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“Turn down your Me.TV and turn up for your community.” With these words, rising rock duo Black Futures launch into their latest track Me.TV, joined by Primal Scream founder and vocalist Bobby Gillespie.
The song celebrates the power of community, filled with empowering mantras about our wider responsibilities. “You’ll never be an individual,” they note, “you’ll always be a human being”.
“It is that gremlin inside of you that professes yourself importance over all else,” Black Futures offer when asked to define Me.TV. “It is the sickly false veneer of our digital social hyper reality. We are not all stars of our own hit tv show. We are friends, family, community, a mass of creatures hanging out on a tiny planet with a fantastical array of other flora and fauna in a seemingly infinite awe inspiring expanse of existence. Let’s make love!”
Filled with imposing industrial sounds, the track packs a powerful punch. From Black Futures’ raspy delivery to Gillespie’s spoken-word manifesto, Me.TV builds on a catalogue that has already showcased the wide range of the London pair’s sound.
Self-described as “future punks”, the movement exists in both their message and their music – recently demonstrated on their UK run alongside punk icon Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Embracing community, Me.TV kickstarts a collaboration with Doit.life, an organisation that helps individuals, schools, and companies grow and find purpose through volunteering, fundraising and more.
As the band continue to move from strength to strength – with headline shows in late March and early April – we caught up with the duo to find out more about the Black Futures community.
How did the partnership between Bobby Gillespie come about?
We knew we wanted to collaborate with someone who really embodied the spirit and vibe of the song. We are huge fans of Primal Scream and their non-conformist approach to art and boundless creativity. We sent Bobby a message thinking it was a bit of a pipe dream. The very next day we received a demo of what he had written. We were completely awestruck by the distilled brutal honesty of his words. It punctuated the primitive anarchic vibes with an extra dose of joyous potency. Thanks comrade Bobby for joining us on our expedition.
You’ve recently been on tour with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, how was that?
Frank is another kindred spirit, a true original source of vital creative energy and purpose. Without a doubt one of the best front men ever across all time, space and alternate realities. The whole band and crew were such a good vibe that we left with a wealth of new friendships. The Rattlesnake community were so welcoming and really got into the energy with joyous abandon. Pure anarchy.
Why is community so important to you?
We think humans’ capacity for empathic, altruistic communal living and our knack for creative thinking is at the root of everything that is great about humanity. We want to grow a community and culture with the Black Futures Expedition Club that provides an inclusive space for anyone that may feel at odds with their immediate environment. Make weird and live free! Onwards to NEWTOPIA.
So where did your partnership with Doit.life spring from?
We have our fantastic record label to thank for this introduction. From the very conception of the song we wanted to find a practical way for us to instigate positive action. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by awesome people running community venues and social projects. If this wasn’t the case, I personally would find it very daunting to push out of my comfort zone to find opportunities to donate my time. Doit.life provide an amazing resource to combat this and help join organisations with potential volunteers.
Why is the concept of volunteering so important to you as a band?
‘Turn Down Your Me.TV & Turn Up for Your Community’ is one of our many Black Futures Expedition Club mottos. Constant reminders to live with positive nihilism. Time is our most precious commodity, so to give it selflessly to help other living entities is imperative to living with true purpose in the face of endless meaningless abyss. Let’s be maximum!
What do you think community volunteering offers to your fans?
Just being open to volunteering your time, energy and expertise to others exposes you to a way of living that is not purely dictated by commerce. Being in touch with the sheer diversity of your community and environment develops empathy, respect and inclusivity. A massive fuck off to the ME! ME! ME!
How does the ethos of community feed into Black Futures?
Black Futures is a community. That community inspired this song. The sheer amount of people that give their time and efforts to help make this all a reality is incredible. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the incredible members of our community who do all-nighters sewing banners, painting canvases, making costumes, building sculptures, donating materials, providing beds for us in far flung places, performing onstage with us, and generally keeping us sane… Almost..
How do you use that to actively create an atmosphere of togetherness at your shows?
If you’ve been to a Black Futures show you may have noticed we are rarely alone on stage. Our club members become anonymous beacons of energy. Encouraging the audience to release their inhibitions and get swept away with us on a tsunami of rock & roll abandon, pure trance and true joy! All aboard the vibe train!
Catch Black Futures live on the following dates:
28 March 2019 – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
30 March 2019 – Bodega, Nottingham
1 April 2019 – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
2 April 2019 – The Lexington, London
Tickets for Black Futures in Manchester, Nottingham, Brighton and London are available now through our friends at TicketWeb.