March 31, 2016

AOTM: April – Rare Futures

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New York-based Rare Futures, formerly Happy Body Slow Brain, have made a dramatic reemergence with their new record This Is Your Brain On Love. We spoke with Matt Fazzi (Lead vocals, guitar, keys) about the band and what it takes to be an independent artist.

Casual Punk Fan: You’re often tied to your time with Taking Back Sunday, let’s start there.

Matt: It lasted just shy of 3 years. It was one album cycle essentially and a couple live albums in the middle of that too. It was a good little run.

You have a pretty long musical resume. What else have you been a part of?

Oh man. After Taking Back Sunday I spent the next 5 years touring with my friends in a band called The Dear Hunter playing guitar, and I played keyboards for a band called Into it. Over It. that are also friends of mine. I also helped record and be part of a record for a band called A Great Big Pile of Leaves. Then last year I was touring pretty heavily with this band called Atlas Genius.

Which record were you a part of with A Great Big Pile of Leaves?

It’s called You’re Always On My Mind. It came out back in 2013.

That’s a great record, a friend of mine turned me onto it about a year ago and I really love it.

Oh, that’s awesome! I played guitar and sang on that record. I’ve been playing with them on and off since 2011, they’re a great band!

So let’s turn to Happy Body Slow Brain and how it became Rare Futures. What’s happened since that last release?

Basically that whole list of bands is what happened. The intention was for Happy Body to be my main focus, and it was for a minute. I put out a full length called Dreams of Water back in mid-2010 and then I think it was May of 2011 when I started to work with A Great Big Pile of Leaves. In retrospect, I didn’t dedicate my full energy to Happy Body way back then, that’s what I’m doing differently this time around. It’s the second record, we changed our name, and we’re 100% focused on it rather than trying to also balance playing in other bands too. So that’s the idea; strip back some of the extracurricular things to make Rare Futures the main focus.

What makes this release different from ones you’ve worked on before?

We’re trying to make everything that the band puts out cohesive, well thought out and impactful. Not half-ass anything. We did a really cool stop-motion video that took a long time. Over a year, maybe a year and a half. I’m trying to use everything I learned from the bands I played with the past few years and do everything we can.

So far so good!

Thank you! We’re a very tiny team behind the scenes. I’m glad people are receiving it so positively and helping me spread the word. There really isn’t a whole lot of money coming in from other places so it comes down to me trying to put all of my heart and soul into it and I’m so appreciative when people help spread it around.

So this has been an independent release?

Yeah. But I am going to be licensing vinyl for the record to a label called Intheclouds Records. Dan is really great and we worked together on a Happy Body Slow Brain release. They create really unique packaging for their records and we’ve got something really neat in mind for this one. I also love that Intheclouds brings this whole punk rock DIY vibe to everything. Everything is very organic and done by hand. It’s a big deal for me to try and let people know that because I think a lot of people have the wrong impression about how much work it takes to be an independent musician and how much they can impact whatever artists they love by buying their music instead of doing the Spotify thing. Even buying shirts and going to shows, the age-old stuff; I think it’s more needed now than ever.

What’s in the plans for you guys now that This Is Your Brain On Love has been released?

We’re going to be opening for The Dear Hunter and O’Brother in May which is gonna be great and we’re playing some CD release shows for the West Coast and for the East Coast probably in the summer time.

So touring your butts off?

Yeah, trying to. That and make videos in between. I’ve got a bunch of video ideas for the entire record so I’m just like figuring out how to bring those to life, ball-on-a-budget style. [Laughs.] We made another video that I’m almost finished working on for a song called This Is Your Future so I’m thinking that we’ll get it out there when we start the vinyl pre-release. We’re hoping to do that within the next month. There’s a lot of stuff so I’m trying to stay busy making cool content in addition to touring.


You can pick up This Is Your Brain On Love on Bandcamp. If you like what you hear, share Rare Futures with a friend.

 

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