First/Last-Father Figures

December 10, 2012

“Father Figures, the band that just will not die, has been a band for four years, starting from the humble rumblings of a Brooklyn basement. Now we’ve released a vinyl album (“FATHER FIGURES”, out now), been on a nationwide tour, and completed a new batch of recordings with studio wizard Shane Stoneback. Come to a show to get steamrolled live. Father Figures is a 5-piece zombie jazz group formed in 2006 by a group of friends dedicated to the art of improvisation. We create dynamic instrumental music with mostly improvised sounds, but in such a way that appears composed — and all the while we move toward the collective goal of listenability, fun, and spontaneity. This is our recent exciting contribution to the world of music sharing: the USBeak! The Bad Bad Birds EP is copied onto the USB port, i.e. the tongue of the beak-creature. Each one is a unique handmade craft, and we’ll be selling them on the road.”

The instrumental band can be found on Facebook, Tumblr, and Bandcamp. They hit Pittsburgh tomorrow at The Shop with fresh off their CD Release locals Sleep Experiments supporting. My thanks goes out to Spencer Zahn (Upright Bass), Jas Walton (Tenor Sax), Ross Edwards (Keys) and Adam Schatz (Tenor Sax, Effects) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Spencer Zahn: Janet Jackson, “Rhythm Nation” (that’s one of the cassettes I remember having first).
  • Jas Walton: “Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio”. Still listen to it to this day!
  • Ross Edwards: “Best of Marty Robbins”.
  • Adam Schatz: Bob Dylan, “Desire”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Spencer: Micachu and the Shapes, “Never”.
  • Jas: Antibalas’ latest release.
  • Ross: Frank Ocean,”Channel Orange”.
  • Adam: Spiritualized, “Sweet Heart Sweet Light”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Spencer: D’Angelo, “Voodoo”.
  • Jas: Kneebody “Break Me”.
  • Ross: Chris Whitley, “Dirt Floor”.
  • Adam: Pixies, “Surfer Rosa”.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Spencer: Anthropology, “Bop for Bonds”. A Charlie Parker performance that is talked over by a US Army spokesperson.
  • Jas: Probably “King of Limbs” by Radiohead…THEY DIDN’T DELIVER, IT WAS DIGIOURNO.
  • Ross: Deftones, “Saturday Night Wrist”.
  • Adam: Modest Mouse, “We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank”.
  • First concert attended?
  • Spencer: Santana.
  • Jas: Joey DeFrancesco Trio.
  • Ross: Lyle Lovett.
  • Adam: Outkast.
  • Last concert?
  • Spencer: The Weeknd.
  • Ross: Buke & Gase.
  • Adam: Delicate Steve (in Omaha, Nebraska).
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Spencer: Not sure, but most recently James Blake or Bjork.
  • Jas: Yo-Yo Ma, “Solo Bach Cello Suites”. All acoustic, no mics.
  • Ross: Tool and Meshuggah, 2004.
  • Adam: The Flaming Lips & Deerhoof at Hammerstein Ballroom, 2006.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Spencer: In recent memory I haven’t seen a concert that stands out as something I could call least favorite concert I’ve ever seen.
  • Jas: Seeing common at Bonnaroo. 5 A.M. Too loud, too tired.
  • Adam: Purged from my memory.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Spencer: The bridges make for a unique architectural landscape, it’s what I always think of first about Pittsburgh.
  • Jas: My dad was born there, so that’s significant, right? Father Figures.
  • Ross: My sister went to Carnegie Mellon! She got mostly A’s.
  • Adam: The last time I played there was in 2008 with Those Darlins’, opening up for Langhorn Slim. We played at Club Cafe. On the way there our side door stopped opening so we all had to climb out of the front to leave. The next day, an hour outside of the city on our way to New York one of the wheels basically fell off. It took 3 different tow trucks and many hours to get us back to NY. I shall never forget it!

Thanks, fellas. Love the unique USBeak idea. Anything different to add to the music biz is cool in my book.