Figurehead are a four piece from Fremantle, in their final year of high school. They have just released their latest single ‘Teacher’s pet’ which finds a nice balance between the grungy and poppy elements of 90s indie rock and have an EP to follow soon. Tomatrax caught up with the band to talk about their music.
How did the band form?
Matt: The band formed in mid 2014 when we were introduced through a band mentoring program called Rockscholars.
Ross: Chet and I knew each other at primary school and we’d been playing together throughout our first few years of high school, so we were always going to want to be in a band together.
As a bass player I wanted to play with a really solid and tight drummer and Chet happened to be one of the best around, it was love at first sight, as they say!
Matt: Josh and I went to the same primary school and would always be spending lunch and recess in the music room with our mates. We started playing together in high school as well. So when we were introduced to Ross and Chet at Rockscholars it was like bringing these two established partnerships together. We hit it off immediately both musically and socially and became good mates. We were really lucky in those early days to have some great mentors like Mitch McDonald from The Love Junkies and Jake Webb from Methyl Ethel, because we learned really quickly about the importance of being disciplined, rehearsing regularly, like every week and the importance of being consistent and writing original tunes. These guys were awesome and taught us loads and by the end of 2014 we were ready to do our first live show. We have now played more than 60 shows around Perth.
Where did the name Figurehead come from?
Matt: Being from the port City of Fremantle we heard that the old tall ships used to have these amazing carved wooden figures that they believed guided them on their voyages and brought them good luck. We thought this was cool and it had a ring to it.
What made you pick ‘Teacher’s pet’ as your latest single?
Josh: Well the school thing is just such a live issue for us at the moment as Matt and I prepare for Year 12 exams in a few months, so it just felt right that we go with that track, it was also great fun especially shooting the video and not too serious. I recon we can all relate to it and the struggles of wanting to achieve.
Are any of the band member’s teacher’s pets?
Matt: Yeah Chet, is a studio nerd, he is always telling us how to look after our equipment and how to roll our leads properly “over and under over and under”.. so I think he qualifies for that award!
You have an EP on the way, how will the rest of the EP compare with your latest single?
Matt: We have a range of songs recorded but regardless of the vibe they all sound like Figurehead, we are often described as Pop Rock/ Brit Pop/ Alt Rock but we are a straight up guitar band so these comparisons are not surprising given our influences.
When will the EP be out?
Matt: We have not locked in a date yet as we are just finalising the mix and the timing. But all the songs are recorded.
What will the EP be titled?
Matt: We have not finalised the Title, but our debut EP was self titled so we need to make an effort this time round.
You’ve also entered Unearthed High, has this had any impact on your music’s exposure?
Matt: Yes being part of Unearthed High is huge for us, as regardless of genre there is no shortage of talent from around the country. You just have to look at what the previous winners and nominated acts have gone on to achieve. it really is a massive opportunity for national exposure, it’s priceless! This has already resulted in us getting our first plays on Triple J, which is just amazing and social media has been busy.
You’ve been spending this year finishing Year 12, is it hard to juggle school work with being in a band?
Matt: To be honest we use the band as like therapy, as it is such a great retreat from the pressures of Y12 exams, we just have to get the balance right and know that in a few months that part of our life will end and we move on to the next phase.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Matt: When writing and recording we will listen back and try to improve the song, but once its recorded we tend to focus on the next song so we don’t dwell on it. We are always looking to what next. That said, it is always cool to hear it played on the radio.
What music do you listen to?
Matt: We all like similar artists. We are currently enjoying Catfish & The Bottlemen, Methyl Ethel and DMAs
What do you have planned once the EP is out?
Matt: We hope this opens up new opportunities. We love recording and playing live, they are both different experiences and we already have new songs written ready to record so getting back in the studio and hopefully expand the choice of venues that we can play at and tour opportunities and festivals.
Check out Figurehead’s website to find out more!