Being a new buzz band is one thing, but sticking around for 25 years is quite another. The Figgs formed in the Saratoga area of New York State in 1987 and went on to survive grunge, alt, indie and a whole lot of other rocks, as well as both the old and new music businesses.
"We're like cockroaches, we'll survive anything," jokes singer and guitarist Mike Gent. "The thing is, we were a band for seven years before we got a record deal. We knew how to be a band without a label. Everyone expected us to break up when the deals ended, but it became more enjoyable. After two major label deals, we cleared the deck. We fired everyone — managers, lawyers — and got back to ground zero. We're happier than ever, and I think we've played some of our best shows and made some of our best records."
The latest is a double album — yes, double! — called, "The Day Gravity Stopped." The very words "double album" summon images of noodling prog rockers with conceptual opuses, so what's a terse garage rock trio doing with one?
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"Some of my favorite records are double albums: The Beatles' 'White Album,' 'Blonde on Blonde' by Bob Dylan, that's a great record. And the Rolling Stones 'Exile on Main Street.' There's a lot of regular rock 'n' roll double records that aren't prog rock," Gent corrects. "Whenever there's a large group of decent enough songs, a double record is involved."
25 years of DIY punk rock
In celebration of their quarter-century as a band, Figgs anniversary shows are planned in Saratoga this summer, with more to follow elsewhere in the fall. The secret to making it this far is never running out of songs and keeping it real.
"When it first started, we were on an early Warped Tour and we were the only band that didn't have a luxurious tour bus. We thought, 'This is supposed to be DIY punk rock?'"