There are some really cool bands coming out of Perth at the moment and another joins that list – Figurehead. Figurehead are a four piece indie pop rock band taking their influences from bands such as Fountains Of Wayne and Wheatus. Matt from the band did a quick Q&A with Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles focussed on new single Teacher’s Pet.

What’s the latest for Figurehead at the moment?
We have just released our second single this year called Teacher’s Pet so have been busy promoting that lately. We have a few gigs lined up over the next few months supporting The Love Junkies as part of their Cough and Splutter EP tour and Young Robin’s single launch. We are also watching to see what happens with Unearthed High. We were included as part of the week 1 report card and this is the final week with the comp closing on Monday. You just have to see what the previous winners have gone on to achieve to appreciate what a massive opportunity it. We are stoked to be part of it.

Is it hard juggling school with being in the band?
It’s ok at the moment we just have to make sure that we are super organised and that everyone knows when we have commitments to make sure they don’t clash. We just have to get the balance right, mostly we manage it.

Is it even harder focusing on school when things are starting to happen for the band?Well it can be a bit of a distraction for sure, especially as we have been getting some good promo and exposure on the back the single releases. But we only have 4 months left of year 12 so we are nearly done. This is a really intense time so at the same time the band is also a bit of a retreat from the pressures.

How would you describe the sound of Figurehead?
We are a straight up guitar band and are suckers for a catchy chorus. We are a bit old school like that so we get called Pop Rock, Alternative Rock, Brit Pop even Madchester.

How did the band get together?
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.

Ross, 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! 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 sixty shows around Perth.

How did you come up with the name?
Being from the port City of Fremantle we heard that the old tall ships used to have these amazing carved wooden figures that the crew believed guided them on their voyages and brought them good luck. We thought this was cool and it had a ring to it.

Do you take a lot of inspiration from bands such as Wheatus and Fountains Of Wayne?
When we wrote Teacher’s Pet it just came out sounding like a mid 90’s US pop rock track so we decided to just go with it and when we started playing it live everyone said it sounds like Wheatus or Fountains of Wayne, which we though thought was awesome. Interestingly though we tend to be more influenced by Brit Pop bands of the same era.

How stoked were you when Triple J supported the last single?
We have uploaded a number of songs to Triple J Unearthed since 2015 and Suits was the first to be reviewed by the station staff, so this was huge for us. Everyone one wants to see the Red and Green drum appear on their home page!!!

Was it a buzz hearing it on the radio?
It is always a buzz to hear our songs on the radio, not sure why but they aways sounds better on the radio!

Is there an album in the works and how’s it shaping up so far?
We will probably release another EP first before an album, so an album will be some time off, may be an EP early next year.

Any plans to tour around the country?
We are so keen to tour, but the time has to be right. We need to get more national exposure before making that commitment. First up a national tour supporting a more establish band would be awesome and some festival dates.

What has been the most memorable moment so far in being in Figurehead?
We have had numerous highlights over the past few years like supporting San Cisco and The Love Junkies. Also receiving 2 x WAM Song of The Year nominations, getting to the finals of the Big Splash Band Comp out of 217 bands and having our first play on Triple J.

We hear how great the music scene is in WA, tell us how good it is?
There is an incredible live music scene in Perth and no shortage of talent across all genres. Tame Impala, San Cisco, Pond, Tired Lion and Methyl Ethel to name a few and there are loads of up and coming bands too, like the next wave of breakthrough acts. Look out for Dream Rimmy and POW negro.  People say it is the isolation that breeds this creativity and the opportunity to be who we want to be rather than worry what others are doing. The local scene and bands are really supportive which is great when you are starting out.

Interview by Rob Lyon

To find out more about Figurehead head to https://figureheadmusic.com/

Figurehead - Teachers Pet