With second album ‘Dealer’ out later this year, the St Louis emos are constantly evolving. Words + photo: Will Richards.
What does a small, largely DIY band do when every ounce of their equipment is stolen mid-tour? “We just had to carry on”, explains Foxing bassist Josh Coll. “It’s all we could do”.
When the band’s van was broken into in July, half way through a tour with mewithoutYou, the future of their tour, of future tours, and of their year as a band, had no certainty. “Luckily, this UK and European run with Tigers Jaw was never in doubt because we’re renting stuff out here, but for the remainder of the mewithoutYou tour, and for everything in the US from here on in, we were – and are – still rebuilding. We’re currently using our second choice guitars, renting from friends and so on, but hopefully soon it’ll be back to normal”, explains vocalist Conor Murphy.
One thing the band have taken from their misfortune is an appreciation for the kindness of fans and the DIY community when things like this happen. “Within minutes of us posting online about the theft, we had fans from all over the world offering us help, equipment and money to get us back on our feet, and it’s something we’re so appreciative of. Our feelings turned from despair to a wonderful realisation of what our fans will do for us, especially at such an exciting time in our career, when cancelling shows and tours is heartbreaking for us.”
With the band’s second full-length ‘Dealer’ expected to arrive before the end of 2015, it certainly is an exciting time for Foxing, and their main focus now their situation is resolving itself is to maintain continual progress, as Murphy explains. “We always sit down before every recording session or big tour and think about how this next step can advance our position as a band and as musicians. We’ve started taking our friend Emma out with us for some US shows on violin, and we have plans in place to add more visuals to our live show, and it’s these kind of advancements that will help to continue to keep things fresh, for us as well as the fans.”
‘Dealer’ was written over a month in mid-winter in a remote cabin in Vermont, although ideas for songs had been sporadically compiled over the two years since the band’s debut ‘The Albatross’ came out. Drummer John Hellwig speaks of how the entirely new writing process affected how ‘Dealer’ will sound. “I don’t think a casual fan will be able to pick out the fact that we locked ourselves in a snowy cabin away from life and technology when listening to the record, but as it was happening it definitely improved our work ethic, and we found out a lot about ourselves as musicians and how we work best.”
The cabin was first used by Into It. Over It. earlier in the year for his forthcoming third full-length, and looks to be becoming a hub for creative minds in the American emo scene to lock themselves away and create something special. “Not being able to contact loved ones, or see the ground for all the snow in an entire month was something completely new, but also something that really affected what we were writing, and how this record sounds.”
This UK and European tour in support of Tigers Jaw is a chance for Foxing to see out the era of ‘The Albatross’ – an album countless UK fans have been calling for them to tour here since it came out in 2013 – while also strictly looking ahead to ‘Dealer’ and the future. Speaking to the band on only their second night on the continent, they’re already picking up differences between the crowds and communities this side of the Atlantic, as Hellwig details.
“It was very strange for us last night. The crowds here actually listen to what you’re saying in between songs, and want to hear about your experiences in their town, where in America you have to shout to get a word in! We’re still trying to get to grips with the way things work over here, but so many of our friends in bands have toured here and have an extremely high opinion of the scene.”
When the band return from Europe, they’re heading out on another long US tour after a short break, before the campaign for ‘Dealer’ begins. “Finally coming over to Europe is huge for us, so with this finally ticked off, and with a new appreciation for actually even being able to carry on doing this, we’re just trying to make everything a step forward and keep on progressing.”