Future Lab Rats

By Raven Terrapin553892_384592691629139_1141086458_n

Rock and roll music has had it’s fare share of outer space creatures. From David Bowie to Sun Ra, from GWAR to ?mark and the Mysterions.  Call the men in black, because we just found some more E.T’s hiding in a secret compound near Ft.Myers.
The collective duo known as Future Lab Rats has been bashing away on the indie rock scene for a few years already. Watts plays bass and screams his transmissions to the humans he has sworn to protect. His partner, Larry the Alien, seems to have a much harder time hiding his true alien nature. Beginning with the fact that he appears to be a small crazy man in a trench coat with a tin foil hat. His beats are out of this world.
“We were exploring the musical universe, uncovered these songs, and decided to show all of you radical humans.”-Larry
Watts has even spawned several hybrid copies of his DNA and taken to being a father who spends a lot time watching cartoons and learning to be a Jedi Knight.
They are about to release a brand new full length album on Shepherd Boy Records that has been nearly a year in the making.
We mostly write instrumentals. That’s just what we’re in to. But, over time we like to branch out and explore new musical territories.  Digital Disguise has a very unique sound to it. The songs are all so diverse, yet they still feel like they belong together.  This album also feels more personal than in our previous vocal albums.”- Watts. It has been a pleasure to watch the duo rock the stage at Manna Reading Center and Venture Compound, melding EDM warped beats with funky slap bass from the mothership.  The 1st song, “We Are” tells the story of our alter egos: Watts and Alien.  But then, the next song, “Alive” is written about growing up, hanging out with good friends, and meeting the love of my life.  The next song, “What to Do” is a song about how work can really drain your soul from your body, if you let it. Then, in a song called, “Rusty Eyes” I sing/scream about the true story of my brother getting rust in his eyeball, and the doctor having to use a grinder to get all the little flakes out. Later on, I become a madman. I just lose control sometimes. Which brings us to “Chaos”.  “Grind” is a song dedicated to my love of skateboarding, and metal \,,/. “Horror Flicks” is a tale about terrifying, horrifying, disgusting, shit. Sometimes, I’m just in a dark mood and want to watch a good horror movie. And, I have always been a huge comic book fan as well as a Star Wars fanboy. Got the tattoos to prove it! Which brings me to my next song, “Sci-Fried Leg of Nuna”. Comic convention goers will love this one. And you don’t even have to wait in line!  Hey, ever have that feeling that life just can’t get any worse… Well, we wrote a song about it. It was actually really easy to channel, “The endless pit”.  “Hero Sandwich” is a song about a modest bum that just wants peace.  And closing out the album, we have “Death in December”. A beautifully sad song about a guy who met his wife, had great kids, grew old, and has just overdosed with his wife. And now, they leave this world. Together. Forever.
Oh, and there’s some crazy sci-fi stuff too…: “World War Mermen”…. “Mad Genius”… Alien Baby’s…”- Watts
The new missive “Digital Disguise” will be released on 8-30.

Shepherd Boy Records has all of our albums up on the website. If you like/follow Future Lab Rats on facebook, then you’ll know as soon as the album hits this dimension. The album will also be posted on our bandcamp page: https://futurelabrats.bandcamp.com/

And, we just uploaded a new music video for the song, “Grind” to our youtube channel. We’ll also be releasing another video in September.

There are also plans for a late September release show at the Manna Reading Center. Stay tuned for more details.

Dreamstate Theory Joins the Shepherd Boy Records Family



“Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” -Aleister Crowley.

This is a quote that must be understood before the explanation of Dreamstate Theory is to be understood. An easy explanation of Aleisters quote reads: “Magick is the science and art of making what you want to happen, happen.” This quote is the foundation of Dreamstate Theory and a large inspiration to the group. The easiest way to explain the Dreamstate Theory perspective would be to start by using a quote of my own: “You can’t accomplish shit until someone dreams that you can.” Meaning… You won’t make a cup of mint tea without first either dreaming of the desire for a cup of mint tea or having another person dream of the desire to have you make them a cup of mint tea. This being said it gives way to the actuality that the thing that we see as the world around us is truly a thing made of desires; and these desires are made of dreams. Reality is constructed around us as trillions of sentient beings wander around this planet incorporating their dreams and desires into the manifestation of the present. The Dreamstate Theory itself is the theory that our surroundings, our connections with people, our aspirations and accomplishments (as well as colossal failures) are all simply dreams. We are all individual and unique ingredients swirling through the vortex that is only nothing more than a giant vat of dream soup. Yes, ‘unreal,’ (If you will) ‘imaginary’ or… ‘non-existent.’ Just take it this way… we care more about your dreams than your day.
This is the platform upon which MC Chris Dylan (Chris Dylan) bases his lyrical madness as he passes along the Theory of a Dreamstate, albeit shamelessly. The group itself is comprised of Tommy Couling on beats and MC Chris Dylan (Chris Dylan). The beats themselves are comprised of a tasty scramble created by many Shepherd Boy Records musicians. (East Coast Dave, Direwood, Jenna Gianno, Andy Melius and every member of Black Tommy) Created in the summer of 2014, the future of what the group contains is still somewhat a mystery (or a dream) but we can promise that Dreamstate Theory is a group will continue to enjoy and supply “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.”
Manifest a Dream ~ Manifest a reality

