Foxing [August 2015]

By Maryam Hassan

The first time I heard Foxing was on a flight back to the UK from the States a year or so ago. Night flights always go so slowly and so I’d loaded an iPod with new music and indulged for eight hours. “The Albatross” is an outstanding piece of work. It’s haunting, emotional and was just so different to anything else around. The band were over in the UK for the first time with Tigers Jaw and I was lucky enough to catch up with them before their show at the Boston Arms to talk influences, writing processes and the new album….

PT: So you came into the country four days ago, and have already been attacked by small children.. so you’re getting the best of the UK! Is this your first time over here?

JON: Conor studied here for a bit but for everyone else aside from like a couple of layover flights it’s our first time in the UK.

PT: What sort of stuff are you expecting?

CONOR: Police officers with big hats. Interesting dogs. We haven’t been disappointed in any of those things.

JON: Getting chased from room to room Benny Hill Style and eventually we’re chasing the cops for no reason

PT: Have you had a phone call from the Queen yet? Because that’s meant to happen at some point.

ERIC: I’ve heard that happens, we’ve not been blessed yet

JON: I took my phone off airplane mode.

CONOR: She’s been trying to call us, but no.

PT: You have to take it otherwise she gets really mad.

JOHN: I texted her.

CONOR: I feel like in all reality we were expecting the shows to be cool and to be doing touristy stuff. We didn’t expect the shows to be nearly as awesome as they’ve been and we didn’t expect to have like actual fans here.

PT: Do you not have a gage of your fans in the US? Because the internet is massive. Everyone knows everything now.

CONOR: Yeah, I mean the world is flat these days. But in the US we kind of have a gage for how people react to our band because we’ve done every major city in the US like fucking twelve times in the past two years.

JON: We’ve played quite a bit in the US so we know what we’re getting into when we go to places.

CONOR: Each city we know how many people to expect

JON: Even if it’s a new city it’s not really a surprise.

ERIC: You can guess pretty much how many people are gonna be there. Here it’s like I have no even concept of an idea.

CONOR: Granted all of these shows are Tigers Jaws shows, so it’s kind of like… At the same time the reaction we get from people here is awesome.

JON: The response has been really great

PT: Your album was reissued last year. When I heard it for the first time, I can never really place it because it sounds completely different to everything else that I listen to in that scene, with the bands that you tour with and stuff. It’s incredibly emotional, is it hard to write things like that where you put yourself out there?

CONOR: I think so, Josh and I write half the lyrics each. I think it gets easier to write those kinds of things but we also try to push ourselves and get darker with what we write. Just because the first record a lot of it was bathed in metaphor and a lot of the songs were about relationships. The next album deals with things that have more depth. It sounds kind of pretentious to say that but it’s things for us that are more serious than just relationships. Instrumentally speaking we’ve got a lot more emotionally involved with instrumental songs. Eric has written an instrumental song on the record that to me that speaks out the most out of all the songs. It’s the first time that we’ve really like delved deep into that kind of instrumental.

PT: You are big on social media. Is it weird when you write something incredibly personal to you but you see kids singing it back at you really relating to it?

CONOR: Yeah it’s definitely weird! When we first started to play shows we were playing basements and garages and stuff and before our album came out especially people had no idea who we were. We were just playing to dead faces a lot. People enjoyed what we were playing but they had no reference so no-one could know the lyrics or anything. That was really hard. Especially for me, because it’s like the songs were really personal and to sing that to people who have no idea where you’re coming from or anything is kind of strange. The second that the album came out there was at least one or two people at every show ever since then that will be singing along, and it makes it so much easier.

JON: Playing drums I’m forced to constantly look at the crowd because I kind of feel like everyone is in their own world and I have to stare straight ahead so I get to see the crowd a lot of the time. It’s definitely very interesting to see how many kids are singing along now to when we first started, it’s really cool!

PT: You were talking about your new album. Obviously you had the Albatross and it got reissued so it must be great to be writing new material and going forward. What are your plans for the rest of the year?

CONOR: We’ll have the album out later this year, actually we have no idea what the release date is because it’s up to the suits now.

JON: It’s done it’s just up to the label to get it out.

PT: Was it a cool thing to record if it’s so different and getting darker exploring newer things?

JON: It was a completely different experience than recording The Albatross. The first album we kind of did it way more on our own. It was a lot of money coming out of our own pockets and kind of scrambling between places to get everything together. Eric wasn’t even a member of the band when we started recording it, he kind of came through halfway and he hadn’t even written with us. It was definitely interesting writing and recording with Eric there the entire time, it’s more representative of our actual sound.

CONOR: Plus this is the first time we wrote on a timeline. We were actually giving ourselves deadlines and things like that. You know if the alum wasn’t ready to go we would have pushed it back, it was the first time we did give ourselves our timeframe to work in. It was awesome though.

PT: You guys are playing Fest, my favourite thing in the whole year! Are you looking forward to it? What makes it so good?

JON: Fest is great because we’re on the road all the time and a lot of our really good friends are also in bands that also are on the road constantly so we never really get to link up. But at Fest everyone of our friends bands is there, so when we go you’re kind of in a foreign city surrounded by close friends.

CONOR: I got to crowdsurf to Suburban Home by Descendants and then drunkenly run to play a set with Pet Symmetry, play trumpet with them.

PT: Marcus drunk is one of my favourite things in the whole world.

JON: Marcus drinking is my favourite thing.

PT: What are you listening to at the minute?

CONOR: I’ve been listening to that Tame Impala record a lot, it’s so good. I haven’t been able to get over it.

*Conor hits himself with a water bottle repeatedly*
*It does not help him remember what the other band he wanted to say was*

JON: Not even in a pretentious way at all, I don’t stay up date on music. I love music but I just get stuck on things and then when I find new stuff, I find it. I never really seek things out. Like I just got into the National last year. That’s how far behind I am.

CONOR: I’ve also been listening to Lithuania, they have a new album out. It’s called Hardcore Friends. We did a tour with them and Dikembe recently.

CONOR: What’s your jam Eric?

ERIC: My jam lately has been like, a lot of movie soundtracks, This Will Destroy you a lot lately. A band I listen to constantly and reference is Radiohead. I don’t know I guess I’ve also been listening to Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen a lot as well.

Foxing are on tour in the UK with Tigers Jaw. You can still catch them on the following dates:

20 DERBY The Venue
21 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
22 GLASGOW Audio
23 MANCHESTER Sound Control

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]