SA Drums and Percusion Cover Story
Anton Fig is without doubt, South Africa's biggest drumming export. If a successful career in music is one in which fame, fortune and musical notoriety figures, then Anton has cornered all of these aspects, and then some... Now living in New York though originally from Cape Town, Anton left our shores to further his musical career and became one of the biggest names in the drumming world. His work with rock royalty like Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and The Rolling Stones is envious. His list of musical credits is bigger than most CD collections. Since 1986, he has been the house drummer for one of America's biggest TV shows - 'The David Letterman Show'. Despite all this, he still maintains that Cape Town is his hometown and would love to play more in South Africa."
Download the full review at http://www.antonfig.com/SAfeature.pdf
International Musician Cover Story
Anton Fig's recipe for success for budding professional musicians contains four ingredients. First comes passion. "You've got to really love to play," says Fig, a member of Local 802 (New York City) and the regular drummer for Local 802 member Paul Shaffer's CBS Orchestra, heard nightly on the "Late Show with David Letterman." "That love will get you ahead, because there will be some hard times." Next comes professionalism: "Be on time; stuff like that," he says. Then there's humility. "Don't have a heady attitude about yourself." Add a dash of people skills, "Unless you're someone like Miles Davis or Prince, unbelievably talented, most of us have to network," and you're ready to play some cookin' drums for a living. Fig sums up his advice this way: "Success is a combination of luck and skill, but the harder you work, the luckier you get.""
the full review at International Musician
Fig has created an album that has more than enough styles;
he has managed to combine rock, world,
alternative rock, smooth jazz, and folk into one persuasive
whole through sensitive compositions, the art of creative
collaboration, and artistic vision. FIGMENTS is more
than equal to the sum of its parts; perhaps not for everyone
but if you have an adventurous spirit and would like
a challenging, melodic listen you would do well to start
the full review at The Greenman Review
Matt Gallagher takes an in-depth look at the making
of Figments in Anton's home studio. A must-read for
anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of high-end
home recording. Also includes quite a few terrific
photos and side features, "Engineering Figments" and "Planning
Planula Studios" - how Anton put all the electronics
together and made it work given the unique space
they were using.
the article at Electronic Musician's Website
Paul Verna's "New York Metro" column, Anton
reveals some of the secrets behind the recording of
How many artists record and mix “professional”-sounding
albums at home in rooms so small that the studios can
be vacuumed with a Dust-Buster? Answer: Too many to count.
Question: Who among these recording-savvy artists can
pull off a home-spun project that features Paul Shaffer,
Sebastian Bach, Richie Havens, Ace Frehley and Brian
Wilson, among others? Answer: Anton Fig.
as the house drummer for The Late Show With David Letterman,
Fig is also a multifaceted songwriter,
producer and engineer who has been chipping away at a
solo album in between his TV and session commitments.
(He recently played drums on Warren Zevon's Artemis Records
release My Ride's Here). Along the way, the well-connected
Fig asked some of his most famous friends if they would
contribute their talents to his album."
the rest of the article on MIX Magazine's website
of the best albums of 2002, Figments is the long awaited
album from celebrity drummer Anton Fig. Best known
the house drummer in the David Letterman Show band, Fig
has sagaciously assembled a number prominent music
for his solo debut. Also the drummer in the house band
at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Fig has over the
worked with the best in the biz. First off, the voices
Fig spotlights on the CD are brilliant and among the
vocalists taking center spotlight here are legendary
folk-rocker Richie Havens, Beach Boys founder Brian
former band mate in the ‘Boys, singer/guitarist
Blondie Chaplin and legendary songwriter, Chip Taylor
(“Wild Thing”), singing the Fig/Taylor tune
“When The Good Die Young”. Brian Wilson’s
ever-amazing harmonies supporting Chaplin’s striking
vocals on “Hand On My Shoulder” is clearly
a Figments highlight. According to Anton, “This
record reminds me of the days when we used to put on headphones
and listen to the details in the music. The combinations
of singers and musicians, different from song to song,
are exciting.” From a guitarists perspective, the
album features ace fretboard work from Chaplin, Ace Frehley,
Chris Spedding and Vincent Nguini (to name a few) as well
as keyboards legends like Al Kooper, Paul Shaffer and
the dozens of other notable Fig cohorts partaking in the
upbeat musical moods here. Whatever your favorite flavor
of music—rock, pop, jazz and more—Figments
has it covered on what has to be among the coolest surprises
Robert Silverstein, 20th Century Guitar Magazine
MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE
With his first solo effort, Figments, ANTON FIG has mad
a record everyone - not just drummers - can listen to
and appreciate. But that doesn't mean he forgets to show
off his drum chops (and multi-insturmental chops, and
songwriting chops, and producing chops...). Whether traveling
back to his hometown in South Africa with smooth odd-time
signatures, or rocking heavy and slow with Skid Row singer
Sebastian Bach and KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, Anton delivers
the goods. Other special guests help make this record
diverse and accessible. Along with diggin' the drums,
you may even find yourself singing along. [www.AntonFig.com]
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Diving in for Annual Beach Cleanup
by Sumathi Reddy. STAFF WRITER
On September 21, Anton joined several hundred volunteers
in cleaning up Jones Beach in New York, as part of The
Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. Newsday
writer Sumathi Reddy covered the event. Read
SOUTH FLORIDA ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
by Manuel Pila
An Anton Fig reality check goes something like this:
“I remember a long time ago I played on Mick Jagger’s
solo record, and we were all in the room at the same time
recording,” Fig recalls. “Jagger was singing,
Nile Rogers was playing guitar, Bernard Edwards was playing
bass, and I was playing with them, and I’m looking
around the room going like, I can’t believe that
I’m playing with these guys. The same thing happened
when I played with Miles Davis on the Letterman show.
