An excerpt from a recent review:
Fox and The Law Outfox Seattle Rock
By Sara Jayne Crow
While Seattle has historically birthed raw, guitar-driven strains of rock—the garage rock of the ‘60s, the psychedelic guitar strains of artists like Jimi Hendrix and the later flannel-laden grunge movement—the Jet City’s rock output has recently tended towards wispy, subdued shoe-gazing. So it’s something of a relief to see a motley group of four mount The Crocodile’s stage on a September night (Guy Keltner, Ryan Granger, Patrick Dougherty, and Dan O’Neil as Fox and The Law) and shimmy through a set of raw, wall-of-sound, romp ‘n stomp rock. Guy saunters and jumps about the stage as if he’s channeling Pete Townshend, strumming his guitar with such intensity that it seems the strings will break. Patrick (bass) and Ryan (guitar) mirror his licks through ever-progressing, dirty chord changes as Dan anchors in a percussive cacophony.
Fox and The Law are reminiscent of the New York no wave movement frontmen Teenage Jesus and The Jerks and Richard Hell and the Voidoids, or even Tennessee’s Be Your Own Pet. Catching a wave on a riptide of chord progressions and surfing a cavalcade of staggered time measures, the band is Seattle’s next best export.
"...an intoxicating Seattle band with a blues twist like a lemon wedge on the rim of an electric lemonade...For those still seeking solace in late-night, smoky bars hoping to catch a whiff of the next 'big thing', keep an ear to the ground for Fox and the Law’s future. If the EP indicates a forthcoming full-length, this band could well propel itself out of the garage."
“Do you like ‘garage’ bands? I don’t. Do you like garage bands that actually know how to write songs and play their instruments? Let me introduce you to some friends of mine, Fox and The Law. I currently hold the opinion that they ‘rock.’ Seattle ‘garage bands’ bring your notebook…This is how it’s done right. Stop sending me crappy recordings of your boring songs. Thanks.”
-Sound on the Sound
“As a listener, I can appreciate the honesty and pure unadulterated energy compacted into their songs and it’s easy to acknowledge the allegiance they make to the rock genre. With their halting guitar distortions, animated rhythms, and forceful melodies, they sneak up on you like a wave and come crashing down on you. Fox and The Law is an assembly of strong musicians that beckons to be recognized.”
-What's Up Magazine
“...the effect was engaging...They had energy. That was undeniable. It’s surprising but there are a lot of bands that can play loud and fast and still manage somehow to lack any spirit or energy...they’re good for a high energy rock show and worth keeping an eye on to see which way they go.”
“Fox and The Law’s current batch of songs are ballsy and robust, featuring Keltner’s flawless and dirty guitar playing. His music is steeped in old-style rock and blues based around simple, catchy riffs and playful lyrics.”
-Northwest Indie Music
“Hey Fox and The Law – you’ve got that certain it. You’ve got the strutting sound and talent of blues rock. Now, dear Seattle, take note and check this band out. After seeing their show at the Crocodile, I’m quite smitten.”
-Back Beat Seattle
Fox and The Law just recorded their 1st record with Producer, Martin Feveyear at Jupiter Studios. Releasing in March, the band will be touring down the West Coast to promote the project in March on their way to SXSW.
Fox and The Law - Self-released E.P. - 2010
Fox and The Law - L.P. - August 2012
Why Capitol Hill Block Party Should Book Fox and the Law
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Music festivals are the most lust-worthy thing in life. A happy, sometimes disjointed, eclectic grou...Music festivals are the most lust-worthy thing in life. A happy, sometimes disjointed, eclectic group of bands and artists all playing at the same place? Being exposed to new artists on the same day as watching tried and true favorites? Day drinking and summer sun? No wonder the really great ones always sell out quickly.
Out of all the music festivals I’ve been to, Capitol Hill Block Party is my hands down favorite. Why, you ask? Well, first and most obvious, it’s in my neighborhood. Living five blocks from the venue last year was amazing. No issues parking, no buses, being able to easily take a nap-break if need be. Pretty perfect. Also, I love the set up of it. Right in the middle of the city, streets closed off, multiple different stages and bars all playing shows at the same time. It’s just exciting to wander from spot to spot, catching whatever tunes happen to be drifting out. Lastly CHBP has, in my not so humble opinion, the best line up around. It’s not dominated by huge acts, but rather those bands you’ve had on your radar for months but haven’t had a chance to check out yet and are set to explode (I’m looking at you, The Head and the Heart). Going to a day of Block Party, you are exposed to music you’re familiar with while being ambushed by bands you may have never heard of. Like Tacocat last year – I’d never heard of them, but at the Cha Cha I fell in love.
This year, I’m anxiously awaiting even a hint of what the line up will be. With tickets already on sale (buy a three day pass for a STEAL of $75 here), I’ve begun fantasizing who I want to see set my neighborhood on fire. There are the obvious repeats I’d love to see again. SOL blew my mind last year, as did Fresh Espresso. Telekinesis and Ghostland Observatory were in my top 10 from the weekend. As for new additions, I’d love to see The xx, Delta Spirit, Neon Indian, Goyte, and The Shins take the main stage. However, if I could ask one thing from CHBP, it would be to get Fox and the Law on their set lists.
I had the opportunity to see them play recently, and if I were to use a word to describe them, it would be hungry. They are local boys with their eyes set on the prize – success. They’re getting a taste of it right now in a big way, having recently played a headlining show at the famous Neumos on the Hill and constantly adding new performances to their calendar. They are the guys you knew in high school who practiced religiously and constantly in garages, and seeing guys like this succeed makes me believe in the music industry.
While they are currently unsigned, that surely won’t be the case for long. They have unwavering talent, a true passion, and put on an incredible live show. Any band that can work the sound at Neumos well has my vote of faith. They are a true Seattle band – a little dirty, a little skinny, a little rough around the edges, and a lot talented. Their sound gives garage rock some blues, with a sound reminiscent of Jack White and the Black Keys. Make sure you catch them in Tacoma at New Frontier on February 2nd and mark your calendar for a trip to Ballard to see them play at the Sunset Tavern on March 2nd.
Without a doubt this band will be onto bigger and better things in the future. So please, Capitol Hill Block Party, book Fox and The Law this year. I want to hear lead singer Guy Keltner stun the crowd in the summer sun.
Homegrown-Roadtrip Music From The Great State Of Washington
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Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is proud to present “Homegrown” – a compilation album of the very ...Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is proud to present “Homegrown” – a compilation album of the very best road-trip music from all over the great state of Washington. As a cooperative, we are guided by 7 Cooperative Principles. Principle #7 states that it is a priority to give back to the community where we do business. With this album we hope to give some much-deserved recognition to the incredibly talented musicians throughout Washington, our home. The track list on the Homegrown album is as eclectic as the Northwest music scene it represents, and we believe that there are songs and artists on it for everyone. So whether you’re on a scenic drive through Chuckanut or heading over to The Gorge for a day of music and sunshine, we hope you’ll enjoy this summer soundtrack.
With 'Feel So Blue,' Fox and the Law Continue to Set Up Shop in the Garage
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Fox and the Law, "Feel So Blue" Out now, self-released Website Fox and the Law's 2010 self-titl...Fox and the Law, "Feel So Blue"
Out now, self-released
Fox and the Law's 2010 self-titled EP alternated between straight-ahead punk and slow, gritty blues-rock, and with "Feel So Blue," the first offering from the band's forthcoming full-length, they've found a happy medium between the two styles while keeping their garage-rock ethos intact. The song is uptempo and riff-heavy, if not particularly novel, featuring a breakdown and a noisy solo section while melding the best elements of the band's earlier work. It shows Fox and the Law haven't evolved or moved on from their first EP's garage-rock sound--they've only gotten better at it.
