The Foxes tour bus was already running when Still Burning managed to prevent vocalist Nigel Thomas getting further than the first step onto the said bus before extracting all the latest news and suchlike. Its a worthwhile read though, as it turned out.
So, hows life in The Foxes camp at the moment?
Life is good! We’re just starting off on our big UK tour, we’ve the EP release to look forward to, and are just starting to get some serious radio play – so it’s busy, but we’re as happy as Larry. And trust me, he’s VERY happy.
Looking ahead you seem to have a very busy three months on the road coming up?
Yes, we’re going up and down the country – one week we’ve got eight gigs in one week! As well as the gigs we’ll be doing radio interviews and live sessions, photo shoots and one or two secret shows!
Pardon?… did you say eight gigs in a week Nigel?
Actually, one promoter was so keen to have us that week that they added an extra day to the week – Prunesday, to fit us in. Oh, we’re also doing two gigs at the IPO Festival in Liverpool, one at The Cavern Club and the second at The Cavern Pub – both on Mathew Street.
Do you just enjoy gigging, or is it what you need to do to put your name `out there`?
I know a lot of bands who get sick to the teeth of touring, but we do actually love it. We’re happiest when we’re on stage, and have so many new songs to try to cram in to gigs on this tour it’s useful doing so many shows as we can give a lot of them their first test drive, while still playing the singles everyone knows, and the new EP.
How do you find the audiences compare in Scotland, to across the UK?
Scotland is awesome – last time we were in Aberdeen we had a coach load of people come! I’ve never not enjoyed a single Scottish gig – make of that what you will.
Your next EP, `Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame` is due out in May. Thats something you’ll be looking forward to?
Of course, we can’t wait to get our music out there, especially this new EP which I think is the best thing we’ve ever done. It was the first time we’d worked with a producer, and having someone as experienced and top notch as John Cornfield was a coup – he got the best out of us, and I think it shows.
Are the tracks all finished and everything went as planned in the recording?
No, BETTER than planned. I’d never throw out a cliché as far as saying that the atmosphere in the studio was “magical” but it was certainly something close.
With an album due later on in the year?
Yes, we’re just sorting out the dates for recording now, and it’ll be at Sawmills in Cornwall with John Cornfield as with the EP. We’re all very excited about getting back, as a lot of people seem to be about the album which is great.
How do you choose tracks to record? Try them out in a live setting first and take it from there? Or get them perfected in practice, record, then debut to a paying audience?
The first step is always perfecting them in the practice studio – and we’d always play it live before deciding to record it. The final decision process is VERY difficult. The songs are our children, and it’s like deciding which of them gets into the lifeboat. Still, we’re lucky to be in a position where we have so many strong songs it’s such a hard task to choose.
Is there less pressure to create albums these days with downloading individual tracks seemingly on the increase?
I don’t think so really – not for guitar bands anyway. Singles are great and we’ve released three of them very successfully, but each time everyone wants to ask us about the album because it’s still something special and gives people a far richer idea of who you are as a band. We’ve held off for the right time to do an album, and we’re certain that this year is it!
Back to touring. You’ve already played in America in more than one occasion, how well received are you across the water?
If anything we go down better in America than the UK! It was a worry before we first went over, as you never know how well your sound is going to “translate” to that type of audience, but they lapped it up (as we did their hospitality!) and we had a really strong response everywhere we went. We’re hoping to go back over this year, but it’s a question of whether we’ll have the time or not.
I’d imagine MySpace and Twitter both help to spread the word though?
Well, myspace is a lot less important than it used to be as a huge number of people have moved on to Facebook which is now probably the most important social network for bands these days – we use them both, and they’re both very handy in different ways. Twitter helps spread the word too, especially as you can sync it to various other sites, but it’s also got it’s limitations.
Any amusing/scarey/worrying/whatever stories from your tours in America?
We’d just all left our full time jobs to do the U.S. tour – I remember on our first night there sitting outside looking at the stars in a hot tub with an ice-cold beer thinking, “Yes, this wasn’t a bad decision.” I’m just putting together a documentary from the video footage of our first U.S. tour. Oh, it’s going to be GOOD. There’s a teaser trailer on our Facebook and Youtube pages.
And indeed the same question for the UK tours?
Hmm…what can I tell you without getting into trouble? When we were on tour with Yeti certain members of the bands were arrested for doing “things” outside Asda…we’ve driven on the motorway with the back door open (only one bag fell out!) and had most of the engine fall out when we were on our way to a TV appearance. Jumped in a taxi with our guitars and made it!
I also believe you’ve played the O2 Arena supporting The Magic Numbers? How do you enjoy sharing a stage with the `bigger acts`?
It’s usually great – we’ve played with people like The Zombies, The Troggs, Amy McDonald, The Animals, KT Tunstall, Buzzcocks…they’ve all been professional and friendly. Maybe we’ve just been lucky not to have played with c*nts.
You’re back in Aberdeen shortly with The Trade on their album tour, whats the connection there?
Random! They messaged us and we liked them. No doubt we’ll all be going on family holiday’s soon!
Whats your problem with public transport? 🙂
I’ve no problem with public transport – it’s the people on it that I can’t stand. Seriously though, it’s not a generalisation – it’s about the one and two percent of people who make everyone else’s lives a misery by dicking about, playing their crappy music on their phones and being generally unpleasant. Everyone else on the bus I love. Deeply.
I think Bill Hicks has been your most popular single so far? Is that the case for your live performances as well, or do you have another crowd favourite or two?
Well, this is the tricky thing – depending on the crowd the favourite could be Trauma Town, or Something About You, or No Reply or Lover, Killer…it really does vary which is great as we’d not like to be a one hit wonder type band.
Any smaller festivals South of the Border you’d recommend our readers attending this year?
Yes, come see us at the Sellindge Festival – we’re on the main stage this year with bands like Reverend and the Makers, Goldie Looking Chain and Lee Scratch Perry. I love playing the smaller festivals, there’s a very different atmosphere which can make it more friendly and intimate.
Home straight now, is there anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
Step outside your comfort zone and go and do something you’ve never done before. Bake a cake.
Your five desert island discs?
“You Won’t See Me” – The Beatles.
“Coffee Shop” – Landonn Pigg.
“Do It Again” – Steely Dan.
“Subterranean Homesick Alien” – Radiohead.
“Badhead” – Blur.
At which round are England going to get knocked out of the World Cup on penalties this year? 🙂
Haha, you want me to answer this question just before we do a load of Scottish dates?! I’ll discuss this on stage when we play Stirling on St.George’s Day!
And finally… your favourite flavour of crisps?
That’s EASY – Salt and vinegar. Or maybe Pickled Onion Monster Munch.
And that as they say is it Nigel! Many thanks for your time and the very best of luck in the future. Still Burning
The Foxes play The Tunnels on Thursday April 22nd and are sharing the bill with The Marionettes, Captain Face and The Audiokicks. Door tax is five pounds.
The Foxes EP, Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame is out in May.
The Foxes Official Website
The Foxes MySpace
The Foxes Facebook