Ahead of Phox’s upcoming UK tour (see below for dates!) we caught up with keyboardist Matteo for a chat about touring life. See what happened below!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Hi! My name is Matteo, resident keyboard player in our little family band, PHOX. We all grew up in the same town in rural Wisconsin, and after mostly failing to pursue our individual interests we collided yet again years later and decided to live together to further our video game addictions, and perhaps eventually try making music together.
You’re going on a headline tour next month – what are you most looking forward to about it?
Oh, there are so many things to look forward to! Honestly, we really enjoy playing in the UK and EU. The fans and new listeners have always kindly lent us their energy and attention. It’s a very rewarding environment to play in. The opportunity to travel through such beautiful lands and cultures is something none of us ever expected to do in our lifetimes, so it’s a bit of a dream to be coming over.
Is there any city or venue you’re most excited about playing?
Personally, I can’t wait to see Austria! As a classically trained musician, it will be surreal to drive through the hills and towns that some of the greatest composers once graced. I also LOVE being in London. We have a wonderful team in London, and it always feels like Christmas when we get to catch up with those guys.
What can fans expect from the upcoming shows?
A party! Because of our collective crippling anxiety, we tend to get a little goofy on stage and pretend we are in our living room, playing in our pajamas. Hopefully y’all can sense the penguin-print on our socks.
What do you like most about touring?
Traveling and seeing places that we normally would rarely, if ever, see in our lives. The same goes for the good people in our lives that we now get to see every couple months. Touring has given us the unique opportunity to reopen old friendships and keep in touch. It’s really wonderful.
Is there anything you don’t like about touring?
I think performing presents a fair amount of challenge to us. We are pretty introverted as a group, and I don’t think any one of us have ever sought out chances at being stranded under a bright light, in front of new faces. Performing is becoming a more familiar situation for us, but it can be exhausting especially when combined with hours of driving and maniacal press schedules. The past year or so has been a huge learning experience for us relatively inexperienced performers.
Have you got any interesting stories from tours gone by?
Haha! We always joke about how boring the majority of touring would seem to most people. It’s largely driving, eating, and (not enough) sleeping. I would say one of the most bizarre experiences was our first Europe trip about a year ago, during which we played some of our first big festivals, some of which were in front of audiences with entirely different native languages. It was so overwhelming to be overseas, surrounded by new food, language, social interactions, and to be doing so on such huge stages. Remember how I said we were horribly anxious about performing on tiny stages in front of 25 people? It was such a crazy, scary, and learning time for us.
If you could tour with any band, who would you choose?
When the band was in its start, Monica was really into The Head and the Heart. We would watch videos with her, and she would hum their songs around the house. They were kind of a “up-on-a-pedestal” kind of band to us, so it’s totally baffling that we get to tour with them this December. It’s going to be so much fun!
And finally what does 2015 have in store for Phox?
It’s hard to say at this point. Hopefully recovering a little from last year of non-stop touring. There will definitely be some festivals and little tours here and there, but I think we are all looking forward to getting the creative/lethargic juices flowing.
Phox’s debut self-titled album is out now on Partisan Records and can be purchased from here. The band’s UK dates run as follows:
08 November – Broadcast – Glasgow
09 November – Sugar Club – Dublin
11 November – Soup Kitchen – Manchester
12 November – The Lexington – London
13 November – Louisiana – Bristol
14 November – Green Door Store – Brighton