Interview: Figures

Aussie Rockers Figures have been busy with releasing new EP Chronos on June 16, and an album launch coming up in Melbourne.  We caught up with bass player Jen Fletcher for a quick catch up about what the band is up to next.

Tell us how you got into music and what drives you to create?

Music has been a part of my life from a young age.  I have a classical background on clarinet but my brother is a crazy good guitarist and he inspired me to pick up bass in high school.  Hearing Rage Against the Machine for the first time sealed the deal, you just can’t beat Timmy C for tight and tasty lines that aren’t overcomplicated.  That’s my MO to this day.  In terms of creating, I guess what drives me is the challenge of holding down the low end but also keeping it interesting, without overplaying, whilst locking in with all the rhythmic elements…that’s why I’m drawn to this kind of alternative or proggy rock, the challenge keeps me going.

Your latest video release is dedicated to a fan, what made you choose to dedicate it to him?

We were devastated to lose Mick at such a young age and with so much more friendship to share in.  Mick really loved what Figures had going right from the early days and it was his type of enthusiasm that keeps bands going.  He and Simmo were as close as brothers and Mick’s amazing chops on guitar really inspired Simmo to be the guitarist he is.  Recoil was undoubtedly Mick’s favourite Figures track so when he passed away just days before we released the single and video, we just felt we owed it to him and his memory.  RIP Mick.

What is it about touring that you love?

I haven’t hit the road with Figures yet, but when I’ve travelled in bands in the past they have been pretty epic experiences.  I love breaking the monotony of the daily grind and heading out of town.  There’s always a camaraderie that exists on tour as you share in some pretty awesome moments (or terrible ones, every tour has tribulations).  It’s also great meeting new people or catching up with old friends.  I can’t wait to get on tour with Figures and show the rest of the nation what we are about.  There could even be some international dates not too far away, stay tuned!

If you could choose one musician alive or dead to play onstage with you for one show, who would it be and why?

I dream of performing live with the guys from RATM.  I mean, I literally have had recurring dreams of this exact thing happening.  They really are my original idols and have consistently made some of my favourite albums across all their different groups.  Hell, I don’t care if Timmy is up there too and we can do a dual bass thing.  Anything is possible!

What words would you use to describe your style?

Balls to the wall, inspirational melodies, tsunami of sound, chunky riffs, tonnes of harmony, familiar but fresh, LOUD!

You’re new EP sounds great, what was the inspiration behind it?

Chronos is a both a snapshot of early Figures songwriting and a sonic progression.  The tracks were written across a rather long time scale so we didn’t have a specific vision for what kind of EP we wanted to make.  For us right now we are solidifying the “Figures sound” and Chronos seems to be a pretty good representation of where we are heading.  Recoil, Point of Doubt and Crying Door were from the early days, while Alpha and Tied Around were written much more recently.  Our producer, Luke Cincotta, totally took us to the next level to flesh out our guitar layers and tighten the screws.

The main theme running through the EP is “time”, both lyrically and how I’ve just described the songwriting process.  That theme definitely inspired the name and artwork which brought everything together.

What can fans expect from a Figures live show experience?

We don’t hold back live.  We give 100% on stage and work hard to make sure we deliver a show that is tight and exhilarating.  Our EP launch on the 7th of July is going to be the biggest set we’ve ever played featuring both EPs and some fresh tracks we are super excited about.  We’re a pretty genuine band, what you see is what you get.  We just like to have a lot of fun, don’t take ourselves too seriously but make sure the house is pumping and the sound is massive.

What is up next for the band?

Chronos hits digital shelves on June 16th so we are really excited to see what people think.  Then the EP launch at the Evelyn Hotel on 7th July is next on the hit list.  After that, we are looking forward to spending some time writing the next record. We have a bunch of new songs already in the set and more on the way.  We are hoping to record at the end of the year and keep to a regular production schedule, that seems pretty important these days.

Between now and then, we might come up for air and try to get out on tour.  We are all really pumped to take things to the next level this year.

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