We interviewed one of our favourite bands of the year so far, Foxy Morons! Unfortunately, it turns out they don’t exist anymore :(. But Amber and Edith were both happy enough to answer some questions for us, so here it is: The Rise and Fall of Foxy Morons, or: an interview about boredom, friendship and H2O.
What’s the ‘origin story’ of Foxy Morons?
Edith: Little Bands. The bi-annual event that encourages new life to spring out of our small town. It’s all about encouraging people from other bands and those who haven’t played to come together and make something great. According to its founder, Stuart Grant of Primitive Calculators a little band can only play once.. We definitely broke that rule. But ticked all the other boxes because the only member with solid musical experience is Amber!
You’ve just recently released your first EP; how does that feel? What’s the songwriting process like for you?
Amber: The EP was just for fun really, so we’d all have something to show our grand kids one day. It got a lot more attention than we expected! Our songwriting process has always been pretty relaxed – a lot of our songs came together while we were all jamming and hanging out or brainstorming ideas.
Now you’ve released the Foxy Morons EP, what’s next? Do you think there will be an album anytime soon?
Edith: I’m so sorry to say but the foxies are dead. The pull of the mainland has broken up the band. It was all about having fun, making our friends laugh and our dads incredibly proud of us. None of us could be happier and more thankful for the support and encouragement we’ve received. Amber and our drummer Celeste have a new project, Dolphin. I just played my first show with a new band, Just Jesus in May. Keep your ears out!
When I listen to your music I get the sense there’s a deep sense of friendship underlying it – hence my “I wish my friends were Foxy Morons” line in my review. Do you think that’s one of the essential things about being in a band together?
Amber: I think it’s definitely really important, even just to make it a lot funner to get together for band practices! But we weren’t all best friends when we started the band, so it’s been a process of getting to know each other better and becoming really close. We all have had pretty different reactions to playing shows, the stresses of being on stage and stuff, so it’s good to have support and that everyone’s personalities can work together.
There’s also a sense of boredom in some of your songs – I’m especially thinking of ‘Ciggies’. Does this relate to living in a small city like Hobart? Or do you think it’s a more general kind of feeling as well?
Amber: I think there’s a sense of ennui in some of the songs, probably least subtly in ‘Ciggies’ but I’m not sure I’d say it’s all about small city life. I feel like personally I’ve been bored in New York and in Berlin and that maybe it’s more to do with being a young person in the world and having all these opportunities but you still find yourself sitting at the pub every weekend, not sure what to do so you end up smoking ciggies out the back. But as my mum says, ‘only boring people get bored’ so it might just be me.
‘Mainland’ could be the flipside of that, moving to the mainland, the big cities where ‘it’ is happening. Here’s that’s London of course, but I understand you’ve got the same with Australia? What kind of impact does that have on the creative community in Hobart?
Amber: It’s kinda of one of those inevitable parts of small city life I guess, the pull of bigger cities and more opportunities. It’s a bit of a cliche now – we’re definitely not the first Hobart band to write a slightly disparaging song about moving to Melbourne. I think Hobart is becoming a more and more fertile place for musicians and artists though – the rent is cheap and it’s really easy to sustain your lifestyle. There seems to be more people moving here from interstate as well, so it balances itself out a bit. And for us it makes every trip to Melbourne a big Tassie reunion party so it’s not too bad.
What inspired ‘Under the Sea’? I just can’t help laughing at that “oh no oh no H2O” line and I need to know where it came from!
Amber: Oh jeez, that line literally just came out of my head when I was messing around with an acoustic guitar and a face swap app on Edith’s phone that made me look like I was underwater. I just made up something about living in the ocean and it’s really fun but kinda bad because you can’t actually breathe. I definitely didn’t expect to have to play that song again in front of so many different people.
Who inspires you, both in terms of other bands as well as books, films, other people etc? I can definitely hear some Courtney Barnett in there, am I right? Also, any local bands you’d recommend to us?
Edith: Velvet Underground, anything with Nick Cave in it, Bob Dylan, The Modern Lovers, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Gun Club, Patti Smith, The Stooges and Kurt Vonnegut.
Amber: All those plus Hobart bands Heck, Transcriptions of Organ Music, Small Black Lambs, Filthy Little Star, Duowls, The Pits, and Stranger Still. And personally I’ve been listening to a lot of Cat Power, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Bjork, Molly Nilsson and Drake.
Thanks for answering our questions!
-- Beautiful Freaks, June 2, 2017