We got to do a quick interview with Daisy Caplan, Bassist of Foxy Shazam. The band just came through San Francisco and we took some photos, which you can see here. Be sure to check out this band when they come through you town, they are such a great live show! Also check out the new album Gonzo available on www.foxyshazam.com

GONZO

Let’s talk about Gonzo. It’s a fun and different direction from the last album. (In a great way) So, playing the songs live, do you find it freeing to move into this direction? And why?

We do find it freeing, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think, e.g. stylistically. It’s more about the sensation of knowing we can do something new or challenging and pull it off. That’s a liberating feeling.

So, you recorded this album live in one room… talk about the pressure to capture that performance.

I think we felt it more on the earlier songs on the record. By the end we were knocking out first takes – and if not, we did it again. No big deal. We’ve done records that we had all the time in the world that were more pressure-ridden.

Talk about working with Steve Albini? How did you all first meet and agree to record Gonzo?

We met at his Italian restaurant that he runs with the guy from the Jesus Lizard. Sky got food poisoning from a bad anchovy, and he offered to record our album for free if we didn’t sue him.

What did you learn from recording that album?

To trust our instincts. Also, how to make fluffy coffee (but we’re not telling.)

So, this whole damn Internet thing. Gonzo is streaming free on your site and that is a bold move. I assume why you did it, but can you discuss why the band decided that?

We were in a gift-giving mood at the time. Plus, the internet offers free distribution.

Foxy Shazam Live At Slim's

Foxy Shazam Live At Slim’s

BACKGROUNDS

So, Cincinnati. Talk about the music scene growing up.

I didn’t grow up in Cincinnati. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived there until I was in my mid-twenties. I was fortunate to be young and involved in music at a time (1997-2008, roughly) where Louisville at or or ahead of the cusp of both underground and mainstream music. People literally think I’m lying when I tell them the shows I saw as a teenager. The scene was intensely competitive on a creative level, which produced better-than-average local bands. That insular, hothouse culture had it’s downside – bands often didn’t focus on networking nationally (not that that’s always bad thing).For every band like My Morning Jacket who got the fame they deserved, there were a dozen bands like Seaside Panel or The Helgeson Story who were brilliant and never really left town. It was a special time and place.

Anways, that’s where I’m from. The first time I went to Cincinnati to see a show was 2001 to see Cobra Kai in a basement somewhere, and have semi-regularly ever since. In comparison to Louisville, Cincinnati’s scene seemed weak at the time. That’s thankfully turned around in the last couple of years.

What is it like it now?

Cincinnati has a dearth of interesting and diverse musicians right now. Kate Wakefield is my current favorite, Wussy just put out a new record that’s really incredible, Eugenius is really phenomenal. Electric Citizen is touring nationally now. There’s a bunch more I’m forgetting too. Seriously, every night I’m home that I don’t go out, I end up kicking myself because I miss an awesome show. It’s really incredible right now.

How did music change of effect you as a kid? When did you figure out, hey, I’m not so bad at this music thing?

I don’t think I ever put a value judgement on it – I just keep doing it. I feel like if I was like, “hey, I’m okay at this,” I’d stop striving to play better, but I’m kinda like that, so whatever.

MUSIC & SONGWRITING

How’s songwriting in general for you, what comes easy for you and your band?

It’s easy for any of us in any combination to write a song. The issue is writing the right song for us as a group in that moment.

What particular songs on Gonzo, stood out as the easiest, or hardest to write?

Don’t Give In literally took about as long to write as it takes to play it. Shoebox spanned nearly the entire writing process.

What’s the hardest thing about songwriting for you?

Freeing myself from the limitations of expectation.

When do you let a song that isn’t working out, when do you walk away?

That’s the million dollar question. We are known for beating a dead horse until it’s no longer a horse. The best thing I’ve found is a democracy of vibe – when more than half the people are over it, move on.

How do you keep the songwriting democratic within the band?

See above. It’s not exact, but basically that. Obviously vocals take precedence in the decision-making process, because we are a vocally-oriented band. Other than that, it’s just about what we’re all into that day.

THE TOUR

How’s this tour going, with a number of gigs already done what’s different for you and the band this tour?

It’s a lot more work. It’s also more rewarding.

How have you adjusted your earlier material?

We haven’t. We play it the exact same way, unless we write a new part that we like (Yes Yes Yes, Axe).

We did an episode with Larry And His Flask last year, who are amazing, talk about your current tour support for the current west coast.

Larry and his Flask unfortunately couldn’t join us for the west coast, which was a real bummer. They’re some good friends of ours and we love their band. We went skinny-dipping with them in Bend the other day and almost got arrested.

Any new stops this tour, or later in the year you can announce or looking forward to?

There will be more, but I can’t tell you about it right now, because it’s opening for Metallica. Whoops. (* read: sarcasm)

We’re looking forward to the show, what should we expect?

You should expect it to be no less than awesome.

Hotel rooms, on a subjective scale of rock & roll mayhem (1-10), and how you’ve left it–How do you rate it? (either bad or good)

The only time I ever trashed a hotel room I did it really elaborately and creepily – I cut out all these pictures from magazines and taped them all over the walls and lined the floor and ceiling with them, and drew weird shit on all of it. Nothing actually was permanent; it just looked like something a schizophrenic serial killer would do while planning a bombing or something. No reason – I was just super bored and kind of drunk. Never heard anything from the hotel about it, so I rate it a 3.

And last

Do you remember your first album you purchased as a kid?

The first Weezer album.

What was your first concert as a kid? And what do you remember about it?

My first concert was going to see Smashing Pumpkins when I was around 12. Billy Corgan bit the head off of a live bat onstage!

Also, do you remember your first riff or song your ever learned on your instrument?

You know… I actually don’t. I was always more focused on making up my own songs, even early on.

~Daisy

Leave a Reply