The Stone Foxes channel one of literature's darkest figures in their blues-heavy new single, "Everybody Knows": "Lyrically, I used a loose representation of Edgar Allen Poe's story, 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' to convey how I was feeling over the recession," vocalist and drummer Shannon Koehler says of the song's inspiration. "I'd like to think that there's some kind of guilt felt by the folks who profit from deals hurting the middle class, lower class, and people of our generation."
With its raw and ragged guitar parts, piercing harmonica, and all-around frenzied eruption of instrumentals, the San Francisco, Calif. quartet have crafted an incredible display of emotion to highlight the tune's inner meaning and greater significance. And in an interesting twist on their original lineup, Koehler steps out from behind the drum set to tackle this tune's lead vocal part.
"Musically, we tried to make an eerie mood that matched the lyrics," Koehler explains. "Spence moves between his clean channel and his fuzz box that he custom built, Aaron does a cool choppy beat for the verses, Elliott covers the bass with his organ, and I sing and play harmonica. It's not our normal line-up, but it fit the song, and it came together pretty quickly."
"Everybody Knows" comes off the band's forthcoming new album, Small Fires, set for a February 12 release date. Produced by Dough Boehm (Girls, Dr. Dog) and the band themselves, the effort is set to pack in 10 tracks of the band's most sophisticated work to date. The band originally premiered the single at their sold out show at the Great American in San Francisco, where they treated all audience members to a fortune cookie baring a code to download the tune.
While we wish we could offer up a sweet treat to all of you in conjunction with this song's stream, we'll do the next best thing and honor that free download offer! Give it a spin, grab it for free, and get your hands on Small Fires this February.
They don’t smoke pot. They don’t stay up all that late, since they like to run in the morning. Do they drink? Hell, yes! But not to excess. If you’re looking to be a groupie, but don’t want it to interfere with your career or personal life, the Stone Foxes are an excellent choice.
But they play like a dirty, dirty blues rock band, the kind that does things with underage girls and fishes and make for great biographies 50 years later. On stage, they swap instruments, switch lead singers, and sweat so much that they must have to replace equipment more regularly than Pete Townshend. I saw them rock out an audience of Google employees so hard that they all wound up on the stage. If they can do that to Google employees, imagine what they can do to people who aren’t so rich they can pay other people to dance for them.
Shannon Koehler, who looks and acts a lot like Chris Pratt in Parks and Recreation, and his older brother Spence, grew up in Watts Valley. That's about an hour east of Fresno, which is about two and a half hours from anywhere you’d want to be. I know enough about rock bands to know that means that in the not-too-distant future, Shannon and Spence will hate each other. So enjoy the band while you can.
Aaron Mort, who also coincidentally grew up in the Fresno foothills, met Spence in the dorms at San Francisco State. When Shannon moved up for college a few years later, the three formed The Stone Foxes. In 2011, they added Elliott Peltzman, who is probably the only person they ever met nicer and less threatening than they are. They played San Francisco constantly, writing their songs onstage as they played. They are the anti-YouTube sensations.
The new album, Small Fires, finally gives them their own studio sound. The first song, Everybody Knows, sounds like the soundtrack to a very late night spent walking home alone, if you were a guy full of passion and turmoil and harmonicas; I’ll be surprised if Martin Scorsese doesn’t use it. It’s the kind of song you want to listen to a lot so you can get lost in it when you hear it live.
For a band with such a distinctive sound, the album shows a lot of range. You could play So Much Better to get in the pants of your summer girlfriend, Small Fires when you’re full of rage at your parents for just not getting you, Goodnight Moon when you’re alone on the porch smoking pot wondering why you were so hard on your parents and didn’t take it slower with that nice girl you met last summer.
Small Fires is as polished as they’ll ever be. You can even understand the lyrics. It still sounds dirty, but it’s a clean dirty. Kind of like the guys themselves. These are guys who worry about where to take girls on dates. For 50 years, guys have gotten into rock for the girls and drugs. The Stone Foxes might be the first band to get into rock for the rock. And you can hear all of that nice guy, Bay Area, liberal repression burst out on this album. It’s raw and bluesy. I don’t know where it comes from. But I get the feeling you have to know these guys a long time before you figure that out.
Bio by Joel Stein - www.thejoelstein.com
“The four San Franciscans in The Stone Foxes have an energetic style that’s rooted in swampy, foot-stomping blues-rock. Their freshly released sophomore album,Bears and Bulls, tackles ambitious arrangements with diverse moods ranging from acoustic twang to thunderous electric-guitar riffs.”
"Mr. Hangman - The Stone Foxes...this ripping jam, a rant against the death penalty, is irresistible."
-- USA Today
"Bears and Bulls, their latest release, rules...Catchy songs like ‘Young Man’ and ‘Patience’ will have you playin' air guitar in front of your mirror. Then they break it down to a very bluesy song ‘Easy,’ with so much emotion behind the arrangement and singing that it may provoke a tear."
San Francisco Chronicle "The Black Keys' new album...Dead Weather's Sea of Cowards...The Stone Foxes' Sophmore album...these groups' popularity may be the most exciting thing in music since Zeppelin."
"In a time of laptops and drum machines, the roots-blues the band plays is a welcome change. Enthusiastic and talented, the Stone Foxes knocked it out of the park for the release of Bears & Bulls."
"One wouldn't expect this NoCal quartet to outdo their self-titled debut but with Bears and Bulls they most assuredly have. Brimming with confidence, precision and enough scruff and git to make Mick Jagger smile, Bears and Bulls is a scuzzy, greasy, summer opus and just the kind of thing to keep this band on the national radar. If this doesn't turn some heads, what the fuck will?"
-- Absolute Punk
Totally Fuzzy was the name, music discovery was the game.
It only took one braindead Google monkey to destroy almost 10 years of dedication...
The next round will be played on our own terms on
Friday, December 07, 2012
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