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Editor in Chief of Metal Empire. An online heavy music magazine featuring news, reviews, interviews and videos related to the genre.

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46 Comments

  1. 1

    Figures of Light

    Thanks, Luke! It was quite an evening!

  2. 2

    Sandro

    Never heard of these guys before but they have a very interesting sound and it was very gutsy of them to bring the band back together. Thanks for posting this review!

    1. 2.1

      Figures of Light

      Check out all our stuff on Vimeo here – http://vimeo.com/figuresoflight – most of it is up as a video – and thanks for the comment! It’s all free, with no ads – check it out!

      1. 2.1.1

        Figures of Light

        UPDATE – THE FIGURES OF LIGHT VIDEO ARCHIVE, WITH MORE THAN 200 VIDEOS, HAS MOVED TO

        – CHECK IT OUT!

  3. 3

    Daragh Walsh (@daraghmwalsh)

    Wow! What a fantastic way to travel back in time and hear the music in a live setting. It really brings context to what the music was all about and the mood of the time. I think the fact that there’s no video is even better because your imagination has to fill in the blanks. Definitely a vinyl to add to the collection or give as an interesting present!

    1. 3.1

      Claire

      I loved how it had to be all left to the imagination as we’ll you could close your eyes and just soak it all up, and the descriptions in the post really enriched the music as well when I finally clicked on it. You’re not the only one who is thinking of grabbing the vinyl.

      1. 3.1.1

        Figures of Light

        Yes, we had a guy filming it in 16mm color, but the camera jammed and he lost the loop, so the whole thing just came out a blur – too bad! But trust me, it was wild!

    2. 3.2

      Figures of Light

      Yes, Daragh, I agree – you had to be there, so to speak. It was a night to remember – and I am so grateful than the late Jeanne Ford saw fit to tape the gig – something we had nothing to do with. Glad it’s finally out, too – we were formed the same year as The Modern Lovers — see here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_punk_rock — and we are definitely not through yet! Thanks for a great comment!

  4. 4

    Steve Cooper

    This is exactly the type of intensity and meaning that is missing from today’s music. Back in the 70’s music was used to deliver a message. To unite people around a problem and coax them into action. Maybe now that music is written for a global audience, music can’t be about national dissatisfaction. It has be be levelled up to a global experience and that’s why it loses some of it’s connectivity and intensity.

    1. 4.1

      Mark

      You gave such a good point there, about how with music being written on a global scale, it can’t be the way that it once was, but it truly does mean we have lost something. But with the pier that music has to invoke emotion and awareness, I wish it was more often used in this manner. The greatest songs are those that address the world issues I believe, rather than endless Taylor swift-like lyrics about her latest breakup.

      1. 4.1.1

        Figures of Light

        I just don’t get Taylor Swift at all — good grief – it seems like there’s some sort of global conspiracy to just distribute terrible music. And it really is – check this out – http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/12/the-shazam-effect/382237/ – it seems most people just want the same thing over & over again, and nothing new, or nothing that challenges them.

    2. 4.2

      Figures of Light

      Totally – again, it’s the Shazam effect – everything has to sound the same – and the fact that music is now controlled by large corporations more than anything else – we feel lucky we were able to emerge from oblivion, had these materials intact, and could move ahead with some new people – it’s a constant struggle.

    3. 4.3

      Figures of Light

      Here’s a great quote on that – “Music, rock and roll music especially, is such a generational thing. Each generation must have their own music, I had my own in my generation, you have yours, everyone I know has their own generation.” – Ronnie James Dio

  5. 5

    Amanda

    “There was obviously one rule to this show and that was… There were no rules!” – hahaha very true. This was like a musical documentary. I’d loved to hear more stuff like this dug up from the archives. Was really fun reading and listening to this. Keep up the great work Luke : )

  6. 6

    Josh

    Awesome post to introduce ‘Figures of Light’ to someone who isn’t familiar it’s them, and I’ve checked out your interview with them as well. Thanks for embedding the clips of their first concert. Considering people are talking about it four and a half decades later like you said, I’m not surprised that it won me over.