Watch the video for "Feel So Blue," featuring some self-recorded tour footage, after the jump. http://youtu.be/5mMX3kvB07c
-Greg’s Take- Fox and The Law: Single – Feel So Blue
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Seattle based band Fox and the Law are prepped to release Scarlet Fever this summer. The album is hu...Seattle based band Fox and the Law are prepped to release Scarlet Fever this summer. The album is hugely anticipated by those who follow the band, but should most definitely be longed for by the rest of us.
Why? You may ask.
“Feel So Blue.” That’s why.
We were introduced to the guitarist for Fox and the Law back when we discovered The Grizzled Mighty. Though I was thoroughly impressed with what was accomplished there, I did not get the complete “HOLY HELL” feeling I just got after hearing “Feel So Blue;” the first single Scarlet Fever has to offer and now the knock you on your ass anthem leading the procession to the release.
“Feel So Blue” drops on your ears like the heavy handed audible crack fix you didn’t realize you needed. I can’t stop listening to the, simply put, electrifying riffs, pulse driving drums and infectious rock vocals. Guy, Ryan, Patrick and Dan dish up a dose of rock track that quenches the much needed thirst for the inner rock soul in each of us.
The world has one week to discover this song. After that, it is our obligation to grab those who haven’t experienced this track, shake them and ask WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Get off that chair, take to the streets and join us in the Fox and the Law march toward Scarlet Fever because it has never felt so good to “Feel So Blue.”
Seattle's Fox and The Law drop a single "Feel So Blue"
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Fairbanks Music Group-Seattle announced the release of the first single "Feel So Blue," from gritty ...Fairbanks Music Group-Seattle announced the release of the first single "Feel So Blue," from gritty urban soul rockers THE FOX AND THE LAW.
They invite you to Download the single FREE at: http://foxandthelaw.bandcamp.com
The band's highly anticipated second album "Scarlet Fever,"which is set for a release later this summer, was recorded, mixed and mastered by acclaimed producer Martin Feveryear at Jupiter Studios in Seattle. The quartet recently returned from a successfull trip to the SXSW festival in Austin TX. where they played ten shows in four days.
Listen: Fox and The Law 'Feel So Blue'
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Fox and the Law (you may remember them from this little event last summer) are finally gearing up fo...Fox and the Law (you may remember them from this little event last summer) are finally gearing up for the release of their new album Scarlet Fever and today the band released the first single from that album, “Feel So Blue.” The album was produced by Martin Feveryear, who has worked with the likes of Damien Jurado, Saturday Knights, Mark Lanegan, Common Market and others, and is expected to be released this summer.
Fox and the Law are a pretty fiery live band and if “Feel So Blue” is any indication Scarlet Fever will reflect that vibe. Give the track a listen above and go download the ripping garage rock tune for free here. If you want to hear more from Scarlet Fever tune in to Jetcitystream.com at 3:30 today. The band will be on-air with Marco Collins playing some songs off the record.
SXSW-Swinghouse & Mapex Presents The Players Pitstop Day Party @ Rusty's Austin
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Day one of my South by Southwest. I flew in early morning (there’s nothing wrong with bbq brisket ta...Day one of my South by Southwest. I flew in early morning (there’s nothing wrong with bbq brisket tacos from Salt Lick at 10:00 am in case you were wondering) and headed straight to the Swing House and Mapex Players Pitstop Day Party at Rusty’s Austin. Saw lots of really great bands today, including the always entertaining Foxy Shazam, as well as some new (to me) bands like Vas Defrans, Thomas Wynn & The Believers, and (my favorite band of the day) Fox & The Law. Here’s a few of my favorites from today.
Live Review: Fox and the Law
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Fox and The Law held my attention from the first chord to the last beat. The youthful four-piece ba...Fox and The Law held my attention from the first chord to the last beat. The youthful four-piece band played a rocking show to a full house at Seattle’s Sunset Tavern, a kickoff to their eventual destination, SXSW in Austin.
Onstage, they caught fire with energy, which was quite a feat considering the two guitarists were in the emergency room the night before getting pumped full of antibiotics after a bout with scarlet fever.
Fox and The Law are releasing a full album this spring, so the exposure they’ll receive at SXSW will only add fuel to the fire.
Fox and The Law attacked the first song, “Unbelievable,” and got everyone’s ear with some distorted feedback and rollicking drums before the lyrics began. Explosive cheers and whoops rang from the audience after this song and throughout the rest of the set.
Guy Keltner, on lead vocals and guitar, looks like he just got his braces off last week. At 24, he has a maturity and vibrato in his voice which makes up for the youthful appearance. He has a “Mick Jagger Swagger” and lips to match. Somehow, he picked up the name Guy Fox (eventually leading to the band’s namesake), either for the looks or a pun on the infamous Guy Fawkes. Keltner also played a scorching guitar which crossed over into some bluesy Southern rock on a couple of songs. One of these songs, “Awake,” reminded me so much of the Dickinson boys’ band North Mississippi Allstars. I wondered what Keltner could do with a slide to give “Awake” a little more Southern soul.
Ryan Granger - Willing to take his shirt off for $100 towards the SXSW fund!
Other members include Ryan Granger on guitar and vocals (and Guy’s hospital buddy), who didn’t look like he was feeling 100%; although it didn’t seem to affect his dynamic guitar work. Granger also got his turn to sing lead vocals, in playful Falsetto, on “Sleep With the Lights On.” Bassist/ vocalist Patrick Dougherty’s fingers flew up and down the frets, including “Lemon Peel,” which had a giant sound with a Led Zeppelin-infused jam in the bridge. Drummer/vocalist Dan “Danimal” O’Neal, the youngest member at 21, played a vital role in bringing punch and intensity to the songs.
Most of the songs were short and sweet, and never seemed negative or melodramatic. Each had a positive energy and power fueled by the two guitars and gripping vocals. “In My Bed” was a highly spirited song with short jams and catchy “I’ll follow” lyrics.
Fox and The Law are driving down the coast with stops in Portland, OR, Monterey, CA, and West Hollywood’s Viper Room. After that show, they begin the long haul East to Austin, where they play SXSW on March 14.
The Horde and The Harem and Western Haunts, the two other Seattle bands who played The Sunset that night, will join Fox and The Law at SXSW.
The boys have a long road ahead of them, and with any luck a long career in the music industry.
FOX AND THE LAW: NEUMO'S SHOW PAVES WAY FOR IMPRESSIVE 2012
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On Jan. 25 at Neumo’s on Capital Hill, Guy Keltner’s scorching garage blues rock band Fox and the La...On Jan. 25 at Neumo’s on Capital Hill, Guy Keltner’s scorching garage blues rock band Fox and the Law did not disappoint.
The Wednesday night show was the first introduction to the 2012 version of Fox and the Law.
This quartet has gained a lot of heft and weight and raw power in the way of its music mastery of the blues rock American Songbook, while delivering original song after original song to the audience laced with a definite Seattle flair.
Keltner is an unabashed fan of Detroit garage rock titan Jack White. The more I watch Keltner, the more I see that Jack White wild abandon come out of him. But it’s not something Keltner is simply recycling; he’s making it his own.
