Future is wide open for the Future Bible Heroes

Future Bible Heroes perform at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Mass. on Sunday, July 21, at Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Tuesday, July 23 and at World Café Live in Philly on Thursday, July 25.
Future Bible Heroes perform at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Mass. on Sunday, July 21, at Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Tuesday, July 23 and at World Café Live in Philly on Thursday, July 25.

Back in 1996, a few years before the Magnetic Fields went from an indie band with a cult following to the critically acclaimed collective that they are today, Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson became involved with a local sideproject headed by Chris Ewen called Future Bible Heroes.

“It started in Boston and it evolved when Stephin moved to New York,” said founder Chris Ewen in a gracious, Fourth of July, in-person interview near his home in Central Square, Cambridge. “My band, Figures on the Beach broke up and I was still working on a lot of instrumental things. One day Stephin said, ‘Why don’t you just have someone write lyrics and sing songs to your music?’ I said, ‘Well, why don’t you do it because you’re a great lyricist.’ So we messed around and wrote some songs.”

After releasing two LPs and three EPs in seven years, the band remained dormant for a decade. Now, 11 years since their last release, the band returns with “Partygoing,” available on Merge Records, on its own, or even more appealing as a box set with all of their previous recordings together in one package.

“A lot of our stuff was really unfindable, and it was all on different labels,” notes Ewen. “We owned the rights to them all, so it seemed like a good thing to do to make all of our stuff available again and have it all on one label, and to have Merge do it. It’s worldwide and it’s all available again.”

Picking up where the band left off, Future Bible Heroes’ sound is still steeped in analog synths, and while the band dives into darker and dancier terrain on “Partygoing,” Merritt’s signature whimsy and witty sarcasm provide some humor to their seemingly somber tales. With song titles like “Digging My Own Grave,” “Keep Your Children in a Coma” and “Let’s Go to Sleep (And Never Come Back)” the Future Bible Heroes remain scathingly satirical and inherently fun.

“I think that we have always straddled that line of being really perky with lyrics that maybe aren’t as upbeat,” says Ewen. “I love that juxtaposition and Stephin does too. I think it brings some depth to the songs. I think the albums have tended to be loose concept albums. The first one was love songs or anti-love songs. The second was about people’s obsessions with death, youth and beauty. I’m not saying we are feeling our age, but we have a different perspective than we had 10 years ago. Maybe ‘Partygoing’ is our reaction to who we are and us versus the youth culture.”

Though Merritt will not be able to join the band on tour due to health issues with his hearing, Ewen and Gonson will be joined onstage by Shirley Simms and Anthony Kaczynski for the Future Bible Heroes first tour since 2002.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.