foxy shazam

Foxy Shazam are one of the most prolific bands active today. Their abrupt and ever-changing mixture of soulful rock ‘n’ roll has been turning heads for the better part of the last decade. With an unforgettable and often unpredictable live show, the band has carved a name for itself when so many get lost in the noise.

The band’s fifth studio effort, GONZO, is a cool and collected assortment of tracks that yet again show the band going in a direction fans have not heard from Foxy Shazam. Aurally tantalizing, GONZO is a smooth and enjoyable listen.

Under The Gun Review had the chance to chat with bassist Daisy Caplan about GONZO, the production of the record, and the band’s latest tour. Click the “Read More” button to check out the interview and be sure to leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

UTG: Thanks for the time today. How has the tour been going?

Daisy: It’s been going great! We’ve seen lots of old friends and many new faces, and it’s always a blast to travel.

The new record, GONZO, dropped earlier this year. How has reception been?

It has been received well. A lot of people seem to be on the same wavelength as we are right now.

What was behind the decision to do this album for free?

We didn’t do the album for free, it cost us thousands and thousands of dollars out of our pockets to do this record. If you’re asking why we released the album for free, well, it’s because that’s what our Illuminati overlords commanded us to do.

To you, what are the biggest differences between the way you released GONZO and the way you went about promoting and releasing other albums?

It was different, but they’re all pretty different. We’ve put out albums all kinds of ways with all kinds of promotion. GONZ0 is just a continuation of that. It’s different, but not in the context of the greater whole. Besides, what label puts something out and what kind of PR it gets are (hopefully) the absolute least interesting thing about any record.


What is the influence for naming the record GONZO? Hunter S. Thompson coined the phrase ‘gonzo journalism’ in his prime. Did this idea play into the record?

We like him, but no, that wasn’t what we were going for. We were thinking more in the traditional sense of the word – going crazy.

With that being said, what type of influence, musically or otherwise, went into this writing process? Does the record show any interpersonal or over-arching themes?

There wasn’t a lot of outside musical influence, really. I was personally listening to a lot of intense ambient/atmospheric kind of stuff like Third Seven and Midday Veil, but I don’t think our record sounds much like them at all. We tended to block a lot of outside influence when we wrote this record. We wanted to try our best to bring out what was inside us, rather than a pastiche of stuff we liked at the time.

There is an overarching theme, but since I don’t write the lyrics, I don’t feel comfortable dictating their meaning.

You worked with Steve Albini on this record. How is his process different from other producers you’ve worked with in the past?

He didn’t try to intimidate us into doing anything with how many gold records he had. He just let us do our thing. Although he does have his Dove award for that Chevelle record he did on proud display.

Why did you choose to track the record live?

Because that’s the kind of recording that best suited these songs.

Foxy Shazam

I feel like doing a live record with a very raw and natural sonic viewpoint is almost a polar opposite of what we hear on your self-titled release. Is the idea of GONZO to cleanse yourself as a band?

It’s not the polar opposite, the polar opposite would be if we didn’t make a record at all, and just wrote really nice letters to people we didn’t know and set them on fire.

I respect that you see it as a huge departure, but to me, GONZ0 is part of the greater whole. It’s how we sound playing live in a room rather than how we sound when we make sounds into a computer for months on end. Both are our band, just different facets. We didn’t make Metal Machine Music, or Turtle Nipple and the Toxic Shock, we made a rock record with songs on it that are structured fairly normally and have hooks. It’s just recorded differently, because that’s how we felt these songs sounded best.

What have you been listening to lately?

I listen to Larry and his Flask when they play with us every night because they are awesome.

What’s the rest of 2014 look like for Foxy Shazam?

It’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades.

Interview and live photos by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Listen to GONZO here.

Check out Foxy Shazam on tour this summer:

July 12 Cincinnati, OH Bunbury Music Festival
Jul 26 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
Jul 28 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
Jul 29 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
Jul 31 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
Aug 1 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
Aug 2 Sacramento, CA The Assembly
Aug 5 Spokane, WA The Hop
Aug 7 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
Aug 8 Seattle, WA Neumos
Aug 9 Vancouver, BC Venue
Aug 11 Boise, ID Neurolux
Aug 12 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
Aug 14 Sioux Falls, SD Orpheum Theater
Aug 15 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater
Aug 16 Davenport, IA River Roots Live Festival @ LeClaire Park

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