Scope & Figure
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Scope & Figure

Rochester, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Rochester, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Indie




"Scope & Figure"

"Rochester, New York’s Scope & Figure are both infectious and poppy. Their latest EP, Exemplary Sports Magic, has a dance-y indie pop sound accompanied by clever lyrics and great melodies. Not only does each song flow together, each one is different from the next while still maintaining the band’s key components. The EP was recorded in 2014, so the band has changed a bit since, which only makes it more exciting to hear what these guys will come out with next.

“Stop Motion People” introduces us to the dance-y indie sound of Scope & Figure as a full rhythm section kicks in with a groovy bassline and a catchy guitar riff as vocalist Thomas Varner croons out his quick tongued vocals that match the energy of the song perfectly.

The rest of the EP follows suit, creating intricate riffs over clean drums. Each song shows Scope & Figure’s creativity and ability to craft songs that are both gripping and powerful. “Breathing Apparatus” is where the band gets a little psychedelic as if The Partridge Family was tripping and incorporated edgier themes. Not to compare Scope & Figure to a singing TV Family, but the band incorporates that happy sound reminiscent from that era on “Breathing Apparatus.” The band pulls it off perfectly, managing to maintain their sound while doing so.

“Calm Me Down” is the final track and the most atmospheric and progressive of all the songs. The song ties in all the elements of the other songs while adding a little edge. The song is certainly a great closer.

Overall, Scope & Figure have created a wild sound that’s infectious and full of influences. Whether it’s the band showing off their indie rock side or fusing that indie tone with psychedelic dance parts, each song on Exemplary Sports Magic has its own groove. While the band has most likely matured and morphed their sound since the recording of the EP, it only gains anticipation for what’s next for Scope & Figure." -

"Scope & Figure"

"[INDIE] This Friday night, Rochester’s five piece indie-rock outfit Scope & Figure will be playing at Nietzsche’s as part of their 2015 Exemplary Sports Magic Summer Tour. Fronted by Thomas Varner, they demonstrate a certain tenacity for melody with an edge, their music rife with dissonant chord progressions and punctuating rhythms that are further accentuated with Varner’s resonant voice. Buffalo’s up-and-coming lo-fi baroque-pop project, Dreambeaches will be opening alongside Fredonia based swamp-rock outfit Buxom." - The Public

"Tonight: Dreambeaches"

"Scope & Figure, an alt-punk outfit from Rochester, NY, will be headlining the show in support of recent release, Exemplary Sports Magic. The group’s music is technical enough to mesmerize, but also possesses a feverish dance-like quality to it. The band has tour dates lined up along the East coast throughout July." - Buffablog

"From Heart to Dave to The Dead: 4 shows to see this week in Central New York"

"But the long weekend is also a big one for musical getaways, from the Grateful Dead's farewell in Chicago to Dave Matthews Band's two-night stay in Saratoga. Here's a sampling of local and regional shows to check out this week."

"Scope & Figure, a Rochester alt-rock group, opens its 12-date summer tour at Syracuse's downtown funk shop. The band recently released a new LP, "Exemplary Sports Magic," for which they shot a music video around the Syracuse University campus. Opening the show are bettyElm Records group Phantom Chemistry and Feast of The Superb Owl." -

"How to shoot a music video with Scope & Figure"

"When Scope & Figure ventured to Syracuse from Rochester to shoot a music video, 20 Watts was there to document the documentation. You can check out our interview with the band here, and photos of the video making process below."

*See Photos - 20 Watts Magazine

"Come get ‘Comfy’ at The Dev with special guests Scope & Figure"

"Scope & Figure is from Rochester, NY and they are such a great fit for this bill. Their style is similar to Comfy but generally stringier and slightly slicker. Kudos to another great vocal from this band! The songs have very strong melodies which give a bit of an indie singer songwriter vibe to the tunes a la greats like The Lemonheads. There’s lots of energy pouring forth in an extremely pleasing way. Since I expect they’ll be a big 315 crowd pleaser, you can and should follow the band on Facebook for tips on where to go to catch them next. It’s a beautiful thing when bands across the state cooperate, gig-share, and network and supporting that is important just like supporting the expression of these creative NYers in the first place." - The Fuze Magazine

"Q&A with “dance-y” band Scope & Figure"

"Scope & Figure came to Syracuse on April 4 to shoot a music video for their song “Breathing Apparatus.” 20 Watts got a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot, and afterwards sat down with the band at Acropolis for the scoop on all things Scope & Figure. They ate some pizza too.

20 WATTS: Why did you choose the name Scope & Figure?

ERIC CHUBINSKY: The name Scope & Figure is a reference to a Kevin Devine lyric from the song “Ball Game.” We actually told Kevin Devine at a show. I went up to him and I was like, “Hey man, I play in a band called Scope & Figure.” I handed him a CD and we talked for a little while, and then it hit him about 5 minutes into the conversation and he was just like, “Oh, my God, what dude?!”."

