Interview: Forgetting the Future

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Image by Marc Marnie

Forgetting the Future are an indie rock band from a town called Thurso in northern Scotland. The outfit consists of singer/songwriter Robbie McNicol, guitarist Jamie Mackay, bassist Max Paul and drummer Connor Wilson. They formed in 2014 when they were around fourteen; creating music together for that long and from such a young age has created a perfect synergy, clear in their debut album Broken Phones & Hormones, which was released on 8th February 2020 via InTime Records.

For many artists, lockdown was a difficult time. Potential issues included lack of access to recording studios, band members being split up, and a lack of live gigs as a source of revenue. Forgetting the Future seemed to embrace it, with Robbie saying, “We’ve managed to write almost a new album already after releasing our debut album just back in February, so it’s been a lot more productive than we expected!”

“We’ve also been lucky enough up in our hometown because of the tier system. We have been put in tier one, which means we have been able to continue practicing and refining our live show and aesthetics, so it’s going to be mega when we can finally gig live again!”

Virtual gigs via Instagram and other platforms have been huge over lockdown and during the tier system, with Robbie and the band’s impression of them being positive: “I like to pretend that the virtual gigs are live sessions, but I do enjoy them! I think it’s great for our audience too because we have a lot of fans spread around the place and if we were touring we might not necessarily play close enough to their hometown to see us play, so in that aspect they can watch us and enjoy it from the comfort of their own home with a nice old fire going and a cuppa or a drink!”

When asked about returning to ‘real’ gigs, Robbie was excited but a little apprehensive. “I think it’s going to be totally weird to begin with but when things start churning again it’s going to be back to its mental old self! I think because of the lack of gigs and live events people are going to be dying to attend them after lockdown which means there will be hundreds of shows being put on and hopefully the circuit will be bouncing again!”

Although lockdown delayed many releases, Robbie was enthusiastic about the music 2020 had to offer: “For a year that has slowed down the music industry there have been some sure face melting releases! I’ve been really into Royal Blood’s new song ‘Trouble’s Coming’, I’ve been really digging their new sound, it’s polished but edgy at the same time which suits them really well.

“There have also been some incredible up and coming bands releasing music this year too. Some of our great pals like PRIMES with their tune ‘Shangri-La’ which is a bouncy, bright belter with a great music video, and Pizza Crunch with ‘12 Month seasonal Depression’ which is a huge indie summer slammer of a tune. The Riot Vans also released a magic tune not too long ago called ‘Street Fighter’ that I have been obsessed with, it’s just a great song. You could definitely bash pints over your head to that tune.”

Forgetting the Future’s own 2020 release, Broken Phones & Hormones, was a long-awaited debut given their formation back in 2014. The recording sessions surrounding the album were wild times, with Robbie describing “after every day recording we would either chill out with some rich tea biscuits or a few bottles of wine and pick our producer’s brains for some dirt on Green Day and Weezer and Fleetwood Mac, etc… as he has worked with all these guys! Usually, sitting half-stunned after a day of recording we’d be melting into the couch fanboying over his stories.

“Also, after hitting one of the takeaways in the Nairn High Street after a long day of recording we got heckled by a local young team head to toe in tracksuit for looking like One Direction, so that was pretty fun ahaha!”

Although only released as a single in August, ‘Cherry’ was a track from Forgetting the Future’s debut that has reached over 130k listens on Spotify, becoming easily their most popular track on the platform. Robbie says: “Cherry is a song we wrote maybe two years ago and it was always going to be on the album. When I wrote the song I was really getting into Catfish And The Bottlemen and The Vaccines, which definitely took the tune in the best direction!”

“’Cherry’ is about trying to maintain a good relationship while dealing with life’s other distractions at the same. It’s also about just being obsessed with each other in a relationship and being able to work things out after being in the pits after an argument, whether it be having a smoke together or going for a drive in the car and chatting about things… a more modern Romeo and Juliet if you will!” says Robbie. “But we cannot believe the reception the track has had, hitting 130k is a big milestone for us and we could not do it without every single person, every single blog and every single radio station that have given it a spin!”

When asked about a dream collaboration, Robbie found his answer easily: “Personally, my dream collaboration would be to work with Jack White from The White Stripes and The Raconteurs etc, simply because of the outrageous guitar sounds and producing ideas that man comes out with!”

My final question to Robbie was about the band’s plans for 2021, and he was very optimistic: “We’ve been preparing for 2021 like there’s going to be an apocalypse! We have a bucket load of tunes that have come out of lockdown and have already started recording them!”

He continues: “We’re also going to plan a big massive tour at some point to come and see everyone as soon as we can, it’s all about the gigs for us; I need somewhere to burn my energy off and sweat silly. So, expect some big things from Forgetting the Future in the next year!”

You can listen to Forgetting the Future’s debut album, Broken Phones & Hormones, on Spotify and all other streaming services, as well as purchasing it alongside their singles on Bandcamp.

Words by Jack Oxford

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