It’s been a long time coming! Matt Fazzi’s musical brainchild Rare Futures has finally released it’s full length debut, This Is Your Brain On Love (which we reviewed several weeks ago here), and the band is mere days from embarking on it’s first tour with contemporaries The Dear Hunter and O’Brother. We had the chance to sit down and talk over the phone a bit with Matt about the creative process leading into the record, getting ready to hit the road, and which side you can expect to see him on for Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War!
BTS: First off, we should just say congrats on the new record! How does it feel to finally share these songs with the rest of the world?
Matt: Thanks a lot! It feels good! You know, I’ve been working on the record for so long and I guess when you’re so deep in your own music, it’s hard to have the outside perspective. So that’s the cool part for me now, finally having other people listen to it and for the response to be positive makes it so much better, man. For a while there I just wasn’t sure if it was any good. But to get it out and have people kind of encourage it… it feels like we’re going in the right direction.
BTS: And having developed this album over the course of several years, does it feel like anything about it has changed drastically since you first started writing these songs?
Matt: I mean, I guess since it was so stretched out it sometimes felt like baby steps, but when I stepped back and tried to see the album as a whole, there’s a lot of layers there. I wouldn’t necessarily say that songs transformed, but more that over time they just kept kind of growing into what they became. The tough part for me was trying to find that sweet spot of when enough is enough, y’know? So I feel like that was the real challenge when I spent so much time writing the music. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s tough to get that outside perspective or that bigger picture perspective. That was really it, man. Trying to find that place of like, “Okay, I think this song is done and I can’t overcook it anymore, y’know?
BTS: With a title like “This Is Your Brain On Love”, how much does love figure into this album thematically?
Matt: I’d say a lot. I’d say most of the record comes from a place of love and love being a multi-layered thing where everyone’s interpretation is very different from person to person, and it’s not always the simplest. Sometimes it can be very chaotic, it can be obsessive, or unhealthy. So I guess the way that it ties the whole album together has a lot to do with the fact that love is all of these different forms. I think that it sort of shows itself in these different ways that the record progresses too.
BTS: Clearly there’s a lot of different influence going into this record. What precisely drove you in that direction or drove you to bring these sounds together?
Matt: Y’know, it’s just that I have a very eclectic taste in music and it was just cherry picking a lot of different elements from different bands and artists that I really admire, and trying to find a way to kind of cohesively connect them together. It wasn’t necessarily any direct intentions like, “I have to be this with this.” It was more like trial and error along the way and just trusting my instincts. Always going back to, “Would I enjoy this? Would I enjoy playing it? Does it make me feel something? Does it make me feel like my body needs to move and groove to it?” So, that’s sort of always my default, it feels naturally already good, y’know? If it’s a rhythm or a chord progression that gives me an emotion and I think that’s a really great place to start.
BTS: Rare Futures is about to go on tour soon. Is there any sort of nervousness with finally bringing this material to a live environment or is it purely excitement?
Matt: Yeah, I think there is a little nervousness because of that factor of it’s been sitting so long and it finally being out and it being our first tour under this band name, that really kind of shifted. So yeah, I’m a little nervous about getting out there and doing it but I’m confident that the musicians with me are going to do a great job and and I think we’ll hit a stride with the repetition of playing the songs over and over, and really feel confident and comfortable. I think that’s when the real magic is gonna kind of happen, y’know?
BTS: And you mentioned bringing musicians out; what was the process like when you had to figure out who you wanted to come with you and help you sort of bring this to life?
Matt: I’m still kind of in the middle of figuring all that out. The main thing is musical diversity, number one. But also the hanging [out] is just as important, so I’m trying to choose personalities I mesh with even outside of the music. You spend so much time traveling and being in each other’s faces, that’s an important element, so there’s a lot of criteria to be honest. It’s that cross section of basically being a solid, dependable, and professional person, y’know? And to have that kind of hunger, and also we’re a very new band so I think a little understanding about us having to make some sacrifices early on with there being a greater potential at the end of the rainbow, that’s also part of it. It’s trying to find someone that wants to be a part of it long term so I hopefully don’t have to go fishing for new band members every single tour and it’s a new line-up. That’s what I’m working towards.
