Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Future Man, aka Roy Wooten, aka RoyEl, aka "Futch", is the percussionist for Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, a super-weak jazz fusion outfit that your "cool" uncle who goes to microbrew festivals and wears khaki shorts probably likes. Future Man's brother, Victor, plays bass in the band too, and built a good-sized empire selling "How To Play Slap Bass" instructional videos to teenage shut-ins. I wrote briefly about Future Man before ("Keytar Heroes: The Unsung Champions of Technology's Greatest Triumph", December 17, 2008), but this guy deserves a post all his own. He is AWESOME.

There are three things you need to know about Future Man:

1) Future Man is from the FUTURE.

2) Future Man dresses like an extra from Ice Pirates (see example at right).

3) Future Man plays a Drumitar.

I know what you're thinking right now: "A 'DRUMITAR'!? What the hell could that possibly be? That's like a combination of the words 'drum' and 'guitar'! How is that possible?!"
Let me explain:
A drumitar is a combination drum machine/keytar, obviously the weapon of choice for progressive bluegrass/jazz rockers from the future. If you were to eat a bunch of Legos and then throw up on a keytar, you would have the approximate visual equivalent of a drumitar. Observe:

Allow Future Man himself to explain:

Left: O Lord, what I wouldn't do for a Future Man T-shirt...

There are three main reasons that Future Man qualifies as a Bro of the Highest Order even though his band sucks:

1) In addition to inventing the drumitar, Future Man also invented a piano-like instrument called the RoyEl, which contains notes not found in traditional western music scales. The layout of these notes are based on the periodic table of the elements and The Golden Mean. Futch is a fucking dork. In a good way.

2) Since he is from the future, Future Man doesn't have to pay taxes. Apparently, no one informed the IRS about "the future clause", because he was convicted of tax evasion in 2005 and ordered to pay $114,000 in back taxes. Amongst other zany defense tactics, Futch claimed he was innocent since he "wasn't subject to the jurisdiction of present courts or laws". True.

3) Future Man claims that his solo works are based on Pythagorean numerology and Vedic mathematics. Double dork.

A quick video of Future Man SHREDDING ON A FUCKING DRUMITAR:


Philosophical conundrums presented by the mere existence of Future Man:

1) Future Man's "brother" was born in 1964, yet Future Man himself was most likely born no earlier than the year 3000.

2) Those cheesy plastic "guitars" used as controllers for Guitar Hero (and later, Rock Band) were obviously inspired by the color-coded controls on a drumitar. But if Future Man came from the FUTURE, didn't Rock Band technically come FIRST?

3) If Future Man prevented his own parents from hooking up, would he slowly fade out of any and all photographs of him, a la Back To The Future?


For more about Future Man, check out his official website here.


Anonymous said...

Recruit this guy for CRETACEOUS. It's the perfect evolution and you know it.

atanamar said...

Once upon a time I took pity on my dad and went to a Bela Fleck concert with him. Future Man made the whole thing worth it. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen. He put on an unbelievable performance that eclipsed the super-weak jazz fusion.
Clearly this guy needs to be in a metal band. I think he should have a drum-off with Brann Dailor.

Shelby Cobras said...

atanamar - I'm so glad someone else sees what I see.

Anon. - Only in my wildest dreams.

Anonymous said...

Futureman is actually from 2051. Much closer than 3000 but still from the future.