Foxblood is: Chris Millward, Tom Beale, Aaron Beale, Stephen Powell, and Brett Powell. Photo credit: unknowm.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Foxblood is a metal band exploding with cinematic instrumentals, anthemic gang-chants, and soaring choruses. They have recently released two singles off their forth-coming album, and I’m stoked. I want everyone else to be stoked, too. Get stoked with me.
I first heard of this band in their previous incarnation, Glorified, because Chris used to work in the same department as me…just a million miles away in our Melbourne office! When I found out secondhand that he was in a band and proceeded to listen to everything I could find of theirs on YouTube, I was hooked. Not only was this my style of music, but it was fucking legit. So I sent him a fangirly email and have followed this band ever since, from Glorifed to Foxblood.
Brutally heavy breakdowns wrapped with brooding melodies and pulled tight and taut with a black bow of macabre lyricism (“Because love is the violence inside us all” resonates), Foxblood is a hardcore present for your ears. It doesn’t matter what sorts of grandiose adjectives I string together, all you need to know is that this band slays, and no matter what genre you want to cage them into, they’re going to blow the top right off of it.
There’s currently an Australian invasion happening Stateside, what with bands like Parkway Drive, Tonight Alive, and Hands Like Houses shaking things up and selling out shows, and I have my fingers crossed that Foxblood will soon be added to that list.
Chris was kind enough to take some time out and answer a few questions about the band, so please read up and get to know your new favorite band from Down Under!
1. On paper, it’s easy to say that Foxblood is just Glorified with a new name, but there’s no denying as a listener that this is an entirely new band, aesthetically and sound-wise. How did Foxblood come to be?
It was born out of the notion that Glorified as an entity had run its course, as all things do. We ended up with a record that was unprecedented for all of us and we all felt as though Glorified would not do it justice under that particular moniker. It was also a writing process that I was involved in from the very start (coming into Glorified I replaced an old vocalist and I think that some of my creative influence took them in a different direction that what was expected). So I suppose it was a chance for all of us to put out a record as a blank slate, and Foxblood was able to be anything that we wanted, rather than pushing the whole “new sound” idea for Glorified, which by that point had been taken as far as we could, so here we are.
2. Splitting your time between the corporate world and the music industry has a very Clark Kent/Superman vibe to it. I just tried to imagine someone, anyone from our Pittsburgh office moonlighting in a metal band, and failed miserably! How do you describe your band to your co-workers?
We all work full-time in various professions, and it’s something I suppose we keep fairly separate in our respective lives because we all have careers outside of this project. I know that the pipedream is hoping your band makes it so that you never have to work a day again, but we are most certainly realists in that sense. Our jobs fund a polished product, and it’s something we are happy to do because there is genuine pride in what we’re doing as a musical entity. So as far as describing it goes – I usually just drop the word “rock” in there somewhere and tell them that if they look hard enough in the dark corners of YouTube they can see what makes me tick beyond the office. So unfortunately it’s quite a mundane superhero paradigm, but it keeps the gears turning somewhat.
3. What are the essentials you guys keep in your van/bus while touring? Would we find any Vegemite up in there?
(SORRY, I HAD TO ASK!)
I’ll say on the record right now that every day I will eat a toasted cheese and Vegemite sandwich and have done so since I was very young, so if the shoe fits I figure that at least I can substantiate that stereotype just a little. In our van though? Usually we end up with a rising tide of empty water bottles because we buy them for no real reason at every stop, there’s usually beers on the go for the passengers so you’d see them a lot, and I carry a pharmacy with me full of stuff to fix any ailment from a headache through to explosive intestinal distress, so it’s quite a mixed bag really.
4. The masquerade girl and Devil appear in both of the videos that Foxblood has recently released, and it’s little details like this that set you apart artistically from many other bands. Was this something that you guys already had in mind while writing this record or did it just come together organically during the video process? Will we see them again in future videos?
