Fake Figures: Doing It Themselves (Interview)

Fake Figures (ex members of Atreyu, Hotwire and Scars of Tomorrow) is a rock n’ roll group full of extreme doses of spite and sensationalism. The band’s upcoming February release, They Must Be Destroyed, is an explosion of hardcore and punk infusion set to impress fans new and old. The band are riding a wave of anti-climatic momentum as the release date for They Must Be Destroyed closes in. Vocalist Rus Martin and guitarist Travis Miguel sat down with Substream to chat about the new record, label independence, what fans can expect in 2014 and much more:


Substream Magazine: You guys have a lot of experience from different acts coming into Fake Figures. How does that work with the dynamic of the band?

Rus Martin: It really seems to be an advantage at times. When we’re writing music, discussing set lists, things like that; we’re used to all the elements of being in a band. But the disadvantages are probably using the comfort zones we’ve developed from all that experience and using it to rest upon when writing, or whatever. Sometimes you just don’t want to break the limits. I like when the limits break me, actually. In fact, it’s kinda like when I expect to see the movie Airplane and the TV decides, for me, to watch a re-run of King of Queens.

Travis Miguel: We’ve all been playing music for most of our lives and have written, recorded and toured extensively. This ain’t our first rodeo, so to speak, and I think that makes the progression of the band go way more smoothly.

SM: The new EP is coming next month. What are we to expect with this release?

RM: Six world-changing songs that will forever alter the face of rock music, some fantastic artwork, and a couple of videos.

TM: Basically, after listening, your earholes will get pregnant and bad decisions will seem like good ones.


SM: You recently dropped another new track, “Sit and Burn.” How has the response been on this number?

RM: Oh, seriously sweet. We are actually Gods to the all people who have heard it. Let me tell you something: it’s been a wild ride since we first started this band. And now that we’re at the top we’re never gonna stop rocking people’s faces off.

TM: So far, so good.  I’ve always tried to refrain from reading reviews or comments because I admit, I morbidly tend to hone in on the negative ones. But from what I’ve seen, most people are digging it.


SM: How will this record differ from what we heard in the first release?

RM: It’s going to wake people up…who fell asleep from our last record. For the ones that WERE awake, prepare for your ears to melt. I wanna tell you something, okay? This is going to be an extraordinary moment for us, because we’ve really worked hard at creating this EP. The songs took a life of their own after we jammed down with Beau Burchell. Talk about extraordinary, great guy. Great work ethic and skill. I endorse him, LinkedIn style.

TM: I think if you took our first EP and slightly pulled it in two different directions, you’d hear They Must Be Destroyed.  The vibe of our first EP is definitely there. We basically just expanded on it.  There are a couple tracks that could be considered straight up mainstream rock while there are a few others that are completely fucked up sounding.


SM: “Who needs a label?” How does this statement reflect your work ethic and DIY mentality moving forward with a new release?

RM: Well, since I’ve been on a major before it really makes me say “COME BACKKKKK!!!!” But really though; if the people at a ‘label’ don’t have your back at least 99.9%, you’re toast if you don’t got the music. If you got the tunes, it will speak for itself. You don’t really need a label these days with how the Internet can respond to you like wild fire. But you know what I always say: If you don’t got the tunes, you better wear makeup well.

TM: I think we’ve always assumed that Fake Figures is going to be a DIY-type of band. We’ve never expected to make a dime from this band. Any help from anywhere is always greatly appreciated, obviously, but I think we’ve programmed our brains to assume the band is gonna do most of the heavy lifting. The music industry is, for lack of a better term, a very interesting place these days.  It’s constantly evolving and changing at an extremely fast rate.  Because of this, it’s really hard to stay on top of industry trends. And at the end of the day, the main reason is because of technology and the Internet. It’s our way of life. Up until about [2012] or so there was a more of a standard way of putting music out but now there’s a seemingly endless amount of ways to get it done. Bands and artists have to be very creative about doing so, especially when it comes to the DIY ethic.


SM: You’ve been playing a lot of shows in the LA area. Any particular moment stand out at these shows?

RM: I pretended to use the mic stand as a bazooka at the House of Blues in Anaheim one show. I don’t think anyone got it, you know, that I was trying to fire a hole in the far back of the club using a mic stand, but…WHATEVS.

TM: Playing the Bonnerhaus in LA is always fun. It’s literally a house in North Hollywood that’s been turned into a makeshift venue. There’s always a certain amount of pressure you feel, whether it’s coming from the audience or from yourself, to impress people when you play. At the Bonnerhaus, you play for the sake of the fun of it.


SM: Can we expect to see you out on the road soon?

RM: Yeah…commuting in traffic to our day jobs. [sigh]

TM: Hopefully soon. It’s hard because we don’t have any label support or booking and all have our own personal schedules, jobs, families, etc. But yeah, we definitely wanna make something work and hit the road.


SM: What does 2014 look like?

RM: A good year, solid as hell. It’s an even numbered year, so, I’m gonna bet on it.

TM: They Must Be Destroyed will be out in February. [We’re] hopefully shooting a video shortly thereafter. Playing as many shows as possible and hopefully hitting the road at some point. And I plan to include more greens in my diet.


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Interview by Matthew Leimkuehler