Super-energetic Cincinatti genre-defyers Foxy Shazam are heading to Australia for the 2011 edition of Soundwave Festival. Ahead of their debut in our country, we caught up with their pianist Sky White to talk all things Foxy Shazam.
Hey Sky, looking forward to coming out to Australia? Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the band’s first time?
It certainly is – Australia is a place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I was a little kid…It sounds like the greatest place on earth to be honest!
It’s not bad. Obviously the Soundwave tour is going to be pretty hectic – all touring festivals are, but how do you plan on spending any downtime you do get?
I want to hang out with some kangaroos and hug a koala, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. When we’re on tour we love to find good restaurants and try new food, so we’ll be seeking out Australian’s who can point us in the direction of some good native food.
One thing we do love in Australia is a good beard – I must say that yours is one of the best I’ve seen. How long have you been nursing that beast?
[Laughs] Thanks man! I’ve had it for about 4 and a half years. I still trim it occasionally because I still want to look almost human – I don’t want to be naked and people not be able to notice because my beard’s too big!
Your videos are hilarious and a little energetic – I’d imagine they would have been a lot of fun to make?
Oh yeah – The ‘Oh Lord’ video in particular was amazing. We had this seamless white room, tonnes and tonnes of confetti and a styrofoam piano – amongst heaps of other crazy stuff. We just kept playing and this hilarious weird stuff kept happening. Our guitarist Loren spent days making this beautiful guitar – putting vinyl colouring on it to make an American Flag. In the first take, the strap broke and it fell on the ground and snapped in two pieces. I remember Loren just looking down on it almost crying – It was hilarious. All the people working on it were awesome – Jeremy Jackson, our director – we love him. All the dancing girls were super-nice as well.
That’s crazy. I beieve you started playing piano at a very young age?
Oh yeah – I found baby pictures of me playing, when my fingers didn’t even separate.
Could you have ever seen yourself doing something like Foxy?
I guess I could never see myself not doing something like Foxy. I’ve always played crazy stuff and done crazy stuff. Growing up I played in some really weird bands – Weird surf metal bands, jazz-fusion bands, cover bands and just everything really. I guess playing with Foxy incorporates all those things, because we just do whatever the hell we feel like doing and it seems like people actually like that.
Yeah it’s great! If somebody handed you copy of your latest, self-titled album 10 years ago, what would you have thought of it then?
I think it would have taken me a minute to like it – but I would have liked it a lot… I probably would have loved it actually. I was a piano player back then, and I love the piano on the record. I love the variation in the different songs and the crossover of so many different genres.
So we had Flamingo Trigger, then Introducing Foxy Shazam and now just Foxy Shazam. Got a title worked out for your fourth release? Could I place a bet?
Yeah we’ll call the next one Foxy and the one after Shazam. We’ll see how long we can go with naming releases almost the exact same thing without people getting mad with us. I guess that every time we make a record, we put ourselves back to the beginning and judge ourselves from where we are. I guess it hints at the idea that we are always thinking of ourselves in new light.
If you could relive any moment you have shared together, what would it be?
A few years ago we stopped at a beach after a show. We were all super-tired and hungry and weren’t making any money. Everything was fun, but at the same time very hard. We all got naked and ran into the water, just goofed around for hours and then slept in the van by the water. The very next day we found out that there was a horrible shark attack warning – that beach that we were swimming at was supposedly full of thousands of sharks because it was breeding time. That was probably one of the coolest things that ever happened, because we survived perfectly fine!
That’s awesome! Aren’t sharks most aggressive when they’re breeding?
Yes, they certainly are. It was a crazy feeling when we found out.
For someone who doesn’t know your music, sell the band in a sentence.
"We do everything that you would want us to do, better than you would want us to do." I’m not sure how to say that in a cleaner way…I’ve never seen us play live, but I know that what I do on stage is what I’d want someone from another band to do. I feel bad if I don’t come out after a show feeling like I’m about to die – It means I haven’t put enough energy into playing and I feel like I’ve let people down.
Well that’s just about time up for us mate – Thanks a lot for your time and I’ll be seeing you at Soundwave!
Ok, come and say hi! Let us know where to eat good food and where to find a Koala.
Oh well I can bring you a Koala, will just need to get it past Soundwave Security…
Yes! Give it to me and I’ll hang out with it on stage!