Joint venture with NRW
by Rhys Pearce:
RP - Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, I understand things must be pretty hectic for you at the moment. How are you guys and what you been up to?
MI - We are good, it’s been a great experience making the music of this album, think it took about 2 years to do it, but it’s probably the most eclectic and deep thinking record we have made, so far. We have also been busy opening our first Burger joint, Cafe & Cake room in English town called Alderley Edge in Cheshire, UK called Tomfoolery at 34.
RP - How has the reception been for the new record, 'Fairy Tales' so far?
MI - Good I think, we have had great comments from fans, which is heart-warming. Also its good to see we have gained other fans who are new to synth-esque type music.
RP - You collaborated with alot of cool people on the new album, can you tell us a little about 'Futurecop!'s' recording process and how you choose who you would like to work with?
MI - Yeah sure, well we make all the instrumental before hand. Think we made around 35 songs and then chose the tracks that best fit the concepts and ideas we want to portrait. From then it’s a search for the right singers, usually we start with the people we know, then move to searching via Bandcamp. For the album and each song we have a very in-depth story and ideas written up for it, which we pass over to the singer, who we give the freedom to come up with the lyrics. It’s funny because its quite deep yet at the end we tell all singers to be very vague, so people can relate it to their own life or environment. I think it’s important to get people working on the project to really get their heads around the the ideas, which can be hard as the ideas are something you either love or hate plus we had more time to think deeply about it, unlike a singer just coming on board.
RP - Together with Luke Thompson of Canopy Films you've released a batch of videos to accompany some of the songs featured on the new record, can you expand on how this idea came about and what your inspiration was behind the videos?
MI - What we liked about Luke’s work was that it was more cinematic and he really got the whole 'lost summer' atmosphere and his shots would film symbols as well as a story, which viewers could see and hopefully relate too. One of the ideas behind the album was the idea of human equality, how we are all the same when we are born and to really understand people and the things they have gone through socially, before judging them. So we wanted to capture feelings through symbols that everyone has felt as children. I think it was more to do with that than the actual story. The story was by myself, and follows kids from the 60s and 90s and again displays equality for kids in all time periods. The ending has a nice twist, that really shows how life can move in mysterious and beautiful ways and how adults can really learn from their youth, to be better people. Anyway you will understand once all the videos are released. There are 6 in total and the 4th one (Mermaids) will be released this Friday.
RP - You've played shows in the US as well as in the UK, do you feel the current retro synth scene differs greatly in these countries?
MI - I am not really sure, it’s quite diverse, so it’s hard to know what to call it or more importantly what they call it. I think the scene is very creative and so everyone is always trying to look different to the current brand. I personally think of us as electronic artists, yes we have our core influences from 80s, 90s, dreams, nostalgia etc but we are open to making any type of music, we want this freedom, it allows no barriers to our thoughts, plus Futurecop! is a personal project, therefore as a growing band we are always changing in our ideas and enhancing our original core ideas. Currently we are interested in spirituality and religious history. So you never know what will the next record will be like.
RP - The whole retro synth movement has really blown up over the last couple of years and many new artists have emerged, do you have any advice to any kids out there just starting out in the scene?
MI - Sounds cheesy but stay true to yourself, don’t listen to anyone who tells you about changing or doing something that will get you fans, money, views or massive tours. MUSIC IS NOT ABOUT VIEWS, it’s touching people’s hearts. Be yourself and you’ll get true fans. Age old saying; quality not quantity.
RP - What's currently in your Walkman? Any recommendations for the NRW readers?
MI - This is a funny one, I'm actually a fan of discovering old music that is new to me. Or anything that touches the heart I guess. So lately I'm into Goo Goo Doll’s old stuff, Lisa Gerrard, Danny Elfman’s Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, Queen, Rusted Root, Enigma, REM, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Pavement, Heart, Lemonheads, Joan Osborne, Funeral for a Friend, Deftones, Jean-Jaques Goldman. A lot of love ballads too. New bands I'm into are Rise Against and Angels & Airwaves
You can also check out our label 'We are the future Records' for some great music from the likes of New shack, Hats, New Arcades, Timecop1983 and Exiles.
RP - What's the plan for Futurecop! in 2015?
MI - Besides opening the new burger joint, we want to get into making movie scores plus singles, remixes and new videos from the album. Stay updated on our social media to hear more.
RP - I understand you're a big fan of the late great filmmaker, John Hughes? - Of which character from any of his films are you most like and why?
MI - Oh it changes all the time, I feel like I'm like 10 different people in one body sometimes. However deep inside I'm the male version of Allison Reynolds, the basket case.
RP - Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!
MI - Thanks and we wish you a great Christmas too and a Happy New Year. Thank you for supporting us and especially the upcoming and new artists.
'Fairy Tales' by Futurecop! is out now.