The Foxfires Discuss 'Seagaze' and Overcoming Adversity
>> Oceanic indie-rock band The Foxfires are innovators of the industry-- melting together shoegaze and surf-rock to create their signature genre 'seagaze.' Discussing two of their well-received singles, the band touches on the divisive nature of our current society in "Choose Love," and highlights the importance of overcoming adversity in "Don't Give Up."
There are a series of powerful messages behind your singles "Don't Give Up" and "Choose Love." Could you describe the stories and motives behind writing these songs?
I think it almost goes without saying that increasingly over the past four or five years, we've seen a much more brazen, divisive, and catastrophic shift in our society. When you turn on the news for 5 minutes, you have a clear divide being presented to you round the clock. If you go on social media or any type of gathering, it's clear as day that the divide is incredibly real. We've very much neglected empathy and community as a people and it's been incredibly upsetting to watch. We look for our differences between each other faster than we care to see what we have in common. What we have in common is much more than what we don't, in reality. We all need the basics: food, water, clothing, shelter, and good health. The problem is that we neglect to realize that we also need validation, acceptance, purpose, happiness, companionship, and peace of mind. Everything we do as people and all our individual desires are based on these collective needs. When you strip it down to that basic fact and the knowledge that we will all die one day and nothing can stop that, you realize that we are truly more alike than we realize. "Choose Love" is our single calling out and basically saying, take the high ground. Be the bigger person. Forgive. Forget. Move forward. Make the world a better place. Be humble. Try to be the good you want to see in the world and work with others for a better world. We started working on it at the end of 2016 and it was written and completed within a couple of practices.
In our own lives, we've experienced an incredible amount of turmoil in almost any way imaginable. Our personal lives, business lives, and artistic lives have been forevermore impacted by recent events, let alone the traumas of our childhood on the journey to becoming adults. The divisive world that we live in has made people in our personal lives and in the media feel like giving up and many of them truly have. We lost a good portion of our friends to suicide or drug overdoses. The world lost Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Kate Spade, and countless others in recent years. These are people who were very much a part of our musical upbringing and our upbringing into pop culture as well. Robin Williams is by far one of the most profound actors that I can think of in the way that he was the sad clown who truly hid behind a smile. He brought such a worldly wisdom and true experience to every role he played. The suicide epidemic had reached a new peak by about halfway through 2017 and we knew for sure it was time to let people who listened to our music know that they are not alone. "Don't Give Up" was our way of saying that we've been here, as well. It's not easy, but when you get out of the bad times, the good times are gonna feel so much more like having. This song isn't just limited to people contemplating their own lives, though. It's a song to stay the course on anything that means the world to you. Don't give up on your dreams and aspirations. Don't let that breakup make you feel like love isn't worth experiencing. Don't let failure tell you that it's the end of the road. Don't let bad times dictate whether good times can ever exist again. In the words of Emily Dickinson, "Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed." When you finally get to the good times, it's going to be like a breath of fresh air. If you're having a difficult time, we'd urge you to get help. The stigma exists and people feel like things will never get better, but an answer can be found if you look hard enough.
We released both singles on Valentine's Day, because we knew that it's a time of year when people feel most lonely and we knew that it was symbolic in too many ways.
Many critics have noted your pioneered "seagaze" sound-- combining elements of surf rock and shoegaze into your musical creations. Could you unpack this signature genre a bit for us and list some of the musicians that influence The Foxfires' sound?
"Seagaze" was always meant to be somewhat free-form in genre, but to have an underlying tone of being almost oceanic. We're all big Bruce Lee fans and he had this simile of being like water, able to adapt to whatever you are being contained in or subjected to. There was a ton of different types of alternative music in there initially. Eventually it really moved to this chimera genre which was mainly focused on shoegaze, surf rock, folk, and other indie rock/pop influences. We all have different musical backgrounds, so we all definitely bring something different to each song. There will be times when CC, our lead guitarist will be playing very jazzy guitar on a song, but then he's shredding in an almost Soundgarden or Faith No More type way on the next. There will be times when our drummer Brandon will be playing an Island beat, but then he's got a drum solo section at the end of a song and it's like he's gone from a house drummer to Dave Lombardo. Sometimes I've got a very lead driven bass line a la Peter Hook from New Order, then there are other times when I'm trying to give everything a solid backbone in an almost Roger Waters type way. It's all about what the song could really use at the time. Our biggest influences would have to be Wilco, Beach Fossils, Death Cab for Cutie, My Bloody Valentine, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Silversun Pickups, Courtney Barnett, Wavves, Young the Giant, The 1975, Foals, Slayer, The Shins, Two Door Cinema Club, Incubus, Kings of Leon, Gerard Way, Snail Mail, Green Day, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Wild Nothing, and so many more. It's hard to narrow it down to a few artists. We truly appreciate anything, just as long as it's good.
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