FUTURE OF THE LEFT “Brexit is properly fucking demented”

Ahead of Future of the Left’s 2018 tour of Australia, MICHAEL D HOLLICK sought refuge in the intelligence of lead singer, Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous, hoping he could make sense of the current political landscape, provide insights on how to sell rock records and what he thinks about Australian grammar. Future of the Left are set to tear Badlands Bar a new one on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. See you in the pit.

Given the band name, I have to ask, can you make sense out of the current state of world politics?

Well, I do agree with you that things do seem very strange at the moment. I was recently re-listening to the audio book of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer, and it got me thinking, that for people of my generation, we have this idea that there is a sort of normalcy that is currently being interrupted.

But when you think about it, that normalcy has only been in place for fifty years or so. Before that, like say two hundred years before, what was normal were the conditions that led to the French and Russian revolutions. So maybe we are returning to the natural state of nationalities, an almost self-sabotaging sort of flux.

And what do you make of Brexit and President Trump?

Brexit is properly fucking demented. It’s beyond. In the same way that I would have thought that any rational functioning human adult would have looked at Trump before the US Presidential Elections and gone, “fuck, I hope they don’t get anyone charming”. You know, someone that would hide their racism and their ignorance in euphemistic language, like we all know that sentiment exists out there. But the way he’s gone about it, it’s incredulous, he’s such a fucking buffoon. Like he’s literally in the bottom five percent of people, and he got elected!

Your last record really stood out due to it intensity. I couldn’t really think of any other rock bands out there currently doing similar things at the moment, am I missing something?

I wouldn’t go so far as to say there are no rock bands, but you generally don’t get to hear about them. The bands that you do get to hear about are the bands that have a ‘narrative’.

Like, take our very good friend Joe, who does press for us, when we put a record out, he comes back to us and will say something like ‘I’m going to the Guardian, and other press so… what’s the story. Give me a story I can tell.’ And he’s not saying that because he’s a bad person, he’s one of the best people we’ve ever met, he’s one of the good guys. It’s what get clicks, it’s what imbues music with meaning for people, like you know, ‘oh yeah, well his family got slaughtered by lynxes while on safari, so he retreated to a cave under the water line and recorded and it’s called Sad Lynx Mutilation Blues’. You know, without a story, like a tragedy or a redemptive story it seems like music doesn’t really have any function anymore. Well no, that’s not true. It’s any function in terms of mass entertainment.

So it’s not the fame and the money that drives you to continue making music?

Well, with a band like us we’ve been going long enough for us to realise that if this is a money-making scheme, then it is a bad one. So definitely not the money though some money would be nice. It’s a real shame that money generally goes to the least talented and/or most transparent of us. But you can’t take that personally and if the realisation of that stops you making music then you’re just as much of a cunt as those people.

Speaking of the c-word, we’re infamous for its usage here in Australia. Have you had good times when you have toured Australia previously?

Oh yeah [laughs]. Talking about that word, it actually reminds me of one of my favourite moments that I had in Australia. It was the second time we were in Sydney someone said to me at bar, “you see that cunt over there? He’s a good cunt.” And later on, I bumped into the same guy, and he pulled me aside and pointing another fellow and say, “and that guy, he’s a cunt-y cunt”. So, there were four uses of cunt, but it was only the fourth use word that actually denoted a cunt, the first three were just conjunctions leading us to the point.

Your announcement regarding the Australia tour requests that people of Perth, specifically, need to go out and buy their tickets. What was the reason behind that?

Well, the last Perth gig we did, I don’t think we sold a lot of tickets beforehand and I was watching the first band, Injured Ninja, who despite the terrible name were incredibly good, I really enjoyed them. And they were playing great and having ball, but like there was hardly anyone there.

And I don’t know if you know this, but Perth is one of those fabled cities. It’s the way that promoters and managers sell it. Like, for example, they’ll say, “oh Glasgow, it’s a big walk up city” and so say you could sell 150 pre-sale but on the night, there could be 400 people at the gig. But, somewhere else, say like Oxford, if you sell 102 tickets, you will get 102 people there. But we were told good things about the turn out in Perth.

So, anyway, back I am at the Rosemount Hotel and I’m not sure if it’s going to be as the promoter said, so I just go oh well and retreat upstairs for a wee Jamesons and to get myself ready for the gig. Because I can’t do things half assed, like even if I wanted to, I can’t sing a song like Arming Eriteria and only be 90 percent there. I just can’t. Then we walked back down and onto the side-stage and I wouldn’t say it was rammed but it was pretty fucking full. And it was one of those moments of relief. As a band, you have some really cool times, but we do have a lot of disappointments. So, for us to be really pleasantly surprised, it was very overwhelming.

In that case I’ll avoid asking why you then skipped Perth on the following tour, and rather ask whether having said that, does the number of people you play to change how you perform?

We care very much about what we do. Like we will play with the same amount of passion regardless of the amount of people that turn up, but if you have a crowd that is giving as much back as you’re giving, that’s the recipe for an amazing night and an amazing memory for everyone. And that’s what we’re looking forward to again when we re-visit Perth.

But you know, if Perth people wouldn’t mind buying their tickets early, it could save me some stress [laughs].

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