Having a successful run of packed shows in London earlier this summer and touring with the likes of Depeche Mode, GIGsoup caught up with F.O.X to see what this noise was all about. We spoke to the synth pop wonders about the inspiration behind their sound, their tour stories and other shenanigans…
What brought the band together?
F.O.X rose from the ashes of a previous band called Angry Vs The Bear. When our drummer left we decided to carry on as a three piece and start F.O.X. We had all been best friends for years so it made sense to see what we could do as a three piece. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made as it has taken us all over the globe ever since!
We know your latest single ‘I Want to Know’ is coming out later this month but is there anything more in the pipeline for you guys?
At the moment we are focused on the single but have just started work on our next album, experimenting with sounds and structures and soon we will be going away for a writing trip to try and get some loose demos recorded ready to re-record properly in our studio later in the year. We really want to get back out to Europe, particularly Germany and Italy to tour out there but also to revisit the cities we visited on the Depeche Mode tour.
How important is it to your music to work with great producers, as some artists are now producing all themselves?
In the past we have worked with an amazing producer called Simon Gogerly (U2, Gwen Stefani, Paloma Faith, Underworld) and he was instrumental in helping us create our sound. We sent him one of our first demos and he took us under his wing and helped us an awful lot with developing our sound and songwriting skills. Darren, our bass player is very skilled in recording and production so for ‘Hypoxia Part 2’ we branched out and did the production ourselves. We’re very lucky to have excellent facilities to use so we can take our time and work on one line of a song all night if we so desire!
You guys have maintained quite a distinct, eerie synth pop sound. Are you planning to explore different styles of music in the future?
I love that description as that is exactly how we would like to come across! Well, we never go into the studio with a pre-conceived idea of how something has got to sound and our new single ‘I Want To Know’ is quite a departure from our normal sound, but we really loved the challenge of working with the sample and making the song our own. In the future it really depends what we become inspired by, we have a couple of “go to” sounds that as hard as we try not to, nearly always make it into our songs but we like to think we are developing all the time, we like to play with rhythms and create our own sounds from scratch.
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What was the inspiration behind the stylistic video for I Want To Know?
Well, we work with a very talented guy called Jason Arber who has one of the darkest, most brilliant minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of delving into and he had full control over the visual elements of the video. We were told to turn up, jump a lot and go home. The result is what you now see. Bleeding hearts, skulls and a lot of flying through space.
You guys are Colchester based and proud. What do you love about the place?
We’ve all grown up here nearly our whole lives so its easy to get accustomed to what you have but having travelled a lot with the band you do realize how lucky you are to live in such a nice town. I even wrote some of my lyrics indirectly about it for the song ‘Home’. It’s got a small music network but a passionate one and there are several small music venues in the town that are always rammed with music and great when you’re on a night out as you have plenty of choice.
Touring with Depeche Mode must have been a career highlight, any good memories you could share to us?
It was such an amazing experience, like another world, playing to 50,000 people a night, watching the sun set over the mountains in Greece as we were playing, the INSANE catering, the family vibe, The fans – COMPLETELY hardcore. Depeche Mode would have their own private jets but we were flying Easy Jet or equivalent and it was very odd when you were trying to sleep having people taking pictures of you and trying to hand you notes to pass on to the band. We got a standing ovation in a restaurant in Romania and shared a bottle of 2nd World War whiskey which had been dug up from under a tractor with Martin Gore. Too many great memories and something we will never forget.
Lastly, What’s something everyone should know about F.O.X?
We’re pretty well known for our live shows, we have our own synchronized light show (not as 80’s disco as it sounds) and visuals, it’s a pretty intense show, particularly in a small venue, the strobes are pretty retina burning…!
This F.O.X article was written by Christian Graham, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson