Culturephile: School of Rock with Undecided Future

Undecided Future Orange County Pop Funk Band
Undecided Future

Photo by Jade Marie.

Lead singer Matt Isaac, guitarist Cole Fredrick, keyboard player Nick Stone, and drummer Matisse Pasillas met at the Orange County School of the Arts nearly a decade ago and have played together since, joined by bassist Chris Trimmer. On YouTube’s “Best.Cover.Ever.” contest, they performed with multiplatinum singer Jason Derulo, who said, “They’re top-notch. … This is the real deal. So you all get ready.”

Since polishing their act with a residency at Downtown Disney, they’ve launched new songs and videos that showcase their diverse musical influences and irrepressible vitality. Catch them at Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach on Dec. 17. Pasillas (bottom of photo) tells us more about the band.

How did the band get its name?

We had a gig super last- minute at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s (Pacific Islander) Festival. Two days before the show, we couldn’t come up with a name, so we just said, “Undecided.” We Googled that, and there was already a band (with that name). One of us just put “Future” alongside of it. We were just, “OK, slap it on there. We just need a name; let’s go.” It kind of stuck with us like a curse. For a while, we didn’t really like the name because it felt so last minute. But as we played more shows, people were like, “Oh, I really relate to your name.” People thought it meant something to them, so we stuck with it.

Was OCSA influential in the band’s development?

It was kind of like a Hogwarts for creatives. Personally, I’ve been surrounded by art and music my whole life, so it’s cool to see other kinds of art. That’s one big thing about the band; we all come from different parts of California, and we all started with different musical tastes. When we came together, it was like a big (melting) pot of genres.

The band’s performances have an upbeat, dance-y vibe. How did that come about?

About four years ago, our previous manager had us meet (the late Garry) “Michi” Robinson, who was a trainer for live shows. He trained Justin Bieber and Usher. It was like a boot camp with him for a week. We learned how people like Bruno Mars perform a show because it’s really a workout. It’s a lot of learning how to breathe and when to breathe. We would do jump-rope sessions where we memorized a poem, and he would tell us how loud we’d have to recite it. We’d have to run laps shouting this poem. One of those days at the camp, I was on Bruno Mars’ Instagram, and he was like, “Oh, just training before my show at the Hollywood Bowl.” It’s a picture of him jump-roping backstage. I was like, I guess we’re doing the right thing.

How does the band write songs?

Each song is completely different. Each of us are capable of producing music; we all play multiple instruments. Maybe Cole, our guitar player, will start the beat and maybe Nick will add a totally different chord structure so it turns into a different song. Or vice versa. Sometimes we’ll be in the studio all together and come up with a song. Sometimes our producer will come up with an idea that we all hop on. It’s really collaborative. It’s never one guy writing it. It’s all of us.

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