Get to Know Future Kings of Nowhere: An Interview with Shayne Miel

We thought it'd be fun to highlight the folks sharing the bill with us for our CD release party (November 12, Cat's Cradle!). Kicking off the evening is the Future Kings of Nowhere. Led by Shayne Miel, FKoN plays wonderful, high-energy, infectious pop-punkish tunes.

Shayne himself has a fairly remarkable story, which is best told in his own words and those of his wife Rebekah. He also happens to be an incredibly kind person, once coming to Bombadil's rescue at the Festival for the Eno by lending us his acoustic guitar after ours lost a string mid-set. Furthermore, he was kind enough to answer a few of our burning questions about FKoN's music, which you should listen to in preparation for November 12th here. Anyways, check out our conversation and the links below so that you're not the only person who isn't singing along to "Paper Napkins." 

Bombadil: Bands get asked all the time to describe what they're about. What is the music of Future Kings NOT about?

Shayne Miel: Our music is not about being tough or cool. It's not for the Pitchfork crowd (not enough reverb). It's not going to make us rich and famous.

Bombadil: My English teacher once told me that F. Scott Fitzgerald said novelists basically spend their entire lives rewriting the same book over and over again. If that were true for songwriters, what's the one song you're perpetually refining?

SM: Paul Simon's "Graceland". I (obviously) didn't write it, but I am always trying to say things as simply and subtly as he does. 

Bombadil: You definitely know a thing or two about returning from hiatus. Have you found yourself writing about that experience? Is that something that's difficult or easy to do?

SM: I'm assuming here that by "that experience" you mean the things that caused the hiatus, not necessarily the experience of returning. Having cancer was a very intense experience and that intensity has made it difficult to write about. I've finally found a few paths into the story that I can use and some of my favorite songs that we play have come out of it. The songs are a new sound for The Future Kings though. Slower and more serious.

Bombadil: Has Future Kings ever played a show involving an electric guitar? If so, how'd it go?

SM: Funny you should ask. Trekky Records invited us to play their Christmas at the Cradle a few years ago. One of the songs we played was our own take on Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" that we called "Satan Baby." We decided that, just for kicks, I'd play a distorted electric, to give it the evilness a song called "Satan Baby" needs. We had a ton of fun with it! There may be a recording of that song coming out in time for Christmas...we'll see.

The Future Kings of Nowhere - Paper Napkins from Duke Chronicle on Vimeo.

Bombadil: What's your favorite way / place / person to find out about new music?

SM: Chaz or WKNC.

Bombadil: Any news about the newest recordings that you'd like to share?

SM: We've got two albums coming out in the next year or so. The first is an EP with four or five songs that we've been playing for years and haven't had the opportunity to record yet. These are mostly party songs - a thank you to the loved ones who got me through. It's almost done, so expect that to come out in the next four months or so.

The second album is an LP that deals more with how difficult the last few years have been. As I mentioned earlier, there is a slower, more contemplative sound on those songs. We've begun recording them but are still a ways from being done, so I can't predict when it will come out. Hopefully by the end of 2012.

Future Kings of Nowhere kicks off our CD release party at the Cat's Cradle.