Some bright and happy music is always needed, but especially at this grey time of this particularly tumultuous year, at least on the macro level. Cocoa Futures have released latest single Blue as something of an antidote, and will launch their new EP Blue on Lost In The Manor Records on 2 December, ready to add their ‘messed up pop’ to the 2016 mix. I caught up with frontman Greg to learn a little more…
When did you begin working as Cocoa Futures and how has the project developed?
We started working together back in 2014. Drummer Dave and I started the project, then we were lucky enough to find Zoe (synths/vocals) and Jack (guitar) to make us sound like a proper band.
What’s changed since then? Well, I think I’ve got a little bit better at writing songs and also I stopped playing the bass to concentrate on singing. I miss the bass but I think it was a good move – plus I don’t have to carry anything to gigs.
How does the writing process work for you, do you write alone then bring in the band?
I spend a lot of time writing ideas, lyrics and music and then trying to work them up into songs. A lot of these end up being pretty terrible, but there’s the odd one that can be exciting or sound good. With these ones, I take them to the rest of the band to make them better. I’ll also spend a lot of time listening to how they sound with the band to try and improve them. It’s a long process J
Listening to you, there’s definitely an eighties disco feel in there, but also some more modern electronica, as well as pop melodies? Are there any artists or bands who influence you?
I love the 80s a lot, but hope that we don’t sound too much like a straight up 80s band. I’m really into Roxy Music, loads of pop stuff and also some more out-there electronic stuff. It’s not even out-there I guess, just doing something different or trying to say something different. I think we were trying to bring some of those things together.
You described your music as ‘glee and gloomy’ and your music is a real mix – how do you straddle the two without coming out beige?
Good question. I sometimes like songs that leave you with a question, rather than an idea or a clear message. I think we are trying to mix messages a bit, rather than a musical mix of happy and sad. Mixed messages are sometimes talked about as bad things, but I don’t think they necessarily need to be.
Talking of questions, can you explain yumcore to me? It’s how you have referred to your ‘genre’ in the past, and certainly a better description than any journalist could come up with!
Not really! When we were first starting out, I was just making up genres. Yumcore seemed like a funny word, so went with that.
What’s the resonance of the colour blue?
Well, I think it’s a lovely colour and obviously has a connection with a certain emotion. It’s also a simple word or idea for a song, and connected well with the meaning of our song with the same name. So it seemed like a good thing to explore.
What’s the plan for 2017?
Aiming to play some nice shows. Also, we’re going to make another EP and try and develop what we’ve done with the first one. I’m writing a lot at the moment for that. I also turned veggie two months ago, so I’d hope that 2017 is my first full year of vegetarianism. It’s great.
Photo: Sara Amroussi-Gilissen
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