Thursday, July 18, 2019

In the Future They’ll Be Birds release debut album rooted in mental-health struggles

February 20, 2019 by Jessica Ho, contributing writer

It’s been 10 years since Victoria-based musicians Carl Molinari and Ian Johnson last performed together, but now the two are returning in the lengthily named alternative rock band In the Future They’ll Be Birds. The band just released their debut album, Scalebor Park; the 10 tracks weave together as one cohesive unit that portrays the difficulties that Molinari’s father faced throughout childhood and adolescence in England during the 1960s, encapsulating how mental health, addiction, abuse, the foster-care system, and other universal difficulties of growing up affected not only Molinari’s father’s life, but also the lives of those around him. 

“This story was the story that I had always wanted to tell in some form,” says Molinari. “The big thing I saw growing up was how my dad’s story affected not only his life and his brothers’ lives, but also how that story sort of reflected down through the generations. I think that everyone sort of struggles with the idea of not being what their past is and I wanted to connect it with getting closure. The album is very much a journey from birth to adulthood.”

Victoria’s In the Future They’ll Be Birds recently released their first album (photo provided).

The two musicians reconnected on a whim after their hiatus from playing together; during that time, Molinari took a break from professional music and Johnson played guitar for Hawk and Steel (featuring Nexus alumnus Peter Gardner). While brainstorming for Scalebor Park they were faced with the conflict of how to create an entire album with only two musicians, limited equipment at their disposal, and no drummer. The solution? Use anything and everything that was readily available to them. 

“We kind of just wanted to do everything with what we had,” says Johnson. “We didn’t want to make everything too perfect, so we chose to not overpolish everything. We used our limitations to breed creativity, and I think that was a really important thing—if we started enlisting the help of other people or taking this to more professional studios, I don’t think that we would have gotten something as creative or that would have pushed us so far out of our comfort zone.”

The two musicians hope that people approach the album with an open mind and with thoughtfulness, whether you’re just listening to the melodies and enjoying the music or gaining a greater understanding of Molinari’s father’s story. The deeply intimate and bleak lyrics, coupled with the raw and unique sounds, create a widely accessible album that’s rooted in honesty and the pursuit to let go of the past. Scalebor Park is more than just music—it’s a story of struggle, desperation, family, forgiveness, and, ultimately, closure. 

“My dad is in his mid-60s now, but it’s still there,” says Molinari. “His father was an abusive alcoholic and I knew that he had always struggled with that when raising his own kids and not wanting to repeat that. He’s been the biggest supporter of the whole album throughout and after the fact and just to hear how much it has helped him is a huge thing for me. My dad has always had horrific nightmares his whole life, and he said that in the weeks following the release of this album, they actually stopped. To me that is pretty deeply touching.”

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