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Fig Dish

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Biography

Fig Dish was one of the many alternative groups swept up in the signing frenzy that took place in Chicago in the wake of the explosion of the grunge scene in the Northwest. Everyone was looking for the next Seattle, and Chicago was as good a city as any, with a roster that included Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins, and Urge Overkill. The band started in the early '90s when guitarists Blake Smith and Rick Ness left their respective bands and decided to play together. Adding drummer Andy Hamilton and bassist Mike Willison, they chose the name Fig Dish and began to release homemade singles of their Replacements-esque rock. The band decided to try an experiment, they sent demos to major label representatives with a note attached saying "Hey (fill in the blank): I caught these guys last weekend, and they were amazing. Check 'em out! Your pal, Steve." Many embarrassed label reps gave them a story about their friend "Steve" recommending the band, but finally an A&R man from Polydor discovered their singles on his own and offered them a spot on the label. The band recorded That's What Love Songs Often Do within three weeks of being signed, and the album was released in 1995 with several tours following. When the single "Seed" started to hit alternative rock radio, the band ran across a blizzard in Nebraska which destroyed their van and their gear. That night the band was recovering at the hotel when the shell-shocked Hamilton told them that he was leaving the band to study law. The band stepped back into the studio for When Shove Goes Back to Push the next year, but they were very unimpressed with their situation. The album was released with absolutely no promotion from Polydor, so the band decided to look for a new label. While searching, they decided to just kill the band and work on other projects. Willison and Smith started Caviar, while Rick Ness started a band under the simple moniker of Ness. ~ Bradley Torreano
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