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Brisbane rockers Future Haunts take us inside ‘I Can’t Change The Way You Change’

We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Future Haunts and dive into their new record 'I Can't Change The Way You Change'.

If you like heartfelt storytelling and big guitar-led melodies, you’re going to want to dive straight into I Can’t Change The Way You Change, the new EP from Brisbane garage rockers Future Haunts.

Future Haunts have become a favourite on the Brisbane live scene – and for obvious reason. Their early arrival back in 2016 with their debut EP Rubicon slated them as a band to watch, while the string of singles that led to its follow up – their 2020 release Rushmore ­– saw them supporting some of the country’s best alt-rock acts including Middle Kids, Hockey Dad and Bad//Dreems and returning to the live stage with a showcase at BIGSOUND in 2019.

There is no slowing down for Future Haunts. More recently, the band has sold out the launch show for single ‘Social Glue’ at Brisbane’s The Brightside, performed at this year’s Jungle Love Festival and Bris Day Out, and earned nods from triple j for their recent singles.

Now we meet the four-piece at their latest chapter, EP number three I Can’t Change The Way You Can. Inspired by uncertainty, challenges and social change – including impending fatherhood, the devaluation of the arts, the patriarchy, and climate change – as well as the band’s reflections on the last few years, across its six tracks the EP covers a lot of ground, both sonically and emotionally.

For anyone familiar with Future Haunts, you’ll know that they have mastered the art of versatility, taking the indie rock sound and squeezing it into a blender, in the process defying genre and refusing to be placed in a box.

Here, there are flourishes of The War On Drugs and The Stone Roses, touches of Oasis and UK indie rock, there different textures and tones, at times soaring and gliding, at others furiously powering forward – and yet it still remains completely and distinctly Future Haunts. 

If you’re already a fan, I Can’t Change The Way You Change seamlessly builds onto the band’s flawless catalogue – honing the traits that have become distinct with the band’s sound while pushing their songwriting and storytelling to a whole new level.

If this is your first introduction, then you’re in the right place.

Whilst it does gravitate towards personal reflections, there’s also a lot of outward looking commentary in there around social change (or the inability to achieve it) and the ever growing uncertainty about the future of our planet. The EP explores some new ideas and sounds for us as a band, having Aidan Hogg onboard for the recording process really helped us tap into some areas we hadn’t been before, letting things breathe and capturing ideas that truly serve the overall songs

Ben Speight, lead vocalist and guitarist Future Haunts

To celebrate the release of Future Haunts’ new EP, we sat down with the band to take us on a deep dive through I Can’t Change The Way You Change.

Future Haunts – Social Glue // Lyric Video

The Future Haunts Story

From the beginning 

Future Haunts: “We all started making music together in 2016. We’re all originally from Bundaberg, Queensland however we didn’t start making music together until years after moving to Brisbane. I feel like throughout the last few years we’ve been searching for our “sound”, exploring different genres, and experimenting with the various ways of constructing music. I think this EP is the culmination of this process and is another step forward in growth as musicians.”

What you’ll hear  

“I’d say that our sound is guitar driven. We slip in and out of genres quite a lot and think this comes from our various tastes in music. Ben takes a lot of influence from the late ’90s and early 2000’s indie and rock scene whereas I take from more modern sounds. At first it was a bit of a Frankenstein kind of project, however I feel that this EP is honing in on more of a refined sound.”

Influences & inspiration

“Lyrically, Ben took influence from bands such as Protomatyr and Nick Cave. We wanted to channel something a little more straight up. In terms of subject matter, there was a lot going on personally with the birth of Ben’s son and generally in the world at the time with COVID lockdowns etc. In retrospect, there are consistent themes coming through around uncertainty, distance and dealing with change on a large scale.”

Inside the I Can’t Change The Way You Change creative process 

“Due to COVID and general life speed-bumps, the recording and release of the EP has taken quite a while. We recorded at The Plutonium Studios here in Brisbane with the help of Aidan Hogg who helped produce the record. There was a lot going on in the world at the time with COVID lockdowns and the music industry literally falling apart. It was a hectic time for all of us.”

Down memory lane 

“When making a record, it’s usually those initial writing sessions where the first ideas are generated and the creative process is at an all time high [that are the highlights]. Laying everything down at the recording studio was also really fun, we do love a bit of driveway basketball during breaks.”

Tell us the story  

“In retrospect, there are consistent themes coming through around uncertainty, distance and dealing with change on a large scale. While it does gravitate towards personal reflections, there’s also a lot of outward looking commentary in there around social change (or the inability to achieve it) and the ever-growing uncertainty about the future of our planet.”

Audience Takeaway  

“We just really hope this EP inspires and gives people something new and refreshing to listen to after a time where there hasn’t been much to look forward to.”

Say it in a sentence  

I Can’t Change The Way You Change is: “Light and shade, sweet and sour, a progression of rock, shoegaze, punk, and all round potent Future Haunts through and through.”

For the love of music 

“The spontaneity and unknowns. It’s kind of like cooking without a recipe and a bunch of weird ingredients. You start off with some small idea and it can go 100 different ways. It always amazes me to see where the end result lands and what we can channel out of the ether.”

Kicking goals 

“Selling out our last single launch at the Brightside felt like a huge achievement for us. It was our first “big” show after COVID lockdowns and to play in front of a full room of keen punters felt bloody good.”

Overcoming struggle town

“Biggest challenge for us was finding the time to get it all done. We’re all working full time, Ben had a kid midway through, COVID messed up release plans etc. We just kept pushing where we could and had to be really organised and prepped with what little time we had together. A lot of virtual working together. “

The year ahead

“We’re gonna play some shows and hopefully start writing another record!”

Essential Listening

Future Haunts – All That I Have Ever Known

“This almost didn’t make the cut, but in hindsight its probably the best song on the EP.”

Future Haunts – I Can’t Change the Way You Change

“This is the first song we’ve used any kind of synth on.”

Future Haunts – Old Rope

“My friend Chris from Sweater Curse actually helped out with a vocal melody on this track.”

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