Like White, Keltner, too, is a very resourceful musician with a “take no prisoners” mentality to song craft. Before long, Keltner will be a household name in Seattle and soon across the national music industry.
Some day soon, Fox and his Law will be destined for the Grammy for “Best New Artist.” This is what rock ‘n’ roll needs right now. A resurgence of rock ‘n’ roll ethos and DIY work ethics.
Keltner is an artist still in his 20s but who clearly, already, owns the stage. I had a kick watching Keltner belt his heart out on the Neumo’s stage. From quite a ways back, I could still visibly see the thick veins on his neck pulsate and flex as he stretched his vocal chords to the limit in order to deliver the purest and most refined product possible. And the audience, in turn, ate it up like a homestyle cooked meal.
While Keltner can clearly hold his own and has passed the audition, his music partners (the Law) are equally awesome. Ryan on guitar provides great support and beautiful blues rock layers to Keltner’s guitar. Ryan’s vocals, equally, provide a pleasing balance to Keltner’s more raucous vocals. On bass, Patrick keeps it all together with stylish licks and solid foundations. And Dan on drums cuts through it all with striking fills.
Fox and the Law will soon release a debut full length album, produced by Martin Feveyear of Jupiter Studios. And in the spring, they will make the journey again to SXSW in Austin.
Stay tuned for what this band has in store coming up, which includes a documentary and a possible spot on the NBC Seattle affiliate following SNL on Saturday night. No matter how you look at it, there is no denying. Fox and the Law are blowing up—Big Time!
Tell Me About The Song: Guy Keltner, Singer and Guitarist of Fox and The Law
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A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Guy ...A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Guy Keltner, vocalist and guitarist of Seattle garage-rock four-piece Fox and the Law, delves into developing as a singer, singing from a girl's perspective, and being in shitty relationships.
Song: "Treat Me Right"
Album: Title TBD
Release Date: March 2012
When it was written: Summer 2011
Where it was written: My apartment
Favorite line in the song: "The way that your mouth hangs open, looks like you thought that I would never find out, I must look dumb, I thought you were the one."
Which part was the hardest to come up with: The overall vocal melody. I never started out as a singer, and as this band has developed, so has my voice. It's been a long process growing into the musician I am today, and constantly singing over the past several years has helped to shape my voice into a unique signature part of our sound.
Odd fact about song: The person being sung about, the one who is clearly the jerk in this whole breakup situation, that person was me a long time ago. This song is actually sung from a girl's perspective. I'm not nearly as much of an asshole anymore, but I'm sure you can imagine the type of shit I used to put girls through.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: Being in shitty relationships in the past. Oddly enough, I was in a great relationship at the time I wrote it, but was using some past breakups and betrayals as inspiration. I had been perusing through some old emails to clean out my inbox, and I found a really angry message from a girl that I pissed off a few years back. At the time I had felt like I was totally in the right, but after reading her email, I realized how much pain I had caused her and how bad it must have felt. This song isn't really about her specifically, but reading her words made me feel a lot of empathy and reminded me of how bad I felt in the past when I was betrayed in some way.
When was your favorite time performing it live: This past Friday at the Doug Fir in Portland. The whole band just sort of nailed it. I've never sung it better live, and our other guitar player, Ryan, he really killed during his solo. It was just fantastic.
What is the meaning behind the song: This song is really a love letter to all the depression that comes with being lied to by someone you care about. I know that depression is a shitty feeling, but it really drives a lot of creativity and inspiration when you are an artist. Such strong emotions start to well up when you find out that you've been back stabbed or put on, especially when it is someone you've felt a great deal of respect for in the past. This song is meant for everyone that has ever had to pick up the pieces, had to beg someone to stop making the mistakes they are making, whether its a cheating lover or an alcoholic parent, or even just a friend that can't seem to keep it together when you need them.
Seattle’s Fox and The Law bring their raw power to the Doug Fir
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Trust me, you want to be there to absorb the resonance of Fox and The Law’s pure energy and raucous ...Trust me, you want to be there to absorb the resonance of Fox and The Law’s pure energy and raucous prowess at the Doug Fir on Friday, January 20th.
Fox and The Law exemplify the spirit of the Seattle sound. Established in early 2010, the band has developed a grimy, attitude-heavy sound that embodies the mood of the dirty clubs and dives that dominate the Northwest’s coveted music scene.
“… an intoxicating Seattle band with a blues twist like a lemon wedge on the rim of an electric lemonade… For those still seeking solace in late-night, smoky bars hoping to catch a whiff of the next ‘big thing,’ keep an ear to the ground for Fox and The Law’s future. If the EP indicates a forthcoming full-length, this band could well propel itself out of the garage.” –Performer Magazine, July 2011
Fox and The Law’s first full-length, recorded with Producer Martin Feveyear of Jupiter Studios, drops in early spring.
Be amongst the first of your friends to catch wind of this sonic fervor live. See Fox and The Law at the Doug Fir this Friday, January 20th with PDX locals Rags & Ribbons and Water & Bodies.
Performer’s Favorite Albums of 2011 :: Performer Magazine
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As we reach the end of another great year in music, what better time to reflect on the releases we e...As we reach the end of another great year in music, what better time to reflect on the releases we enjoyed the most these past 12 months? Below is a very unorganized list of the EPs, full-lengths and 7-inch singles we absolutely LOVED in 2011. Each month, you can listen to the artists featured in our print issue by heading to the Performer Playlist, or click on individual CD reviews to stream tracks or view videos from these great musicians.
Fox and The Law
Brown Bird – Salt for Salt
Baby Baby – Money
Hannah Miller – O Black River
DOM – Sun Bronzed Greek Gods
The Trews – Hope & Ruin
Cheyenne Marie Mize - We Don’t Need
Marc Broussard – Marc Broussard
Making Friendz – Social Life
White Orange – White Orange
Kae Sun – Outside the Barcode
Tommy Stinson – One Man Mutiny
Bass Drum of Death – GB City
Adele – 21
Fishbone - Crazy Glue
Mondo Ray - Hypnotized
Wild Child – Pillow Talk
Wing and Hollow – Frozen Trees
Peelander-Z - Super DX Hitz
Doomtree- No Kings
Moe Green – Lion Heart
Endless Wave - Notes From The Compund
The New Mastersounds – Breaks From The Border
Putnam Smith – We Could be Beekeepers
Cuckoo Chaos – Woman
Kyle Andrews – Robot Learn Love
Bowery Beasts - Heavy You
Deep Dark Robot - 8 Songs About a Girl
Howler – This One’s Different
Young Antiques - Fucked Up in Public
Tycho – Dive
Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
Pile - Magic Isn’t Real
Fox and The Law-Garage Brilliance From The Pacific NW
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Guy Keltner (aka Guy Fox) is proud of where he’s from, and he’s not worried about the labels that ex...Guy Keltner (aka Guy Fox) is proud of where he’s from, and he’s not worried about the labels that exist when you happen to be from Seattle, or
the comparisons that are likely to be made with other bands from such a storied musical city. “[The band] definitely falls in the garage rock category, but it’s becoming so much more. There is totally this punk rock energy and attitude to what we do, especially during the live show,”
“Seattle is really flooded with a lot of singer/songwriters, indie bands, faux-country acts, etc. I have a lot of respect for many of these bands, but
at the end of the day it’s just not my thing. While that is the stuff that usually gets the most press, there is so much more diversity in this city that
often gets overlooked. I mean, yeah, Fleet Foxes and Death Cab came from here, but we have so much more to offer. The musicianship of the average
person in this town is just incredible. I’m always finding out that so-and-so is in a band, or that my old boss or co-worker totally shreds at the clubs on the weekends. It seems like everyone is in a band.”
