Q&A with Like A Fox
Philadelphia's Like A Fox recently released it's second record entitled "Where's My Golden Arm?". You might remember a couple of members from the 90s band Lenola. These days, Like A Fox is crafting an enjoyable blend of classic rock and electro-prog-pop styles thoughout the album. Jay Laughlin is the band's songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. He recently took some time to tell us about the band and project. Thanks, Jay!
Your music has been described as modern psych pop or pro-pop. How do you describe your band’s style and approach to making music?-
I dig psychedelic music and I dig “modern sounds” I suppose…The mixture of weird effects and a bit of electronics along with a solid song is a good mix to my ear, but I start every song with an acoustic guitar and my voice. If I can’t play the song with those two elements and still have a good song I scrap it.
Do you have a particular musical philosophy? -
No matter how overboard you go with production you should be able to get up on stage and play the song with a guitar/piano and your voice and still have a solid song. Otherwise it’s just smoke and mirrors…no songs. Like a house without a foundation. Looks good from the outside, but once inside you realize the first stiff wind will blow the whole deal to the ground.
Growing up, did you want to be a musician?-
Yes. I saw Kiss when I was kindergarten….No shit! The last tour (Dynasty) before they took off the make-up. I was hooked. Then my older brother got a drum set for x-mas a few years later, played it for a bit it and gave it up. I claimed the kit as my own a few years later and it’s been all down hill ever since.
Did you come from a musical family? -
Yes and no. My parents only listened to talk radio in the house, but my two older brothers were big into music so I did have that going for me. My grandfather on my fathers side was a jazz drummer way back, but I never knew him as he passed when my father was a child. He’s the only other musician I know of in my families past.
You guys are from Philadelphia. Do you have a favorite local place to play shows?-
Johnny Brendas is the best smaller venue in Philly for sure. They get a ton a of great touring bands along with the best of the local bands in Philly. That’s the best place hands down.
The album is called “Where’s My Golden Arm”. Why?
It’s a quote from an old ghost story called “The Golden Arm” that I used to listen to with my old friend Skip when we were just kids. He passed a few years ago and I just think it brings back the good memories of what we had and it also ties into the movie ‘The Man With A Golden Arm” about a musician with a Heroin addiction….drug addiction has taken some dear friends away from me. Good times vs. Bad times. That’s what the album is about.
How have people been reacting to it so far?
We’ve had only three reviews come through so far as the album hasn’t seen it’s official (Oct. 28th) release, but the three bits of press have been very positive so far even though I’m not really sure what they’re getting at most of the time.
What was the overall tone you were going for on this record?-
As I said about the title of the album above, I’ve been through some shit times with losing some of my oldest/best friends in the past couple of years so the tone I was going for was the sound of someone being so down in the shit about what’s going on around them and finding that all the good memories and times you were lucky enough to spend with the people that have passed can pull you back up you know? Keeping the good stuff alive through your experiences and memories.
Why did you do your recording at Brown Bear Cavern Studios?
-It was the studio we built to make the record. We didn’t have a big budget so we decided to put the money we did have into building a proper studio so we can make more than just one album in a “real/pay by the hour” studio. Now we’re set up to keep recording nice sounding songs all the time.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
-Deciding when it was “finished”. We don’t work in the normal way of a “band” getting in a room all together and recording live. We track each instrument/part one at a time and really take our time on each specific sound. This can cause for way to much fucking around and not really knowing when to call it a day on certain songs, but I enjoy doing it that way, it just takes a bit more time than the normal way of doing things.
Do you use any specific instruments in the studio?
Any and everything we can get our hands on.
What do you think of the new records you have heard so far this year?
I love the new MGMT, not sure if it was released this year, but I think it’s a fucking great album. The new Spiritualized is amazing too. M83 recorded a nice album…great for some late night listening.
Have you noticed any trends in the work?
-Well I love music that doesn’t reveal everything it has to offer on the first listen you know? I love hearing new stuff after repeated plays of an album. The first spin gives you enough to want to spin it again and every listen after that the puzzle starts to take shape until you just can’t stop playing it. I’ve always thought that an album that you think is amazing on the first spin will get old quick. It’s the albums that keep on giving you more discoveries after repeated listens that are the most rewarding.
Anything else you would like us to know?
-Go here to read and view all about the making of “Where’s My Golden arm?”: www.likeafoxtheband.blogspot.com