Q&A: Black Foxxes at Leeds Festival – August 2016

Carrie Humphries

How did your set go today?

Mark: It was cool. Last year when we played here, we were getting electric shocks before we played, so it was much better! They were on it today, so it was great.

Do you guys prefer playing large shows such as festivals or do you prefer playing smaller, more intimate venues?

Tristan: Personally for me, I don’t prefer either. I just enjoy it all! It’s all good fun.

Mark: I think I prefer the smaller stuff just for the energy. People seem to get a lot more into it at smaller gigs.

Tristan: It’s nice to be on the floor; on a level with the crowd in a way, because you can’t really see past that first couple of rows. If the room’s not quite full it doesn’t really matter, because you can still see those few people at the front; so it looks full. Whereas if you’re on a stage and you’re up high, you can see if you’re not quite filling out the room.

Your debut album I’m Not Well has only been out for about a week, but how do you feel that the general reception to the album has been?

Mark: It’s been nuts! We’ve been sitting on some of those songs for a rather long time, so it’s nice to finally get them out there. Since we released it it’s been so cool; we’ve been watching our socials blow up and seeing how people relate to it. Some magazines have been saying that it’s one of the top albums of the year; so that’s been awesome. Our job now is just to get it out to the people who haven’t got it yet.

Ant: We were in the top 40 for about a day, so that’s something to go by.

Your music overall is quite passionate; equally emotional and uplifting at the same time. Is it difficult to write music that is generally that honest?

Mark: Not really. Generally, it’s just what is on my mind at the time and I write it down. People can perceive it as they want and put their own problems to it. At the end of the day, we’re just a really honest band musically, so it makes sense to write honest lyrics.

I heard that you guys haven’t been together very long. In your time of being a band, what has been your biggest learning curve?

Mark: We’ve been a band for about three years, so yes; it has been a fairly short time.

Tristan: Ooh that’s a hard question; I’m not sure.

Ant: I guess the best piece of advice has been always follow your heart? I don’t know; that sounds really cheesy. There has been times when we’ve listened to other people, and we’ve done what they suggest and it’s not proved to be great.

Tristan: Go with your gut.

Ant: Yeah, that’s a better way of putting it.

Mark: I think that the things that we’ve learnt have been more like industry stuff. Things that would normally be behind closed doors; but it helps you learn how to handle yourselves.

Ant: I think that you learn that there’s actually an awful lot of people in the industry that don’t know what they’re doing. They just generally roll with the punches don’t they?

Tristan: I know what you’re saying. You have to learn to stick up for yourself. Just because someone important says “Right, you need to do this”; like, write with someone else; it doesn’t mean that you need to do it. You need to go with your gut feeling on what is best for you.

Growing up, who were the biggest musical artists that inspired you guys?

Mark: I was always into what my dad was into. Things like Jimi Hendrix, and Rory Gallagher; proper guitar players. I wasn’t really into modern music at all. I mean, I went through a phase when I was about 16 when I found stuff like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New; but generally, I was always into the older stuff to be honest.

Tristan: My mum listened to stuff like The Beatles, David Bowie and Michael Jackson and also when I was a young teenager I liked stuff like Nirvana and Foo Fighters. My dad is actually a big country music fan; so I’ve also been exposed to a lot of country music too. It’s a bit different, but it kind of filters through in our music; there’s that west coast Americana element that kind of filters through into some of the stuff.

Ant: I guess I’m just like these guys really as I went through that late 90s – early 2000s sort of emo and alternative stage.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would be your dream venue to play?

Mark: Iceland. I’d love to play in Iceland.

Ant: What about Red Rocks in America?

Mark: Yeah; actually Red Rocks would be great too.

Tristan: Loads of bands have played Red Rocks.

Now for a slightly strange question; if you could be a superhero for they day, what would your super power be?

Tristan: I always really liked The Flash.

Mark: So you would like to be fast?

Tristan: Oh yeah! I’d choose being faster than the speed of light!

Mark: Can you fly or could you just run fast?

Tristan: I’d run really fast and jump, and then the momentum would kind of work like that.

Mark: I guess invisibility would be a cool power to have. If I had that then I’d just be a bit of a perv!

Ant: I’d like to be spiderman. That would be good, wouldn’t it?

Finally; what’s lined up for the band for the rest of the year?

Mark: We’re off to America in a couple of weeks and then we’ve got our own headline run. After that, it’s a little bit blank towards the end of the year so far; but yeah, we’ve got plenty lined up in the next few months.

www.blackfoxxes.com