Distant Future is now
Distant Future is a new band of misfits, a post-punk four-piece of Greensboro weirdos with love for sci-fi, The Cure and each other.
“We very much have become a lil’ band family,” said guitarist and main brain, Ward Picklesimer, before admitting the group’s more juvenile antics. “We’re basically a band of 12-year-olds, lots of cutting-up and teasing,” he admitted. “But we also offer each other emotional support for the rougher days.”
The support resonates through the self-professed “odd personalities” displayed amongst the members. “All four of us view the band as a source of fun, joy and energetic release currently in our lives,” Picklesimer explained. “We think trying to hang onto that is important. You have to remember to enjoy it. That’s the feeling that keeps you practicing after a long day in your day job.”
Therapeutic qualities carry beyond factors of motivation. “We all have families in various stages of function and dysfunction, so now we all have this new weird little musical family,” Picklesimer praised of their group dynamic. “We all see a little of the outsider in each of us, sometimes that can be as isolating as it is interesting. But we all encourage each of us to bring that sense of unique other-ness into the band in any way they can, as we respect and appreciate it.”
Formation of the Distant Future family has been in the works for a while. Picklesimer had been making online demos and chatting band plans with drummer Joe Garrigan casually over a couple of years. Bassist Nathan Girven entered the picture through mutual friends. The trio first performed at Still the Days fest in August, but wasn’t fully cemented until vocalist Briana Strickland came on board.
“It’s exciting for this to have evolved it to a full band,” Picklesimer said. “It’s like starting off as a microbe and then evolving into a fully-formed creature that is finally walking onto dry land, and also listens to The Cure, then learns to dance.”
Distant Future was born from Picklesimer’s online demos, the name nodding to his love of retro sci-fi. “A lot of stories start off with the phrase ‘in the distant future,’” he explained. “From there, you can make it what you want.”
Picklesimer conceded that what folks “probably want” onscreen from sci-fi movies involves jetpacks. What Distant Future brings on-stage is post-punk with “an obsessive, collective love” for David Lynch aesthetics. Their bio lists classics such as New Order and Blondie with current groups such as Idles and Preoccupation. Presently, the only Distant Future recordings are of Picklesimer’s early demos. “They’re basically the core of the first material, like the DNA for what we are doing now,“ he explained. But plans for self-producing a record will follow into the new year.
“We’re excited about realizing and shaping what that will be,” he added. “People need to hear what Distant Future has become!”
The group works collectively around the nucleus of Picklesimer’s track material. “Everyone works arranging their own part of the whole, and songs start to fully take shape.” he explained, noting that Strickland’s vocals have become the “the big game-changer.”
“Bri brings the heart and soul to the music,” Picklesimer insisted. “Her voice has a personality all on its own that brings so much character to the full band sound.”
When asked for what the group is most thankful for during this Thanksgiving season, Strickland’s “sassy hair” came up first, followed by earplugs. “We’re really, really thankful for earplugs,” Picklesimer said. “Those cymbals will get you every time.”
They also devote thanks to the group dynamic and look to celebrate with food accordingly.
“Regardless of the season, we’ve already been planning cooking a band meal around someone’s house,” Picklesimer said. ”Just to kinda enjoy our company outside of practice and bond.”
As for the menu and Thanksgiving staples, “It’s apparently a head-to-head between mash potatoes and potato salad,” Picklesimer said. “I’ve given up sugar, and Bri is vegan. So the mighty potato is the great leveler there.”
Starch-lovers and band meals aside, “We’re all just navigating these crazy woods together, looking for funky paths,” Picklesimer said. “We’re all thankful for the support we get from a good network of friends.”
With a string of upcoming shows through the new year, Distant Future is now. Catch them with Speak N Eye and Rickolus at Monstercade on Dec. 19; at New York Pizza on Dec. 27 with Young Andrew and Halliday; and in 2020 on Jan. 18 with GSO and Toothsome at the Flat Iron.
Katei Cranford is a Triad music nerd who hosts the Tuesday Tour Report, a radio show that plays like a mixtape of touring bands. 5-7p.m. on WUAG 103.1fm.