Very recently, Cincinnati, Ohio’s sextet Foxy Shazam dropped their latest album, GONZO, for free and on the total sly. The band, both baffling and happily amazing their rabid fan base with the release, managed to keep everything very quiet until the drop, but it may very well be how it was completed that is most impressive.
Evidently, the record was recorded in a single room, over a single weekend, in Chicago, Illinois. Adding further awesomeness to the project, apparently the knob turner for the affair was none other than the legendary producer Steve Albini. And to finish the whole batch of madness up, the record was recorded front to back, in running order, with the whole band going.
Recently announcing a second leg to their Summer touring plans (see below), Foxy Shazam will likely be hitting a city very close to you, the first half of which will have Larry and His Flask in tow. If I were you, I’d be copping my tickets right about now for what will be a fantastic batch of performances! I caught up with Daisy Caplan via email to talk about GONZO, being in the studio with Steve Albini, and the upcoming tour.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! How is everything going with you guys as of late? Everything going/sounding good during rehearsals for the upcoming tour?
D- Hey! Thanks for interviewing us. We are all really good and sound really good except that Sky dropped his piano on Alex’s trumpet during practice. Now it’s playing a little flat!
(This is GG and yes, it’s one of those interviews. J)
G- You recently released your latest album, Gonzo, under some pretty strange circumstances. How do you feel about the final product, and why/how did you guys come up with the idea to record in such a fashion?
D- We feel great about the final product and don’t view it as a radical idea whatsoever to record an album mostly live, or to release it for free on the internet. We like how we spun playing in a room, and we never make any money anyways, so it was the only logical way to approach this record.
G- And we must bring up Steve Albini… Tell us about the experience with Steve in the studio, what it was like working with him, and what input he brought to the project given the timeframe and circumstances of the release?
D- He was really cool, except he was always wearing a witch costume for some reason. His only real input is that he thought the record lacked that “Lars Ulrich magic.”
G- Foxy Shazam will be heading out on a long run of dates starting at the end of May and running through the middle of August… Are you hitting any new cities this time around, and do you have any special plans for the headline or festival performances? GONZO in full perhaps?
D- The only new city we are playing is Sioux Falls, South Dakota and we are very excited to play there! If I told you any more, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Nice try, though.
G- The first half of the tour will feature Larry and His Flask, who is an amazing act and rightly deserves a shot to be seen by a tons of people! How did you go about picking them as the opener, and who will you be bringing out for the second leg of the tour (if you can tell us)?
D- We had an audition for bands where we sat in a big empty theatre and smoked cigars in the dark while bands tried to impress us all day.
Just kidding; they are our friends, we called them and asked them and they said yes.
G- Does Foxy Shazam have any other touring/recording plans for the rest of the year at this time? What does the remainder of 2014 look like for the band, and what are your plans?!
D- Tour, more recording, maybe some more music released, maybe a reissue… Buncha fun surprises. Can’t spill too many beans right now. Stay tuned.
G- What would you say is the most difficult thing about being in a band and/or on the road? If it’s ever been the case, what do you tell yourself when you are in doubt about your music/band mates/future as a performer?
D- I guess tour is hard, but it’s not as hard as working a normal job. It’s been so long it’s just kind of what we do. There’s really not a lot of thought to it; We just show up and play. I could try really hard to make up an inspirational answer for you but, to be honest, there’s no big thought process. When we get discouraged, we just keep going.
G- Lastly, as a long running band who’ve seen plenty of ups and downs on the road and in the studio, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
D- Work hard, don’t be an asshole, take every opportunity you get until you figure out which ones not to take, brush your teeth and eat healthy. That’s about it.
May 27 Harrisburg, PA Fed Live
May 29 Boston, MA The Sinclair
May 30 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
May 31 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
Jun 02 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
Jun 03 Richmond, VA Canal Club
Jun 05 Nashville, TN Exit/In
Jun 06 Columbia, SC New Brookland Tavern
Jun 07 Charlotte, NC Amos Southend
Jun 09 Ft Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
Jun 10 Tampa, FL Orpheum
Jun 12 Orlando, FL The Social
Jun 13 Jacksonville, FL Freebird
Jun 14 Atlanta, GA Terminal West
Jun 17 St Louis, MO Freebird
Jun 18 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
Jun 20 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
Jun 21 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
Jun 22 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
Jun 24 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
Jun 25 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
Jun 27 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Jun 28 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
July 12 Cincinnati, OH Bunbury Music Festival
New Dates Added:
Jul 26 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
Jul 28 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
Jul 29 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
Jul 31 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
Aug 1 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
Aug 2 Sacramento, CA The Assembly
Aug 5 Spokane, WA The Hop
Aug 7 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
Aug 8 Seattle, WA Neumos
Aug 9 Vancouver, BC Venue
Aug 11 Boise, ID Neurolux
Aug 12 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
Aug 14 Sioux Falls, SD Orpheum Theater
Aug 15 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater
Aug 16 Davenport, IA River Roots Live Festival @ LeClaire Park