Produced in IDIOTEQ’s beloved DIY manner, the debut album from Toronto post punk act SEVERAL FUTURES winds up functioning on the same solid level. Drawing inspiration from the lofty ideas examined in futurism and science fiction, mainly the plurality of universes and possibilities therein, the heavy riffed, yet pop-structured “Before You Forget” marks a new step for this trio of musicians, whose connections span the last decade, with their embrace of the experimental and deep dive into a purely artistic ethos. Sonic-wise, SEVERAL FUTURES plug the gap between pop finesse and various rock visages, including punk rock, noise rock, grunge rock, post hardcore, and shoegaze. IDIOTEQ has teamed up with guitarist and vocalist Matt Nish-Lapidus to discuss the band’s work and their deeply refreshing record.
“Before You Forget” is out now on the band’s very own Forking Paths Records. SEVERAL FUTURES are: of Matt Nish-Lapidus (guitar, vocals), Jonny Dovercourt (bass, vocals) and Evan Davies (drums).
Live photos by Andrew McAllister.
Hi guys! Thanks for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. How are you? How’s the multicultural city of Toronto doing this Winter? Did the recent storms made it all the way to Toronto?
Hi Karol. We’re awesome. Really excited for the album release and getting busy with show planning for the spring. Toronto is great, luckily the crazy storm didn’t hit us. It’s been a really mild winter, which makes it extra fun because we can still get around and be outside a lot. Lots of great shows and events all the time.
Very cool! Please let’s start off with an introduction to the band and drop us a couple of lines about how you started. Also, I know you may have been asked this many times, but how did you come up with the name SEVERAL FUTURES? Does it have a particularly important meaning?
We’re Evan, Jonny, and Matt. We’ve all played together in previous bands over the last ten years; Jonny and Evan in REPUBLIC OF SAFETY; Matt and Jonny in THREE RING CIRCUITS and HYBRID MOMENTS; and Matt and Evan in THIS MESS. So it always felt really natural for the three of us to play together. We wanted to start a band that would let us explore a combination of more experimental music and composition, as well as some good pop hooks and interesting themes.
The name was inspired by the story The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Louis Borges. The story explores concepts of diverging timelines and multiple possibilities, loops in time and causation. We took the name from the line “I leave to several futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths”. We really love the notion of multiple futures and possibilities. A lot of our music draws on themes from science fiction, psychology, and mythology.
Great! We’ll touch on that a bit later on, I promise!
Compared to your early days, how would you comment on your current form, view on this band and its evolution? Do you think your new album ”Before You Forget” serves a natural progression of SEVERAL FUTURES?
It’s definitely an evolution of all the sounds we’ve been experimenting with in our previous groups. We’re always trying new things and building on what we’ve done before.
This new offering marks the first record to be released through your own label Forking Paths! How did you decide to launch your own independent company? What are some of the pros and cons of doing it all by yourself?
We decided to start a label while walking to the bar one night… we were considering how to release the album and we came up with the label name before deciding it should actually be a label. The name actually comes from the same Borges short story as our band name.
So far we’re only releasing our own music and our individual side projects, but hopefully we can do more in the future. The biggest pro is total control.. the biggest con is actually having to do everything ourselves.
Ok, so back to “Before You Forget”, what influenced the atmosphere and this natural sound of this record?
All our favourite records sound like a band playing music. Not overly processed or produced. So we started with that in mind. The overall atmosphere is really a product of the writing and subject matter…
The official press release for “Before You Forget” says that the record “draws inspiration from the lofty ideas examined in futurism and science fiction, mainly the plurality of universes and possibilities therein”. How did you come with these ideas? Are you science/space freaks?
We’re all really into science fiction of different sorts, and are fascinated by multiple universe theories and different theories of time. I wouldn’t say we’re science freaks, but we like challenging ideas about how we understand the world.
On a side note, are there any good space related novels, videos or other stuff you’ve recently appreciated and would like to share with our readers?
Our favourites are pretty much anything by William Gibson, Blade Runner… the classics.
Ok Matt, so what are your touring plans? Have you considered arranging a European trek sometime soon?
Europe is definitely an option, but we’ll have to see what we can finance this year. Right now we’re planning lots of shows in Canada. We’d love to tour Europe and the USA, but it can be expensive, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Thanks so much for your time. Feel free to shoot your last message! Good luck with the new record, the label and other plans for this year. Cheers from Warsaw!
Thanks, Karol. It’s been fun to chat with you and we hope people in Poland love the record!