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The Futurists: Playing the field 

Atlanta band remains unsigned for time being

It appears so easy: Form a band, draw an audience, sign a record deal and become a rock star. But there's more to it than that. For example, the Futurists, a promising quartet from Atlanta, have talked with several labels since last year, yet remain unsigned.

"From what I've seen so far, it's really like a courtship," says John Lindsey, who is en route to Austin, Texas' South by Southwest festival. It's the first stop in an East Coast tour with Brooklyn, N.Y., band Lola Ray. "They've been checking in with us, finding out what level we're at, how many songs we have and what kind of following we have," he says of potential suitors. "They've just been keeping in touch." The group hopes to open serious discussions with an unnamed indie with major distribution soon, but that doesn't guarantee a deal. "Some of our friends in other bands have been waiting for a year, and have actually been at the table for a year. It's just a matter of getting the lawyers to agree on the terms of the contract," Lindsey says.

In the meantime, the quartet – most of whose members are 21 and under – continues to develop its music. Formed three years ago, the Futurists have evolved from their dance-rock origins into something less clichéd. "We started out like the Killers," he says. "But you read about Brandon Flowers' antics in Rolling Stone, and you think, 'Do I really want to be associated with that kind of music? Do I really want to be an '80s throwback band?'"

For their new EP, Yes You Can!, the Futurists drew inspiration from other sources such as Muse and Pink Floyd. Lindsey admits the group is still defining itself, but he points to one of the EP's four cuts, the prog-rock epic "Morning Star," as a sign of creative growth. He says the Futurists simply aspire to be a great band that's worth your hard-earned money.

"We want the music, the show and the CD to be all about art," he says. But he adds, "You can't overlook [the business aspect] if you want to make a living."

The Futurists perform w/ Lola Ray, the Honor Roll and the Desarios at the Masquerade Sat., March 24. $8. 6 p.m. 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com.

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