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Future Generations on Childhood Nostalgia, Self-Doubt, and "Just Pretend" [Q&A]

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Breezy, laidback, indie-pop quartet Future Generations eases their way back into the music scene with the release of their new single "Just Pretend." The tight-knit group has humble beginnings, with vocalist and guitarist Eddie Gore, guitarist Eric Grossman, and bassist Devin Sheridon all crossing paths at Fordham University in New York City back in 2011. It wasn't until nearly four years later that the band brought drummer Dylan Wells into the mix via a Craigslist ad.  

Since 2016, Future Generations has been working feverishly, releasing a self-titled album and then 2018's Landscape with Frenchkiss Records. However, the band parted ways with Frenchkiss, desiring to take on the responsibility of representing themselves musically. Moving forward, Future Generations desires to craft a sound which they are proud of and have taken a step in the right direction with the release of "Just Pretend."  

This track juxtaposes a sparkling atmosphere, comprised of hypnotic vocals and melodic guitar arpeggios, with a melancholic narrative. The somber, fiercely raw lyrics, will resonate with listeners who have ever felt forced to pretend that life is strictly a pleasant, lighthearted affair. Frontman Eddie Gore sweetly sings the memorable lyric, "Life is easy if you just pretend".  

In addition, this track captures both the frustrations of life and the longing for simpler times those frustrations often inspire. Gore commented on this sentiment, sharing

"I think for everyone, life can be frustrating at times. We’ve all been at a place where you question what you’re doing. Whether what you’re spending your time and effort on is going to be worth it all in the end. For me personally and I think for all of us in the band, 'Just Pretend' is about how we deal with that frustration. This past year consisted of the most touring we’ve ever done. For a lot of reasons it was incredible. But it showed us our first glimpse of what it really means to go after your dreams. Long van rides between shows left a lot of time for us to think about what we are doing. Those moments of doubt for us can really only be quelled by doing what we love. Pushing through those moments encompasses what 'Just Pretend' is all about."

This single is accompanied by a nostalgic, feel-good music video directed by Gore himself, filmed by Britnee Meiser, and edited by Axel Cuevas de Chaunac. For the New York locals, Coney Island was the ideal backdrop for the video as it symbolizes escapism from relentless everyday frustrations. When asked about the music video, Future Generations commented,  

"I think living in Brooklyn has totally changed how we view Coney Island. It’s no longer this mystical place we hear about in the movies. Instead, it’s become this small getaway from our hectic lives. When you’re there, you’re surrounded by all these families and children having the time of their lives. You can’t help but pine for those days where you felt so carefree - grabbing an ice cream cone, playing in the arcades, dipping your toes in the sand, it offers us a small, much needed reprieve before heading back into the struggle that is being an artist in New York City.“

In preparation for the release of their latest single, we recently chatted with lead singer Eddie Gore regarding the band's principal inspirations, driving motivations, and passionate aspirations.  

OTW: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name?

Gore: When we set out to pursue our dream of being in a band, it wasn't a decision that we came to lightly. We all were in school studying to be other things, building up student debt, but at the end of it all, the thing that pushed us was a realization that life can be what we want it to be. We all define our own happiness, and being in a band making music is what defines ours. I think we hope that someday future generations will be more inclined to do what makes them happy, even in the face of societal expectations.  

 OTW: If your music was a color, what color would it be and why?

Gore: I've always thought that each of our songs has its own color so it might be hard to choose just one for all of our music. I think the shade of the sky right before sunset might be close. That specific shade of blue is such a familiar color and it is associated with both happy memories as well as sadness.  

OTW: If you could describe your music in five words what would they be?

Gore: Five. Words. Is. Not. Enough.

OTW: What has been the biggest influence on your music?

Gore: Growing up in Nashville, TN with two parents in the music business certainly helped foster a love for all things music. More recently, I've been inspired by the incredibly hard-working musicians around me.  

 OTW: What has been the biggest obstacle, either physical or mental, that you have had to overcome while pursuing music?  

Gore: Money is dumb.

 OTW: Can you describe what it was like to decide to represent yourselves musically?  

Gore: Honestly it felt like the most natural thing to do. We've been fortunate enough to have many people support us over the years, but I think we have always been reliant on ourselves to get where we want to go. We got into this by trusting our gut, so right now this is what our gut is saying.  

OTW: What is your favorite lyric from "Just Pretend” and why?

Gore: Life is easy if you just pretend! I'm pretty sure most people in the world right now are going through some kind of rough patch, and if you aren't you probably will. It's so easy to get caught up in those feelings of self-doubt, but if you just pretend that life is okay and everything is gonna work out, even if it's just for a little while, it makes everything that much easier. At least for me it does.  

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OTW: What is a moment you have experienced that helped push you through all the doubt and fear that often inhibit people from chasing their dreams?

Gore: Every single time we have had a show with a really small crowd, I get extremely anxious beforehand. I start to think about all the things we did wrong promoting the show, or what might go wrong during the show, or even just like why are we here? But every single time that has happened there is a moment that reminds why we are doing what we are doing. Whether it's fans who traveled for hours and hours to see us, or when we decide that a show in front of ten people will be the most outrageously fun and possibly best show of the whole tour, I never leave those shows feeling the same way I was feeling before.

 OTW: In this single, the lyrics largely address the daily frustrations of life and a longing for simpler times. Do you have any advice for people experiencing these feelings?  

Gore: Yes. It's all apart of it. Anything worth having is worth struggling for. I truly believe that those people who get where they want to be in life are the ones who are willing to deal with the most bullshit. If you stick around long enough your time will come, your efforts won't go unnoticed.  

OTW: This past year has consisted of a considerable amount of touring. After living out that experience, what are you most excited about in regards to your upcoming tour with Yoke Lore, and what are you the most apprehensive of?  

Gore: Oh man, it's gonna be so great to play in front of these crowds. Yoke Lore is so great and his fans are so passionate and I'm very ready to feed off that energy. As far as apprehension, I have none whatsoever.

OTW: In regards to your future in the music industry, what would success look like to you?  

Gore: Being able to do this for the rest of our lives. That's what we want. Of course, that entails a certain amount of critical and financial success to achieve, but that's not our focus. To be able to constantly create and grow and develop and learn about this art form is the goal.  

OTW: Who would be your dream collaboration?  

Gore: It changes all the time for me. I think right now it's Shawn Everett who did Brittany Howard's latest album. He's such an incredible engineer and honestly seems sort of like a mad scientist. Those types of people are the ones who inspire me the most.  

OTW: Who are your Ones to Watch?  

Gore: Sure Sure, DJ ST THOMAS, Bedouine, and Faye Webster.

Along with the release of "Just Pretend", Future Generations has announced an eight-date fall tour with Yoke Lore. Be sure to grab tickets here.  

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