Fox and the Law, which started just over a year and a half ago from the remnants of Shotty, is named after Guy “Fox” Keltner and Shotty drummer
Miles “The Law” Frank. Frank isn’t actually in the band, however. Dan O’Neil is the drummer, Ryan Granger plays guitar, and J-Fai is on bass. The band is going the Kickstarter route for the new album, which was the most challenging
experience of Keltner’s musical life. “I am not even ashamed to say it. Recording this album was about as close to Hell as I have ever come in my entire musical career. It really was a struggle, and all the while there wasn’t much we could really do about it.”
The recording itself was done in several locations. Keltner explains, “We cut four of the tracks at my friend Pat Moon’s home studio in Kirkland. Originally we recorded 12 over there, but were unhappy with a lot of the finished product, so we scrapped a majority of the recordings and held onto the four that sounded the best. We took these to a studio in Seattle called the Recovery Room to re-record the vocals. They didn’t sound dirty enough, way too digital, and we worked closely with the owner, Graig Markel. For the final mix of these tracks, we worked with another friend at his home studio.” These struggles aren’t reflected negatively in the quality or depth of the songs, it’s possible that they even enhance them. Between touring and the in-depth recording process, several band members lost or gave up their full time jobs to focus on being full time musicians. Keltner realizes just what that means in terms of commitment and is open about it. When talking about his motto, he says, “Go big or go home.” “We are looking to make a career of this, so that means years and years of hard work and struggling, which we are ready to take head on. “
Interview: Fox and The Law July, 2011
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It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that a dead cat is responsible for the Fox and the Law’s...It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that a dead cat is responsible for the Fox and the Law’s career.
Well, okay that’s stretching the truth quite a bit but that statement sure would make for an interesting start to a PR backstory pitch. As for the real story behind Fox and the Law, or at least the part of the story that doesn’t involve a dead cat, it begins with Guy Keltner.
The band – Keltner on vocals and guitar, guitarist Ryan Granger, bassist Jeff Fairbanks and drummer Dan O’Neil – formed after Keltner left his duties in the band Shotty, a young group that saw relative success early in its career after making it to the semifinals round of EMPSFM’s Sound Off! battle of the bands.
After five years of playing in Shotty, Keltner made the decision to leave the band to focus on his own music and formed Fox and the Law, which has a straightforward rock sound as opposed to Shotty’s pop-friendly leanings.
“It came to a point that after five years it was tough for us to split up songwriting duties. I wanted to go in a different direction and do my own thing. We’re all still good friends,” Keltner said of his former bandmates.
Fast forward a few years later and Keltner found himself in another battle of the bands earlier this year when Fox and the Law won Hard Rock Seattle’s battle of the bands tournament in February. In an interesting turn of events, Shotty was one of the bands Fox and the Law bested in the Hard Rock competition.
“That was a really good break for us,” said Keltner. “It’s not that things were going particularly horrible for us or anything, but Seattle can be a tough town for a rock band.”
For Fox and the Law Keltner takes inspiration from various sources, including one of the most successful garage rock bands of the past decade – The White Stripes.
“Jack White has sort of been like my hero. Being a guy in my 20s I’ve been following his entire career and found inspiration from not the way he plays but also the way he carries himself and his attitude,” Keltner said.
The Jack White influence is pretty clear when listening to the Fox and the Law’s spirited songs with their hard-hitting garage rock edge. As for the songwriting, Keltner turns to soul and Motown for guidance.
“There’s not much of a difference between soul music and pop music from any era. To me what makes soul music soul music is the passion and you can hear it in the vocals. Motown and soul music has really helped me develop a songwriting skillset and given me a lot of confidence in my voice,” he said.
Being a younger band Fox and the Law also takes inspiration from more modern groups, such as defunct Nashville punks, and Thurston Moore favorites, Be Your Own Pet.
“The attitude of that band – there’s something going on,” Keltner said. “There’s an edge to their energy that I love. You can’t fake it. It’s this nasty attitude. If you watch clips of them performing it doesn’t look like they are bored. They tear it up and look like they are having as much fun as you are. I try to bring that every time we play.”
After winning the Hard Rock battle Fox and the Law took its show on the road, which is where the dead cat part of the story comes into play.
“In Denver we ran out of money for gas and it was a real low point. We didn’t know how the hell we were going to get home,” Keltner explained. “And then the craziest thing happens. There was a hit and run on a cat right in front of us and then this girl comes out screaming hysterically that her cat is dead. It was horrible”
Meanwhile, Keltner and his bandmates not only had to figure out how they were going to get home, they also had a gig to play that night.
“The venue that night was this real divey bar and we weren’t even sure we would make any money to pay for gas or food, or if we would even be able to leave Denver. But it turns out that a Colorado Rockies game got out right when we were supposed to play and the place ended up being packed.
Keltner said experiences like what happened in Denver, dead cats and all, are what makes him want to continue to make music.
“It showed me that no matter how bad things get things can end up turning out for the better. It was definitely a reaffirming experience that made me want to keep making music and keep this band going forward,” he said. “This band has been through a lot in the past year that I see big things happening for us,”
Fox and the Law performs at the High Dive tonight for a Guerrilla Candy Presents show that also features Blood Orange Paradise and the Spinning Whips. ($7, 9 p.m.) You can download the band’s single “Unbeliveable” above. Dead cat not included
EP Review: “Soulful Songs For Shoe-Gazers And Wallflowers” Pgs 38/39
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An acrid cloud of blue smoke silhouettes the surly bartender who leans away from his customers and c...An acrid cloud of blue smoke silhouettes the surly bartender who leans away from his customers and closer to the stage a foot off the floor. This image appears like a movie as the opening track, “Awake,” plays its soundtrack, soulfully slow, written as if for shoe-gazers and wallflowers too afraid to ask for a dance in a dimly lit club. Welcome to the imagery of Fox and the Law, an intoxicating Seattle band with a blues twist like a lemon wedge on the rim of an electric lemonade.
For all its references to water, Fox and the Law seem to have come from a vast ocean of Seattle bands riding a wave of driven motivation. The winners of the Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands and the Live and Loud Local Band of the week for the first week of April, Fox and the Law released its four-song, self-titled EP independently. Guy Fox sings with a tempered edge to his
vocals and lines like “I hope that I don’t drown” in “Unbelievable” give hope for the newest generation of garage rockers.
For those still seeking solace in late-night, smoky bars hoping to catch a whiff of the next “big thing,” keep an ear to the ground for Fox and the Law’s future. If the EP indicates a forthcoming full-length, this band could well propel itself out of the garage. (Self-released)
Engineered by Pat Moon and Guy Keltner // Produced by Justin Roeser, Ryan Granger and Guy Keltner http://www.foxandthelaw.com
-Ellen Eldridge, Performer Magazine July 2011
Alright, I'm Wrong: Interview with Guy Keltner of Fox and the Law
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Guy Keltner is proud of where he’s from, and he’s not worried about the labels that exist when you h...Guy Keltner is proud of where he’s from, and he’s not worried about the labels that exist when you happen to be from Seattle, or the comparisons that are likely to be made with other bands from such a storied musical city.
Tell me the history of Fox and the Law.
