Shoegaze is weird. The whole story is odd. It barely survives Grunge and later Brit Pop, but somehow Shoegaze is back. Well, with thanks to bands such as Deerhunter , TOY and Whirr, who are all helping to bring the 80's movement back with a bang. And now also belonging to the list is Figmennt. The young Teesside band have thus far survived the grim northern weather (their words not ours) and took the time to meet up with Third Outing to share their shoegazing secrets.
3rd: So for those of us who don't know you yet, who are Figmennt?
Figmennt: We first had the idea of starting a band when we all met at Leeds Festival in 2014. As we got talking about our musical tastes we realised although they were very different, we all shared an interest in loud, ambient sounds, post rock and shoegaze. We all live in Teesside where the weather is grim.
3rd: Would you say this is a good time to play shoegaze? The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride and many more have all reunited recently. A documentary called 'Beautiful Noise' has been released about this kind of underground music movement of the late 20th century. Do you think it helps new bands playing similar music?
Figmennt: Definitely. Shoegaze is quickly rising in popularity. As well as classic bands such as Slowdive, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine reforming, modern bands such as TOY and Whirr are also bringing back the shoegaze sounds. It introduces people to a less well known genre and inspires them to create this type of music.
3rd: So who are your favourite band right now? And what do you make of all of those bands getting back together and being more popular than they used to be?
Figmennt: Well it's different for each of us. We like TOY as they combine shoegaze inspired sounds along with a more modern sound. Jamie XX because he is into experimental and ambient electronica which influences our guitar and vocal melodies. Nirvana definitely influences our use of grungy and fuzzy tones. Finally Slowdive, they are one of our strongest influences and helped build the early 90's shoegaze scene.
3rd: What's next for you after 'She'...do you have an EP coming out?
Figmennt: Yes, we are currently working on our debut EP and are also writing new material. Expect ambient drones and fuzzy guitar sounds. It will be out within the next upcoming months.
3rd: In a recent article Noisey state that "festivals are rapidly running out of ways to deal with what is become a notable lack of head-liner material out there". Do you think UK festivals should bring through their own headline material by taking clever risks on their second stage? Which band would be your dream head-liner in 2015?
Figmennt: Yeah I think so. It seems that every year the same old bands are headlining UK festivals. It makes it harder for smaller bands. Usually the head-liners of the smaller tents at festivals are more enjoyable to watch. We've been to many festivals and spend most of our times in smaller tents enjoying what other people will be kicking themselves for missing in years to come.
3rd: With that said, though, most new bands fail to recoup their record release and therefore get dropped? Does it matter if you make it?
Figmennt: We would love to be playing big gigs and for people to love our music. We love both positive and negative feedback as it helps us to keep going and writing music. We had no idea what to expect when we released 'She', but we are really pleased with all the comments and support we've had. Although on occasion we've witnessed really great bands and gigs in Teesside, it is a rare occurrence. I think if anything this lack of musical availability has inspired us to make music more because there is so little of it.
3rd: Final question then boys, what's your desert island drink?
Figmennt: A case of Newcastle Brown Ale, actually Ale might get a bit claggy in the heat, maybe a nice light Corona and can of Strongbow pear cider. Come to think of it, I think we'll just have some lemon water.
Good idea lads! For the review of 'She' visit our reviews page below.