Futurecop! To The Rescue!
While other artists embracing the originality of the 80s are trying hard to bring the past to the future, Fututrecop! teleports you back to the 80s & right in-front of the TV screen where under-handedly your personality was being programmed and nourished through what was considered to be futuristic Sci-Fi culture, cartoons & movies!
Fututrecop! Preserved it all through the millennium & now they are ready to share the reminiscing energy with the world through time capsules in a form of music tracks. I sat down with 'Manzur Iqbal' the founder & creator of Fututrecop! For an extensive interview & pretty much we covered everything you'd ever want to know about them + Manzur was cool enough to let me share all of their songs in HQ (except for 'Transformers' since they're releasing their EP it on the "Big City, Bright Lights.. EP" on BamBamMuzik) soon! I Hope you enjoy it.
Hello Officer, Let's Start by explaining the name 'Futurecop!' & the exclamation point after it?
Well, getting a name took a long time – at one point I was even wondering around on holiday taking pictures of random things just for inspiration/ideas, but then 'Futurecop!' Came out of nowhere. Because I'm into the whole futuristic thing a lot of people assumed it has to do with 'Robocop' and the ' Terminator' (which I don't mind!), but honestly I didn't think of it like that when I decided to go with 'Futurecop!'.
As for the '!' thats just for effect.
Now your name 'Manzur Iqbal' it sounds oriental! What's your ethnicity? Tell us a little bit about you? Are You Studying?
Yep, my parents are from Bangladesh! I'm a 25 years old British Muslim, Born and raised in Oldham, Manchester & I've finished studying.
Ohh, What major? Did your degree help you in any ways with Futurecop!?
I did 'Computer Science' rather dull, and it didn't help – I learnt music production from scratch, by trial and error…etc.
You started 'Futurecop!' alone & then 'Peter' joined in! Tell us about him?
'Peter Carrol' is 25, Born and raised in London, finished studying too. He's a sometime writer, & currently writing a book about something (he wont tell anyone about it!)
How did you meet? How did you decide to make music together?
We met at Uni . I was at that time in a punk band playing bass (we were very shit!). Peter became my best friend because we liked the same stuff. I asked Pete to join 'Futurecop!' about a year ago - mainly because it would be more fun.
So 'Futurecop!' is a duo, period.?
No No, 'Futurecop!' Isn't me or a person it's just a project encapsulating how I think certain people looked at life and future in the 80s. One of the main reasons I'm doing this is to have fun.
Earlier you said you learned music production from scratch! How did you achieve that?
Gosh! When I started I knew no one into music production and no one in the music industry but ever since I was a little child I've been really into electronic warm synth sounds and always said to myself "Id love to make this sound one day". I was determined to learn how to recreate it by myself, so… I got a copy of 'Reason' and messed around with it. Then I just took it from there. Now I am getting close to making the type of music I wanted… So I'm happy.
Beside 'Reason' what programs, equipments, instruments do you use to create your music?
I only use ' Reason' and 'Ableton' to produce, But live Peter uses a ' Korg Electribe'. I use 'Reason' to the max & there's always something new to learn from that program – I love 'Reason'!
Where do you usually make music?
Everywhere… In my bedroom, train, even once on the plane!
What made you choose this style of music to build your career around? What made you think it was going to be successful?
When I was a little kid I was addicted to TV, I watched a lot of 80s cartoons and movies & I used to love it, so I wanted to make music as if I was in the 80s making a tune for a cartoon or a Sci-Fi movie!
80s Cartoons & Movies like what?
Stuff like Brat Pack movies, Transformers, Thundercats , Rocky 4, Akira, & even My Little Pony!
I was in love with my Amiga and Mega Drive !
Oooh! Since we're talking about this already, there's a picture on your MySpace of some old cartoon with an Aztec temple made of gold! I used to watch it when I was a kid & when I saw the picture all sorts of memories and feelings came back! What's it called?
The cartoon is 'Mysterious Cities of Gold '!
So that's what influences you?
It's that & the different aspects of how people looked at the future and pop culture in the 80s in a fun way; I'm quite obsessed with the 80s… I even love those 80s rock ballads (I think they influenced me a lot). There is also an aspect of Geekyness I think, at school I was bit of a geek and listened to 'Weezer', ' Superchunk', 'Pavement', ' Nada Surf', & stuff like that! New York's styles and sounds are a big influence to me too.
While going through your list of influences I was glad to see "Cut Copy" in there, but what happened to "Mylo" & "Linus Loves"?
I like 'Mylo' and few songs of ' Linus Loves'! They are not my main influences though, mainly eighties synthes, in every form. Cut Copy are wicked, I just love the sounds they use.
Ok, let's talk about your tunes… tell us a little bit about each one?
As Seen On TV : I had the most fun making this song, it reminds me of 'Thundercats' and TV shows I watched when I was a kid… so that explains the name.
Class of 1984: This is actually the 1st proper song I made where the chorus sounds perfect, even the drums. It's inspired by the ' Breakfast Club'; I created it watching the movie.
