Tell us about yourselves and what you do?
We are three brothers and a lifelong friend who have been writing original rock music together for as long as we can remember
How did you get together and start out?
Casey and Pete, the keyboardist and drummer (respectively) were the original members of the band, meaning when they were about 13 when they first got together in the basement of the Mathias' home in Chicago to jam. Casey had been trained as a classical pianist since age 4 and Pete had been a snare drummer in his grade school wind ensemble. Teddy and Johnny then joined the band and our line up was complete. Our first song was a cover of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and when we played it to a friend who told us it was 'horrible' we decided to write our own music which we have been doing ever since.
What is your current release?
Our latest record 'The Nerve' will be released in the United Kingdom on November 28th we're very excited about that. We're always writing new material, so will likely have another album out in early 2012.
What is the best part of being in a band?
For us, the best part is the performance. First because we love sharing our music in live settings and most of the music we make is written to be performed. But also, the opportunity to see places, cities, towns and the countryside and meet people which we would otherwise never meet. Two summers ago we travelled 12,000 miles across America. We saw most of America's major cities and nearly all of its states; whether we were on a front porch of a Mississippi farm playing Delta blues with a field-hand or playing some of the more renowned music clubs in the country. NYC's Bowery Ballroom or LA's Roxy, we loved playing for people who had never seen or heard of us.
What is your most significant moment yet?
It is difficult to pinpoint a single moment above the others. When you're on the road you collect so many different stories, most obscure and others more significant. Recently we've had the great opportunity to play shows with bands which we admire greatly: the Black Keys and My Morning Jacket, for example. That was personally significant to us. This past summer we toured the United Kingdom for the first time and that was an exceptional few weeks for us. Whenever you play to a new audience whether in a new town or in this case another country, you are unsure how your music will be received. You expect the worst but hope for the best. When we played in London and around the UK, we were thrilled by how the Brits embraced our music. The Brits seem to have a deep appreciation for live music and the performance. That was very cool to see and makes us want to get back to Britain as soon as the Border Patrol Agency approves our entertainment visas.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Our musical inspiration comes from many different places. On an individual level, Casey started off on classical piano (his favorite composer is Chopin). Pete, our drummer, played in a World Percussion Ensemble while in college so he draws upon the rhythms of all parts of the world, from West Africa to Cuba in his drumming. Teddy and Johnny have both studied guitar and participated in different vocal ensembles in their school days. But as a band, there are a number of bands from the past and still around whose work we respect and which has certainly influenced us. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen are some of the more influential acts. Today we loved the fellow Chicago band Wilco, whose members we've gotten to know over the years. The Black Keys and My Morning Jacket are two bands we also really love.
What venue/gig do you most want to play?
Madison Square Garden? Perhaps only because it has become a sort-of Mecca in the music world and signifies that your band has reached the pinnacle of success. But really, we love any gig: whether it's to five or five hundred people. An audience, as we've learned the hard way, is not an easy thing to have.
What is your best/favourite song you have written?
By now we've written over five dozen songs. It's easy to say which ones we like the least. Those are the songs we haven't played since we recorded. But it's very hard to say which one is our favorite. Usually, we think our latest music is our best music. 'Health' on the forthcoming album 'The Nerve' is pretty cool and exciting to perform. We also have two new songs ('Knock Yourself Out' and 'Dead Wrong' which will not be released until 2012, but which are currently available for free download on our website).
What’s your favourite album of this year?
Whenever we go to a new city, we try and find the local record store where we pick up an album. By now in our tour van we've got probably sixty different albums, some new releases from major labels, others self-released albums from indie bands that we have played with. It's tough to say which one is our favorite, but one which is fairly consistently played on the disc-player is 'Brothers' by the Black Keys.
What does the next six months have in store for you?
In November and December we'll return to our studio in Chicago to write and record new music. In early 2012 we'll be touring the US again and by late spring/early summer we hope to return to the United Kingdom to tour.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Our goal as a band is pretty simple: to make the best music we can for as long as we can. You can expect Filligar to be around in ten years whether you'll see us at Madison Square Garden or the local watering hole has yet to be determined. We're not hanging up the guitars and calling it quits any time soon.
What’s the best thing about Americana-UK?
That it hasn't given up on the album as an art form. So many publications are starting to give up on the record as a whole, choosing to review or share a single track rather than an entire album. When we write an album we are not trying to write a single 'hit song'; we want to create a body of work which we will stand by in ten, twenty, thirty years and which, hopefully, other generations can respect. It's nice to see Americana-UK evaluating artists based on a body of work. What seems truly unique about Americana-UK is it illuminates a shared connection, not only culturally but musically and sonically, between the music of two countries with a rich shared history. It's cool to see Wilco and Crosby/Nash alongside the great Brit songwriters.
FilligarWritten by Will Bray
These four fellas from Chicago have been making records for sometime now and it would seem their reputation is building steadily too. Already they have graced our shores for a string of dates not to mention their constant touring of the States. Impressively they have been saddled next to some of America’s biggest hitters in the past few years so we thought a A-UK ‘Dirty Dozen’ would help learn a little more about these young rockers
Tell us about yourselves and what you do?
- Artist Website: www.filligar.com
- Label Website: