Black Foxxes: "We just want to be loud"
Meet the UK rock underground’s latest heroes in waiting.
Published: 7:19 am, August 19, 2016
Black Foxxes album is probably one of the strongest debut albums for bloody ages. Crafted with care and written in a scout hut, it’s recklessly noisy, brilliantly heartfelt and utterly triumphant.
There’s an arching vision to the record which, as vocalist/guitarist Mark Holley admits is ”pretty self-explanatory with a name like ‘I’m Not Well’. We wanted to go down that route. We didn’t want to make it too intense though. There are still some lighter moments on the record but it has an obvious theme. I think that’s why people are connecting to it, the honesty.”
Formed in 2013 the band, Ant Thornton, Tris Jane and Mark, released their ‘Pines’ EP the following year and have been on the road ever since. They’re a band on the rise. Last year they opened The Pit Stage at Reading & Leeds. This year, they open the NME/Radio 1 Tent. After you hear this album, you wouldn’t bet against a main stage slot in the coming years either. It’s a growth that can be seen across the board. “We’re just a little bit older, a little bit wiser, we’ve been around the block a few times. We know what we want,” admits Ant. Lyrically, ‘I’m Not Well’ is drenched in pain and anxiety but backed by horizon-stretching scope and an intense sonic desire to move up and over, the record doesn’t dwell. Instead it confronts the issues head on and rises above. “I think that all comes from playing live, we just want to be loud.”
“You can’t really put your finger on it but it’s like when you play a show, you just let out that emotion. I couldn’t tell you what I’m doing but that’s just how I feel I need to express myself. And I feel like the guys are the same way with the way they write their own parts,” ventures Mark. “It’s all an expression of their own creativity, coming out in their own individual instruments. It just so happens we’re all really connected in the way we do that.”
With ‘I’m Not Well’, Black Foxxes are sat on something great, on the cusp of even more. But it’s not been an easy ride. “It’s been up and down,” admits Ant. “Obviously the stuff we’re doing is amazing but there are also times you don’t get the things you want to do and you’re not sure why you’re doing this.”
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The band have been sat on their album while others have released theirs and reaped the benefits. It’s frustrating to be sat on the sidelines, ready to go but “I feel like we’re doing it the right way,” offers Mark. “We’ve got stuff like Riot Fest in Chicago lined up so we’re obviously doing something right.”
There’s an air of self-confidence to Black Foxxes. They know what they’re doing and they’re doing it well but people latching on to their music still blows their minds. “I knew that the music would speak for itself but I ask myself ‘how do people know us?’ Sure, we’ve had a bit of radio play but still, how they you know us?” Face to face, “it becomes a lot more real but it’s so cool. I get massive anxiety before shows but as soon as I step on stage and there are that many people, I’m completely calm. It’s a beautiful thing and hopefully it only gets bigger for us.”