By Caleb Larkin
Capital West News
PROVO – Foreign Figures packed the Velour Live Music Gallery beyond maximum capacity with the band’s EP release show.
Foreign Figures is a local band based out of Orem. Since competing and winning Provo’s annual Battle of the Bands concert in November, the band has seen their star rise rapidly.
The EP release comes on the heels of their recent music video and single “Come Alive.” Foreign Figures teamed up with Devin Super Tramp, a local YouTube producer to create the film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1it13ZYGax0
“It was cool to see an organic growth, specifically since November to now, of followers and fans that we weren’t trying to coerce to come to our shows. And now within six days we’ve sold out Provo’s biggest venue,” said Seth Dunshee, the guitarist in Foreign Figures, before the concert. “That, for me, has been surreal.”
Velour had hundreds of fans, even spilling out the doors at the March 13 concert. The band sold branded shirts and USB wristbands with content including songs, videos and album artwork. Over 50 USB wristbands were sold during the show.
“It’s been a lot like a marriage,” said Eric Espinel, the band’s bass player. “We all have to support each other and help each other to achieve our potential.”
They attribute their recent success to improved cooperation among band members.
“We wrote a song the other day and we didn’t talk about it at all. We all just started playing and we played for five or six minutes. It sounded good enough that we could have recorded it. And it was all done without saying a thing to each other,” Dunshee said.
Velour has received local fame as the venue where bands such as Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons got their starts. Imagine Dragons recently returned to the venue Feb 21 to perform a “Homecoming” show.
Foreign Figures has a similar sound and genre to that of Imagine Dragons, said (?), and the band played during a KSL special on Imagine Dragon’s new album release, “Smoke + Mirrors.”
“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people come up to us and express to us how awesome they think our music is and how good it makes them feel,” said Jonny Tanner, the guitarist in the band. “That’s what our goal is as Foreign Figures: to portray that light and that positivity.”
Although Velour, located in downtown Provo, has an official capacity of fewer than 200, the Foreign Figures crowd was much larger. “I’m just so excited. It’s like that feeling it’s Christmas or something,” said Tanner.
All six of the band’s recent singles were performed along with a final encore performance of “Sounds Like Gold.” Eric Michels, lead singer in the band, even performed a successful stage dive to crowd surf.
According to ReverbNation, Foreign Figures is currently the 2nd-ranked alternative rock band in Orem. The Black Tie Event leads the genre at number one. ReverbNation ranks local bands based on the number of song and video plays as well as social media followers. Foreign Figures currently has nearly 30,ooo song and video plays and 2,313 followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The site also lists a nearly three thousand person fan base.
In preparation for the EP Release concert, a street team was formed for band members and fans to work together in promoting Foreign Figures.
“This has been an awesome way to get to know and make real friendships with people who enjoy and support our music,” said Dunshee. “I don’t even like using the term fans sometimes because it has an un-level position.”
The street team devoted time the day of the concert attracting people around the venue and selling merchandise for the band.
“These are people who have no obligation to Foreign Figures and don’t owe us anything. We simply ask them to be a part of our team,” said Tanner. “They accepted it just so readily and willingly. And that has just blown me away.”
The band plans to continue to produce music and live shows to promote their name. Tracking geographical downloading of the songs available online, they have already seen a wider spread among their fan base. “Most of the downloads were from Texas or New York or out of state,” Dunshee said.
“It speaks volumes to me that we have a product that caters to so many different people. It doesn’t matter their age or where they are located in the world,” said Tanner. “Music has the power to speak to people who may not speak your language and that is something we want to convey as well.”