interview: Future Teens
words: Kayla Carmicheal
Prior to releasing a brand new single titled “Emotional Bachelor,” we chatted with Future Teens about the release, their upcoming album, songwriting, and what to do in Boston.
The Grey Estates: When I read the song title, my first thought was Colton jumping over a fence, and I was kind of nervous. So I’m really glad it’s not about ABC’s “Emotional Bachelor.” How would you describe the song in one sentence?
Daniel: It’s about the apathy you feel while doing dumb things even though they probably aren’t good for you and recounting the things you probably shouldn’t have said.
What do you love most about EB and why did you choose it to be a single?
Amy: Something I really love about the song is the way it tells that story and gives two voices to a really weird casual situation and we picked it because of that storytelling in large part because it features both of us and it encompasses the album really well.
Daniel: One thing Amy and I talk about while writing lyrics is the perspectives that not only we have while writing. “Maybe they didn’t mean to hurt me,” and that’s really hard to do. But I think it’s important in life. In songwriting, we try to have both sides of the story.
Amy: We try really hard to be self aware when we wrote these lyrics because it’s not productive in real life to be really salty at somebody forever and I think we have enough emo that everyone’s just really salty. And we try to be a little truer to the experiences of people and how multifaceted that can be.
What does the writing process for FT look like? Has it evolved over the years?
Daniel: This album is definitely the most collaborative thing we’ve done. Amy and I wrote all the lyrics, we arranged all the songs in four piece. So that’s a big difference for us, the amount of collaboration that went into it. The last record was basically a recording project.
Amy: Most of Hard Feelings was written before I even joined the band. Things have changed a lot for this band in a really cool way. I’ve never felt more proud by writing or more fulfilled in my writing process than I do while writing with Daniel, Colby and Maya. It’s a really cool partnership.
Are y’all into astrology or was that just a thing for “What’s My Sign Again?” Don’t worry, I have a follow-up.
Daniel: I started writing after having a conversation with somebody I’ve seen. And when we stopped seeing each other we saw each other again and she said, “Hey, I looked up our astrological compatibility. And I was like, “Oh, what did it say?” And she said, “Well, let’s just say I now believe in astrology.” And I said, “Okay, that’s a weird thing to say,” I looked up our astrological compatibility and it was scarily accurate that Pisces and Sagittarius shouldn’t date. I love when people talk to me about astrology.
Okay, so lyrically or sonically, when do you think your sign jumped out the most when writing?
Daniel: I think for me, it’s how my verse starts out, “I’m tired of waking up in debt from the night before,” Just that feeling of like not emotionally processing everything I do, in the moment it’s like “No I won’t feel bad about this,” and then the next morning feeling everything and so bad, is maybe very Pisces of me.
Amy: Yeah, I as a Cancer, feel everything. I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about astrology. I gave in and downloaded Co-Star at the behest of someone I have a crush on and now it drags me every morning at 11am and that’s most of my knowledge. But I think the line after the one Daniel just said is very Cancer as a lyric, “Wondering how broke I can feel until I’m emotionally poor.”
WIth the new album, is your goal still “songs about experiences that happen to people in some way”? My guess is “Absolutely,” because I felt really called out with the line “Realized we’d never seen each other in the light.”
Amy: (Laughs) Yeah, it’s a very personal record.
Daniel: We definitely dove a little deeper into the things that are harder to say. It’s like, “Okay, we’re feeling this thing, this is a good thing to write about, but how do we make it less sad?” And maybe we fail, maybe it’s not funny at all-
Amy: There’s definitely a couple of lyrics that are definitely not funny.
Daniel: Yeah, like on Emotional Bachelor, I think it’s funny, the lyric about not getting an invite to a party you skipped, it’s not cool to see someone you kissed out with their boyfriend the next day,
Amy: But we still try to take a lighthearted approach to stuff that feels bad and I, for one, I’ve never felt more exposed by my songwriting, listening to these mixes I’m like, “Oh my God, I’ve chosen to put myself into the world, Who am I?” But hopefully it’s still relatable content and somehow feels somewhat cathartic to people like they have for me.”
Daniel: I guess we still try to make the songs fun in a way, there’s literally a song on our last record where Amy just lists all the places she’s cried, and you’ll probably never notice, it’s just like, “Wow, listen to this cool summer jam!”
Pulled from the media tab on your Twitter, describe your upcoming record or EB with one of these meme phrases: “Salt Emo Valentine” or “Get in loser, we’re going crying”
Daniel: Since we try not to be salty, I mean, maybe a little, maybe salt to taste, I would say.
Amy: I think the record as a whole is more “Get in loser, we’re going crying” and Emotional Bachelor is Salt Emo Valentine.
What’s your favorite thing to eat on tour?
Daniel: Yeah we’re really into Larabars. I don’t eat any refined sugar, not for any particular reason other than I’m just better than everyone, but they’re only three ingredients. I feel like an advertisement right now.
Amy: I’m gonna be eating a lot of Taco Bell on this tour, we’re doing Feed The Beat this year, so we’re really excited.
What’s one thing I should know before moving to Boston?
Amy: Market Basket in Somerville.
Daniel: There’s a lot of people looking for something to be a part of, and in Boston you kind of build your own clique and everyone’s really down for that, and that’s kind of what we did when we started out as a band and looking for people to give us a chance. We tried less of getting into a scene and tried more building a scene we wanted to be a part of.
Amy: My favorite thing Boston has taught me is that if you tell your friends your dreams, they’ll come true. Every good thing that has happened for us has been in large part because our friends have heard us and believed in us and walked with us in it and I think Boston has been a large part of that.
When you look back and think about your success, how does that feel?
Daniel: We talk a lot about what has happened in this past year, and about what is to come still this year, and how thankful we are for everyone who’s helped us along the way, and fed us on tour or housed us or took a chance on booking a show for us and big shout out to Joe of Take This To Heart Records. I literally just cold emailed him with our first record and he ended up putting it out, which was great. When we first started this, we thought we’d only tour once every couple months, and it’s turned out to be a lot more than that, which has been a dream.
Amy: As this band’s resident Cancer, everything feels so surreal. The dream for as long as I can remember has been playing music I really care about with people I really love and I’ve gotten that and infinitely more being in this band and I just feel extremely thankful and really excited for everything that’s coming up. So many people have taken chances on us and spaces that have welcomed us and people that have let us crash on their couches, just stuff I never thought would happen. I remember six months ago, we were talking about how we’re probably gonna have other jobs to support ten days of touring for the best of our lives, but like, that’s worth it, and we’re happy, and we love each other, and the way things have changed since then are baffling and we’re happy.