I started the band about a year and a half ago. I had been in a group called Shotty for 5 years, and despite some really strong bonds and a lot of great musical chemistry, I decided to part ways and began recording demos for a bunch of garage rock songs I had written. The drummer from Shotty and an old bass player of ours helped fill out the lineup in the beginning, and we started taking small shows around Seattle and the Northwest. Over time I found some more permanent members that really vibed with my sound and my vision, and we've gradually involved into the band we are today. We did a tour of the mid-west and the Northwest last summer that took a really heavy toll on our jobs and personal lives, but it also beat the band into shape and really tightened us up. We've become much more mature. It's a lot different, the songs feel different, but the energy is still there and my voice has taken on a lot more of a unique sound in the past year. I'm really happy with where we are at.
How would you describe what your doing?
Definitely falls in the garage rock category, but it's becoming so much more. There is totally this punk rock energy and attitude to what we do, especially during the live show. We also incorporate elements from other genres, such as Motown, Country Western (I'm a huge fan of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson), Jazz, and R&B.
Seattle is really flooded with a lot of singer songwriters, indie bands, faux-country acts, etc. I have a lot of respect for many of these bands, but at the end of the day it's just not my thing. While that is the stuff that usually gets the most press, there is so much more diversity in this city that often gets overlooked. I mean, yeah, Fleet Foxes and Death Cab came from here, but we have so much more to offer. The musicianship of the average person in this town is just incredible. I'm always finding out that so-and-so is in a band, or that my old boss or co-worker totally shreds at the clubs on the weekends. It seems like everyone is in a band.
We are really trying to put rock back on the map out here. Since the indie scene tends to overshadow everything else, it is going to be really nice when things finally shift in a different direction. There is so much talent in the rock scene that is just waiting to get press and recognition. I really love local bands like Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Hobosexual, and The Spinning Whips. It'll be really cool to see where things go in the city as these acts start to pick up steam.
Could you describe your songwriting process?
I usually come up with a skeleton of the songs. Basically, I sit with a bass guitar (and on some occasions, a classical guitar tuned down to C flat) and work out the hook or the groove, and will sit at that for a while until I can picture the whole band playing along. The vocal melody tends to fall in place as I get more comfortable with the groove. Sometimes I can picture a vocal melody in my mind first and it comes out the other way, where I'll hammer different ideas out on the bass until they fit my lyrical tropes. Surprisingly, my guitar parts are written last more often than not. And this is weird, considering we are a really guitar driven band.
And your process for lyrics? (Maybe they're one in the same).
Lyrics can be tough for me. I am not the most poetic dude, but then again, I spend a lot of time writing. I work in advertisement during the daytime, optimizing web ads and editing ad copy, so I do a lot of mundane writing at work. In my spare time I sometimes contribute to a local blog called Seattle Show Gal, and I usually put together music previews for them. Since I'm so heavily prose-oriented, it can be tough to create a beautiful or heartfelt lyric, but somehow I manage to do it. Usually I take notes when a really great line comes to mind, on a receipt or post-it note. I have so many goddam receipts and paper scraps folded into my lyric notebook. It's hard to keep track of them. When I sit down and make a conscious effort to focus my energy, I find that the lyrics were there all along and it's really just everyday distractions that make songwriting the most difficult.
Talk about the gear you choose; why you choose it, what exactly you use.
Whew...I'm not exactly the most gear-headed dudes, especially by Seattle standards, but I'll do my best to explain the "what" and "why". I play on a custom-built Fender telecaster for the most part. It's got a really good fit to my sound. The neck pickup is a TV Jones, has a really fat sound and works great with my amp. The bridge pickup is stacked, so in I can get that really twangy tele sound if I want, or I can pull off a much hotter sound in the other setting. For my amp, I use a '67 Fender Bassman head. It's epic, the thing just hits all the right mid-range tones I want to hear, but doesn't lose any of the high or low end that I want. I run it through a homemade cabinet (this great guy in Montlake Terrace put it together for dirt cheap, and wrapped it in classic red Marshall vinyl), and there are two 12'' Celestion knock-offs inside that I found online at this awesome warehouse site. I use an Ibanez Turbo Tube Screamer for overdrive/distortion, because it doesn't lose the low end in my tone. I am really obsessed with keeping our sound fat and heavy, without making it too metal, or straight-up sounding like a distorted bass. Finally, I use a homemade fuzz pedal, with Russian transistors inside for that really classic tone. The guy that made the pedal also made the guitar. His name is Al Kaatz, lives just north of me in Seattle. He gave me lessons back when I was in elementary and junior high school, and we've stayed close ever since. I really feel like he's had the most impact on my guitar sound.
My other guitar player, Ryan, uses a newer Fender DeVille amplifier with two 12's. He plays on a really fantastic Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar, and also has a Tube Screamer like mine. I'm actually a bit envious of the fuzz pedal he has, called a Swollen Pickle. The thing just get's that epically fat fuzz sound, and works so well with our music. We have similar tones, but there is a lot of difference in each of our own personal sounds and the way we play, so it compliments really well.
Where did your name come from?
I used to call the drummer from Shotty "The Law" (his name is actually Miles Frank). This is because the drummer should always lay down the law in any band, with a firm hand. At the time we started recording the demos of this stuff, it was just him and I, so we bounced around a couple of nicknames, and Guy Fox finally stuck. So that's why we became Fox and The Law.
Could you tell me about the recording process of your newest album.
I am not even ashamed to say it. Recording this album was about as close to Hell as I have ever come in my entire musical career. It really was a struggle, and all the while there wasn't much we could really do about it.
It begins with our tour last year. We manage to save quite a bit of money with some high paying gigs we took prior to leaving town for the midwest. However, after touring in an old renovated school bus, along with another six people (The Hague, an indie band out of Portland, and their merch guy) and experiencing a variety of hardships on the road, we were completely wiped out by August. Our guitar player, Ryan, lost his job at Boeing because of the tour, and my employment at the University of Washington was seasonal, so both of us found ourselves out of work for a number of months. Therefore, when it came down to record a record, we really had to rely on the kindness of outside parties in order to succeed.
We cut four of the tracks at my friend Pat Moon's home studio in Kirkland. Originally we recorded 12 over there, but were unhappy with a lot of the finished product, so we scrapped a majority of the recordings and held onto the four that sounded the best. We took these to a studio in Seattle called the Recovery Room to re-record the vocals (they didn't sound dirty enough, way too digital), and worked with the owner, Graig Markel. For the final mix of these tracks, we worked with another friend at his home studio, and he worked for free in exchange for a few shows (we have a decent draw in town so we had his band on a few bills). This was extremely time consuming, as you can imagine.
Around the time we were deciding the vocals needed to be re-cut, we began work on the other five tracks up in Bellingham at the WWU student studio, The Fairhaven. We had initially intended to put these tracks to tape, but scrapped that idea after realizing how amateur we really were (our friend that was engineering these sessions, Ben, is a recent graduate of their audio program, and it is safe to say that this was his first professional outing in the studio). We managed to get the drums to tape, though, which actually really affected the sound in a positive way. The tape machine even broke at one point, and despite the fact that I have next to no experience working on a technical level with recording equipment, I managed to repair the machine to finish of the drum tracks. After finishing a majority of the instrumental tracks in this studio, we were so flustered with the pace and limitations within this environment that we made a decision not to leave the Seattle city limits for the remainder of the recording process. We actually recorded a majority of my guitar solos at another friend's home studio near my apartment in Greenwood. If this sounds convoluted by this point, trust me, I completely understand. I was just as confused. Finally, we were under the gun to get the vocals recorded because the summer season was coming up fast, and our original goal had been to finish by March at the very latest. It had already been 9 months by this point. We recorded the remaining vocals in Ryan's bedroom, and I was literally so relieved to be finished that I ran out of the room immediately after singing the final vocal pieces and said "I am outta here."
