Hubris, it’s such a great word you know? It rolls off the tongue quite well and its definition is like a boulder floating amongst the clouds. It will always come for you. Especially when you get the chance to write some, what you thought were, excellent questions for a band that you’ve liked for some time. I first heard of Foxy Shazam while lurking around a then thriving Purevolume (shit remember that?) and came across “The French Passion of Animality Opera” off of The Flamingo Trigger. It completely turned me on my head and ever since then I’d been fascinated by the band and followed them through a few of their records. Introducing… saw the band become groovier and a tad more soulful while their sound grew a tick in size. Their self-titled saw their noise filling up entirely. No more the spastic whatever-core band of 2005 and even more soul to deal. On their follow up album The Church of Rock and Roll stripped it down to a raucous romper of a party album. True to its title and essence, I (we, he, she, they) watched Foxy Shazam transform into the wild piece of excellence that they are now. Gonzo is just another step in this bands career to becoming legend. This interview was an exercise in boldness and an honestly conceited attempt at a gonzo-esque journalistic endeavor. Alas I was the fool played and most assuredly set myself up for failure. So here it is, my failed attempt at eliciting an enjoyable interview curtailed by the ever excellent Foxy Shazam. Cheers.
What led to you guys wanting to self-release an album again?
One of our friends bet us a hundred bucks we wouldn’t put it up for free. By winning that bet, we actually made more money on this record than we’ve made on all of our other records combined.
This is the second album you’ve released on your own since Flamingo Trigger. How has the evolution of your sound from here to there looked?
Some of us got less cute, some of us got more cute. We certainly dress better.
Explain your music to me like I’m 6.
Foxy Shazam is a rock band that is good. Since you’re 6, you should wear earplugs if you come see us.
How was it working with Steve Albini on the new album?
It was easily the most enjoyable experience we’ve ever had in a recording studio. Steve is great to work with, and a master of his craft. He’s really nice and super loyal to his friends and family. Totally inspiring dude.
You guys are on a huge tour supporting the release of GONZO. Are there any cities you guys will be playing that you haven’t before?
Well, we were gonna play in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but the show got cancelled. So it’s just the same old towns for Foxy Shazam.
Any festivals you guys are playing on this tour that you’re looking forward too?
Bunbury should be cool. There’s one in Iowa that looks cool too, but the name escapes me right now.
You were once considered a post-hardcore band in some respects. The song ‘Ghost Animals off Introducing’ comes to mind. Do you ever think you’ll touch on that sound again?
If you consider “Ghost Animals” post-hardcore, you and I have a very different understanding of what the parameters of that genre are. I guess we are technically “post-hardcore,” though, since we did happen after hardcore.
I saw that you guys are also letting people download GONZO for free. With the way the music industry is going do you think this is the new normal?
I don’t think things have settled enough to call anything the new “normal” in terms of music. Abnormal is the current normal, at least in terms of how to release material. “Normal” music seems to still be everywhere, sadly.
Top soul artists of the past century?
The century we’re in now? The one we’re like 15 years into? I dig Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites.
Can rock n roll be saved?
Not by your punctuation, pal.
(I had forgotten the question mark when we sent these out. So sue me)
You can buy/check out Gonzo here