Friendship is rare. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? “Friendship is rare.” Okay, so that’s a Tenacious D lyric (Oh shit, there’s a bear/Could you hand me that shotgun, buddy?/Also that chair.) All right, I’ll stop. But there are some friendships that lead to great things. Like music. Take Future Generations, for example.
The band met by chance in a practice room in their shared dorm building at Fordham University in the Bronx. They started making music together almost immediately; now, they all live together in Brooklyn. They’ve experimented with different genres throughout the years and currently they’ve got a sweet synth-pop thing happening. Their music is fun, danceable and often surprisingly optimistic (we could all use that these days). Future Generations’ first full length self-titled album drops today via Frenchkiss records, so we spoke with frontman Eddie Gore to talk music, fate, friendship and which fictional band who lives together they’re most like (naturally, it’s between The Monkees and The Spice Girls).
The boys of Future Generations describe their meeting as “serendipitous,” and well, that seems like the best word for it. Within the first month of their first year at Fordham University, they all wound up trying to practice different instruments in the same practice room at the same time.
“I went down to practice in the dorm’s practice room, and Mike was already down there. I went in and was like ‘oh, sorry,’ and he was like ‘no, stay,’ ” Gore said. “We jammed for a while, then a few minutes later, our guitarist Eric came in. Same thing happened and we invited him to join us. We all started playing and decided to be a band from there.”
Along the road, one bass player named Ian turned into another bass player, whose name is not Ian (it’s Devon). The current line up is Eddie Gore, Eric Grossman, Mike Sansevere and Devon Sheridan.
“We started out with just the three of us in the dorm, and then we added a bass player named Ian about a month later,” Gore said. “As things got more serious, Ian kind of came to us and said he couldn’t really commit, so we started looking for another bass player. He started playing with us senior year in college, and it just sort of grew from there.”
Changing the lineup a bit is something to be expected of any band, really, especially when you’re a band of teenagers: the boys of Future Generations were all 18 when they started playing together in 2011. If you can do math, like I can, you figured out that they’re all 23 now. They all share a four-bedroom apartment in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. I asked Eddie if their living arrangement was more like that of The Monkees or more like that ridiculous tour bus in Spice World.
“Um, well, I haven’t seen either of those … but it’s probably a combination of the two,” he said.
Both featured a band of goofballs living together and getting into hijinks, and that the latter takes place on a large tour bus. I then proceeded to describe to him how Spice World is one of the finest films of this or any generation, and that it features the acting talents of one Mr. Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meatloaf, playing the role of The Bus Driver. See, basically, when I think of a band living together, I picture either the very “bohemian,” or, what major network television deemed “bohemian,” digs of The Monkees. Or, I think of five very distinct bedrooms for five British pop stars on one tour bus, complete with a swing and a fish tank, where the biggest problem Posh Spice had was choosing between “the little Gucci dress, the little Gucci dress OR the little Gucci dress.”
“You’ve convinced me,” he said, pledging that he would watch these seminal pieces of American culture.
So they live together, and they make music together, and they make really sweet music about life in New York. This song, “Thunder In The City,” is fun and danceable and literally about thunder in the city.
“I wrote it on a commute from NYC to where I was living at the time, in Manhasset on Long Island, and it started to storm. There was wind and thunder, and no rain yet, but it was about to. I was just listening to music and enjoying that moment and thought I should write a song about this feeling where there’s a storm approaching and there’s something exciting about it.”
The song itself is uplifting and hopeful, which I think is something we need right now, given the state of things. And that optimism is a good thing to keep in mind for future generations — both the band and the actual upcoming generations. I asked Gore if he had any advice for those young people.
“I don’t know if anybody should be taking advice from me, but the thing that I’ve learned pursuing this whole band thing is you should find something you really want to do and try your hardest to do that thing,” he said.
Seems legit. And in relation to future generations, Gore says that that name wasn’t always in place.
“When we started the band, we didn’t really think much would come of it, we were just doing it for fun,” he said. “We chose the name The Suits. As things started to progress and people started to know who we were, we got a letter from someone who already had that name. So we had to change it. We sat around for a long time; it probably took four to five months to come up with a name. We were just thinking of names that would really fit our sound and our message, and Future Generations was it. We were surprised that wasn’t taken. It’s a better name than The Suits anyway, but we already had a lot of people who knew us as The Suits, but we figured we’re young enough that we could change it, no problem.”
And change it they did. They also changed musical styles along the years, blending mutual interests in hip hop and jazz with an obvious talent for the poppier, synth-laden thing they do now.
Lilly Vanek is the Music Editor for Brokelyn. For more about local music and fictional band living situations, follow her on Twitter. And to pitch Lilly for New Music Friday, email her at lilly [at] brokelyn [dot] com.