Interview: The Foxfires
The Foxfires are a band from New York whose sound is an oceanic indie rock blend of folk, shoegaze, surf rock, and indie pop. Their latest single "Don't Give Up" has a strong resonance now with the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. We connected with the band for an exclusive interview to discuss the "Don't Give Up" single, the importance of the song's message, what they enjoy most about performing live and much more.
After reading our Q&A with the band, be sure to follow them on social media to stay up to date on all things "Foxfires".
Tell us about how you guys came together to form the band and who came up with the name “The Foxfires”?
We were all, interestingly enough set in our own individual projects back in 2013. CD (Christian Diana) was doing his solo project at the time and CC (Christian Cordero) was in his previous band, The Nightingale Effect. They met up at an open mic after having played a show together a few months prior. They like what each other were doing and decided to jam at CD's house. It worked really well, together, so they enlisted our previous drummer, a friend of CD's and Adam Kahn on bass, who was previously in The Nightingale Effect and a good friend of CC's. The band was originally named Christian Diana and the Foxfires, cause we were trying to ride the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes type of name wave. Foxfire is folklore terminology for bioluminescence, which is stuff like glowing plankton, fireflies and stuff like that. It's very much a metaphor for being the natural light in the world and goes really well with our "Seagaze" genre. After our previous drummer didn't work out at the end of 2014, we met our current drummer, Brandon Vallejo at a show we were performing as a three piece and he legitimately went out and bought a drum kit to audition for the band and incredibly, he was the best man for the job. He blew away all of our previous tryouts.
With the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, your latest release “Don’t Give Up” becomes all the more timely and relevant. What motivated the creation of the song in the first place and what message do you have for anyone who is on the brink of giving up hope for life?
The song was originally written in the wake of the spike in suicide numbers. Everyone in the band has suffered from suicidal thoughts or attempts and with such monumental deaths like Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, and just so many others, we wanted to stick to one really simple message that applies to anyone who's doubting themselves or their lives. We wanted an anthem for everyone and anyone who feels helpless and hopeless.
The message we would give to anyone who is contemplating their lives or their dreams, is to stay the course. Ending your life doesn't end the possibilities of things getting worse; it ends the possibilities of things getting better. We were all there once and if we didn't make the decision to keep on living, we wouldn't have experienced the best moments of our lives thus far. When we felt like giving up, things felt like they were hopeless and there was nothing you could have done to convince us otherwise. Looking back, after staying the course, we can definitively say that things got much much better. If you're hurting or you feel like giving up- tell someone and get the help you need and deserve. Be patient with yourself and be patient with life, because sometimes change is slow, but the light at the end of the tunnel is so worth the hype when you get to it. If you know someone is hurting, don't hesitate to reach out and be there for them or if you feel you can't, get someone who can. Sometimes, being there for someone is simple as listening and empathizing. Sometimes, being heard and having someone understand and help you will get you through to the next day. Nevertheless, you should seek some kind of treatment if you can. Therapy is a regular part of Adam and Brandon's lives for what they've individually been through and there's absolutely no shame in it. It's only improved their lives. There are more mental health resources than many realize. Every state has clinics and stuff which can be provided to people who can't afford the services of a professional, themselves. Look up your nearest clinic online and you are guaranteed results. Also, one more thing to add- treat others how you'd like to be treated. Be empathetic and think about the consequences that words and actions have on people and that cause them to get to the point in their lives where they feel like ending their lives. Bullying is a very serious threat to a person's mental sovereignty and it should not be taken lightly.
You guys have blessed many a stage across the United States and the UK; what do you enjoy most about performing live?
It's the therapeutic aspect of it, believe it or not. We all each individually have lived difficult lives and when we're performing in front of a crowd, it's like all of our problems off the stage, no longer exist and we're free for 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours and we're loving life. We're performing for others and being enjoyed by many whereas we have felt alone and underappreciated in our pasts. It's somewhat of an ego boost, but less arrogant, and more feeling like we have purpose in the world. We do this not just for ourselves, but because we believe that the power of influence is incredible coming from music into someone's life who really needs it. If we can make others lives enjoyable, we feel we have done our jobs and we are doing the right time.
What are your goals musically for the remainder of 2018?
We're set to play at PEX: Summer Fest in Maryland at the end of June, O+ Fest in New York and Musikfest in Pennsylvania in August, and Electric City Music Conference in September. We've got a slew of shows arranged throughout the summer and we'll most likely be recording this September, October, November, and possibly December. Much planning is left for the end of 2018, but we anticipate that the second half of the year will be greater than the past 5 years combined. There's much to be announced, so you're gonna wanna stay tuned to our socials, which can all be found on our personal website.
When someone listens to a song by The Foxfires for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
We want them to walk away from our music feeling like they were just at the beach staring out at the ocean and clearing their heads. Our music is meant to make you feel at one with everything and yourself while you're basking in an oceanic ambiance. We want it to be therapeutic for some, while celebratory for others.