"20 WATTS: How long have each of you been playing music, and how long have you been playing music together?

MIKE FISCH: I started on bass when I was in 7th grade and went to guitar a couple years after that. I met our drummer and started playing in a band at the end of my freshman or sophomore year a couple of years ago. Then I met Thomas and did the Scope & Figure thing.

THOMAS VARNER: I started playing music with the intention of playing in a band when I was maybe 10 or 11. I’d been trying to play in a band, and then I found these people in my sophomore year. University of Rochester was like the conduit.

ETHAN CHIAMPAS: I’ve been playing since I was 7 or 8. I hold a degree in classical double bass performance from the Eastman School of Music, and I met these guys about 6 months ago just by chance.

CHUBINSKY: I started playing drums and percussion when I was about 6 years old and got a lot more serious when I was about 12 or 13. I played in bands throughout high school, college, and now. Our original bass player is actually currently in Bulgaria; his name is Andy Spitzburg. He’s been playing for a long time. Ethan stepped in to fill his shoes originally, and at the moment we are trying to resolve where we’re gonna be with our membership in the coming year."

20 WATTS: How would you describe your sound?

VARNER: I’d like to say that we’re “dance-y” and fun to listen to live, but we have sort of a bluesy alternative background where our sound comes from. Our priority is very much about having a fun live sound.

CHUBINSKY: As far as our press kit goes, we say we fuse elements of psychedelic, dance, punk, and folk rock. We try to do it in an electrifying, accessible manner.

20 WATTS: What inspires you?

CHUBINSKY: I think we’re definitely inspired by such a range of things. Our educational institutions, other artists and musicians, bands we aspire to be. It really comes from everywhere. But we definitely hone in on a kind of sound that’s progressive and dance-y with an emphasis on, as Thomas was saying earlier, the “live feel.” Bands that do that really inspire us.

FISCH: For me, it just comes down to seeing my friends dancing around and having a good time. There’s nothing that’s better than that.

CHIAMPAS: I think it’s safe to say, also, that bands in Rochester also inspire us."

"20 WATTS: What is your current jam?

FISCH: “Two Beers In” by Free Throw. We played with Free Throw, a band from Tennessee, at the Bug Jar and they absolutely blew me away. I can’t stop listening to them.

VARNER: Roz and The Ricecakes from Providence, Rhode Island. Look them up, they’re fucking unbelievable.

CHIAMPAS: Wilson Pickett – “A Thousand Dances.”

CHUBINSKY: I like Thomas’s big shout out to my cousin, Roz and The Ricecakes. For me, though, it’s this band called Newish Star and their song “Double Super Jackpot.”

20 WATTS: If you could tour with anyone as either support or as the headliner, who would it be?

FISCH: Jack White.

VARNER: Animal Collective.

CHUBINSKY: Honestly, the ideal tour would be this ridiculous line-up where we’d play dope venues in New York City and just never leave New York City.

FISCH: Kevin Devine, The Wonder Years, Into It. Over It., Scope & Figure.

CHIAMPAS: I’m gonna go ahead and say Dirty Loops.

20 WATTS: What do you think it takes to be a successful band, with success being defined as working as a cohesive unit?

FISCH: I have been so impressed with our ability to not shit on each other when one of us is not around. We’re just fuckin’ friends with each other.

VARNER: At the end of the day we want to be in a band. That’s our motivation, that’s why we do what we do.

CHUBINSKY: After wanting to be in a band, the fact that we can do it with our friends, people that we care about, is just a fucking privilege.

CHIAMPAS: I think it’s hard work and persistence. This is a life, and when people ask us what happens if music doesn’t work out, there’s no answer to that. We’re gonna keep getting better individually, as a group, keep working hard in rehearsal and we’re gonna work hard at every show whether it’s five people or five hundred people. Logistically, it takes someone like Eric who gets us all in the same room at the same time, who schedules everything. This guy is our manager and he’s our promoter, and I think for a band to function there needs to be one person like that to take the lead.

FISCH: You can put this on the record or not, but there’s really no one better at doing what Eric’s doing. He’s been the man since I’ve known him.

20 WATTS: Final comments?

VARNER: There’s a whole life trajectory ahead of me that I don’t want to do, I just want to play in Scope & Figure. There’s plenty of other things I do that I don’t like, I just wanna play in this band.

CHUBINSKY: I say this in the most serious way: Scope & Figure is kind of my lifeblood. It’s what gets me up in the morning and what puts me to bed, it’s what I work for and what I care about. It’s a weird thing to think that you live show to show or event to event based around this band’s calendar and schedule. I’m really looking forward to every next step and the process, and we don’t really have any end goal; we’re not looking for some definition of success, we’re just looking to keep on doing exactly what we’re doing and do it bigger and better every time.

