FTR (Future) is a French trio that saw the daylight in 2012. Based in Paris, Yann Canevet (bass, vocals), Pauline CP (keyboards, programming) and Brice Delourmel (guitar, programming) this year released their second full length album entitled “Manners”. The work has been released in France by Third Coming Records and in the US by Metropolis. The sound can be defined as a mix between cold-wave and shoegaze music with some electronic arrangements on top. It’s an obscure and somewhat disturbing experience, but still a great opus, which incited me to get more info about the band and their new work. I’ve been in touch with Pauline CP.
(Picture credits by Arthur Weed / Interview courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Can you briefly introduce FTR and the way you got contaminated by the (dark) music virus?
Pauline: We are three. We’ve always been involved in common musical scenes and projects between Rennes and Paris. When Brice and Yann both came from Rennes to Paris in 2012 they started playing together, and recorded, the first EP “Abyss” in 2013 in Lannion (Brittany). I joined the band during the winter of this same year. Then we released all together our first album “Horizons” (RPUT) in 2015, and toured in China in September 2016. We took our time, and now we come back with a second album, “Manners” (Third Coming Records, Metropolis Records), under the name FTR. It has the same meaning as Future, it’s just a different way to write it.
We have different personal stories about our taste for dark music, but we all can say that it’s been a while, with different shades of darkness. For me, it was fumbling my mother’s CDs when I was a kid, attracted by the artworks, and finding Art Of Noise (cf. “In Visible Silence”), Cocteau Twins (cf. “The Pink Opaque”- comp) and Dead Can Dance (cf. “A Passage In Time”-comp).
Q: FTR stands for ‘future’ while your music is clearly inspired by ‘retro’ elements such as shoegaze and cold-wave. What is the band name all about and can you reveal your sources of inspiration?
Pauline: We probably have an ambivalent opinion about the concept of future which explains why we like that word and use it with all the softness and irony possible. We are coming from a classic noise-rock tradition, from the no-wave with Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, then obviously Sonic Youth, Big Black, and definitely The Jesus & Mary Chain. Cold-wave, with The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie… 90’s grunge and shoegaze classics are also part of our influences, from Nirvana to smaller bands like KG. More recent bands like A Place To Bury Strangers, Metz, Soft Moon, Spray Paint or The Name Of The Band have been really important for us for different reasons.
Q: Another retro element is the vinyl format of “Manners”, which has been released in France by Third Coming Records and in the US by Metropolis. The vinyl is quite trendy today and often an item for collectors. What does it mean to you and what’s your favorite format (vinyl? CD? Streaming)?
Pauline: We don’t really see vinyl as a retro object, just as one format between others that sometimes is relevant sometimes is not. Both labels have it on vinyl and CD format, only Third Coming Records released it on tape format. Artworks are important for us, as both albums are drawn by the artist Marion Costentin, so vinyl is obviously a good format to appreciate them properly. We don’t have a fetish for a specific format between vinyl, tape, CD, it depends of the compression and recording. So download mp3 is obviously not the best, but we must admit it’s handy. Streaming is more a way to discover than a way to support and collect music.
Q: What kind of album did you’d in mind when starting the writing of “Manners” and tell us a bit more about the extremely dark sphere recovering the songs?
Pauline: It’s the result of time we spent together, life changes and common energy we had at that time. Yann just dropped all his ideas and we all delved into what you describe as an ‘extremely dark sphere’, because it was it and we were happy to be in it. It was actually a lot of fun.
Q: How would you compare the evolution from your debut album “Horizons” (2015) towards “Manners”?
Pauline: “Horizons” was more atmospheric, cold, kinda pop in a way. With “Manners” we mixed our noisy and cold influences in a more violent and straightforward atmosphere. We changed the dynamic of composition, Yann had a huge creativity flow, and we decided to reduce the number of layers to get closer to how we sound live. We delegated all the mixing work to Bernard Canévet (Yann used to do the pre-mix on the first album) so that we can all be listeners of our music and it worked pretty well!
Q: You’re based in Paris, which has been last week world-news because of the terrible fire in the Cathedral Notre-Dame. In which way do you feel affected by this tragedy and how do you see Paris for artists like you dealing with cold-wave/shoegaze music?
Pauline: That night when Notre-Dame rooftop burnt, I had a drink with a friend in a bar in front of a church. That one friend, told me there was a theory that churches were actually alien spaceships, as if arched-buttress were space launcher that could be activated once it will be the time to do so. Since then, I can’t stop looking at churches as spaceships.
To answer your second question, it’s not that bad, but it could definitely be better.