Foreign Figures isn’t your everyday band. They came together with a mutual desire to share their message of hope to the whole world. Lead singer Eric Michels explains, “We talk about bringing positivity, and that is important to us, but it’s not like all of our songs are 100 percent upbeat and positive. A lot of the lyrics I write and some of the feelings you get from our songs are melancholy, but the overall message is one of improvement and keeping your head up during tough times.”
Just over a year ago Eric would have said he wasn’t pursuing music as a career. Despite his incredible talent, the pressures of life were weighing down. His brother Steve Michels, drummer, convinced him to come jam and Eric couldn’t resist the lure of his true calling. Steve had been playing with bassist Eric Espinel and they asked Seth Dunshee, an accomplished guitarist to join them.
For a few months they wrote music and played local shows, preparing songs for an album. Jonny Tanner entered July 2014 initially as sound engineer, but fit in so well they asked him to join as guitarist and synth player. “We are completely united as a band to bring our music around the world – instead of having one leader and four followers, we are five co-leaders, co-writers, and co-performers,” says Steve.
With Foreign Figures now complete they hit the ground running, producing a stunning music video with LanVi productions for their hit Come Alive. Their sound has elements and influences from around the world. Jonny explains, “In Come Alive, we use a marimba and an African drum, Djembe. Our focus wasn’t for it to sound like a certain culture, rather the song was written how we wanted it and the extra instruments help make it stand out.” The band members are all meticulous in their own way,and this organization shows in all they do, yet comes across as natural. They are truly genuine and exude such a positive energy it’s irresistible!
March 2015 Foreign Figures released their first EP, Come Alive to a sold out crowd at the Velour Live in Provo. Fans showed support by donning official band t-shirts. The contagious spirit sprang from the stage into the audience as everyone jumped in time with the beat. Fans couldn’t get enough, demanding an encore, then swarming the merchandise table. Ahead of the curve, USB bracelets are Foreign Figures main offering. Seth tells, “Instead of just a CD, we were able to include videos, album art, lyrics, and .wav and .mp3 of the music on the USB’s all while giving our fan something to wear and use later.”
Making music is Foreign Figures priority and sharing it with the world is their passion. In their short time together they have already had orders worldwide, won the 2015 Stereo Room Battle of the Bands, 2014 Battle of the Bands at The Wall winners, finalist as KSL 5’s “Garage to Glory” band, showcased on the news after the Super Bowl and more. These figures are making strides and won’t be foreign for long.
Catch Foreign Figures in concert at The Stereo Room in Orem on April 18th at 8:00 pm, tickets $6.