TRACK PREMIERE: FOXTRAX “GREY MORNING”
FOXTRAX premieres “Grey Morning,” a penetrating track which is lyrically melancholy but simultaneously sonically upbeat. “‘Grey Morning’ was conceived during a grey evening ironically,” says the band. “Occasionally, your emotions just pour out of you into a song. This is so rare, but when it does happen it’s special. I was listening to ‘Too Much On My Mind’ by The Kinks which is a really quirky song. It really got to me and later that evening ‘Grey Morning’ came out. When there is too much on your mind sometimes you drift through the day completely overwhelmed and unaware of what’s happening. I’ve always had those experiences during rainy and cloudy mornings.”
You haven’t released music since 2015. Why now?
We haven’t released music in a while because we knew that we wanted to have the right producers to help execute vision. We have so many songs and have so many opportunities to cut them but the production was just lacking until we teamed up with producers Ben Roulston and Alexander Wolfe! They were the right yin to our yang.
How long have you been working on your current music project?
We have been a band for a little over 2 years.
Could you tell me a little about your background and anything significant that informed you as an artist? Or anything specific that prompted you to start performing?
I think that if you spoke to most artists they have experienced something traumatic and music became their outlet. Unfortunately, all of us lost our dads at a young age and I think that binds us together. I think the music is the only thing that can fill that void in us. Sorry to get so bleak and sad on you but that’s the truth you know.
What bands/musicians past and/or present inspire your current music?
We freaking love the young version of Coldplay. Their music always had this intangible quality to it. All these other bands kind of sounded like Coldplay when they started (i.e. Snow Patrol, Keane, One Republic, The Fray, etc.) but for some reason none of these bands hit that sweet spot. I think it was how raw and edgy they were at the beginning. Their songs felt really emotional and we all really connected to that. In that vein we also love Radiohead. We just dig that English sound I guess.
Who were your favorite bands/musicians growing up? Who did you listen to most as a teenager?
I think we all really connect and bond over our love of The Beatles. I feel like every band must say that, but they are just the best. When The Beatles became available on Spotify we were so stoked we listened to the whole discography straight through way too many times.
Who outside of the realm of music has influenced you? Visual artists, writers, philosophers, etc.?
I really love F. Scott Fitzgerald, Vincent Van Gogh, and Derek Jeter. What connects these three characters you might ask? They all have a style and a swagger that is so unique and Identifiable. For example, I don’t know the first thing about painting but I can identify a Van Gogh painting by looking at it because his style is so unique and different. We hope that one day people can say we are the Derek Jeter of Rock and Roll music…that would be freaking sweet!
Could you tell me about a time when you failed and how it informed your work?
Before I joined FOXTRAX I lived in Nashville and at the end of my time there I recorded a 5 song EP. I wanted it to be like the Fleet Foxes and it came out sounding like Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska if it had been the worst record of all times. So basically it had that shitty sound quality to it with none of the good songs or vulnerability. I think that experience gave me an honest look at how much work my voice needed and how mediocre my songwriting was. For the years I spent making music after that all I did was try to hone my voice and my songwriting. I realized that those two things were the keys to my musical kingdom.
Could you tell me one strange, unique, and/or unexpected thing about you that your friends or fans might not know?
So I have known Jon and Jared since I was a kid and their mom worked in my elementary school. I was probably the most misbehaved kid of all times. Literally I once spit on a kid on the playground and then denied it (apologies to my old principle…I totally duped you!). Parents had to tell their children to stay away from me, I was a little wild man. I was like Donny from The Wild Thornberry’s—if you watched Nickelodeon back in the day. I am proud to say that I have come a long distance since I was 8 and now I only let that juvenile energy out when I am on stage!!
Could you talk a little about your writing process?
I think songwriting has always been a fleeting thing for me. If I am feeling inspired, I’ll write a song in 15 minutes and think, “Wow songwriting is easy!” Other times I can’t [come up with] a concrete idea for hours and I think I suck. Usually I bring songs to the band and I know they are good if Jon and Jared like them. It means that they are feeling inspired to create interesting parts and this allows our songs to become whole!
Do you have a preference when it comes to writing vs. performing?
Writing has always been super cerebral for us. The studio is really thought provoking and awesome, but FOXTRAX are sluts for the stage. We literally eat that shit up. So if you asked us if we’d rather be in the studio or playing a music festival, it would be music festival every time.
Are there any lyrical motifs in your music that are particularly significant?
Yea I think since we started the band we wanted people to hear our music and we never realized how hard that is to accomplish. The journey has felt really long despite how short it has been in reality. I think our songs have a lot of longing in them because of that. Across a lot of different songs, whether they are about love or experiences or both there is just this sense of yearning in them that I can’t really explain any better than that unfortunately.
Do you have a song you’ve written that you particularly love?
Our favorite songs are always changing. Usually we love the new stuff because we are excited to play something fresh live. Right now we are digging “Grey Morning!” It’s so hip hop inspired rhythmically and we are really into that as a band right now so it’s really fun to play.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Playing SXSW 2017! When we started the band, we set this as our first goal and it was really special to tour out to Austin and play a bunch of showcases. We had a wild time and I can’t wait for next year!
What is your primary goal for the rest of the year? What would you like to have accomplished by the end of 2017?
I think we would like to earn ourselves the chance to tour in the UK. I think that an experience like that would go a long way for us! If we are touring out there it means that we are doing something right.
Do you have any particularly fascinating/juicy/insane tour or performance stories?
So one night we drove through the night to get to a TV performance in Houston and it turned out that the performance was in a shopping mall, which was super strange. I felt like the Backstreet Boys singing at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. I was very confused by this. For some reason they let me get to the second floor and yell to everyone in the mall on the loudspeaker and say “Attention mall shoppers, you are about to see the band FOXTRAX perform live on TV, please direct your attention to the space outside Nordstrom!”
Do you have a city or venue where you particularly love performing?
We are from New York but because we live in LA we don’t play there that often! So every time we go back to the city it always turns out to be special. There is something special about selling out a huge show in your hometown which is what happened the last two times we went to NY. First, we sold out Mercury Lounge and then the following time we sold out Studio at Webster Hall so it was really cool to see!
Do you have any friends or collaborators who have been particularly instrumental in your success or development as artists?
We have a buddy named Alex Grimes who is a classically trained violist. The kid is an absolute beast. I met him when I lived in Nashville and he taught me how to play music with dynamic. This was probably one of the most important lessons any musician can learn!
What has been the biggest challenge of your career, or the elements that have been hardest to navigate?
I think this moment right now is the hardest part of our career because it is gut check time. Our entire career has been building to this release and we have leveraged everything to do it right. To get the right producers and record in the right studio. We believe in these songs and we are putting everything we have into this now more than ever!
If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be?
I wish people had less attachment to technology. It must have been really nice to go on a road trip and just get lost following a map. People made real connections based on personal interaction and there was no distraction. I think that people are so used to hiding behind a screen that they never ask anybody the tough questions to their face. It would be cool to strip the world of that reliance and see what happens.
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