BTS: Are there any songs in particular that you’re excited to play?
Matt: I really enjoy playing “This Is Your Future.” That’s just a really fun rock tune and I enjoy singing it a lot too. It’ll be fun to play that every day for a few weeks, y’know?
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BTS: What are your thoughts about the other bands on the tour, The Dear Hunter and O’Brother? Was there anything specific about that line up that made you feel like it was right for Rare Futures’ first tour?
Matt: Oh man, I feel like that’s the wheelhouse for us. They’re both bands that are doing something a little less censored and I think Dear Hunter is a really great brother band for us in that. They’re doing progressive music but it’s still rooted in a lot of melodies and harmonies and so I’m super psyched to get to play with both of those bands. I have a personal relationship with both of them too so that’s also just a huge plus. It’ll kind of be like mixing up with some old friends again. I think it’ll be a sense of community that typically takes a while to form on tour, but we’ll get to just start there which is good. It’ll be a comfort level from day one, y’know, it’ll be nice. Especially for me since this is my first tour, it’s awesome to get out and support friends like Dear Hunter and O’Brother and try to get our feet wet that way. It just makes it a little less stressful on me, y’know?
BTS: Are there any cities you’re excited to hit or places you haven’t been before?
Matt: I’m excited to hit Toronto. I love Toronto and we have some fans in Michigan and we’ve yet to make it there and it’s the first time we’ll get to play for those people, which will be cool. So those are a couple that I’m excited about but overall I’m just excited to get out and play anywhere. I’m happy.
BTS: Beyond this tour, what do you think the future looks like for the band? Do you think it’ll be less of a wait for any sort of follow-up album or is that really the furthest thing from your mind right now?
Matt: [laughs] I guess we intend not to take the amount of time I took, that’s for sure. I’ve got a handful of ideas for the next record. I think ideally I’d like to get out and tour a little bit on this record before I shift my mental state over to the next record. But, the next record will probably come out next year instead of this several year gap in between. And a lot of that had to do with just playing with a lot of different bands having to split my mind a little bit. So it’s not like I spent five years hardcore working on the record. Really, decongested, it would have been a lot shorter. I had to kind of work in between other jobs and playing with other bands so the hope is that this time around, the whole thing will be a little bit more streamlined. I want to form a nucleus for the band and then really work on that next record and get it out a lot sooner.
BTS: I’m sure a lot of people will be happy to hear that!
Matt: Yeah, that’s definitely the idea. In the past I just never really devoted my energy one hundred percent to my own music so that’s the difference this time around… trying to go all in and really focus on making great content and in making a great follow-up record to and not taking forever. [laughs]
BTS: Favorite movie?
Matt: Favorite movie… um, you know what comes to mind is The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s a great revenge story! Either that or Mighty Ducks 2. [laughs]
BTS: Best place to eat on tour?
Matt: Veggie Grill. That’s my favorite.
BTS: Team Iron Man or Team Captain America?
Matt: Iron Man, baby!
BTS: Favorite record so far this year?
Matt: There’s an R&B trio named King and their new record is amazing. It’s these three female musicians who write their own music and self-produce and all of that stuff. It’s just an awesome kind of cross section between old school 90’s R&B and like Prince, Stevie Wonder, all of that stuff. So… King, that’s the one.
BTS: Lastly… and this one is important. Would you rather have fingers as long as your arms, or arms as long as your fingers?
Matt: [laughs] I think… oh, gosh. How would I play guitar for either one? I don’t think I could do it!
BTS: It’s a lot to think about.
Matt: I guess… fingers as long as my arms because they could at least like, wrap around? Maybe I’d be a dope drummer that just never drops the sticks.
BTS: You could get a custom GIANT guitar and that could work, maybe.
Matt: Oh yeah! Or I could have like a 20 string guitar and be able to reach all of these crazy chords. [laughs]
BTS: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!
Matt: Thank you! Thanks for having me.