Olympian Nights: A tale of Urban Fantasy

photo-4I’ve played numerous dive bars in my experience performing, but Le Voyeur is a special kind of venue. The shows occur in a room separate from but connected to the bar area where hip waitresses in tiny dresses play early 2000s pop and ignore you until they’re ready. Its funny how hipsters unabashedly love that era of pop. Bar goers can hear but not see the performers in the back room unless they venture into the dark cave of music. There is no sound guy, so playing a show there is a very DIY operation, requiring a certain amount of independent knowledge about audio equipment that I have yet to possess, but thankfully Tommy Jordan already does.
In the days leading up to our first show as Urban Fantasy, which we were to play at this very venue, several inauspicious events transpired. The lovely Jacob Askew, through some terrible electronic misfortune, lost his synth settings for our tracks, which as the instrumental part of the band are the bones (and heart and probably muscle) of our songs. Working 9 straight hours on his day off, Jacob used his synth wizardry to recreate the beats with slight modifications. Also in those few days I felt the symptoms of the beginning of a cold. Furious at the poor timing, I chugged emergen-c and juice in retaliation and prayed to the universe.
The drive down to Olympia, Washington was a highly pleasant one, despite my incessant coughing from the backseat. We listened to the new MGMT and loved it. When we arrived, Jacob pointed out several of his favorite stomping grounds, having grown up there. My voice failing, we searched the Olympian night for hot tea, coming up empty. Giving it up as a hopeless dream, we ventured forth to Le Voyeur. Rounding the last corner to the bar, we heard the unmistakable, terror-inducing sound of a police siren. If you are a musician, you probably would agree that one of the worst times to get pulled over is when your car is full of music equipment and you’re wearing your best leather jacket for the show. Let’s just say you don’t look like you don’t do drugs and resent authority. While this nice young policeman seemed apologetic, he wrote Jacob a $550 ticket for failing to have proof of insurance and a broken headlight. Even then, he genuinely wished us luck at our show. Jacob took this in his usual amiable “I’m incredibly frustrated but I’m still smiling and having fun” kind of way. His girlfriend Emma, who happened to witness the whole scene while parked in front of us, was amusedly exasperated that he had both failed to fix his headlight and have proof of insurance in his car. This was not an unusual situation for either of them I think.
Le Voyeur was exactly as described. You enter the venue part through an alley where you can unload equipment, and/or get your car spat on by a not so classy skater guy as in Jacob’s case. This again he took in stride.
We found our good friend Chris Dylan, whose new rap project, Dreamstate Theory, is being produced by Tommy, hanging out with a group of people in this very alley. He had joined them with a simple, “does anyone have a lighter?” As we came over the alley threshold they hailed, “here’s your people!” indicating us. He had come with our other friend Martin of Incanus fame who was opening the show as solo artist Kimjong Illin. Martin plays acoustic punk music that is heartfelt and really fun to listen to with all his chord changes and pauses and epic volume and tempo changes. It was 10pm at this point and I was super extra exhausted. Up until we unloaded and the show started I was pretty sure I could pull out some raspy off-key singing. But after my whiskey soda, during the next act, after which we were to play, I tried to sing and what met my ears was no sound at all. This act, Spirit Shrine, was a one man electronic project who was supposed to be joined by Esa Hakkarainen, also of Incanus fame, who had to bow out due to being cast in two plays that day. Spirit Shrine made gorgeous electronic synth music onstage. It was truly arresting how he wrangled his synth and various programs to create something so beautiful. Just one man, live.
It was a bummer that I couldn’t sing, but the show went on. I wrote down the lyrics of my parts for Tommy to sing as I sucked furiously on cough drops, willing my voice to come back. Tommy and Jacob dropped one Dani-heavy song from the set.
They were fantastic onstage. Not perfect-how boring would that be? They were charming, endearing, and very obviously talented. They played to mostly the other acts, Jacob’s girlfriend and one apparently blacked out gentlemen who would intermittently awake and look at his phone which he somehow managed not to drop. This young man woke up and paid attention for a few moments when my boys started playing before he went limp and his head bobbed down again, which I took as an excellent sign. Tommy said to his audience, “I don’t have an angelic girl voice, but as our third member has the consumption”- pause for laughter – “I’ll just do the best I can.”
Above all, after all that had happened that day and the days previous, they had fun on stage, which made them fun to watch. Their performance even inspired several people from the cloistered, bright bar area to poke their heads in, which I hadn’t seen happen yet. For the fifth and last song, Chris went up to do an impromptu freestyle with Tommy to a beat Jacob had recently created called “Fantasy Drop.” After him being the drummer in our previous band, it was fantastic to see Chris confident enough in his chops to get up in front of a bunch of musicians and freestyle with Tommy. He is heartfelt in his delivery and clearly gaining some rap skills. I love all those boys and I am so incredibly proud of them.
The last act was a three-piece electronic noise group called Windowsninetyfivesecondedition, incorporating Spirit Shrine, one more electronic artist and a woman vocalist with heavy distortion on her voice who sported a human-sized bunny suit. She made sounds into the mic that came out high-pitched and unintelligible. This being my first noise show, I was transfixed by this unique form of performance. It had no discernible structure and defied the conventions of music composition. The vocalist rolled around and sat and laid down on the stage as her bandmates churned out one long glitchy electronic track. She was laying down in front of the exit as a man opened the door to enter from the alley. His reaction to seeing her was delayed, and he paused in the doorway looking down at her for so long, so confused. And I’m assuming from his demeanor, more than a little intoxicated. I wish I had a picture of that moment and his puzzled expression. It was an extremely interesting experience.
We loaded the car back up after that, talking to the other acts. We’re hoping to play a show sometime with Spirit Shrine. Then we drove to my parents house in Seattle for the night. My mom greeted us in her pajamas at 3am outside their top-floor flat. She made food and we talked until way too late in my parent’s kitchen and then finally passed out around 4. Moms are the greatest.
I feel like we passed some kind of test as a band on this trip. So many things went wrong, but we still seem to like each other and want to play together. I have so much fun with these boys and now that I have overcome my rampant consumption, I cannot wait to play our second show with them, with my “angelic girl voice.” Good one, Tommy.