FISCH: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the parts are some of the best people that I know." - 20 Watts Magazine

"Scope & Figure Shares First Single From Forthcoming EP, Exemplary Sports Magic"

"Late last week, Rochester quartet, Scope & Figure, released the first single from its forthcoming EP, Exemplary Sports Magic, set to be released on May 1st via Dadstache Records. Titled “Cincinnati Fire Kites,” the track is pretty different from last spring’s single “Entropy Knows Best,” sounding like clean mathy indie rock (think Minus the Bear meets Two Door Cinema Club with a hint of Early November). The band seemed to take a nod from fellow Roch math rock act, Fowls, distancing its from the robust, folkier sounds of the previous single."

"Look for the Scope & Figure full EP to drop this spring. In the mean time, listen to “Cincinnati Fire Kites” below."

Cincinnati Fire Kites [Single]: - Buffablog

"Ra Ra Riot provides reasonably entertaining show"

"Popular UR band Scope and Figure was the opening act, and brought the energy and exciting presence that the band is known for. The band had been selected to open the concert through an online contest."

"That isn’t to say that they’re not good songs, but after an hour the floating melodies and tender chord progressions made me want Scope and Figure to come back out and grunge things up a bit." - Campus Times [University of Rochester]

"Scope & Figure Debut "Entropy Knows Best" Music Video"

"In late June, Rochester-based quartet, Scope & Figure, released their debut video “Entropy Knows Best.” The video follows lead singer/guitarist, Thomas Varner, having an “oh shit!” moment, running down streets people in Rochester probably know, then arriving late to gig to an empty Bug Jar with only sketchy looking dude in a Carmen Sandiego jacket on. Based on some of my weekday ventures to the Bug Jar, this isn’t that far fetched. The band’s sound is definitely robust, sounding like a jazzy Okkervil River/Beirut hybrid. With plans for a late summer tour, keep Scope & Figure on your radar because they have plans to stop in town."

Entropy Knows Best Music Video: - Buffablog

"You’re Going To Have A Good Time With This Band"

"Picture yourself in a small venue, possibly a house show, cheap genny in hand, dancing to a care free band on a warm summer night, thats exactly what you can expect to see when Scope & Figure steps on stage.

If you haven’t had the chance to see them live yet don’t worry just yet because they have something to hold you over. The four piece indie band, made up of Thomas Varner, [Mike Fisch], Andy Spitzberg, and Eric Chubinsky, have released their debut EP earlier this year.

Titled “Really Good Time” the name of this five song ep seems to say it all. Even with lyrics that range from a farewell song to forgetting a girlfriend the Minus The Bear styled hammer ons, upbeat tempo, and crisp vocals will always have you feel like dancing. The overall sound is a mixture between math rock and punk and has a feel that everyone can get behind." - Rochester Insomniac


Really Good Time EP (Self-Release)
CD and Digital [3/25/2014] 

  1. Mango (Mango)
  2. Because We Care
  3. The Lasso
  4. Butane
  5. Entropy Knows Best
Exemplary Sports Magic EP (Dadstache Records)
Cassette and Digital [4/10/2015] 
  1. Stop Motion People
  2. Cincinnati Fire Kites
  3. Breathing Apparatus
  4. Calm Me Down
Gardiner Park (Self-Release)
CD & Digital [6/23/16]
  1. First & Last
  2. Sophia
  3. Make Believer
  4. Heavy Metal
  5. Antelope
  6. Tell Me I'm Right
  7. Wide Open Eyes
  8. Tumbling Hearts
  9. Better Off
  10. Harbinger Moon
  11. Everything Is
  12. Festival Lights
  13. Mango (Bonus Track)
  14. The Lasso (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]



We are Scope & Figure, a four-piece indie rock outfit based out of Rochester, New York. Founded in the Fall of 2013, our music fuses elements of indie rock and dance pop, while drawing further sonic inspiration from the psychedelic, math, and punk rock genres; The result of which is a both electrifying and accessible sound that caters to our engaging and unique performances.

Over the past three years we have performed at a multitude of venues, colleges, and festivals across the Northeastern United States; and have had the privilege of sharing stages with popular acts such as Ra Ra Riot, The Griswolds, The Features, Pinegrove, Hank & Cupcakes, Krill, Free Throw, Vundabar, Roz and The Rice Cakes, Yonatan Gat, Ratboys, The Albrights, Modern Chemistry, The Flux Machine, Maybird, The Demos, The Singles, Spirit Ghost, Calico Blue, Sam Kogon, Comfy, Skirts, Dreambeaches and Machine Gun English and many others!

In April 2015, we released our second EP, Exemplary Sports Magic, on cassette through Rochester, NY-based indie label, Dadstache Records. This record, along with our independently released first EP, garnered fervent interest in our band from listeners and fellow musicians, as well as positive reviews from various blogs and media publications.

Most recently in 2016, we crowdfunded and released our debut full-length entitled, Gardiner Park, touring again in support of the album amid rave reviews and radio play!

Band Members