EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – FIGURES
Australian alt. rockers Figures have been making waves since they released their 7/10 RUSHONROCK rated EP earlier in the year.
With a sound heavily influenced by the 1990s and early 2000s music scene the band straddle decades, influences and sounds.
Russell Hughes had the fortune of being able to secure a chat with bassist Jen Fletcher to talk about their music and the world we live in.
RUSHONROCK – I’m sure a lot of our readers won’t be entirely familiar with you, so can you just give us a quick history lesson on the band?
Jen Fletcher – Paul, Josh and Mark struck it extremely lucky after a campaign on this infamous Melbourne message board called Melband. They formed a line-up after just a few jams in 2014 and already had a couple of LA industry and showcase trips under their belt in the first 2 years.
There’s been a couple of line-up changes since formation and Simon, our lead guitarist, is a long-time friend of Josh and came on board early 2016. I joined Figures in mid-2016, and previous to that, I had actually been a member of a UK band your readers might be familiar with, McQueen.
RUSHONROCK – You seem to draw on a lot of influences for Figures, but I wonder who you feel has influenced that record the most?
JL – These tracks were from some of the band’s earliest jam sessions, so each member’s influences have been blended up into these 4 tracks. The most common denominator for every Figures member though is a love of 90s and early 2000s hard rock (bands like Deftones, Incubus and Karnivool feature heavily on our playlists) so that’s the most recognisable aspect of all Figures music.
With so much good music in the fray these days, we do try to keep things fresh and modern without getting caught up in trends.
RUSHONROCK – That EP has been out since the 24th, what has the reception been like?
JL – We’ve received quite a lot of airplay internationally which is fantastic, and reviews from the UK and Europe have been extremely favourable. The most common theme is that people can’t wait to hear what’s next. They won’t have to wait long!
RUSHONROCK – Figures was released early in the year, are there any plans for a debut album in 2017?
JL – An album is definitely in the works, but we have material that’s been in our live set for 3 years that we really want to publish. So we’ve got a six track EP coming out around mid-year which will be available in all corners of the world. The album won’t be far behind, but more likely a 2018 release.
RUSHONROCK – As you’re an Australian band, do you find it can be difficult to get your music across the ocean or is the world a small enough place now?
JL – The internet has helped blur border lines and make the world seem a lot more accessible, but at the same time there is so much more content available it can actually be harder to break through the noise.
Touring is still one of the best ways to bring new people into the fold, so that will be a huge focus for us in the near future.
RUSHONROCK – We’ve seen a number of Aus bands seemingly make a UK breakthrough, can you put that down to anything? For example on RUSHONROCK alone we’ve loved the work by bands such as Saviour and Ocean Grove.
JL – Good music always finds a way to rise to the top. Those bands are great examples of this, because while it can be hard on resources to put boots on the ground overseas, opportunities open up to those who are making music people want to hear! It is very encouraging for us to have publications like RUSHONROCK support what we do.
RUSHONROCK – It’s a far travel but have you got any plans to do an UK dates this year?
JL – There’s a lot of groundwork we can do from our home base right now to really build our following in the UK. We don’t have any firm plans as yet, but as we gather momentum with this record and the one coming up, there’ll be every reason to make our presence felt on your shores.
RUSHONROCK – Is it important for everyone, but especially the millennial generation, to get involved with politics and the world around them?
JL – The future is in the hands of the youth and we are more informed than ever before so it’s crucial that millennials on the whole don’t become complacent.
We are yet to see millennials make their impact in a massive way on politics and world affairs because these are still governed by the previous generation. Once the handover of power starts to occur in the next few decades, it will be incredibly interesting to see if the political spectrum and state of affairs around the world changes with our fresh ideas and changing values.
RUSHONROCK – And as a follow on to that, do you think that leaders around the world do enough to mean that the current younger generation are engaged with the world around them and feel like they can do something to make a positive impact?
JL – It actually seems that most world leaders are interested in maintaining the status quo, whereas the younger generation wants to shake things up a bit. A lot of our problems just need a bit of ingenuity, rather than shoving a square block in a round hole.
With the rise of social media, everybody has an opinion and a platform but the only way to make an impact is to band together. Are leaders emboldening the youth to do that? Probably not. Our time will come though.
RUSHONROCK – Finally, if you could pinpoint one issue that you think needs to change, what would that be?
JL – I get a feeling that people are pulling apart from each other, that borders are being closed and nationalism is rising with a huge price of suffering. For the life of the planet and the human race, I don’t see that as the way forward.
Maybe in the short term people will feel more secure, but if we want to survive as a species we really need to start acting like we all belong to the same Earthling tribe. I am definitely sensing that the younger generations feel this way, so we have a lot to be hopeful for!