What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
What first inspired me to start making music was the moment I first heard The Minutemen and I realized that it wasn’t as impossible as it sounds as a listener. I’m actually a bit of a late-bloomer as I never played an instrument as a kid and didn’t pick up my first guitar until I was 19. My current incarnation as a musician has me paired, once again after a 20 year hiatus, with my bandmate Erik who produces and plays drums in the Figurants. In the past year, we’ve released three albums (2018’s “Relative Distance”, 2018’s “What Your Teeth Do” and 2019’s “Vicarious Victims”) and two EPs (2018’s “Empty Curses” and May 15th’s upcoming “Coat Canaries”). We’re finishing up our fourth untitled album now.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
“Coat Canaries” is 6 song EP that contains 4 songs from from the never-promoted album “What Your Teeth Do” rerecorded after I committed the sin of using a bass-emulator instead of the real deal. This EP also includes two new songs “Incomplete Sentences” and “Confederate Money”.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
My biggest musical influences throughout the years has been bands like the previously mentioned Minutemen, Pavement, Guided by Voices, Silver Jews and Ween. My biggest non-musical influences include the poets James Tate and Charles Simic, radio personality Phil Hendrie and filmmaker David Lynch.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I’m told there’s a child-like wonder/whimsy about the Figurants music which is likely because of the fact that I arrested my own emotional development when I turned 21 and started drinking excessively for the next 20 years. You should listen to the Figurants because we have a unique grasp on nostalgic pop sensibilities and we focus on providing high-quality lyrics that only improve on further listens.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
“Double Nickels on the Dime” by the Minutemen
“Summerteeth” by Wilco
“Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” by Pavement
“The Royal Tenenbaums”
“This is Spinal Tap”
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller
“Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace
“The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I haven’t been inside of a studio for about 20 years now as The Figurants are entirely a DIY band doing everything ourselves. That said, I definitely prefer recording to performing live. Until recently, I wasn’t much of a performer and I’m still not, but I have played the occasional acoustic shows just to prove I still could.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Erik and I both got jobs in the summer after high school travelling the country as a costume character children’s show called “The Dinosaur Legends”. The job barely paid and we lived off of very small per diems. On the road, I saved most of this money to buy an acoustic guitar in a pawn shop in Dothan, Alabama and Erik taught me the basics in the tour van. 20 years later we’re back together and writing and recording at an epic clip!
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Oddly enough, I’d probably go with the one that you selected, “Casual Complaining”! I’m pretty proud of these lyrics and the guitar work sounds pretty great through Erik’s production.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
We plan on releasing a ton of music this year starting with a new album so don’t sleep on the Figurants!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
“What other mediums do you work in?”
I’m so glad I asked! I’m also a budding graphic designer largely creating “lyric art” out of my songs and I publish all of my work on Instagram that you can find here.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with The Figurants:
Official Site: https://thefigurants.com/