Foxy Shazam kicks off ‘Gonzo’ tour TONIGHT at FED LIVE
After 2012’s The Church of Rock and Roll, it seemed like Foxy Shazam had it all figured out. The huge choruses, screaming guitars, arena-ready sound and polished production on tracks like “Holy Touch,” “I Like It” and “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll” were great — and even better when blared at deafening levels in a car stereo.
So when Foxy Shazam released their latest album Gonzo earlier this year — as a free download through their website — I was excited to hear more of that same formula — but their fifth studio album goes in an entirely different direction and takes away the layers and the volume and focuses more on songwriting and storytelling.
“With a band like Foxy, prior to Gonzo, there was no way for people to know who we are so I wanted to pull the curtain back on this record and take the mask off,” Foxy Shazam lead singer Eric Nally said in a recent telephone interview. “People hear Foxy and its most grandiose sound — and that’s fine and those are great albums and I love doing that — but I think its nice to just be able to see what is behind the curtain sometimes to know that there’s something that is just as powerful when you put it down to the basics.”
The nine song album, produced by Steve Albini, will be the centerpiece of their tour kickoff show TONIGHT at FEDLIVE in Harrisburg — as for the first time ever, Foxy Shazam will perform Gonzo from cover-to-cover at the beginning of the show.
“We’re pretty pumped about it. We’re doing something all new this tour,” Nally said. ” We’re going to play Gonzo in its entirety at the beginning of the set — from track 1 to track 9 and then take a five-minute intermission and come back and play the classic Foxy set. The album itself is a concept record and it feels right in its entirety.”
And since Gonzo is available for a free download, fans will have had enough time to familiarize themselves with the new material prior to the concert. Their first single off the album is the catchy “Tragic Thrill,” which has the signature Foxy Shazam sound complete with a trumpet solo, keyboard riffs and Nally’s signature high-pitched vocals.
“I’m glad people would have had the time to digest it by the time we go out there,” Nally said. “If fans come to the show they feel like they are there for the right reasons because they were able to to enjoy the music free of charge because that’s what we do.”
The other thing Foxy Shazam does very well — is put on unbelievably entertaining and energetic live shows that sometimes include climbing lighting rigs and even eating cigarettes.
“The first time I did it I think it was just random — somebody was smoking a cigarette in the front row and I kind of snatched it out of her mouth and ate it — I surprised myself. The adrenaline covers it up — its just a rush and I don’t even notice it but then after the show, its like I can’t taste anything and I don’t feel good and it sucks!,” Nally laughed. “The crowd eggs me on and I do it night after night — its silly but I just do it. I’m up on stage and I might as well give people a show, ya know?”
And no one will ever accuse Foxy Shazam of not giving people a good show — because they’ve been doing that for 10 years now. While there are no plans yet to do anything special to mark their 10-year anniversary this year, Nally said the band is already thinking about the next step and where Foxy will go from here.
“We have a few plans together that I’m anxious to get started on,” Nally said. “We took a long time off to find ourselves and find our footing as an independent artist and I feel like that time is done and we found ourselves so now we are going to be moving a little faster and bringing our fans stuff throughout the year that’s fresh and keeping it going.”
And if Nally has it his way, they will be keeping it going for a long, long time.
“I was put here on this earth to be in a band and to be in Foxy Shazam and we are going to be doing it until the day we die,” Nally added. “We’re going to make album after album and its just going to get better and better. If you’re a fan of Foxy Shazam — stick around and we’ll see you at a show soon.”