Interview: Black Foxxes
Black Foxxes are rapidly growing in popularity, with new single Husk bringing in 190,000 views in the first week, plays from Zane Lowe and Radio 1, big things are coming. I met up with the band before their Manchester show on the Nothing But Thieves tour to get to know them a little bit better.
How did you all meet and what made you want to work together?
Mark: I’d already started a project back home, two of the members were just doing it for a hobby, I wanted to do it more seriously. We had a couple of songs already and I messaged Ant randomly cause he used to play drums for one of my favourite local bands, he was on board so we jammed and made some songs, then Tristan came along a little bit later. It just clicked from there.
Tristan: The weird thing is, I’d known Ant for a while and he just texted me out of the blue like ‘Oh do you want to come and jam in this band I just started?’ and I was like ‘Yeah, I haven’t played bass in a band for a while so whatever’ so I came along to what I thought was a trial but there was never a ‘Yeah, you’re in’ it was just like, I kept coming back. I’m still waiting for the yes.
Did you always want to work in music or did you have a different ‘dream job’ as a kid?
Mark: I did, I used to have stuffed toys and I used to line them up and I had a tape player and I used to pretend I was playing Glastonbury to my toys. That was my thing, I always wanted to be a musician.
Ant: Yeah, I always wanted to be in a band since I was like 12, but I did go to uni and study something else as a back up.
Tristan: Well I never realised I wanted to be in a band until I was in a band. To be fair I’ve never really had a burning desire to do anything. It wasn’t until I started playing music with other people that I thought, this is definitely for me.
Would you say you’ve been influenced by other artists?
Tristan: I feel like we’re all quite eclectic in our taste in music.
Do you think that had an effect on your sound?
Mark: I think it does. It’s natural.
Tristan: Some of my favourite bands are like, acoustic, soft. All sorts. It doesn’t translate to what we’re doing but it’s all about having that drive, I guess.
How has the response to Husk been?
Mark: Yeah that was crazy, we had 190,000 views in a week which is just wild. It was so much more than we thought.
Tristan: It’s an in-comprehendible number.
Mark: Zane Lowe has played it a few times now and Radio 1 have too. It’s one of our weakest singles, so it’s good.
Tristan: When you consider it’s probably the first thing people have heard since the EP which was two years ago, it’s great.
What’s the atmosphere like for you before a show? Do you get nervous?
Mark: It’s really chilled now, recently it’s been very chilled.
Ant: We kind of don’t say a lot, just sit and stay quiet.
Mark: I used to get really anxious for like the past year, but you just get really used to playing to crowds like this now.
Ant: I get more scared playing to less people, they can see all of your faults.
Tristan: It’s a lot more obvious when you fuck up when there’s less people.
Mark: We don’t do any team chants or skipping, anything like that. There was a group hug before Reading, that was a big one.
What’s the writing process like for you? Does it change with each song?
Mark: It changes quite a bit, I tend to have like a spine of the song, with melodies and lyrics and then I’ll take it in. Sometimes I’ll have a full song, sometimes an intro and a verse. It’s always really quick, I don’t think we’ve ever spent longer than like a practise. Obviously you tweak things until it’s a full song, otherwise we just get kinda tired with it and it’s not a natural process.
Do you ever struggle with creative block?
Mark: I’ve had it for like four months before, yeah. It’s really annoying, obviously there’s a lot of pressure to write but thankfully it went at the right time.
If you each had to introduce yourselves to new fans, how would you describe yourselves?
Mark: A sassy flufficist
Tristan: (As described by Mark) A vaping box anorak
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose and what would you name it?
Tristan: A fox called Roscoe.
Ant: I’d like a sloth called Johnson.
Mark: A puffin called Augustus. I’d like an otter too actually, or a pack of otters. Then I’d need a bear.
Ant: I had a sound guy tell me to tape a wallet to a snare drum, that was quite weird.
Mark: There was a gig we played in Cornwall, really early on in the band. This sound guy was on acid. During our set he came up, set up a kick drum mic whilst we were playing a song and gave me two microphones, mid set because one wasn’t loud enough. He just put everything up full so it was just feedback.
Ant: He gave up half way through, he started out as a professional sound guy who’d toured the world but at the end of the night he said he’s never done sound before.
When can we expect the album?
Tristan: Late summertime.
Mark: The plan is roughly August, but obviously it’s all going to change. We don’t know ourselves yet.
Would you say it has a different sound to the EP?
Tristan: It’s definitely different from that.
Mark: It’s more eclectic, there’s much more variety. We’re just excited to get it out now, people have been waiting for so long.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Mark: I don’t think I’d do something obvious, I’d do something really random. Like someone who’s just a genius, Mozart or something. Just someone who’s that well known. Or maybe Hendrix or Neil Young.
Tristan: Neil Young would just take one listen for about 30 seconds and go, ‘It’s shit.’
Ant: David Bowie would be good. It’d be so much fun, get sassed by David Bowie.
What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?
Mark: Someone said that to us at Reading and we said, kind of a joke that we’d definitely do Reading next year, and it’d be the biggest thing we could possibly do. So we said imagine opening the biggest tent. I think next year will just be one up again, Glasto would be good.
Ant: Get out of the UK a bit more.
Tristan: America, Japan, Poland, just get out of the UK. Once the albums out we’ll do some touring of our own and hopefully get out and about.
Mark: If we even manage to get a top 40 album or platinum would be amazing.
Ant: Puppies on the rider.
Husk is available on iTunes now.