Right now, and until well into next summer, the band is giving fans an opportunity to hear new music every month as they've chosen to release their upcoming (due Aug. 2015) album Twelve Spells one song at a time at the rate of one song per month. With songs dropping on the first Friday of the month, the band has dubbed the release pattern Foxes First Friday, and the third song in the set, "It Ain't Nothin'," has just been released this month.
We asked lead singer Shannon Koehler about the band's decision to release the album in this manner and some of the other pursuits Stone Foxes are involved in.
Can you explain what Foxes First Friday is and how you decided to take this approach to releasing Twelve Spells?
There was a moment a year and half ago when we weren't sure if this band was gonna keep going. My brother Spence, Elliott (Peltzman) and I got together and found a way to make it happen, but we needed new guys on the team. As we put the new crew together (Vince Dewald, Ben Andrews and Brian Bakalian) we kept writing and over that span of time we had a handful of songs. Instead of waiting to release a full record, we wanted people to hear what we've been doing and give everyone a treat every month. It's been a great way to keep things fresh for our fans and giving each song a whole month to be digested. A lot of songs don't get their due attention and we want to give all of 'em a little TLC.
Tell us about the Foxes First Friday song for November.
"It Ain't Nothin" was all about the riff. Then there was a second riff, and then a third. At first we thought we had just pushed three songs into one big catawampus thing, but for some reason all three parts together made sense to us. Then for three months we struggled on lyrics for it. Thank God I invited our buddy Bhi Bhiman over to help me finish my verses on it or I would have been up sh*t creek! It's the first song that Vince and I have both sung lead on and that we collaborated with Bhi. It's nice to be in good company.
Can you explain your involvement with the Goodnight Moon Project; what it is, how you're interacting and how that came about?
The Goodnight Moon Project is all about creating momentum. We collect canned food at every show in return for a gift from our merch table, and we donate that food to local shelters or food banks. It came from a song I wrote about being desensitized to homeless folks as I walked through San Francisco. When you realize that you're walking past someone in pain and you're not even acknowledging them, you get a dark and sick feeling. With the videos of people that we've met across the country singing, we just want to show our fans who they are helping with their donations and encourage them to keep donating their gifts and time. We want to build that momentum so that people don't need a Stone Foxes show as an excuse to help out their neighbors who are going through tough times.
Stone Foxes have also been involved with the Occupy Movement. Can you tell us about that and how it inspired the writing of "She Said Riot"?
Vince wrote that song about an experience he had during the Occupy Movement and how that related to the gentrification of San Francisco. I can only speak from my experience and say that the inequality of wealth in San Francisco particularly is astounding and disgusting. Hard working people are getting pushed out of the Bay Area and artists are having to move to Southern California to survive. A teacher should be able to afford to live in the city he or she teaches in, right?
Would you like to comment on the death of Cream bassist Jack Bruce and how his music has inspired Stone Foxes?
We have covered the old Willie Dixon standard "Spoonful" for seven years because of one thing: Cream's version. Bruce's voice and his ability to drive a three piece was unreal. He was raw and I haven't heard any other voice like his. Jack and Cream are a huge reason why we started playing heavy blues.
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