Year Future – Chat with Sonny Kay

6 Jul

We are all part of an interconnected network.

We occupy the between space.

The border.

Living and loving between bullets, walls, tax brackets and water-cooler TV episodes, environmental catastrophes and celebrity gossip.

Enamored by a million screens that promise everything and deliver nothing, our collective dream languishes in a stampede, a flight to the future. This dreaming America haunts our multi-story parking garages and cul-de-sacs.

– Nevona, A: Agility Sec Op 3

One of the key elements of this series is time. Linearity. Past and present. Can it bend? Is time malleable? The Ouroboros is a symbol I’ve used in the logo for the punk rock club, The InterZone and is also integrated into Anton’s ocular implant. His Ouro eye. Similarly, “Year Future” in the title’s subhead is based on the concept of another “now” or rather some parallel reality. A shortly lived punk band from Los Angeles of the same name, helmed by Sonny Kay, also inspired Year Future. Sonny is renown for his visual and album art for artists such as Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Glitch Mob, Le Butcherettes and respected for the work done with his indie record label Gold Standard Labs. I saw Sonny perform with Angel Hair (back when the Internets got birthed) in Denver and have been following each of his projects closely since. The VSS. Subpoena the Past and of course, Year Future. I wanted to have a better understanding of why he chose that name and why it still strikes me as particularly relevant, especially in relation to CS.

SR: What inspired the band name, “Year Future”?

Sonny Kay: I don’t remember now which came first, the band name or the song “Each Others Futures” which we came up with right around the same time. Time as a concept, as a linear mechanism, has always concerned me to one degree or another – before YF I was in a band called Subpoena the Past. Not entirely sure what it’s all about, but I think I just conceive of it as something more profound than a lot of other people.

I’m good with trivial dates, remembering the exact sequence of events in my family’s life 25 years ago, that kind of thing. My mom and sisters are constantly asking me how and why I remember half the shit I do.

Anyway, to answer your question, the band name came out of the desire for something that sounded less cynical and (hopefully) less cliché than the average punk band name. I as the lyricist, at least, was genuinely trying to focus the band’s attention (and that of whatever tiny audience we had) specifically on the future – on the consequences of all the bullshit going on [presently]. In that way, we were no more original than – take your pick – Crass, The Clash, Propagandhi…It was just, for me, the first time I’d felt OK with doing something overtly political – cryptic as it may admittedly have all been). I also thought the name was something that could deliver a pretty coherent idea of where we were coming from, at least lyrically, to people who wouldn’t ever be interested in ever actually hearing the band. In hindsight I can’t remember why that mattered! I also can’t remember the other name contenders, but I do remember saying the phrase out loud and Jim, our drummer and the other driving force in the band’s “aesthetic” early on, just kind of went “Yes”.

Thanks Sonny!

Sonny and his old band mates from the VSS will be hitting the road this fall for a bit of the ol’ in and out. Get your info on VSS here http://thevss.com/circuits.html

And check out all of Sonny’s art at http://sonnykay.com/

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