Name: Sarah Hibner
Band: Future Loves Past
Duties: Back up vocals, percussion, keys
(Photo: Sara K. Dalton)
Sometimes you never know what a person is about even throughout many years of friendship. I met Sarah in high school, but from what I remember we never really hung out. We just had random classes here and there and had a bunch of mutual friends. One thing I do remember is that she was the high school soccer goalie and she would totally go berserk and spray opponents with her green mini Gatorade bottle when someone scored. One time she incessantly started banging her head against the post. Just kidding, I never went to a single Lady T-Birds soccer game but she was in fact a goalie. Anyways, onto something more true. Over the years, it seems that she has developed the gift of rock and she now plays in a band called Future Loves Past that hails from Tempe, AZ. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them and was very impressed. This is my first interview that doesn’t deal with punk/hardcore/anything with someone yelling, so as I write this blob of words, I’m listening to their S/T EP on vinyl and I’m trying to synopsize their sound to the reader….and do them some justice since people usually take comparisons very lightly. They remind me of something along the lines of Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Wilco, Pink Floyd, and even Neil Young at times. So I guess if I could capture the essence of what the band was and if someone asked me what they sounded like I would say a revival of classic rock jams mixed with dreamy pop. That’s only a scant description so go out and check them out at The Sail Inn on December 29th as they unveil their Our Solar System concept show.
Triceratops! Raptors come in a close second.
Have you ever headbanged?
Yep, but it’s been awhile. I haven’t been to many headbanging-worthy shows lately.
Have you ever flown First Class on an airplane?
You know, now that I think of it, I don’t suppose I ever have. There might’ve been one time when I was 12 and the airport chaperones forgot about me for a little while and upgraded my flight, but that could have just been to a nicer plane. Anyway, no, I guess I haven’t. I don’t really see the point.
Checkers or Chess?
Chess all the way! Growing up, I always saw my dad and various uncles engaged in intense chess matches, and they showed me how to play. It taught me a lot about strategy, critical thinking, and a lot of other stuff that has served me way better than 75% of what I learned in school.
Sabbath, Floyd, or Zepellin? Depending on your answer we are still friends.
This is a tough one… but I’m going with Floyd. I was recently introduced to The Piper at the Gates of Dawn album, which I’d never listened to before, and I really, really enjoyed it. It was somewhat different from most of what I’d heard by them, thanks in large part to Syd Barrett, but it worked for me in its own weird, experimental way. It’s a crazy debut album, and I think it’s especially valuable within the context of what the band later released – interesting to see where they started, and amazing to see how good they were from the beginning. Still, it was a hard decision to make. We better still be friends, Chris!
(Floyd was my #1, but I love them all. Good job Sarah)
What phobias do you have?
Bacteria that can cause necrosis.
If you were a Viking, what would your Nordic explorer name be?
Charles Barkley or Gene Simmons?
Charles Barkley, basketball great.
How much money do you spend on shampoo a month?
$4 every few months.
The Mexican food in Arizona is ____________.
Adequate. There’s a lot more Mexican fast food in Phoenix than I ever saw in El Paso, but there are also some really cool interpretations of Mexican food here, from authentic to gourmet and a bunch of random stuff in between.
Diamondbacks, Suns, or Coyotes?
Suns, mainly because I don’t care at all about baseball or hockey, and because I only have a minimal interest in basketball.
I never knew you played music until I was on tour a couple years ago and you housed my band. Somehow we got into the topic that you began rocking out. How exactly did you get into playing music?
A group of my friends formed a band to fill a last-minute slot, and invited me to give it a try, no pressure, because it was only going to be a one-time thing. We had one week to learn seven songs. I started off just singing really simple harmonies and playing around with percussion, and essentially learned as I went. That first show was so well-received that we decided to continue playing shows, and over the past two and a half years, we’ve just kept gaining momentum. Since then, I’ve been learning how to play keys, and I’ve become a lot better at harmonizing and at playing rhythm.
Give me some quick tips on how a person can instantly improve their fashion sense.
Go for silhouettes and fabrics that work with your body shape instead of working against it. I’ve been heavy my whole life and I’ve realized it’s really not that difficult to find cheap, cool clothes if you take the time to consider what fits right and more importantly, why it fits right, because then you know the characteristics to look for in other clothes.
What was your major in college?
I majored in graphic design.
Have you designed any artwork for the band?
Nope. All the artwork is designed by Eric, our frontman, who I coincidentally met while we were both studying graphic design at ASU. He has a very clear idea of what he wants the band artwork and identity to look like, so I’ve decided to leave the visuals to him, and to just focus on becoming a better musician within the context of the band.
What do you miss about your hometown of El Paso?
MY FRIENDS! Nothing can really replace the bonds that I’ve forged with those lovely people, and the longer I go without seeing them, the more I realize how irreplaceable they are.
What inspires you the most?
Riding my bike - it’s like meditating, exercising, and reconnecting with nature all at once!
What frustrates you the most?
Right now, I’m most frustrated by people whose first instinct when facing a problem is to look to someone else to solve it for them.
Name a couple of bands/artists that you’re currently hooked on?
Tame Impala, Here We Go Magic, Givers, the Dodos, Fleet Foxes and lots of random classical music.
What are you currently reading?
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller (He’s one of my all-time favorite authors – I love his vulgarity, his rambling, and the huge amount of sense he somehow still manages to make).
Name a couple things that you have learned from being in a band that you would have not learned anywhere else.
