Future Usses Interview

Future Usses
Samantha Meglioli

Future Usses are a new instrumental project formed by Intronaut’s Sacha Dunable. They recently released their debut album The Existential Haunting. Dunable fills us in on the record, the status of the next Intronaut album, guitar building and more.

Chad Bowar: How did Future Usses come together?
Sacha Dunable: I wrote a bunch of songs and decided it would be cool to make a proper album with them. I got my buddy Derek (Donley, Bereft) to help with recording and his drum style is perfect. We made the record and had Dan (Wilburn), my old friend from years of touring situations, come in to play the bass.

What inspired the band name?
A lifetime of bad decisions and killed brain cells.

Describe the songwriting process for The Existential Haunting.
Most of these songs started as late night noodles on the computer, and I thought it would be cool to make the songs happen live with an elaborate looper setup rather than more guitar players. I was right, so after some reworking, we had a fun and challenging musical project on our hands.

Do you take a different approach when writing instrumental music compared to music with vocals?
Not really. Intronaut stuff is rarely written with vocals in mind, probably to our own detriment. But here I guess there was never any pressure to leave room for vocals.

What will be your strongest memory of recording the album?
It was super fun from start to finish. We did drums and some guitar at a place called Clearlake Audio in North Hollywood, which has an amazing live room. We’ve done a few Intronaut albums there and it’s by far my favorite studio on that kind of budget.

Then getting Jon from Torche to help track bass was really helpful and valuable. He’s been tracking a perfect bass sound for years so we got a lot of wisdom from him. And then having Kurt Ballou mix was just the icing on the cake. This is one of the best sounding albums I’ve ever made, and it took forever but it was worth it.

How did you come to sign with Pelagic Records?
I’ve known Robin forever. The Ocean took Intronaut on our first ever EU tour back in 2007 and he was the most enthusiastic about the record when I was showing it around. Plus with their roster these days I feel like we fit in pretty well, and he has been able to get some touring opportunities for us in Europe already. It just made the most sense.

What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Low expectations, few goals. We just want to play cool shows here and there.

You’ve been part of several new bands over the years. With social media, is it easier to build a fan base than it was back in the day?
Probably? I’m old enough to have seen a change in how this all works, but also old enough to have been fed up with social media and trying to stay off it as much as possible. I think the one thing that hasn’t changed is that you have to be making something good for people to really give a shit.

What’s the status of the next Intronaut album?
Almost completely demoed out. We don’t have recording booked but I would imagine it’ll happen early next year.

What led you to first build guitars from scratch?
I’ve always loved the electric guitar, and I was always a light tinkerer, so I started getting into it in my mid-late 20’s, and it grew into a little side hustle I could do in between tours, eventually into a full time job.

What was the tipping point to open your own shop?
We closed the retail store a couple months ago. It ended up being a bit more of a distraction as more and more people came in every day, when we should be making guitars. But I opened it initially to have a showroom for the guitars, and to sell things like pedals and amps from other boutique builders I liked.

What has the response been like?
Sales have grown substantially each year, so I would say the response has been good.

How difficult is it to balance a business, multiple bands and a personal life?
Extremely difficult, but I am also an insane person who thrives on being exhausted and stressed out.

(interview published October 7, 2018)

Listen To Future Usses – “What Is Anything”

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