The Future Us are a two-piece rock band formed in Glasgow (UK), comprised of Gary Hendry and Joe Gorman. Their first EP ‘Fear and Progress’, a collection of five songs inspired by untypical times, was released in January 2021. Since the release of the EP they have also released several singles of varying themes that have inspired them in 2021. If you’re into rock music with some topical lyrics, then the Future Us just might be the band for you.
What can you tell me about the music scene in Glasgow? Are there any bands that are getting you excited at the moment?
Gary: “Occasionally we end up on playlists and local radio shows with Glasgow bands. One band that I enjoyed recently is Sweaty Palms. They do not do sweet and nice, no spoonful of sugar with this band. Another great Glasgow band is Distant Images, who have some fantastic tracks and are really building up a head of steam.”
“I live in Prestwick in Ayrshire now, which also has a vibrant music scene, loads of venues and bands to fill them. Been a while since we have been to King Tuts or Barrowlands, looking forward to doing more of that soon.”
The band was formed in 2016. How did it all start?
Gary: “Joe and I were in a band in the 90s, but life got in the way and we all went our separate ways. Then in about 2012/2013 I bumped into him in Glasgow Central station. We re-connected and after a while started The Future Us.”
Joe: “Getting back into song writing and recording with Gary again was great for me. Since leaving our band in the 90s I hadn’t done much of anything musically for a long time – I had basically fallen out of love with music. It was great getting back into things with Gary and getting lost in music again – something I realised I had really missed for a long time. Music is everything to me now – it’s creative release valve that keeps me sane.”
How did the band get its name?
Gary: “We chopped up random words – saw it in a David Bowie documentary – and bounced it back and forward until we settled on something we liked.”
Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music?
Gary: “The person who comes up with the initial idea tends to see it through lyrically and vocally. So it ends up each of us do both.”
Is there a process to your writing? Do you write at a certain place or a certain time?
Joe: “My best ideas always come in the evening – definitely a night owl! Every time I pick up an instrument I’m looking for the next idea. Through trial and error I’ve found that the best ideas tend to come from a lyric – knowing what you want to say sets the backdrop for conveying the message. I prefer to write from my own experience – A bottle of wine always helps me get going! I’m very picky – most ideas don’t make it to the recording process.”
Gary: “Most of my initial ideas come from dreams, often based on what I’ve seen going on in the world at the time of the dream. I wake up and sing the melody and lyric into my phone, then listen back later. Often this can give me something to start on, a little seed. Plays havoc with my sleep though.”
Do you find that as a two-piece, you have to make compromises to your musical vision?
Gary: “We tend to ignore the fact that we are a two-piece and arrange what we do as if we were a four or five-piece band. Having only two band members allows us the freedom to develop arrangements that the song needs – not what band members need to keep them satisfied – we have the freedom to strip things down or build them up as much as we want.”
“Having only two of us isn’t so great when it comes to gigs, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Your single ‘Strangers Again’ is currently in our chart. What can you tell me about that song?
Joe: “It’s based on my experience of a long-term relationship that gradually fell apart. It draws parallels between people who have never known each other and people who have been together a long time who realise that they have become strangers again. It doesn’t blame anyone for things falling apart – maybe it’s a warning to avoid complacency with your partner. A lot of people who have been through the same experience have told me it resonates. Maybe that’s the appeal of this one?”
What message do you hope your music sends to listeners?
Gary: “That is difficult. We try to write music that people will enjoy firstly. The message is usually down to the lyrics, which could be any topic that moves us at the time. We got a lot of mileage out of the Trump presidency, which was strange us being from the UK, but he was inspirational (caveat – he is a very bad person whom we dislike intensely). Recently we have written songs about conspiracy theories like flat Earth. Another recent song of ours was from the perspective of someone from the future asking us what we did to prevent us from destroying ourselves, a climate change song essentially.”
Your latest release, ‘Merry Christmas Happy New Year!’ is a Christmas single. Is there anything you’d like to share about that song?
Gary: “Yeah that was fun. It started out being inspired by COP26, I had a dream where Bono was singing “That COP was curious, that COP was curious.” I obviously cannot control who pops up in my dreams or I would have chosen someone cooler! However, the more we worked at it, the more it became clear it was a Christmas track. In addition, my wife wrote most of the lyrics, they were way too sweet for Joe and I to come up with.”
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Gary: “Favourite Christmas song apart from the absolute classics like the Lennon and McCartney ones would be ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakey. I thought it was awful when it came out, but like most good Christmas songs, it has lasted the test of time. Joe’s favourite is ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ by Keith Emerson – it’s massive!”
Now that the year is almost over, what are some of your thoughts about 2021?
Gary: “Well it was much better than 2020. We had a great year musically and met many fantastic people who have been very kind and supportive of what we do. Yeah, for us it has been a good year, but for so many it has been the worst.”
What are you excited about for 2022?
Gary: “Well I am looking forward to Christmas and New Year first. I hope that COVID does not ruin that. For 2022 we are looking forward to getting more music out there, building more connections, staying healthy and enjoying life.”
“Joe is moving home in early 2022 and will have space for a permanent recording set-up for the first time. No more rockinthe kitchen table (laughs)!”
What can we expect from The Future Us in the near future?
Gary: “I hope that we will have a release or two in January and sustain steady output of new music way into next year and beyond. Also maybe a gig or two if we can round up some willing bodies.”
Tell me something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
Gary: “Well not so much a surprising but interesting maybe? My great great… uncle Alex McDade fought and died in the Spanish Civil War. He wrote a song there called ‘Jarama Valley’, which is an anti-war song and a bit of an anti-fascist anthem. Woody Guthrie and Billy Bragg are two artists that adapted and covered it.”
Any final words?
Gary: “Thanks to our Twitter and online community for their support this year. It’s such a rush to when their feedback comes through on our material.”
What’s your favourite song from the Cool 20?
Gary: “Impossible to pick a favourite from such a high quality list. Joe does like the vibe from Danny Corbo on ‘Animal’. For me it is between Joe Peacock’s ‘Is Not everything Morbid?’ and The Skydiving Penguins’ ‘About one Hermit’, two brilliant tracks with gorgeous melodies and instrumentation.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?
Gary: “As it’s Christmas, I’d like to nominate this cracker from Brian Lambert. A lovely track that offers something different as a Christmas song.”