The final mixes were predominantly decided by Ryan and I, so in a weird, roundabout way, this album was self-produced, with about four other co-producers involved at some point or another. The record is being mastered over at Jupiter Studios by a fantastic guy named Martin Feveyear, who has worked with Kings of Leon and The Blue Scholars, among many others.
I would never even attempt to relive this experience again. Working like this meant dealing with a lot of variables, too many people, and way too many opinions. It meant calling people that had something important and not hearing back for days, or getting blown off at times. I have no animosity towards anybody that helped us out - a majority of them were working for little or no money, so what was I supposed to say? In the end I am really thankful for what they did to help, and I am just glad it is done. I fully intend to carefully budget for our next project and make sure that we have a reasonable deadline that we can comfortably meet.
How would you describe your most recent show?
Face melting. We played Chop Suey, on Capitol Hill in Seattle, to an extremely enthusiastic crowd. One of the great things about being this band is watching people's reactions when we are on stage. Some of them have seen us, and some haven't. They usually see us get on stage and probably think, "Ugh...that singer looks like a high school kid and that other guitar player looks like Gerard Butler. These guys can't be any good. And is he wearing a sheep-skin vest?" Then we start rocking out and that's when everyone kind of looks at each other and goes "Holy Shit!" I hope I don't sound as egotistical as I think I do right now.
Anyways, my mom was at this past show along with my brother, who is recently 21, so he and all his friends bought my mom and I shots of tequila, and were handing them out at the foot of the stage right before we started playing. I'm not one to promote drinking liquor necessarily, but it was pretty funny to be making a toast to my mom and my little brother from the stage and then downing a nasty shot of well-tequila right before playing.
Our set consisted of the usual burners and a majority of the songs off of our record. We also played some of the new Motown and Funk inspired tunes, and they won't over extremely well. Despite the clear use of funk and R&B elements, we manage to keep things very punk-rock and fuzzy. The crowd went fairly ballistic at the end of our set and made us come out for another song, so we played this punk tune that we haven't done in a while called "Honey, You're Heartless", about this psycho-ex of mine that assaulted me and cut my hair (that's a story for another day).
Is this your full time gig? What does everyone do in the band outside the band if not?
Definitely a full time thing, but we find time for other stuff, despite often working 50 or 60 hours a week and then rehearsing like crazy. Like I said, I do advertising for a day job and also some writing. I am also working on some other musical projects, including a more dance-heavy set of songs I plan on recording at some point this summer. I also just started rehearsing again with the power trio I played in during high school (kind of a Modest Mouse meets The Moving Units thing).
Ryan is in another band called the Grizzled Mighty. It's just him on guitar and vocals and this girl Whitney playing drums. They will absolutely get White Stripes and Black Keys comparisons but they have their own sound going, and it fucking rocks. Whitney actually used to play guitar in the band Deerhunter. She grew up in Georgia with Bradford and toured the US and Europe with that band.
Our drummer Dan just graduated UW (we are both officially alums), and while there he was drumming for the jazz combo, among other pursuits. He'll probably keep working on some jazz stuff, but right now this band is our primary focus.
Future of the band?
Go big or go home. We are looking to make a career of this, so that means years and years of hard work and struggling, which we are ready to take head on. We will be releasing the record sometime this summer after our kickstarter campaign is complete: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/779555836/fox-and-the-law-summer-tour
We are going into record at Orbit Audio in July or August. We hit it off with this producer, Mike Sterling, and will be cutting an EP of our most recent songs. I would really like to put together another full-length in the fall. We are also likely to be touring the west coast in August, doing a few club dates in Portland, San Francisco, etc.
FOX AND THE LAW SEAL THE DEAL AT SEATTLE HARD ROCK CAFE BATTLE OF THE BANDS FINALS
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Hard rock was alive and well Saturday night at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe. Hundreds gathered the eveni...Hard rock was alive and well Saturday night at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe. Hundreds gathered the evening of March 12 for the Battle of the Bands finals to root on Shotty, Goodnight Argent and Fox and the Law.
Premium beer and liquour poured; young couples were in high fashion; the atmosphere and energy buzzed.
And the question on everyone's mind was who would take the prize and the all expense paid trip to the London Hard Rock Cafe in June 2011 as part of the 40th anniversary celebration festival of the Hard Rock Cafe opening for Bon Jovi.
The evening ended the way the majority of the audience hoped it would. Garage rock/blues quartet Fox and the Law, led by rock guitar architect Guy Keltner, captured the award.
They easily proved to the audience that they were the obvious choice for best hard rock band.
Fox closed the evening and brought the house down with their high-energy, ballsy and brainy blues rock laced with grunge. They rocked the hardest and delivered the whole package.
The three judges who decided the winner I'm sure had a hard time choosing. It clearly came down to two bands: indie rock/art rock/euro-pop band Shotty and Fox and the Law.
Goodnight Argent - the third act -played a flawless set, don't get me wrong. But their sound was way too commercial and way too poppy. And what was up with the hand-held electric keyboard on the first few songs. I experienced an unsettling 80s flashback. Thank you very much, Goodnight Argent (sarcasm)!
Each band was required to play a Bon Jovi cover song in their set. Goodnight Argent played it way too safe and chose to perform "Shot Through the Heart" exactly the way Jovi does. On one hand, that's great, but it's always more enjoyable when a band can take a song and put their own spin on it and make it their own.
And that's exactly what Shotty and Fox did.
Shotty performed an eclectic and outside-the-box cover of "Shot Through the Heart" with a revamped version of the melody, complemented by scizophrenic guitar playing by frontman Pat Moon.
Fox performed Jovi's "Bad Medicine" and put their garage rock stamp on it with a Jack White-like vocal.
But the vote for best hard rock band really came down to several things: the band's ability to embody the essence of the Seattle music scene; the band's ability to channel the ethos of hard rock dating back to the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today ... a linear celebration of the history of hard rock; the band's stage presence and rapport with the audience; audience feedback; and the originality and delivery of the Jovi cover.
All those elements came together for Fox and the Law. Fox and the Law had the best stage presence and rapport with the audience (although Shotty did equally well on that front). Fox enjoyed the most consistent and long-lasting crowd reaction. The audience loved the band's hybrid of Detroit garage rock and Seattle grunge rock.
If the Black Keys, the White Stripes, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana gave birth to a rock baby, its name would be Fox and the Law.
Keltner was excited and gracious by his band's accomplishment. He took to the stage as Seattle rock station 99.9 announced the winner. He gave a shout out to his loyal fans.
Keltner told Northwest Indie Music, "We worked our asses off, putting in extra hours of practice this week, and it showed."
Shotty's Pat Moon was happy for Keltner, his former bandmate and collaborator. Moon said there was a lot of stress related to this show so, in a way, he said it was nice to have that lifted. He said he was looking forward to sleeping.
I do want to make it known that I don't discount Shotty's performance in any way. Their set was packed full of classic rock, space rock and grunge rock elements. Shotty is a very appealing, modern sounding band. They're edgy, quirky, arty, fun, exciting, warm and have hands down, one of the most loyal fan bases in the greater Seattle area.
