Future Stuff is a duo band consisting of Thea Grace & Gabe Burdulis, based in Illinois and Wisconsin. We interviewed Gabe about their careers as music artists and a charity they support called UW Carbone Cancer Center!
Alt Philanthropy: How did you guys meet?
Future Stuff: Thea & I actually met at the ages of 16 & 13 at a battle of the bands in Crystal Lake, IL, and not far after that day forth I knew we would be share the stage and make music together.
ALTP: You have posted a few covers, and original songs on youtube, how do you feel posting your music onto social media platforms like these have helped you as a band?
FS: Social media is a massive necessity for musicians these days. I complain about it a lot, but i know it helps us a band. We try to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, as well as keeping our website up to date. I would say our biggest success with social media was getting a song discovered by Spotify which has spread our music to a lot of ears that without the help would not have heard it. It is also a great platform for helping us promote shows.
ALTP: What are your goals as a band?
FS: Our very short term goals are always changing and are up in the air. We have a lot of goals between the two of us, but we are working towards some more independent goals, of moving to a more populated music city together, putting out a full length record in the near future, and hopping on a few bigger tours and traveling the world!
ALTP: Describe your creative process of making music?
FS: It’s never the same, sometimes one of us will have a hook or a riff, that we send to the other and we take off from there. Sometimes we make things out of scratch and we finish it that day, or break it up between a few weeks. I love writing with Thea; when we write there is nothing that’s off the table and we are so comfortable with each other that it makes it fun and easy. We are honest with what we like and don’t like, even if we don’t always agree. I think our writing styles (separately for years), had always been similar. We both have a lot of pop and blues influence, but together we have been writing a lot more upbeat folky/ pop music that is really fun to perform and sing! One of the struggles of often being hours away from each other is that some of our idea sharing is done by phone or the internet. I love Thea’s ideas; it’s very easy for me to hear something she came up with and immediately have 20 different ideas.
ALTP: What is the meaning behind the song Elephants? Is there a particular reason you chose an elephant rather than any other animal?
FS: Elephants is a love song in disguise, along the concept of “the elephant in the room”, and not wanting to just let it go by. Thea had started that song and brought it to me; her grandma has a love for elephants and we both think they are beautiful creatures.
ALTP: What obstacles have you had to overcome as a band?
FS: Being too young to play at certain venues, having to kickstart a band 10 hours away from each other, and finding the biggest sound we can create with just two people.
ALTP: What advice would you give to other bands?
FS: Work harder than anyone else, collaborate, stay independent and grow as long as you can, and LOVE what you are doing ... otherwise is probably isn’t worth it.
ALTP: Who are your musical inspirations that you look up to?
FS: As a duo we look up to a lot of people, some we love musically are Tedeschi Trucks band, The White Stripes, Oh Wonder, and Johnnyswim.
ALTP: What charity did you guys choose to draw awareness towards? What makes this charity so important?
FS: UW Carbone Cancer Center is a charity I’ve supported through events before in the past. Cancer is something that has hurt so many people, and most of us know someone that has been affected because of it. The amount of people that die from cancer per year is horrifying, and I believe that the cure is close. I’ve seen a lot of people I love suffer because of cancer, but the UW CCC has been amazing and they work hard to help other people.
ALTP: How did you find out about UW Carbone Cancer Center?
FS: When my aunt was going through chemo, I asked my parents how we could do benefit shows to help support. My dad is a nurse at the UW and knows first hand they are fantastic.
ALTP: How do you think UW Carbone Cancer Center can positively impact the lives of others?
FS: By helping find a cure, and in the meantime making people as comfortable as possible through the process.
ALTP: In what ways do you hope to use your platform as a music artist to help others?
FS: By spreading love, kindness, awareness, and trying to bring positivity to people's day.
ALTP: In what ways have you guys found yourselves currently helping others around you?
FS: By bringing smiles to people’s faces, we like to take time to help people in anyway we can, whenever we can!
To learn more about UWCCC you can visit http://www.uwhealth.org/uw-carbone-cancer-center.