We Spoke To Futurecop! About All Things 80s
We caught up with the 1980s obsessed electronica nerds about Transformers and sci-fi movies.
Brit electronica duo Futurecop! aka. Manzur Iqbal and Peter Carrol are kind of obsessed with all things 80s. Luckily that doesn't mean Flock Of Seagulls hair cuts and rolled up blazer sleeves, rather it manifests itself as visual and aural treats like unicorn-artworked EP The Adventures of Starpony and The Movie OST, their first full length release that made up the imaginary soundtrack of a fantasy movie, because why not?
I caught up with them to talk about fan-boying for master of gentle 1980s comedy movies John Hughes, why Calvin Harris is a "bellend" and of course, the ~music~.
Noisey: Hey! So how did Futurecop! Come about?
Manzur: The music thing started between 2007-2008 but it began as a graphic design project and evolved into music. At the start it was very basic. The first track, NASA was put on a few blogs, then Southern Fried picked it up and Annie Mac played it on her show. That track was just made on Reason; it wasn’t even completely finished.
It’s weird how many producers come from a graphic design background...
I think the thing with graphic design is, you’re trying to escape real life and create these new worlds and music just adds onto that. I love graphic designers; they’re always asking if they can do images for us. So I can definitely understand the link between music and graphics, especially electronic music.
How important is the visual element of Futurecop!?
Yeah it’s very important. Our first ever gig, this is how Fututrecop! came about actually. It used to be me just making songs then Mylo’s co-producer [Kevin McKay] found me and asked me to do a show. I’d never done a show of live electronic music before. Peter was really into it so I asked him to do it with me. We hired a Korg Electribe, which I played around on while peter DJed. I wanted to think of a way to make it look really good. One of our mates had the 1985 transformers movie so we put the projector in front of us and projected the movie onto us as we played.
Has much changed since then in your live set?
Not really, when we released an EP in 2011 we did a few shows as a band. We had a drummer, a singer but it was too much of a headache. The thing is with a band, if you don’t work out together from the beginning it’s really hard to work with them. Peter and me grew up together whereas, the singer was from LA and the drummer was from New York so it was kind of hard for them to understand everything. There was no chemistry and it wasn’t really happening so we decided to stop doing it as a full band.
It must have been hard logistically if the singer was based in LA, the drummer in New York and you guys in Manchester.
Yeah it was hard logistically but the main thing was that after the shows we couldn’t really hang out or anything, Peter and me have a kind of silly sense of humour, but they were a little more serious.
Had they set out to become professional musicians, whereas you guys became musicians almost by accident?
Yeah we kind of got picked up by accident and then we have a lot of fun with it where as they were very dedicated and professional.
Awkward. You’re music is so fun, it doesn’t really fit with a serious attitude...
The whole idea of the music is, you have a lot of stress in you’re life and everyone’s depressed at points in there life and Futurecop! is kind of an escape from that.
True stories. Your last EP is called Last of the 80s. Does that mean you're moving away from the 80s theme?
No, no, it’s called that as it’s intended as a tribute to John Hughes, he was a huge inspiration. I don’t think I could ever move away from the 80s because it’s like it’s inside me, that’s what I do and who I am. Last of the 80s is about John. I was very sad when he died, he was such a huge influence.
What is it about him that you like so much?
I think he was the first person to make proper teen films and all his films have this rawness to them. His films deal with youth and growing up. Someone watching in 20 years time will be able to relate to it just as much as someone watching it when it came out. Modern filmmakers forget that heart, and that rawness and they feel they have to add things on to a film to make it interesting, not just special effects but stupid gimmicks, like twilight, you can’t relate to it because it’s too far removed from everyday life whereas a movie like the Breakfast Club was so simple that everyone can relate to it.
If there was a Futurecop! movie, what would the plotline be?
Oh shit, I think it would be something really fun but also very dark. It’d be a 1980s Sci-Fi film about someone with split personality, one’s really nice and the other’s a badass cyborg or something.
Ha! Moving on, your remix of The Naked & Famous' "Young Blood" was played by Tiesto, that must’ve been…. nice?
Oh God. Well it was good, I mean Tiesto played our track, it’s amazing but the thing is I don’t really like Tiesto. He’s probably a really nice guy and his music is liked by a lot of people but it’s not really my cup of tea. But still Tiesto played our song on his tour so I did think it was pretty sick.
Have you got any more remixes in the pipeline?
Not at the minute. We’re working on the new album now and we’ve only got three songs left to finish so we’re working on that.
Do you have a title for the new album?
It’s called Hopes, Dreams and Alienation. We’ve got everything done for it, the artwork, all the songs all the vocals and things. All we have to do is mix the songs together.
Will that be out early next year then?
Yeah. We’ll have a single and a video and then release the album. I’m really excited for it. It’s probably the best thing we’ve ever done. We’ve been working on it for nearly 2 years. We worked with loads of vocalists and it was a long process to explain to them what we’re about
Your early work was almost entirely instrumental. Is it a conscious decision to move towards more songs with lyrics?
It’s not that we’re moving away from instrumental it’s just it had to be done for this album. I’m trying to express something with this album and the only way I could express it is through lyrics. We wrote the lyrics, they still come from us but we needed singers. We’re not going to sing because we would be shite.
Have you ever recorded yourselves singing?
We have tried but I don’t want to do it. I feel weird about it. Basically I can’t do it. I think maybe that’s why we’re electronic artists. We always need to be behind something. You know, Calvin Harris he sings sometimes. He looks all right when he’s behind the decks but when he’s singing he looks like a bellend.
Lastly, you also really like Transformers, is there anyone Optimus Prime couldn’t beat up?
No, no way! What the hell! He’s Optimus Prime. He’s a massive robot who turns into a truck, he’ll batter the shit out of everybody!
Sweet, thanks Futurecop!