Future Rock turns heads with new album GEARS and Daft Punk reenactments

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:: Future Rock :: Aggie Theatre :: October 11 :: Fox Theatre :; October 12 :: Bluebird Theater :: October 13 ::

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By Jim Collins
Future Rock pride themselves on being a fresh voice in the electronic music world, but it was a recent jaunt as a cover band that brought in their largest audience to date. In late August in front of thousands of fans at Camp Bisco, an electronic music festival in New York, the Chicago trio transformed into Daft Rock for a special late night tribute to one of their idols. While their show didn’t offer the dazzling pyramid or the robot suits, it did generate quite a buzz.
As electronic music enthusiasts, the band is quite familiar with the spectacle that is live Daft Punk. A few weeks before Camp Bisco, the trio got some inspiration by taking in Daft Punk’s show at Lollapalooza. And before that, Future Rock bassist Felix Moreno said he rocked their legendary Coachella performance for a few months straight on his iPod.

“What I love about Daft Punk is that it’s electronic, but it’s also arena rock,” said Moreno in a recent interview with The Marquee. “It’s house music but it transcends into that rock and roll hardness. It’s right up our alley. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
At this point in Future Rock’s career, it might be more bar rock than arena rock, but the local group is definitely putting their own spin on electronic music. They have that digitized, robotic sound, but they look more like a traditional rock band, with Moreno on bass, Mickey Kellerman on keyboards and Darren Heitz on drums. “We’re really trying to infuse the rock aspect — turn the amp up to fuckin’ 11, have Darren bang the shit out of his crash, head bang, fist pump. I want to see sweat streaming off of the audience because they are dancing so hard,” Moreno said.
Another thing that sets this instrumental trio apart is their insistence on creating the music organically. You won’t find any laptops at a Future Rock show. Audiences sometimes mistake drum beats for pre-recorded samples, but Moreno says just about every sound is being created on the spot. Between Heitz’s percussion, Kellerman’s combination of synthesizers and a vintage keyboard, and Moreno’s bass guitar and synthesizer, there is quite a bit of sonic layering going on at Future Rock’s dance-driven concerts.
“Darren will sample himself live and use a synthesizer to affect the loops he makes and then he’ll play on top of it with either electronic or acoustic drums,” Moreno explained. “And that’s the case with all of our music. What we’re doing is a little different. We’re playing this stuff live with instruments. It has a different feel. I don’t know how many people are interpreting electronic music in a live setting the way that we are. We are actually physically playing every part.”
Fresh off a summer of festival gigs, Future Rock is now concentrating on supporting the October release of their second studio album, GEARS, on Harmonized Records. The new offering follows last year’s self-released debut, Sugar Coated Bullets.
While much of the first album was written on whiskey and coffee in the studio, GEARS was fueled by Red Bull and vodka and involved reworking a lot of material they had previously played in concert. The band feels the new 11-track release is a better representation of the live Future Rock experience. “We really managed to keep a lot of the attitude that we have live,” Moreno said. “Not to take anything away from Sugar Coated Bullets — we’re really proud of that album, too. But this has more of a ruckus attitude and a feeling that is much more pure rock and roll. It’s just more bangin’ — period.”

:: Future Rock ::
:: Aggie Theatre :: October 11 ::
:: Fox Theatre :; October 12 ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: October 13 ::

Spectate if you Gravitate:
• Daft Punk
• Justice
• Idealism

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