I’ve learned that after you spend enough time playing two to three shows a week, the term ‘weekend’ starts to lose its meaning because every other day feels like one. I’ve learned that ‘sleeping arrangements’ can mean anything from sharing a bed with numerous people to ‘sleeping optional’ when you’re on the road. I’ve learned that you can get away with making A LOT of noise inside of a house as long as you have enough sound padding up on the walls.
What were your best/worst memories of 2012?
The second week of March 2012 was a really bad time. Our band house was robbed while we were out on the road on our first mini-tour, and my computer, which as a graphic designer is pretty much my lifeblood, was stolen along with other valuables. In between our van breaking down and some lackluster shows, the tour itself also felt like a disappointment. Looking back on that time now, though, I don’t think I would have appreciated the good things that have happened to me since then quite as much if it hadn’t been for that crappiness. I’d have to say some of my best memories of 2012 involve the many crazy hotel after-parties I attended after some of our shows. By that time of night or early morning, everyone’s basking in a potent cocktail of alcohol, sweat, drugs and adrenaline, and the adventures and conversations you have with people you already thought you knew are truly eye-opening.
Future Loves Past:
How did Future Loves Past get its name?
The name comes from a lyric from one of Eric’s older songs, “The future’s in love with the past”, and it’s supposed to mean ‘now’. He always said he was saving that name for a band with potential. The band was originally called ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’, and after we realized we all wanted to keep making music together, he decided the ‘Future Loves Past’ name fit better.
How long has the band been around?
We’ve been together for a little over two years now.
Can you give a brief summary of the discography of the band?
As of right now we’ve released a 4-song, self-titled EP, and we’ve released two singles off our Solar System concept album. We have a whole lot more in the pipeline for the coming year.
When did you join the mix?
I’ve been with the band since the beginning, September 2010.
Being the only female in the band, were you hesitant to be in a band with all males/were they hesitant to have you in the band?
Not at all! I definitely had no qualms about joining a band full of guys – I’ve usually gotten along really well with guys, and two of my best friends are in the band, so it really wasn’t an intimidating prospect at all. It was also comforting to know that my friends would be the ones helping me learn the ins and outs of playing music. I don’t know if my bandmates were at all hesitant to have me in the band, given that when we first started playing together it was such a laid back situation. I doubt any of us expected the ‘one-time show’ we signed up for to spawn as much craziness as it did.
What is it like to live with the majority of your band? Are you guys always in a constant mental mode of creating music or do you guys have a good ample amount of downtime so you guys don’t burn yourselves out?
I’ve lived in the band house for a little over a year now, and while I don’t regret moving in, I’m definitely ready to move on. Living there was really convenient from a band standpoint because showing up to practice involved walking downstairs, but it has also had its downsides. You get to a point where you feel obligated to spend any and all downtime you have on band-related stuff, and you start to feel guilty if you don’t, which I don’t think is healthy. You need to have some semblance of balance.
What is the song writing process like for the band? Do you all write songs together or does someone usually bring some type of riff or hook to practice and you guys work off that?
The majority of our songs were written by Eric, and then expounded upon by Sean, Tristan and Mike, but the songs are always evolving. There are songs we’ve been playing for two years (including three off our EP) that are STILL being rewritten and tweaked.
I am assuming that your “Our Solar System” album is classified as a concept album? Can you describe the whole theme behind the solar system that your album revolves around?
The album consists of 13 songs that each represents a celestial body within our Solar System, mainly including the planets and some of their moons. The band researched the mythology behind each of the planets and tied those themes into the lyrics and the feel of each song. It was a way to change up the writing process while also challenging ourselves.
How did you guys even develop that theme?
The idea for the Solar System concept album actually emerged from the shit-show we experienced in March when our house got robbed, our van broke down, etc. Before we went on the road, one of our astrology-buff friends mentioned that Mercury was in retrograde, and that we should watch out for any traveling delays or problems. It turns out that we probably should have heeded her advice a little more. We only remembered it after returning home, and decided to write a tribute to the celestial bodies that many people believe control our destinies (a.k.a. astrology).
Were you all sober?
Not the entire time. Tee hee.
From what I have read/seen, each member is portraying a unit of the solar system. I may be wrong. If I am right, which planet are you?
We’re going to have body-painted models at our show, and each of them is going to represent a celestial body in the Solar System, so no, unfortunately none of us will be dressed up as a planet. If I were to dress up as one, though, I would want to be Neptune!
Is Pluto involved?
The show seems like it is going to be pretty theatrical. What can an audience member expect to see at your show on December 29th at The Sail Inn?
They can expect to see a production, to put it simply. We’ve involved local artists, models, fashionistas, prop-makers, and more to help us put together a visually spectacular event that compliments the music without distracting from it. We’ve also invited attendees to wear their best space costumes, so it might also feel like a space-nerd convention, which I’m totally excited for!
What would you do if your band had unintentionally summoned a bunch of aliens to your show and you all got abducted?
I’d be stoked! We’re all really big on conspiracy theories in the band, so it would probably be like Christmas all over again.
Do you guys plan on hitting the road anytime soon?
Yes, we’ll be doing a three day mini-tour through El Paso during the second week of February 2013. Other than that we don’t have any big plans for the road right now because we have two albums to release within the next year, and that’s taken up all of our time and energy. After that, who knows!
I’m done. Any final remarks?
You’re the best at the ‘Would you rather…’ game. That is all.
I’ve always said that music has strengthened my bonds with the people around me and has helped me find the closest of friends that I have today. In this case, it has given me some common ground to talk about with Sarah and to converse about our bands when we are in each other’s cities. I hope to see her rock out soon.
Check out Future Loves Past at futurelovespast.bandcamp.com and make sure to catch one of their shows.