Shotty recently released a brand new album called "Superfan." It stands as a big thank you to fans, past Shotty members and anyone and everyone who has ever supported the band today, yesterday and in the future. Tracks to check out include "Girls," "Superfan," and the chilled-out "Mellow." Shotty and Pat Moon are in top form.
But at the end of the evening, it was Fox who prevailed. And by the noise volume from the crowd, it was obvious it was the right choice and very deserving.
Had the judges picked Goodnight Argent, the antithesis to hard rock, there would have been a mass riot.
FOX AND THE LAW HERALDS NEW ERA OF SEATTLE GARAGE ROCK
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It looks like 2011 is shaping up to be a banner year for garage rock darlings Fox and the Law. Fr...It looks like 2011 is shaping up to be a banner year for garage rock darlings Fox and the Law.
Fronting this quartet is Guy Keltner, a rock guitar architect who is shepherding a new Seattle sound that fuses ballsy, brainy, bluesy garage rock with melodic classic rock and a dash of grunge.
In recent weeks, the band won round 1 of the Battle of the Bands at the Seattle Hard Rock Cafe. The band will return to compete in the finals against winners of rounds 2 and 3 on March 12. If they sweep the finals, the band will earn the opportunity to spread their kinetic sound to Europe and perform at the London Hard Rock Cafe.
In March, Keltner and crew will wil drop their debut self-titled EP.
The four-track disc opens with "Feel So Blue," which starts with a walking bass line that propels listeners into a raw, grunge explosion that harkens back to Nirvana's hey-day but then side-steps into an onslaught of British blues rock accented by Clapton-esque licks.
"Feel So Blue" displays Keltner's passsion for the unlimited potential of the guitar. He wields the ax like the guitar greats before him, flawlessly allowing it to sing and breathe.
"Awake" ends up being Keltner's tour-de-force masterpiece, a song on a higher plane than "Feel So Blue." "Awake" is a beautiful, romantic piece full of rich humanity. Elsewhere on the EP, listeners are exposed to upbeat, straight up rock but here Fox and the Law pilfer their souls, pull back hidden layers and display their beating heart.
"Awake" is the best song on the disc, earning high marks for its honesty, subtle intensity and dynamic, melodic lines. It carries a commercial quality and would be well-suited as an anchor song in a movie soundtrack.
The EP ends with "Stop Fakin" and "Unbelievable."
These last two cuts are relentless, unapologetic flight rock featuring chant choruses and a continuation of the blues.
It's time Seattle entered the garage rock arena and joined acts like The Black Keys and Jack White. Who better to lead the charge than Keltner--a guitar rock god if ever there was one.
I'll lay odds Fox and the Law will steal the thunder of the Battle of the Bands round 2 and 3 picks. It'll be a cakewalk for them in the finals. London's calling.
Talent scouts take notice!
Learn more about Fox and the Law at www.myspace.com/foxandthelaw where you'll find tracks and concert dates.
Around The Town - Fox and The Law
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With Seattle’s vibrant music scene, it’s not surprising (but always delightful) when we watch bands ...With Seattle’s vibrant music scene, it’s not surprising (but always delightful) when we watch bands work the circuit and see the connection come full circle. Such is the case with local blues garage rock band Fox and the Law.
Fox and the Law is currently competing in the Hard Rock Café Battle of The Bands for a chance to perform in New York and then advance to the Hard Rock Calling festival in London’s Hyde Park. Fox and the Law won their qualifying round on Feb. 11 and will compete in the finals, March 12.
Fox and the Law band mates Guy Keltner and Jeff Fairbanks are also 2008 Sound Off! alumni. Sound Off! is another battle of the bands (youth focused) which takes place every Saturday night in February at the EMP with the runner-up winning a performance spot at the Northwest Folklife Festival.
To finally wrap-up this partnership and tie it in a nice bow, Fox and the Law are also featured in the Ball of Wax Volume 23 Audio Quarterly. The release party is tonight at the Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m.…Did I mention Ball of Wax has a showcase at this year’s Festival? There’s one more degree for you.
So check out the Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands finals March 12, go to Sound Off! finals March 5, and don’t miss the Ball of Wax Volume 23 Release Party tonight at the Sunset Tavern, any of these choices will lead you to a good time with Fox and the Law.
Fox and The Law Interview (Seattle, WA)
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Who are some of the biggest influences on your music? Personally, my biggest influence has been S...Who are some of the biggest influences on your music?
Personally, my biggest influence has been Stevie Ray Vaughan, but the whole band has a range of influences. Jack White is definitely a huge reason that I play guitar the way I do, along with Hendrix and Django Reinhardt
Fox and the Law @ the Crocodile "You've Got That Certain It"
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Photos: Fox and the Law @ the Crocodile 12/26/2010 Hey Fox and the Law – you’ve got that certain...Photos: Fox and the Law @ the Crocodile
Hey Fox and the Law – you’ve got that certain it. You’ve got the strutting sound and talent of blues rock. Now, dear Seattle, take note and check this band out.
After seeing their show at the Crocodile, I’m quite smitten. In my preview for this show with Romance and the Royal Bear I neglected to research Fox and the Law and Night Beats. Big mistake on my part for not checking both bands out before the show. You can catch Fox and the Law next at the Josephine on January 15th, at the New Frontier Room in Tacoma on January 21st, and/or at the Tractor on February 2nd.
CD Reviews – October 2010: Fox and the Law
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This garage rock medley from Bellingham/Seattle band Fox and the Law is a winning combination of hig...This garage rock medley from Bellingham/Seattle band Fox and the Law is a winning combination of high-energy tracks that makes for an intensely unmitigated listen. Their self-titled EP has a lo-fi feel that’s relatively refreshing, and rather than being over-produced and squeaky clean, the band took a more rugged and honest approach with their first recording.
With lead singer Guy Fox warbling some punk rock hooks in front of instrumentation that spans from country-inspired to post rock to classic rock, the album flirts on the edge of punk rock and maintains a White Stripes simplicity and sensibility. As a listener, I can appreciate the honesty and pure unadulterated energy compacted into their songs and it’s easy to acknowledge the allegiance they make to the rock genre. With their halting guitar distortions, animated rhythms, and forceful melodies, they sneak up on you like a wave and come crashing down on you.
Fox and the Law is an assembly of strong musicians that beckons to be recognized. Seeing as they are both aggressively dynamic and gracefully forceful, I could see the band being a great live experience.
Fox and The Law Rocks The Village
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By the end of December, the efforts by the Mohanam Cultural Center in Tamil Nadu, India to ensure eq...By the end of December, the efforts by the Mohanam Cultural Center in Tamil Nadu, India to ensure equitable education to the youth of the village and to provide clean drinking water to a populace ravaged by kidney failure and other health ailments, could be all but squandered should supplemental funding not become available.
Fortunately, half a world away in Seattle, University of Washington senior Mario Abata is shining a light on this school and using his connections within the local music community to forge a benefit concert called “Rock The Village.”
One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the $8 cover charge plus any additional donations will go completely back to the school.
The concert will start at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11 at the Nectar Lounge in Fremont. The music lineup comprises garage/blues rock quartet Fox and The Law, ambient indie rock group James Lanam and The Good Hurt, Americana act Horde and The Harem, and alternative rock group Viva La Villains.
Abata became invested in the cultural center when he traveled there as part of a study abroad to India from January through March of 2010.
Through an internship he did in the village, Abata connected with the cultural center’s principal who informed him that the school was facing imminent foreclosure.