    1. 6.1

      Figures of Light

      Thanks for the kudos – check out redesigned website at http://www.figuresoflight.com – with a new videos page where you can listen to nearly all of our work, and see some live stuff, too, along with a stack of cool fan videos! Thanks again for the kind words.

  7. 7

    Marianna

    I read the whole post before opening up the clips of the 1970 concert that they did and you had it down perfectly in your description. If someone can listen to it now and feel like they’re there, then this band has done something right. Hard to believe it was their first ever concert.

    1. 7.1

      Figures of Light

      Yeah — thirty days, and on the stage!

  8. 8

    Nick

    When you mention the re-release and the band being one that time almost forgot, it hit home a bit. I’m a major fan right here but I didn’t actually know that they’d gotten back together until I read this. Just lost track of them over the years… Off to check out ‘Instant Drone’ now.

    1. 8.1

      Figures of Light

      Yes – this isn’t for everybody, and here’s another great quote – “Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” ― Flannery O’Connor

  9. 9

    Gia

    Can’t blame you for not passing up the opportunity to mention their vinyl re-release. On a side note, So glad that we’re seeing more vinyl around these days. Thanks for the link to Norton so I can buy it. On a side one, I’m glad to we more vinyl around these days. I remember walking into my main media store earlier this year and there suddenly being a vinyl section. It’s pretty great.

    1. 9.1

      Figures of Light

      Yes, vinyl rules! It’s just got a much warmer sound, like a tube amp – and of course, you can do more with the art work. The digital world has its plus and minuses, but the passing of the LP was definitely a downer – but we’re glad to see that vinyl is coming back, even as a niche product.

  10. 10

    James

    I loved their It’s lame song, I remember being hooked up on it in the late 70’s. I’m gonna keep my eyes on these guys, they are way more enjoyable compared to the mainstream music we’re being forced to indulge in.

    1. 10.1

      Chris

      Yes! You are so right about mainstream stuff. Even if they’re a few decades old, they’re still pretty refreshing among some of the music that comes out today.

      It’s kind of sad that they were only performing regularly for a short two years before they broke up, but I guess none of that matters now that they’ve been back together for a few years.

      1. 10.1.1

        Figures of Light

        Yes, as anyone who’s in a band can tell you, rock & roll is a tough business. We’ve been very lucky. When I listen to most of the stuff that passes for rock music these days, I want to weep. The whole thing has passed into a new realm of non profitability unless you’re with a major label. So you’ve gotta do ti because you believe. And we do!

  11. 11

    Michelle

    For those of you who’ve listened to the 1970 concert, what would your favourite part of it be – or favourites? For me it’s ‘Axe That Record Player’ and ‘I’m Waiting For My Man’. Can’t say I’d actually listened to them before now, though I did see the other posts. Well worth finally checking them out though.

    1. 11.1

      Dani

      I’m not going to go choosing favourites from the 1970 one because I love it all as a whole, but I will say that I do really enjoy their more recent song, ‘Instant Drone’. Figures of Light is great no matter what they’re singing, or no matter what they happen to be smashing.

      Though as James said above, ‘It’s Lame’ is great too!

      1. 11.1.1

        Figures of Light

        Thanks, Dani – we love Instant Drone, It’s Lame, and Buy Before You Die!

    2. 11.2

      Mary

      Yep, super hard to pick a favorite but if I had to listen to one of their songs on repeat, I would choose Buy Before You Die, my absolute favorite Figures of Light song!

  12. 12

    Hayley

    Thank you for writing such a great post about one of my favourite bands. You really had everything down to a ‘T’ when you were so eloquently describing their concert. Glad to know that they’ve done a re-release and I’ll definitely be checking it out. Should hurry up and stick it on my Christmas wish list.

    1. 12.1

      Figures of Light

      Yes, Christmas is just around the corner, so check this out —

      — and ho ho ho & all of that jazz!

      1. 12.1.1

        Figures of Light

        Well, Christmas in July, maybe, but the video can be found at

        on the new FOL Archive. So check it out!

