INTERVIEW: Greg from Cocoa Futures

INTERVIEW:

 

Image result for cocoa futures blue  PHOTO CREDIT: Sara Amroussi-Gilissen

 

Greg from Cocoa Futures

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THESE end days from 2016 is a great opportunity to…

Image result for cocoa futures band

look back at the artists I have featured in this blog. It is good to chat with Cocoa Futures’ Greg about the year and how The Grey, the latest single from his London-based band, came together. He chats about the differing scenes in Scotland (where he was born) and London; the group’s forthcoming E.P., Blue – and what he will be up to this Christmas. In the midst of all that, the talented songwriter tells me about how he met his bandmates and what it was like working with Marc Withasee on the new E.P.

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Hey Greg. How are you? How has your week been?

Hello! Good thanks. Tried to have a quiet week after our E.P. launch on Saturday – but Christmas celebrations have got in the way! We also had our label’s Xmas do last night so I’ve got a bit of a sore head 🙂

For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?

We’re a band from London called Cocoa Futures. We make Pop music.

Fabric has just announced its reopening. Are you familiar with the venue and what was your reaction when you heard the news?

I think I’ve only been to Fabric once and saw a band that I really like called The Invisible there. Glad to see it’s going to open again!

The Grey is your new single and deals with positive, hopeful subjects. It implores strength and faith against harsh odds. What was the inspiration behind the song and was it quite a cathartic experience?

The Grey is inspired by someone I know having a difficult period in their life. It’s about the idea that they would get through it but would probably need some time.

I don’t know if it was cathartic for me but I was really pleased with how it ended up.

 

The song has soaring vocals and plenty of bounce. It seems to be a staple of Cocoa Futures’ sound. Do you think too few musicians keep things light and what was the reason behind this approach to music?

I didn’t really have a grand plan as to how I wanted our music to sound – it just kind of ended up that way. I like a bit of bounce in music and have always been into rhythmic stuff. As for other musicians, I think people should write whatever they want.

Blue is the forthcoming E.P. Can you tell us anything about the songs included and what themes are being explored?

There’s four songs on there. The themes are about stuff that was happening in my life around 2015. There’s one ballad-like song called How Strong You Are which I’m probably most proud of. It’s not really that cool/trendy but I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. Would love to hear what you think!

Marc Withasee produced the E.P. What was it like working with him?

Really great! He really pushed us in the nicest way. I found out more about myself – that I naturally wrote songs too slow and too high and going through the process with him meant that we all learnt a huge amount. He’s a fantastic producer, drummer and human.

Image result for cocoa futures blue E.P.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sara Amroussi-Gilissen

Cocoa Futures brings together Dave, Zoe and Jack into the band. How did you come to meet the guys and what were the initial recording sessions/jams like?

I knew Dave from Scotland and then met Jack and Zoe later through mutual friends and other projects. They’re all really, really nice people to be around and great musicians.

Playing with them in the early days was great – it was apparent, very quickly, that we all fitted together well.

The band has been releasing music since 2014. Do you think Coca Futures have changed a lot in the last couple of years? What are the main changes/differences in today’s songs?

I think I’ve got a bit better a finishing off stuff. Better to finish something off and it be alright than half-finish something and talk about how great it could be. I’ve also spent time learning to produce more which is useful for taking a demo. to a live set – also saves money so that someone else doesn’t have to do it for you!

Critics and fans have really latched onto the music (of Cocoa Futures) and taken it to heart. Why do you think this is and did you expect this sort of support when you started the band?

I’m not sure really. I’m really happy because we put a lot into the E.P. so it’s nice other people like it too. There’s been a good response that I didn’t really expect.

 

Greg, you hail from Scotland. What is the main difference between the music scene there and down in London?

Scotland’s music scene is great. I love a lot of Scottish bands.

The main difference is the price of rehearsal rooms. You can get a rehearsal room for £4-an-hour in Scotland!

What are the plans and ambitions for Cocoa Futures in 2017?

Play some nice gigs; record another E.P. and stay vegetarian (I turned vegetarian 2.9 months ago – it’s great)

Are there any new bands/acts coming through you advise we keep a close eye on?

Stuff I’ve seen and really liked recently: Coby Sey. Dama Scout. Suitman Jungle.

 

It is almost Christmas so I have to ask: what is top of your wish-list and where will you be spending Christmas this year?

I’ll be spending Christmas in Scotland with the family. I’ve got my fingers crossed for snow so I can go sledging.

As for my wish list? Wouldn’t mind a new pair of trainers.

For any new musicians coming through: what advice would you offer to them?

I don’t really feel like I’m in too much of a position to offer advice. Music feels like this huge exciting (and occasionally frustrating) thing and when I’ve learnt one new thing it usually opens up a whole range of other questions.

But (I guess) something that I heard recently really struck me: that making, playing and listening to music are three different things. Splitting them up can really help you take an honest look at a song and get it finished.

Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song you like (not your own as I’ll include that) and I’ll play it here.

Roxy Music’s If There Is Something – got into this band more and more recently. What a tune.

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Follow Cocoa Futures

PHOTO CREDIT: Sara Amroussi-Gilissen

Official:

https://www.cocoafuturesband.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/cocoafutures/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/cocoafuture

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/cocoafutures/

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/cocoafutures

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