The sound of the band is very interesting and unique, who are some of your influences?
After eight or so years of playing together I would like to think that Jack(drums) and I have harded enough yards to influence each other, both in form and execution, more than any other band we like or are currently listening to. Julia and Jimmy are more recent additions but retain that freshness and genuine love of a whole range of music which probably helps to keep the whole enterprise grounded and vital.
Aside from these thoughts if I had to list my influences (past and current) in more of a list format, then Wire (always), Gang of four, The Clash, your usual AmRep/TouchNGo bands, Queen, occasional bursts of hop hop (often ignoring the lyrical preoccupations) and comedy – good comedy. Stewart Lee, Louis CK, Colbert, The Thick of It (British TV series). These performers impress as much with their sense of communication and playfulness as any contemporary rock artists I can think of.
Jimmy genuinely likes Supergrass, which is a constant source of bewilderment around these parts.
How does “The Plot Against Common Sense” differ from your last two records?
Although it's something of a struggle to describe our own music without sounding like an advert for a all-inclusive beach resort I'll try - It's longer and thicker around the face. 'Curses' was strange, 'Travels with Myself and Another' (accidentally) more straightforward whilst this one is just all of the colours of the rainbow. It rails and growls about specifics which is something I started to do on the last one but there's a total lyrical focus there now – out of fifteen songs I can honestly say that only one and a half are vaguely bullshitty (in a thematic sense, at least). It's also the best one.
How has the band grown since your last record?
It's literally grown – there's four of us now.
What is the one thing you did differently on “Plot Against Common Sense” that you didn’t do before?
For the writing - Same processes, slightly different cast. The individuals involved colour the record precisely. For the recording – it was much more drawn out, encompassing 16 or 17 days over a 5 month period, due to studio availability. This was great from a lyrical perspective (it meant I had more time to draw stuff together) but utterly infuriating in just about every other way. Work were very understanding, until all of a sudden I wasn't employed any more.
Where does the title of the record come from, what does it mean?
It sums up the themes addressed within the record, which is particularly unhappy with the modern world, whether that is the predominance of slogans over meaning, commodification of the Olympics by fast food and soft drinks companies, franchise film apologists, Riot and coffee fetishists, the mechanics of alcoholism or the all-pervasive dull allure of celebrity culture (amongst other things).
The title itself comes from my subconscious cobbling together of Philip Roth's pretty damn okay novel 'The Plot Against America' with Dan Carlin's pretty damn incredible podcast 'Common Sense' and leaving it sat, unblinking, in my mind one morning. A good morning, I should add.
In 2009, months before your second album was due, it was leaked onto the net. Are you going through special steps to make sure this does not happen again?
As special as we can. The leak itself is inevitable it was the timing of that one, 3 months early, that really hurt us. For a band without a marketing budget the record has come and gone in most people's minds before it even exists in anything approaching a commercial sense.
Did you ever find out who leaked “Travels with Myself and Another?”
How as the band grown since your started?
In all of the ways it should have, I feel. It does all the things it did at the start but extra. There's probably a slight, understandable reduction in spikiness and a huge fucking increase in the panoramas we're bounding towards. Y'see? All inclusive beach resort. Now with slaves.
The band went through a big line-up change in 2010, does Future of The Left seem secure and intact right now?
Sure, yeah. Finance, at least as far as I'm aware, is our only real concern but people can always surprise you with their madnesses. I'll meet trouble when it knocks on the door, as my Grandma used to say.
Being from Wales, was it harder to get noticed in the UK than other acts?
I genuinely can't remember. Probably. Maybe. If I was pissed off about that I'm not anymore.
The acts that break from Wales – Stereophonics, Marina and the Diamonds, Joy Formidable seem to break really big internationally. Are Future of The Left the next big Welsh band or does that not even matter to you?
It matters, of course, perhaps more than it should but fuck it, the world can smell desperation and besides, none of those bands you've described are far from the acceptable centre. I'd love for us to fill rooms on our own terms and have all the time in the world to invest in the next record. That's as far as it goes.
In 2010, Julia Ruzicka of Million Dead joined the band. With former Million Dead singer, Frank Turner making a big name for himself as a solo artist, could collaboration between Future of Left and Frank happen?
A serious suggestion of such a collaboration would involve, at best, a fundamental misunderstanding of both acts.
What has been the best thing about being a member of Future of Left?
Those moments when I believe, with a slightly embarrassed shrug, that I'm in the best band in the world.