Hey Heartthrob: It took me only 30mins to make it! I love this song and it's Pete's favorite, just pure fun and random. I wanted it to have a weird song structure as you keep listening. Oh & it samples a song by 'kenny Loggins' from the wicked movie ' Over The Top'!
N.A.S.A.: I was purely aiming for something Sci-Fi & Space related yet euphoric and even Trancey. I wanted to use power chords and just be dramatic.
Starworshipper: Did this few days ago, again Sci-Fi look into the 80s but in a more comedy direction – no hi hats, just future-pop all the way.
Super Saiyan: Manipulated with distortion and euphoric sounds to give a robotic feel to it. There's a lot of noise based music out there and it's getting annoying because it looks like everyone's doing it now – so I tried to make this a bit complicated!
Transformers: Everyone's favorite song! Guess what influenced me to make this!? The beginning part of the original ' Transformers: The Movie', when 'Optimus Prime ' starts to fight the 'Decepticons' with ' Stan Bush' playing in the background!
OMG, "You've got the touch (PAPPA PARRAPPAAA), you've got the power (PAPPA PARRAP-PAAAA)!?
Yep, Stan Bush's 'The Touch'!
So, Which songs did you create before Peter joined in, and which ones after?
I do most of the production, but after a while you just need someone elses opinion. Thats where Peter comes in. The tunes have been mainly made in the past year.
Who else helped in the process of making the tracks?
My sister 'Nahid' – I'm constantly going to her to ask if this sounds good and I always go with her opinion on everything I've made. Actually, she should get all the credit!
So far, your music is strictly instrumental… Have you thought about involving vocals in the future?
'Futurecop!' is instrumental and less words as possible – it's a soundtrack - I want the listener to create his/her own ideas. I don't mind vocals however, I would go for it under another project name… you want to sing for us?? *Whats your robot voice like?! I'd go for whatever sounds right to that tune, there isn't too many rules.
Undeniably, there is a hidden realm within your music that the listener can travel to, what does it look like?
Colorful, fun, euphoric, free, just how you felt when you were a kid!
Have you received any offers from labels yet?
Quite a few but waiting for the right one. I don't really care about labels, you don't really need them nowadays you just need hard work, that's it! I'd sign if they promised me every single person in the world will get to hear my songs. If they could do that they can have the money.
Any famous labels?
Can't tell you that till everything's confirmed, sorry!
Are you planning to officially release anything?
We are releasing an EP in the beginning of February. Also doing 2 T-shirt designs and believe me when I say "They are the best T-shirts you've ever seen"!
EP huh! Tell?
There will be very cool remixes but I can't reveal to you right now all the details, will let you know in due time (keep checking MySpace y'all)! But I can tell you this; I'm currently talking to a record company about a possibility to release a single before hand with mad remixes!
What about the T-shirts, Who designed them?
1 by 'Tobias Warwick Jones ' and the other by 'Akutou' – Sincerely, They are the best Tees you'll see this year. I'm more excited about the tees than the releases!
I saw a photo on your MySpace with futuristic gloves and a logo of 'Futurecop!' is that graphics official or did you find it on the net?
It's Officially made for me by the graphic designers ' The Zonders'.
I love your remix of 'Alice Practice' but have you remixed for anyone else beside 'Crystal Castles'? Were you asked to remix for anyone? Are you remixing any track at the moment (officially or un-officially)?
I don't want to be looked at as a remixer, I want to do music… but I remixed ' Alice Practise' because I love it! Maybe I'll do few more, I'll see…. but I do get lots of offers, still I only want to do it if I knew the artist/adored their song; I'd do it for free for those reasons… I don't care! 'Futurecop!' is not really about remixing, I prefer original tunes.
It seems like everyone are immediately liking your music but do you ever receive any negative comments or reviews?
None yet, that's probably because I'm new!?... Give it a year I'm sure there will be some. The worst thing I hate is comparisons though – I hope no one does that to me.
Before we call it a 'Wrap'… I'm curious, how do you perform in your shows? Because your music is purely synth made & I'm guessing all you need to do at a live show is connect the speakers to your laptop & equipments and hit play!? Is that correct?
I know what u mean it is weird… when we were asked to do a live show we were like "shit we need about 10 people and must buy loads laptops…etc", but what I do is play keyboards on the main hooks of a song (that's it).. The other parts I trigger it like samples, and then Pete just adds more drum samples and effects. We also have a video projecting through us (last time it was transformers). The thing is I grew up watching bands play live, so its weird for me to do such minimal amounts of work and get praised for it; but if there's a demand for it by fans then I'm up for it!
But really, I still think it's a bit odd.
Finally, What's next on the 'Futurecop!' itinerary?
Touring America in March, massive tour in Australia in May and more gigs in Europe! Maybe do remixes… First EP out early Feb & the 2 T-shirts will be available for purchase in a few weeks.
But who knows what the future holds!!!!!
Thank you so much for your time, it's a pleasure interviewing you!
Anytime, See Ya!