INTERVIEW: Future Killer leader W.G. Rickel on Recording, Making Videos, & Haircuts!

Future Killer occupy a totally unique spot in music from our city. Fusing elements of rock music with improv and incredible visuals, they’ve carved a niche into Louisville that is unmatched. While the lineup is ever-changing, lead singer W.G. Rickel seems to be the guiding essence behind the project. Last month, the band released PINKwater, a 6-song EP that does a great job of capturing the band’s essence — listen to the opening track “diskZERO” below: 

We decided to reach out to W.G. and get a better perspective of the inspiration and motivations behind all that Future Killer encompasses. Read on to find out what W.G. had to say about recording, making videos, and haircuts.

Never Nervous: Every time I’ve seen Future Killer the lineup has been slightly different. What, or who is the essence of Future Killer?

W.G. Rickel: Future Killer is the summation of its current parts- an ever-morphing, amalgamous weapon of mass inspiration.

NN: Is there a theme or story to PINKwater?

W.G.: Art is often cloistered to certain circles, contrarily, music belongs to all of humanity. The songs on this record, both in lyric and form, are designed to inspire creative and critical thoughts about our shared experience of reality, and to empower those who listen to take a look inward and see the brilliant light they carry inside.

NN: Where did you record and what was the process like? Was it recorded live?

W.G.:  Everything was recorded live at La La Land in the summer of 2017 by Kevin Ratterman and Anne Gauthier. We wanted to capture the sound of our live performance as it existed in that time (which has changed several times since then) and Kevin had a vision for translating the heavy visual elements of our show to a lush, sonic canvas. It was very sweaty and there was much laughter.

“We wanted to capture the sound of our live performance as it existed in that time”

NN: Tell me about making the video for Project PINKwater, where did the idea come from?

W.G.: After making several music videos for other bands I decided that another straight music video wasn’t in the fun cards. Wanting to make something different but still maintain the function of a music video lead to a series of unpredicted, invasive experiments on the EGO which were captured through quasi-modern camcorder technology.

NN: Is there a meaning or importance behind the name Future Killer? On that note, is there a meaning behind PINKwater?

W.G.: Future Killer – Timelines are created and destroyed everyday. It is our mission to destroy this timeline in order to build a new one. One built on love and hope and empowered individuals believing in the light of their fellow brothers and sisters.

PINKwater– Absolutely.

“We can find new ways to transmit the same emotions we receive out of what inspires us.”

NN: You’ve made quite a few videos now that all share some similar qualities. What makes your visuals stand out so much?

W.G.: I like to use analog techniques, influenced by hard science, to interrupt and manipulate the equation for capturing light we know as film. This path provides opportunity for creative solutions to fundamental parts of the film making process, which tend to make cohesive the world of my films. I never want to be what I’ve already seen. We can find new ways to transmit the same emotions we receive out of what inspires us- if we are willing to fight for it.

NN: You may have the best hair in the city, how did that happen? Any hair tips for the men reading this?

W.G.: I’m blushing! Men, Women, However you identify— always be yourself. Do what makes you smile- at the very least you know THAT is genuine. Also, face paint works great in hair.

NN: Future Killer always has amazing visuals, both live and otherwise. Are the visuals as important to you as the music? 

W.G.: Both are so important. All serving the bigger master of creating perspective shifting experiences FOR people. Such a fine line separates the two that I can’t keep track of it anymore. I’m hoping to push it right over the edge this next year. 

“I’m hoping to push it right over the edge this next year.”

NN: What are you listening to, reading, or watching right now? Can you recommend any Louisville artist for people to check out?

W.G.: I’ve been listening to Conflict by Ebo Taylor while writing these responses and I’m all the better for it. Also, William Onyeabor every day.

Locally- GO SEE THE AFROPHYSICISTS! Super tight, body moving, people loving.

Thats it. I’ve gotta go dance now.