You know, I can’t believe that I’m playing
with Miles Davis!” Read
BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE
Figments [Planula; www.antonfig.com]
It's a too-familiar scenario: Session star makes a solo
album full of tepid material that's all over the map stylistically,
leading to the same old conclusion - don't quit your sideman
day gig! At last, Anton Fig, best known for his drum seat
on The Late Show with David Letterman, shatters that stereotype
with 13 tracks of songwriting gems and world-wise instrumentals.
Along the way, Anton enlists over 40 musicians - including
eight bassists - to help inagine his Figments. Bakithi
Kumalo's fretless 5 carries the Gabriel-esque openers,
"Home" and "Hand on My Shoulder,"
the latter featuring background vocals by no less than
Brian Wilson. "Inside Out," "Heart of Darkness,"
and "More Than Friends" (with Richie Havens)
all ride Will Lee's savvy support. Neil Jason, Tony Garnier,
and Duck Dunn also pitch in on prime pop cuts.
his South African roots, Fig enlists the vocal and playing
skills of Richard Bona and ex-Zawinul guitarist Amit Chaterjee
for the soaring "3:4 Folk," while Bakithi returns
for the horn-laden Capetown traditional "Jan/Feb/March."
Almost lost in the melodic mayhem is "Tears,"
a haunting trumpet/tenor instrumental driven by Chris
Minh Doky's funky upright. All in all, Anton, with both
pen and drumstick, sets a new standard for the sessioner-cum-artist
Fig: Letterman drummer shuffles his way to Waterfront
name might not be familiar, but his pedigree is a mile
Fig is David Letterman's drummer. More specifically, he
works for the world's Most Dangerous Bandleader, Paul
Shaffer, in the CBS Orchestra five nights a week in New
York, doing commercial-break music and backing some of
music's biggest names.
gig, Fig says in a recent phone call from his digs in
New York, "is only a few hours out of my day, and
it's blocks from my place." That allows him plenty
of time to pursue other musical ventures, notably his
own recent solo album, "Figments"; various gigs
around the Big Apple; and sideman duties for recording
artists Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Joan Armatrading, Ace
Frehley of Kiss, Garland Jeffries and others.
also allows him time for the occasional foray into the
blues. Fig will appear with the legendary Al Kooper and
the Rekooperators at the Waterfront Blues Festival.
South African-born Fig is no stranger to the shuffle and
slow blues. He's recorded with B.B. King , and Booker
T and the MGs, and done plenty of backing slots for the
likes of Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Charlie Musselwhite
and John Lee Hooker, to name but a few.
the music on Letterman can be complicated exercises in
chart reading, Fig says, the blues allows him to lay back,
stretch out and find a groove. "It requires a more
simple approach, less technical, more basic. Obviously,
the groove is the most important thing. You do as little
as you have to do in order to get a really good groove.
I try and keep it really spare and feeling really good."
has recorded extensively with Kooper, as well as with
Kooper's guitarist of choice, Jimmy Vivino, who plays
guitar in Conan O'Brien's house band, the Max Weinberg
are a bunch of blues fanatics," Fig says. "They
know so much about the music, 'inside' things that I've
learned." It also gives him an opportunity to take
a break from the Letterman grind. "It's good to do
other stuff, otherwise you get used to doing one thing."
those other things was his recent appearance at the Concert
for New York, a benefit for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. Fig backed up, among other artists, Clapton and
Buddy Guy. "We rehearsed with them briefly the night
before. I'm not even sure Clapton was at the rehearsal.
Then we played. It's always great when you're playing
with the real guys.
funny how different the music sounds when you play with
the guys who can really do it, as opposed to someone who's
trying to do it."
lauds Chicago bluesman Paul Butterfield, with whom he
recorded on the harpist's final record. Despite Butterfield's
ailing health, "He was a great bandleader. He always
used to say, 'If you make a mistake on a recording, you
start listening to it like it was meant to be.' "
legend of the Waterfront Blues Festival has spread to
New York. Fig reports that he's heard nothing but positive
reports, "and that it has a food drive attached to
it. Which is really great. I've never been there, but
it seems like a great roster of people, and it sounds
like it's going to be a wonderful five days."
new album, "Figments," was largely recorded
in his home studio. It includes Kooper, Richie Havens,
Ivan Neville, Beach Boy Brian Wilson singing backup, and
others. "It's all different kind of stuff,"
the drummer says. "I'm very proud of how it came
a long, busy and varied career, Fig has enjoyed "a
lot of highs. The 9-11 event was definitely a highlight.
It was such an emotional concert. The firemen and policemen
kind of let their hair down. It was great to be a part