A band out of legendary music center Athens, Ga., Futurebirds has played with every group from Band of Horses to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Frontman Carter King took a break from the last day of mixing at the Chase Park Transduction studio to talk about the band’s new album, “Baba Yaga.” The interview has been edited for length.
Hatchet: What made you decide to name your second album “Baba Yaga?” How do the witch’s two sides relate to you?
King: You already hit the nail on the head with the two sides of the Baba Yaga character. She’s this ugly horrible witch who lives down in the woods and she eats kids who wander too far into the woods. But she’s also very important to the hero’s quest. She always provides something crucial to the process or to the journey. That last record was a pain in our ass a lot of the time. There were some dark moments where we felt like kids out in the woods being eaten by this thing. But you know what? I saw through and got to the other side and realized the goodness in it as well.
Hatchet: Why do you think you had a hard time releasing this album?
King: We were just caught up in finding the perfect way to send it out into the world. It’s not hard to release records these days. You can go to the Bandcamp site for free and put your record up. We were just struggling ourselves with making sure we gave it the perfect opportunity to succeed and get to as many ears as we could.
Hatchet: As you have become more well-known, toured and talked on radio stations, how have band members’ lives changed?
King: Things have changed and they haven’t changed at all at the same time. That was a stupid answer, but when we started the band we were like, ‘Shit, I mean, if we could play the 40 Watt Club [in Athens, Ga.], that’s all I want to do and then quit.’ And we did that, and I was like, ‘What else can we do?’ We can go on tour. We can play these places, and we’ve gotten to play these incredible venues and KEXP [90.3 FM] and just go on tour with these big bands and bands that you’re fans of and you’re like, man, this is great, you know? It’s all been great, but shit what else can we do? Got that under the belt, what’s next?
Hatchet: What was it like touring with the big names?
King:It’s cool because you get to play these huge venues and you’re like, ‘Shit, I never thought I’d be here on this stage in this amphitheater.’ But the whole time it’s like, ‘You have 30 minutes to load on, sound check if you want to.’ So you’re not like starry-eyed and ‘Oh, I just want to live in this moment forever.’ But the best part about it is, especially when you develop relationships with some of these bands, you just get to pick their brains and take a notepad with you so to speak. You can learn a lot from mistakes people have made, and by taking advice from people, you can avoid a lot of pitfalls.
Hatchet: You’re working on your new album. What should we expect?
King: What can I say? We just got done. We’re mixed. We’ve mixed 16 tracks, and we’re going to cut that down to 10 or 11 probably for the record. There’s a lot of stuff that’s kind of all over the place right now, but we have more faster tracks and we have more way slower tracks. It’s less kind of in the middle than the last one. The tempos stand a little more.
Hatchet: What will you bring to the Black Cat?
King: Ourselves. That’s it. Just our smiles and good intentions.