“The principal said he could run the entire school and the clean water project and staff and meals for two months on $1,000,” Abata said. “$1,000 is a goal (for the benefit concert). That’s on the conservative end. I’d like to raise at least $1,500.”
Abata instantly gravitated toward the idea of uniting his love for music with his passion for this school that does so much for its people. More than 2/3 of the village habitants are provided clean drinking water from the cultural center’s clean water project.
Abata said the American dollar goes a long way in the village where a living wage is about $2 a day.
Abata first made contact with a friend of his, Guy Keltner, also known as Guy Fox of Fox and the Law. Keltner set the wheels in motion and reached out to other bands.
Keltner is also widely known in Seattle music circles as the former lead guitarist of Kirkland-based Shotty. Just last January, he parted ways with Shotty in an amicable split to focus more on his own music.
He now finds himself in a tight nit group of musicians, including a drummer who is part of the University of Washington drum school.
“I like the frontman thing—being able to control my own art,” he said. “But I don’t want to be just the lead guy. I’d like to keep the band open and allow the other members to contribute, to give them more freedom.”
Fox and The Law’s current batch of songs are ballsy and robust, featuring Keltner’s flawless and dirty guitar playing. His music is steeped in old-style rock and blues based around simple, catchy riffs and playful lyrics. Many critics have dubbed him Seattle’s answer to Jack White of the White Stripes.
“Jack White is doing well,” Keltner said. “I don’t mind being compared to him. It’s hard to have grown up during the past 10 years and not like what he does.”
Keltner says he wants to stay true to the vintage recording style of the 1970s.
“I believe recording technology reached its peak in the late 1970s, so all my records are pre-1980s,” he says. “I’m more of a jazz and R&B kind of guy.”
Where Keltner is most comfortable is in front of a live audience.
“Where we do it live is where I have full control,” he says. “When we record, we have to make sacrifices to get it over to the audience.”
Keltner says he likes his band to be loose and flexible with its sound, with a lot of improvisation. He said they have different crowds every night and they perform a certain way, depending upon the reaction from the audience.
Fox and The Law plans to enter a recording studio in January 2011 with hopes of having a full-length album released the following spring or summer.
Keltner promises the album will have an alternative-country/soulful sound to it (something he’s been getting into more of).
“It’ll be less focused on one guitar (and more on the whole band),” he says. “(The band) is out of control.”
What Keltner likes to do is smash soul music like Curtis Mayfield and Smoky Robinson with something modern like Built to Spill, and sees what happens.
Meanwhile, Keltner and his band are waiting word of a coveted spot on the Seattle stage at SXSW in Austin. Keltner tried for the music festival as a member of Shotty, but the group never made it.
“We’re ready for it,” Keltner said. “I could use the networking. I’ll go down there to network regardless (of whether we perform or not).”
Fox and the Law will perform at Rock The Village at the 9 p.m. hour. Take a listen to their sound at www.myspace.com/foxandthelaw.
Abata says those attending the benefit concert will also have an opportunity to donate above and beyond the $8 cover charge, if they so choose.
Posted by Andrew Fickes
Fox and the Law, First Impressions, Quesadilla
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I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle for the first time on Sunday June 13th to see a fairly new S...I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle for the first time on Sunday June 13th to see a fairly new Seattle band called Fox and the Law. I’d met their manager once prior to the show to talk about my own band and she of course, being the good manager she appears to be, convinced me to see Fox and the Law. So I got to the Hard Rock and went upstairs where the first band on a four band bill for Noise for the Needy was just finishing up. I noticed right away the bass was way to bassy and hoped that did not continue throughout the day. I found a seat at the bar where I had to shout my order for a Shock Top beer three times before the bartender could understand me and for the first time in my life, being the bass player that I am, I had the thought, “The damn bass is too loud.”
bone cave ballet
My Shock Top came as the the first band finished and the switch over began. perfect timing. I flagged down the bartender and asked for a menu. “Appetizers only up here,” he said. So I looked over the appetizers while he waited and replied, “I’ll have a quesadilla, please.” He gave a little laugh, “Sorry no quesadillas up on the second floor. I don’t know why.” That gave me pause. Huh? They’ll bring nachos and wings and spring rolls and whatever else up to the second floor but not quesadillas? WTF? I wanted something approaching a meal and chicken strips wouldn’t do it. I wanted a quesadilla dammit! Denied thus I went with the wings, Buffalo style. I expected them greasy but figured they’d be filling, and I’d be satisfied.
By the time Fox and the Law was ready I was on my second Shock Top and the wings had just arrived. The music started big with heavy chords and a kind a manic energy. The vocals were passionate if not so strong. Still, the effect was engaging. As I munched the wings and sipped the beer I tapped my foot, bobbed my head. They had energy. That was undeniable. It’s surprising but there are a lot of bands that can play loud and fast and still manage somehow to lack any spirit or energy. The first number was driving. “I hope that I don’t drown … I hope that I don’t drown … Na na na na na naaaaaa…” Sometimes a new young band will shoot their whole load in the rocking opening number so I was curious for the next one when I heard a voice, “How are the wings?” I turned to see a female bartender, a very attractive female bartender, thin, a little cleavage, nose piercing, and there I was with wing sauce on my hands and face, some had dripped on my notebook. So much for first impressions with beauty. “Fine,” I replied, “I’ll have another beer.”
“This next one’s called Honey You’re Heartless,” the singer said before launching big into a song that started with the chorus … “You took the soul right out of soulful…” It was another energetic number. Looking around heads were bobbing. Some people were grooving. I was eating wings. My beer came. “Here you are,” said the beautiful black haired bartender while I still looked a mess. Oh well. There was a jam happening on stage. There were pauses with guitar riffs, other pauses with drum fills. That went on and I though about the bass. I wanted a bass riff to fill that pause like John entwistle in My Generation or Steve Harris in Iron Maiden’s version of Cross Eyed Mary. It wasn’t to be though. Pause, Guitar Fill. Pause. Drum Fill. Pause, Guitar Fill. Pause. Drum Fill. What about the bass? The guy seemed a decent enough player. Let him shine a bit. Pause, Guitar Fill. Pause. Drum Fill.
I finished the wings but they didn’t settle well. They started to come back out and fill the air as the band kept on. They were good when they simply jammed, when they cranked it up to eleven and rocked. The guitar player was new to lead vocal duties though so that’s expected. I thought if they stayed together they could be very good. They’ll tighten up and the vocals will get stronger. At the moment, they’re good for a high energy rock show and worth keeping an eye on to see which way they go.
Their last number, I Can’t Be Your Man, started with a big catchy riff that I can still remember a week later. The wings kept making their uneasy appearance felt though, and I hoped to make it through the song before rushing to the bathroom. I liked the big riff and after the second chorus it opened up, the bass kept on it, the drums rolled, the guitar chugged in at times, faded in at others, and then came in big before going out again. It was cool. The guitar rose, the drums crashed, the bass was steady, and the wings did circles in my stomach and made themsleves known to all within a five foot radius of me, possibly more.
bone cave ballet
A nice looking blond came over to the bar then to order a drink. She stood next to me as she waited for one of the bartenders to come over. She narrowed her eyes, wrinkled her nose. A look of disgust came over her face. She looked over at me with a horrified expression. “Honey, you’re heartless,” I thought. She still looked at me, wrinkled her nose again, looked as if she was about to puke as she moved off down the bar. My eyes followed her. Again, so much for first impressions.
“Don’t blame me,” I thought, “I wanted a quesadilla.” I wanted more bass too. Maybe at their next show.
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