The Future Antiques confound in name and perplex in content. It isn't that the songs on their highly convincing debut Another Twisted Ending aren't accessible, don't get you grooving. It's that, for all their sonic familiarity, you simply can't pin them down. No label fits comfortably, and that makes people anxious. It may also be a recipe for success.
Drawing talent from the expanses of Alaska, the bustle of D.C., and the backyards of Minnesota, Future Antiques may be new but they aren't newbies. Brothers Joel and Jason Herd have been gigging around the Cities for years, playing to electro-shoegazers and yoga students alike. Vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Robinson is a classically trained pianist, and bassist Adam Durand does session work when not playing a real-life Dewey Finn at the Saint Paul School of Rock.
Another Twisted Ending tangles a dirtier U2 with Muse's mellow side. We tracked down the band to help sort things out.
Tell me about Future Antiques' past.
Jason Herd: We began as a larger group experimenting with electronic ambient music with dreamy female vocals. People called it space-porn music. When it was down to the three of us we decided to scratch our old music and start fresh with Jeremy.
How did Adam Durand become involved?
Adam Durand: They brought me on as saxophonist and eventually I became bassist. It's funny to think Future Antiques used to have sax! The down side to my day job is I have to follow certain rules to make the producer or artist smile. Future Antiques is a creative outlet for me to play as I see fit. And I get to break stuff.
Tell me about Heartbeat Yoga.
JH: I'm a yoga teacher by day and my friend and mentor Nora Byrne had the idea to bring us into her class to perform. It was a success and we've been packing classes at Corepower Yoga ever since.
Did Jeremy take over vocals immediately after joining?
Jeremy Robinson: Originally, I thought I would just be in the background as a hired guitarist. I played in a lot of R&B and Soul projects in D.C., so this was right up my alley. But we started writing spacey indie-rock jams and this role made sense.
Why is the keytar a must-have for Future Antiques?
Joel Herd: First, it just looks cool. Second, we want to be a rock band and be able to interact on stage. It's hard for me to get involved when I'm stuck behind a keyboard.
Another Twisted Ending could be interpreted as a relationship album...is it?
JR: It's about relationships and how they shape who we are. They push and pull and nothing is straightforward. You never expect what's coming.
I would be hard pressed to assign a genre to FA's music. Why?
Joel Herd: We spent years making sure our individual voices could be heard in our songwriting. It was a challenge at first, but resulted in an interesting album.
What are the benefits of being a genre-agnostic band?
Joel Herd: The benefit is our music is different. We teeter on the edge and entice people's ears enough to get them to pay attention. The downside is it's hard to sum it up to someone who's never heard the album.
I hear U2 on several tracks, "Take Another Look" among them. Am I wrong?
JH: Larry Mullen Jr. was one of my favorite drummers for years. I've always loved guys like Larry and Ringo Starr--solid grooves that support the band.
AD: When we did the album I was assistant directing the U2 Rattle and Hum show at School of Rock.
JR: The Edge is definitely an influence as a guitarist, but there are many others. David Gilmour is the reason I play guitar.
Will technology ever replace musicians?
AD: Technology might have an effect on the instrumentalist but it won't replace the musician. People lose sight of what you can do with technology and instead focus on what it's replacing.
Is this record an end or a beginning?
It's the end of the beginning. We've found our way through the beginning stages and are far enough along to stand before you with something we're proud of.
The Future Antiques play a CD-release show with White Light Riot, the Farewell Circuit, and Mercer.on Friday, April 23, at the Fine Line Music Café. $5 for 21+; $8 for 18+. 8 p.m.