"Mickey is the kind of guy who gets a new synthesizer and takes it home to learn every single button and function. He's intense, very scientific and absolutely meticulous about what he wants to synthesize and when," Felix says, laughing without joking. "I'm the complete opposite-I don't want to spend the time learning it. All I want is to write a song to whatever sound comes out."
Mickey Kellerman and Felix Moreno, alongside drummer Darren Heitz, are the driving force behind Future Rock. During their explosive live show, all three members wield synthesizers, live loops and samples-Kellerman on the keys, Moreno on the bass, Heitz on drums-to form an amalgamation of excitement, constructed completely live onstage. The Chicago trio has been perfecting its brand of live-instrument dance music since 2004 and-just like Future Rock's pulsating and escalating anthems-their momentum is about to explode. Their live remixes of Black Moth Super Rainbow and Death from Above 1979 are sweeping proof of Future Rock's remarkable remix skills. But that's not all.
Recorded on July 25, 2009 in their hometown of Chicago, "Live In Wicker Park" captures the raw energy of a performance that packed Milwaukee Avenue, turning rooftops into dance floors and fans into maniacs hanging out of open windows. According to Moreno, the atmosphere and the songs-six of which have never officially been released-are the best representation of Future Rock ever recorded. "Live In Wicker Park" is a 52 minute wall of sound that'll leave listeners wondering how three people create the rhythmic textures that seem to come from a small army, rather than just a trio. The album saunters in with the airy-house of "Understand the Sky" and sprints towards hyperspeed down a rabbit hole for "Pedal Metal"-finding a way to go everywhere in between without losing the band's identity.
Unlike some other electronic bands that also use a foundation of live samples and loops, Future Rock is more concerned with making songs than being progressive sheerly for the sake of it. Melodies trump abstraction and true emotion beats the bizarre. "I'm not a shy bass player, I want you to hear the bass string clank against the fret," Moreno says. "Unlike many electronic musicians, we're not afraid of the major key."
"We're a little strange," Kellerman adds, "we don't fit into any genre."
Kellerman and Moreno met in Chicago during college in the early '00s and soon forged a song-writing partnership. They later met Heitz in downtown, making this trio a truly Windy City affair. Future Rock began their ascent by rocking after-party sets usually reserved for DJ's and soon became the burgeoning festival favorite they are today. Along the way, their LED-heavy light show has become one of the best in the business. Their albums "Sugar Coated Bullets" (2006) and "Gears" (2007), alongside unforgettable live performances and crafty remixes, have garnered Future Rock love from Pitchfork, Time Out Chicago, Stereogum, URB and more.
In addition to a mind-numbing festival schedule, Future Rock will be completing their first studio album in three years. "We're definitely going into the studio to cut and refine our best, rather than searching for the material," Moreno says. And with a proclamation like that, the title of Future Rock might not be so bold.