BY MARIA GLOVER
We caught up with Foxer's guitarist and vocalist Chris Peace ahead of their appearance at Big Red Rising in April. The band started out as a tribute band to Queens of the Stone Age in and around their hometown of Portsmouth and developed into an originals band after jamming together. They describe themselves as a 'Blues Rock Grungey Funky Punky Power Trio' and their style as groove-based and BIG; "Style wise it’s heavily based around the groove, we can be straight up rock or blues or grungey… our ethos is there are no real limits or rules… big sound, big riffs and big choruses!"
Their appearance on the Big Red Rising bill, which is a monthly event to showcase new original rock bands from across the UK, leads us to talk more about what led to their involvement; "We’ve known the guys from Red Hawk Rising for some time, played various shows with them". Each event is live streamed via the TotalRock Facebook channel and added to YouTube, and the band describe social media as "Hugely" important in offering bands a platform to get their music out there, with the charts not really reflecting what people are listening to at all.
When it comes to performing live, we talked about venues and whether they preferred small and intimate venues or aspire to stadiums; "Both kind have their merits… the closeness to the audience where the smaller venues can create the bond with band and crowd, but it is nice to have a bit of space and really open up sonically on a big stage. We have a big sound so it’s good to exercise that on a full sound system". The guys list some of their current hot spots locally as The Joiners in Southampton and The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth - "both have a great blend of stage size and connected feel to the audience" - and love The Big Red in London - "as soon as we walked in the cool vibe made it feel like our sort of place".
Foxer released a self titled EP in 2016 and in January this year put a statement out that they were working on new material, and they reiterate this today; "We have lots of new material to release and finish recording, we have a lot to share which feels great". A new single was released in January, ‘Slingshot’ (which is featured on Episode 65 of the DTF podcast) and they promise more is to come; "It can start with us all locking into something one of us has started playing or either Sam (bass player and singer) or myself bringing in songs we have written at home. We’ll play around with it until it starts playing itself". Inspiration varies but usually involves some kind of real emotion or experience; "whether it’s a personal experience or an observation, we are very organic musically too, a lot of songs come from jams in the practice room that are inspired by whoever starts something that has legs".
They are currently listening to Gloo and The Vitrines, other local bands "who have real raw energy and spirit", Greta Van Fleet, The Kills, Soundgarden and Honeyblood, but would love to tour with Pearl Jam - "it would be great to watch and learn from them each night!"
So, rock isn't dead then? “'They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast', it’s a ridiculous idea, but I do think individualism is out of fashion, but that seems to be for all genres". FOXER are planning on showing London that rock isn't dead by bringing their big sound to Big Red Rising, raising the roof and getting everyone on their feet and dancing! Big Red Rising, 7th April at The Big Red, Holloway, London.
Chris Peace (Guitar, Vocals)
Sam Cutbush (Bass, Vocals, Harmonica)
Dominic Taylor (Drums)