I am all about the little details. And I think a goal for me at least was to create something that a listener could get a lot more out of than just listening to the song and watching the video. I think it’s important for there to be many layers to what you do creativity, and I think that someone can get as much or as little out of Foxblood’s narrative/music that they want. There is a lot going on in both the videos that you’d likely overlook on a first listen through, and I guess I’d encourage people who enjoy the music to look deeper into the way the videos are put together, it is all very deliberate and there is meaning in everything you hear and see.
5. What were some bands you listened to as a kid that helped shape you into the vocalist that you are today?
Everyone starts out by copying their favourite vocalists, as much as they’d not like to admit. For me I started when I was 15 because some guys I worked with were into metal and I’d just bought Tony Hawk’s Underground which had a great punk/metal soundtrack. So the first bands that pushed me down this road were Rise Against and Alkaline Trio, but I think I started out on “Let It Unfold You” by Senses Fail, where their singer has this disgustingly raw tone to his voice and so I just emulated that really, I never learnt any real proper technique, which kind of shows now that Foxblood has gone away from having certain sounding vocals at part x and y and just kind of tells a story and however it sounds is the way it comes out. So it was basically my inability to grasp the techniques that most vocalists use that paved the way to kind of experiment with my natural voice a little more to see what it could do.
6. Australia has been exporting some sick talent lately, particularly the type that hits that Warped Tour-scene sweet spot. What are some lesser-known local bands that us Americans should be adding to our play lists?
We’ve got it pretty good over here I won’t lie, but in truth I don’t actually listen to a whole lot of similar- genre (what you’d call “heavy” I suppose) bands (probably just me showing my age really). However, that said, I have been lucky enough to meet some incredibly talented and charismatic people though the course of being involved in music. Bands like Polaris, who have really exploded over here now (and rightfully so), as well as Young Lions (though neither of them are particularly “local”). In a way it’s a pity that they’ve all come so far, even our friends in Make Them Suffer and other bands in that tier now, it’s hard to call them ‘local’, but it is nice to see the rest of the world taking notice of these musicians, and it’s always good to see your friends succeeding on the world stage.
7. There’s something beautiful and haunting about heavy bands collaborating with female singers, a la Bring Me the Horizon and Lights.
If Foxblood could work with any female vocalist, from any scene, who would be on your short list?
While I cannot speak on behalf of the others, a personal favourite of mine is Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches. Something I like doing is throwing curveballs to a listener, and so I think I’d someday like to work with a female vocalist in writing a duet, rather than a section of a song, so that they themselves contribute to the writing process, which I think would draw out the best from both parties. I think the concept of a guest-vocalist is trivialised somewhat in the sense that a section of a song is left blank and then filled in by the feature artist, which to me doesn’t do a lot of justice to collaborative potential and also the talents of the guest and the band themselves in having another layer to the piece. So to fully utilise that and come up with something special is most certainly something I’d like to do.
8. Now I’m officially crossing my fingers for a Foxblood/Lauren Mayberry collab! But now for the most important question of this whole damn thing: when can we expect the new album (and hopefully a US tour)?
I’m not 100% on what I can and can’t say here really, but there is a full-length record that has been a product of many years of our lives that will be coming out in the coming months, an exact date however I’m not sure. It’s called “The Devil, The Dark, and The Rain”, and yes, it directly relates to the characters in the video and the storylines that play out, both told and untold. It is all connected, all relative, and something we are very excited for people to hear and immerse themselves in. It is not far away. That I can promise. As far as touring goes, I think it’s just been jumping the mental hurdle of finally getting this record out, and what happens beyond that point I think is up to the listener. If travel and touring becomes a part of this, then I am sure we will be elated. At the moment, for me anyway, I’m just relieved to finally have music out there.
Please, please, please give this band some of your time today. If you want to join me on Foxblood Album Release Watch, like them on Facebook for updates! To tide you over, their new single No Heroes is available for purchase on iTunes. If you need me, I’ll just be over here studying their music videos for more clues.