Can you tell us a little bit about Foreign Figures for any readers who may not be familiar?
Seth: Totally. We’re an alternative Pop/Rock band from Orem, UT. We’ve been together about 2 years now, and just released an album in April called Paradigm. Band members are Eric Michels (vocals), Steve Michels (drums), Jonny Tanner (guitar), and myself, Seth Dunshee (bass).
What makes Foreign Figures stand out from the rest of the bands in the industry?
Seth: I’d like to think that one of the things that help us stand out is that we are all writers, musicians, and singers. Our lead vocalist, Eric, has got some amazing pipes, but we have all had our own bands/projects that we each fronted and sang for in the past. We are able to work together with a synergy when writing and producing as opposed to simply following a leader. We also put a big emphasis on our live show. We want every live performance to be our best, and we work on things to make sure that no show is just us playing our songs like you might hear on the radio. Oh, and our guitarist looks a lot like Jesus.
Foreign Figures recently released a new music video for “Paradigm,” how did the recording process of the video go?
Seth: We shot it all in one day out in the desert of Southern Utah. We had to carry a few hundred pounds of mirrors out there, and making sure they didn’t break was quite the task. I remember riding in an enclosed trailer with Eric, holding the mirrors in the pitch black for a few miles of dirt road. It was a good bonding experience, haha. It was a really fun shoot, and we had as much fun breaking the mirrors that we show in the video as we did picking them all up after.
Did you have any specific goals in mind when working on the music video for “Paradigm?”
Seth: We had a few ideas that we threw around, but the director, Eric Thayne, had a vision that we use mirrors for the video, playing off the idea of a change of vision, or paradigm shift. The song, and most of the album, is about the struggle and fight we each went through in deciding to take the leap of faith to pursue Foreign Figures as a full time career, and the mirrors kinda symbolized our shift in vision as we all decided to make music our full time effort.
How did you all get together and form Foreign Figures and where did the inspiration to form a group come from?
Seth: Each of us connected with music at an early age. Steve had his rock band in high school that he sang/played the drums for, I sang in my emo band, Eric was always writing and going to songwriting conferences, and Jonny played guitar in a metal band before going to school for audio engineering (he actually mixed and mastered both our “Come Alive” EP, and Paradigm). We all knew that writing and performing music was something we loved before we met, besides Steve and Eric, who are brothers and met very early on in life. As far as how we came together, in 2014 I began jamming with the Michels brothers, whom I met through a mutual friend, and we actually recorded our first single in Jonny’s home studio. After recording that song, we asked Jonny to join the band, and he obliged. When we started the band, we wanted to take it seriously, so we worked super hard to write, promote shows, and bring a great energy when playing live. It quickly went from “Hey, we aren’t bad” to winning a bunch of battle of the bands, to “Should we make this more than a hobby?” then “Let’s make this our full-time jobs”. It’s only been two years, and we have been super blessed with opportunities to grow. We’re in it to win it, and we are gonna keep playing music together because it’s what we love to do, not because we only want to “get big”. Haha sorry if I got a little off topic, hope that answers your question.
How do you feel you’ve grown from when you first formed to now? What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Seth: Good question. Looking back at some videos we have of our first few shows, we were pretty boring to watch live. Our songs were catchy, but we were just writing them to write them. I feel that our songs are becoming more meaningful to us, and so both recording them and playing them live needs to be done with that meaningful vibe. Probably the biggest lesson, and perhaps the least fun (but still enjoyable) aspect is learning how to run Foreign Figures as a business. We are independent, and as of right now, we self manage. It’s been fun to feel not only the growth of our music and fan base, but also learn to be better versed entrepreneurs. Learning how to effectively use social media, get online sales, book the right shows, and tour has definitely been a challenge, but we have learned a ton from it. We won’t self manage forever, but we are glad we’ve been working double duty to help push Foreign Figures in the right direction.
Any other big plans for the rest of 2016?
Seth: The rest of 2016 will see a lot of touring. We will be doing a few weeks in the Mountain West/Midwest/South in October, and some West Coast stuff a little later this year. So look out for us live! Besides touring, we are working on a music video now for our song “Force of Nature”, which will be out this fall, and we are writing a ton for a hopeful 2017 release.