KJ-press-shot

Press

KJ & THE FOX – ‘HILL’ COMMUNICATION

KJ & The Fox burnt into our lives at the height of the first lockdown, with their near-perfect debut single ‘Perfect Moments’, a Jean Paul Satre-inspired guitar pop slowburner that elicited comparisons to Orange Juice and Joy Division.  Come another lockdown and come another single – this time, the addictively catchy ‘Never Gone Hill’, complete with a promo video oozing with shots of icky British wildlife like frogs and a snail with a fondness for craft ale.

We thought it was about time to interrogate the band’s founder – the KJ in KJ & The Fox no less – and squeeze a little more info on this weird and wonderful bunch out of him.  This is what we discovered.

WHO ARE KJ & THE FOX? WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE SO FAR AND WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?

We’re an East London based band. We’ve played music together in different guises and ways for many years. I’m KJ, and I’ve released a slew of solo records as Keith John Adams. Many moons ago I was in a band called Zuno Men with Rhodri, who plays bass in the band. Rhodri is in the latest iteration of Scritti Politti and makes contemporary “news disco” with his Article 54 project. Tom, on the drums, played in a trio with Rhodri and me about 15 years ago. Chris is on guitar, He was in The London Snorkelling Team, a sort of lounge jazz exotica band, with Tom… and has been Tom’s partner in a production music company. Are you taking notes? There’ll be a test afterwards. Anyway, we got together for one gig last year at The Servant Jazz Quarters in Hackney, which was great, then the damn pandemic stopped us doing any more.

DESCRIBE EACH OF YOUR BANDMATES IN FIVE ADJECTIVES – AND CHOOSE THE FIVE YOU THINK THEY’D USE ABOUT YOU…

DRUMMER TOM: Imaginative, professorial, incisive, athletic, inventive.

GUITARIST CHRIS: Whimsical, intuitive, collaborative, handsome, adroit.

BASSIST RHODRI: Loyal, hilarious, ambidextrous, ingenious, masculine.
They’d say: Unrealistic, slothful, psychopathic, amateurish, modest.

WHICH BANDS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR SOUND?

Probably easier to say who hasn’t. Hair metal bands haven’t influenced our sound very much. Oasis hasn’t influenced our sound. But a caveman hitting a rock on a hollow tree trunk… that we like.

YOUR NEW SINGLE ‘NEVER GONE HILL’ IS WRITTEN FROM A CHILD’S PERSEPCTIVE. DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ARTISTS TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR INNER CHILD?

Yes. I think it’s important for everyone, artists and non-artists, to reconnect with their inner child. The whole world is blighted by people connecting with their outer-adult. Maybe calling it our “inner-child” is, in fact, a way of belittling a necessary, creative and playful part of being a human being? So there.

HILLS DON’T USUALLY GET MUCH OF A LOOK IN IN MUSIC… ANY OTHER FAVOURITE ‘HILLS IN POP?

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino! What’s Shakin On The hill – Nick Lowe! Fool On The hill – The Beatles! The Hills Are Alive – Judy Andrews! Of course, we’re one of those Hair Metal bands who are heavily influenced by Judy Andrews.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LYRICS – WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?

My inspiration comes from all over the place. I usually take an idea and try to run with it for the whole song, which is quite an old fashioned way of writing. And I seem to be on a bit of a philosophical bent right now. Both the first and second singles, Perfect Moments and Never Gone Hill, are about our relationship to expectations and time. But I’m planning to write more impressionistic songs next year – I want them to make less sense – which sounds like it’d be easy… but to make it good at the same time, that’s the real challenge.

ANY PLANS FOR SOCIALLY DISTANCED GIGS LIKE SOME BANDS ARE DOING/ OR DOES THAT NOT APPEAL/ HOW ABOUT STREAMING SHOWS?

I think we’ll sit back and wait for the fully vaccinated audience. I really love the feel of the crowd, and the way that changes what you do. And though we’ve done one stripped down set online in the summer… it’s a bit like shouting your name in a big cave and not hearing an echo.

WHAT ELSE LIES AROUND THE CORNER FOR KJ AND THE FOX?

We’re going to keep releasing singles, and doing videos. Then when there are enough recordings, a great slab of vinyl will come out on the very wonderful and supportive Vacilando ‘68 Recordings. And when the long winter of Covid recedes, we will organise shows where people will stand within two metres of each other, and every day will be a party.

You can find more information about KJ & THE FOX at...