  13. 13

    Figures of Light

    As Luke says, it’s pretty amazing that we’re talking about this 45 years after the fact! I think we got in there at just the right time, and then Norton was kind enough to re-release It’s Lame, and drag us into the studio twice with some top notch sidemen for two CDs, and then finally put this out on vinyl only – it’s a keeper.

    Interestingly enough, the vinyl used for the record is different with every copy – some copies are red, some green, some blue, some are streaked with a bunch of different colors, because in the spirit of the concert, the pressing plant just used the sweepings off the floor at the end of the day, melted down in a giant vat and then pressed the 300 copies of the LP from these leftovers – but the clarity of the sound quality, except for the buried vocals, is astounding.

    They won’t last long, so if you want one, grab it at Norton Records, or you can find it on Amazon – and thanks again for all the comments & replies – it was a very different time. It was a one time only event for us, and now we’re more or less a studio band — we leave it to UK metal heads & new punk bands to carry on the torch. FOL FOREVER!

  14. 14

    Damon

    Haha, what could possibly go wrong? I bet this was super cool!!

    1. 14.1

      Figures of Light

      Can’t wait to get back into the studio this Spring and lay down some new stuff – listening a lot to The Stooges’ first album lately — perfect!

  15. 15

    Steven

    Guys, why haven’t I heard of them before? They’re so cool and different, I’m fed up with the so called rockstars we now have! I was born too late, how freakin cool would it have been to grow up listening to bands like these?

    1. 15.1

      Figures of Light

      And how freaking cool it was growing up listening to The Velvet Underground live every weekend at Max’s, The Ramones at CBGB’s, Television (the band, obviously, with Tom Verlaine) at Mother’s on 23rd Street in Manhattan, to say nothing of The Stooges, The Cramps, T-Rex — where are bands that can compete with this now???

  16. 16

    Jonathan

    Can I join your band? I bet smashing those TVs was a lot of fun. Bands are so stiff nowadays, they do the same stuff over and over, their music has zero creativity and drive!

    1. 16.1

      Figures of Light

      Hey — right now we’re looking for a good rhythm section! So you never know!!

      1. 16.1.1

        Figures of Light

        And remember – “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” – Dee Snider

  17. 17

    Ian

    A friend of mine recommended Figures of Light and I love them! It’s so cool to do something you like, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of having a band with two of my closest friends but we always postpone it to next year. We don’t want to be rockstars, we just want to have some fun!

  18. 18

    Denise

    A few years back I bumped into some of their older songs and I clicked with most of them. Keep on rocking, guys!

  19. 19

    Dexter

    You have to listen to Instant Drone! It’s one of those songs that have a mesmerizing sound and keep you hooked. These 3 minutes are crammed with so many emotions, Figures of Light is definitely here to stay now!

  20. 20

    Mike

    Guess I missed your older article, I don’t remember seeing something about Figures of Light. Wow, this actually has a nice ring to it! Who knew smashing old TVs can kick up a decent tune?

  21. 21

    Figures of Light

    Hey everybody – FOL has broken up – just moving on to new directions, but all is well — and we now have a Figures of Light Archive page with more than 100 videos and counting –

    – and Luke is kindly plugging in the new urls for our existing videos featured here.

    For some of our favorite FOL tunes, check out this playlist, totally ad free –

    – and remember we’re on Spotify as well, so you can easily keep up with us.

    Altogether, in our career, we put out 15 releases – singles, albums, both CD and vinyl – and recorded more than 100 tunes. They’re all on iTunes, or Amazon, and you can even get some old-school CDs and vinyl from mom & pop stores, which are the lifeblood of the business.

    We also want to thank Stuart Pendergast and Mike Pilat for collaborating with us on some cuts, and it’s been a gas to play with such great artists as Mick Collins and The A-Bones, and without Norton Records, none of it would have happened at all.

    Again, thanks for all the support, and keep supporting METAL EMPIRE – it absolutely is the real deal! Rock on!

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