Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Swansea artist FoxSleep to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
South of Wales, recently relocated to Swansea after 15 years around England. Hard to say how I first got into music. Could have been Queen's Greatest Hits or The Best of BBC TV's Themes on repeat in my parents' car - the theme from Bergerac possibly did it.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Through my teens, indie and britpop bands like Kula Shaker, Blur, Manic Street Preachers to start; then lots of Metallica; then alternative rock like Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Mars Volta. Studying electric guitar gave me a strong interest in jazz chords, and forming bands gave me an outlet to put these things together. I also admired acts who could just write a good straight-up song like Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Weezer, Ben Folds. Late teens, the one musician who rationalised things for me was Elliott Smith. He was at the exact part of the Venn diagram where all my interests overlapped.
Now, a lot of these influences are still there. In the meantime, I've listened to a lot of post hardcore and post rock, and I've been told bands like Reuben also come through at times.
How would you describe your sound?
Alternative rock you could bash out in chords, but not without some big ugly chords.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
I've put out two EPs this year, both DIY efforts. I'd like for them to be heard by anyone who might enjoy them. For me, they were about making the process of recording music more day-to-day.
I released "Upstarter" on 1st July. No running theme: It kicks off with pianos, synth bass and vocal harmonies, and then moves on to some big jazzy guitars.
What’s your local music scene like?
Swansea has some good venues I'm currently exploring, and there is a busy local and wider scene. The Bunkhouse gets a lot of local and smaller acts through; Sin City gets a fair few bigger acts. Swansea also has a number of grass-roots music initiatives which stand out to me: Creature Sounds is an emerging venue/rehearsal/recording space with volunteer staff, free hire and door profits for bands - a very rare community-focussed venture which I hope thrives; the Swansea Music Hub organisation runs the annual Swansea Fringe Music Festival and has run local music community engagement meetings which I've not seen elsewhere. There's also Cinema Co. - an independent cinema and venue for hire. So there is a lot to be excited about.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I'll be working on recording songs for EP #3 and beyond. I'll also be looking at how to take things to the stage.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Years ago, I got booked to play an acoustic gig by a promoter who (1) failed to relay to me that it would be in front of diners out for an Italian meal, and (2) clearly hadn't listened to me before hand. Weird at the time; funny on reflection.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
FoxSleep is a one-man, self-produced, Swansea-based alternative rock act whose second EP "Upstarter" is out now on Bandcamp. Does that count as one thing?