Filligar – NXNE 2012 Emerging Artist Spotlight


Check out our complete NXNE Coverage here

May 30 2012 – For the 18th straight year, North By Northeast (NXNE) is happening in Toronto from June 11th to the 17th 2012. NXNE is a music festival, conference, and even a film festival all rolled into one. NXNE is the most anticipated summer music event in Canada and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry. Over 650 bands and 40 films converge for 7 days in Toronto and put us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Modeled after the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto is hosting NXNE and we are certain that NXNE will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has). SXSW is plagued by over-commercialization and unless you’re deeply embedded in the industry you can forget about watching the big names. NXNE will also feature large free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square for four nights with the Flaming Lips being the main attraction on June 16.

After we weeded through all the bands bios found here and listened to their music, we were still left with a long list of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached some of our favourite bands to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Chicago named Filligar. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on Filligar’s NXNE bio page reads:
Describing themselves simply as a “an American rock n’ roll band”, it should no surprise that Filligar – led by three Chicago brothers – make road-hungry, honest and gimmickless rock and roll in a Wilco and Black Keys vein.
Here is what they had to say to us:
  • Hey guys from Filligar, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
Filligar: Hey, thanks for having us. The band is composed of:
Casey Gibson: Keys & BG Vox
Johnny Mathias:  Guitar & Lead Vox
Teddy Mathias: Bass & BG Vox
Pete Mathias: Drums
  • How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?

Filligar: Three of us are brothers–the fourth, Casey, a friend from our hometown of Chicago.  We began some ten years ago as a bunch of kids messing around with instruments before hockey practice.  We learned how to hack through a Nirvana cover, came up with a band name, got a gig, and the rest is history.
  • Who are some of your musical influences?

Filligar: I mentioned Nirvana, but some others, in no particular order, are: The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Wilco, Neil Young, The Allman Brothers, The Clash–the list goes on.  We’ve had the opportunity to play shows with The Black Keys and My Morning Jacket, and both of those bands took things to school a bit.  

  • My Morning Jacket! Wow, we love that band! Anyways, we found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 NXNE. Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them?

Filligar: Because T-Mak World found us, and you guys wouldn’t waste anyone’s time. 
  • HA! We like you guys already! What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?

Filligar: Are we talking the band or The Band?  As far as our music is concerned, to me, lyrics have different significance on different days, so it’s tough to say.  For The Band, “Tears of rage, tears of grief, why am I always the one who must be the thief? Come to me now, we’re so alone, and life is brief.”  On Music from Big Pink with Bob Dylan.  Again though, on different days you’ll like different things.     
  • What does the rest of 2012 and 2013 hold for you?

Filligar: We’re going on the road with Counting Crows for a bit this summer.  We’ll be doing a couple headlining shows in various cities, as well as some festivals.  Besides that, we’ll be releasing some new music in the next couple of months that we’re excited about, so stay tuned.  The rest remains to be seen.   

  • Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig. 

Filligar: After reading Keith Richards’ book Life, I might say the Stones 1972 tour after Exile on Main Street.  Although, if you’ve ever seen some footage of Metallica playing Moscow in front of a million people for Monsters of Rock tour ‘91, that’s a pretty tough contender.  A little different style of music than ours, but that tour must have been insane.   
  • What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?

Filligar: If I knew, I’d write a book.  It’s safe to say that the future of the music industry is uncertain.  The observable trend over the past couple of years has been that music will increasingly be consumed through whatever manner is most convenient to the consumer.  Mp3 players were more user-friendly than CD players.  Smart phones are more user-friendly than Mp3 players.  How people access music will continue to change, but music will become more accessible–so that’s a positive thing.  I think, from the perspective of emerging artists, there has never been a better time to have your music heard.  There are so many channels available that were never present before.  Historically, we live in a pretty good time as far as sharing music is concerned.  Unfortunately, sharing works against profiting–which I believe is what the question is about… making money.  I think that the times will continue to drive more and more artists to the stage… and now, I’ll stop before I accidentally write a book.    
  • Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?

Filligar: ITunes is probably your best bet.  There are a bunch of available options though, so visit our website, and you can take your pick.


  • At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What album do you think we should include in our top 10 albums of 2012 article?

Filligar: Gotta say I like your 2011 picks.  2012 is still young but, so far, Delta Spirit, Self-titled.  Had the opportunity to check them out between our shows at SXSW this year.  These guys are great live.
  • Any closing remarks for our readers?

Filligar: Swing by our show, and say hello.  Glad to be back in TO.
Thanks so much to Filligar. We hope that you can see them live at NXNE and hey just like the band said, T-Mak World wouldn’t steer you wrong. They are playing The Gladstone Thursday June 14 at 9 pm for NXNE. The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out their video here.

This entry was posted in Emerging Artist, Interview, NXNE, Rock and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Filligar – NXNE 2012 Emerging Artist Spotlight

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