The industry landscape for independent musicians in America has been in a continual state of evolution ever since the internet went and changed the game. Still, though, it come down to the fact that hard work, perseverance, raw talent, and being at the right place at the right time seem to be working out for those who hold out long enough. Filligar is an example of that.
Full disclosure: I first heard Filligar back in Chicago when I was a freshman in high school. I was 14-years-old and performing in my first “Battle of the Bands.” They were playing too. It was the day that George Harrison passed away. The date was: November 29, 2001. As it turned out, three out of the four members of Filligar just so happened to be in my high school class (Pictured Above: Casey Gibson – keyboard, Pete Mathias – drums, Teddy Mathias – bass), while lead singer and guitarist Johnny Mathias was a couple years behind us.
Back then, they went by the moniker Flipside, sported shorter haircuts, and played a very different style of rock than they do now. But that’s the beauty of age — as you grow, you learn, and Filligar’s made it a point to utilize their personal growth as the means to create one of the most engaging live rock shows in the country.
Hailed as “one of the best young bands in America,” this quintet’s been given an opportunity that they and any other independent musician can appreciate — they’re opening up for Counting Crows on the first leg of their Outlaw Roadshow this Summer. But before they leave on tour with Counting Crows, they’re playing a live show at DC9 Saturday May 26.
Filligar took a few minutes to exchange thoughts with We Love DC via e-mail. Here’s what they had to say.
Rachel: Filligar’s been a band for over a decade. How would you describe your evolution from the time you first sat down to jam and now that you’ve been touring for a few years with several albums under your belts?
Filligar: Well, the first time we sat down to jam we played a song that wasn’t our own: Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. We butchered it, and ever since we’ve been playing original music. As times go on, our music has changed just as we’ve changed. Touring the country and experiencing America the beautiful has definitely impacted that sound. Continue reading