Direwood Sorry Video

Touching the Infinite, A Chat with Billy Mays III.

By Raven Terrapin
For Shepherd Boy Records243379_3609385401191_2019786710_o

One of the best things about playing weird indie rock is that every once and awhile you make a lifelong friend. I don’t remember exactly the circumstance of our first encounter, but I do know Billy left me feeling better then I did before I met him. My friend, born, Billy Mays III, is a quiet unassuming bearded bespectacled Shaman on guitars.
He’s been working on his one man musical journey under the name of Infinite Third. Over the last few years we have spoken of many things bo
th mundane and profound. The following missives are pulled from a previous set of discussions.
“My approach to all instruments is that of “beginner’s mind” (or “zen mind” as it’s also called) which is basically just a more exploratory approach to “learning” the instrument. Basically, the idea of experimentation and intentionally forgetting any concepts or theories that can (sometimes) hinder true exploration”- BILLY MAYS 3

I am lying on a cement floor in a warehouse in an industrial warehouse sanctuary know as the Venture Compound. The sounds of the man with the guitar and his amazing looping pedals pull me into into an alpha state. The low light of candles throws shadows on the skulls that I used as props just an hour before as part of a Direwood set. I feel myself start to cry. Big huge tears fall down my face like raindrops but then I think, these aren’t tears of sadness, these are tears of joy. My friend Infinite Third has the gift to move people.
” My experience working and playing and creating and interacting with Direwood has been nothing short of inspirational. The shows we’ve thrown have allowed me to progress my craft in safe places with a supportive group of listeners. Direwood’s live show is something that has inspired me to embrace my weirdness and nurture what makes my sound unique, all while remaining true to myself. Lil’ Mike, as a human being, is a blessing to know and a genuine friend, constantly reminding me to “shine bright.” So much gratitude.”- BILLY MAYS 3
Right after the Michigan tour I set up a few shows to keep the momentum going, My friend Blues was supposed to give me a ride into north Tampa for our first show at Sacred Grounds. He got caught up with a friend taking them to the emergency room so I was stuck at home. Billy comes through in his crisp SUV and scoops me up for the show. We hit the road cranking Kayne West, and both share a moment when we are doing the RZA on “Monster” part together.
He laughs, I laugh. “RZA just crushed that 16″ I said. ” He even made Jay-Z look kinda weak..”
So, not only is he the worlds nicest guy that brings bags of apples and fresh fruit to hand out to shows, he also knows his hip-hop. Is there anything Mr. Mays can’t do?
We talk about our fathers. His father is gone to next realm already. I tell him how lucky i am to have a father that cares about me. We both agree that our dads gave us something extremely rare for kids in our generation.
*Infinite Third is the ever-evolving music of Billy Mays III: Guitar-based looping with beats/beatboxing that usually reaches beyond any genre but can be vaguely described using words such as Electronic, Ambient, Experimental, Drone, and Post-Rock. With an intention to create reflection (and often meditation) in the listener, Infinite Third’s live set is an intense painting of the present moment, channeled through the vibrations of each particular setting to become an intimate and completely unique experience for all involved.”- BILLY MAYS 3
Its my pleasure to announce that after a long relocation and retreat into the beauty of nature in the Black Mountains of North Carolina, Mr Mays is planning an east coast tour.
They will play and headline Pangaea project 53 on September 20 at the Venture Compound in St.Pete, FL and are trying to find a few more dates in the area. Direwood is in special support playing live at the show. More bands and further details will be announced soon. Stay tuned here or go to www.infinitethird.com for current info.
Billy is about to release a new album entitled “Channel(S) and a new record label called Remember You Are Dreaming.
I think that’s a beautiful thing to say.

(Photo taken by Adrienne Raine Maiville of the author, Billy Mays 3 and St. Petersburg poet and wordsmith Wayne S. Williams)



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