"Understanding rage is what we do as a band" - hmv.com talks to Black Foxxes about new album Reiði
As their second album Reiði (pronounced ‘Reed-ee and meaning 'Rage' in Icelandic) comes to hmv stores, we spoke to hard rockers Black Foxxes and their frontman Mark Holley about making the LP and the impact spending time in Iceland has had on the record...
When did you start putting together the songs for this album?
“We never stop writing. Every time we’ve got a bit of downtime we’re writing songs, so we made sure we had a big batch of songs in the pipeline before we had anything formally nailed down for a second album.”
Did you have a goal of how you wanted to move on from I’m Not Well?
“Even before the first album came out, we knew what we wanted. The first record is a very straight rock record and you get what it’s about from the title, it was a hard record to make. For this one we wanted to open things up a bit, we wanted to cover more styles of music, we wanted strings and horns in there, just more elements.”
You did the album with Adrian Busby, as you did for your debut, why did you stick with him?
“His CV is nuts. Muse, Foo Fighters, My Bloody Valentine, we fell in love with the sound he gets out of bands and then we met him. He’s got such vision and he knows how to mould himself to suit a band. We didn’t want a producer with loads of tricks up his sleeve, we didn’t want someone who’d overproduce us, he totally got that.”
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is it less personal than your debut?
“I don’t think so. I find myself writing a lot more about adventure and exploring. The first album was all about what was going on in my mind. Much as this is a lighter record in sonic terms, the darkness always comes through in my lyrics. Understanding rage is what we do as a band, particularly in the words.”
Can you talk me through the impact that Iceland has had on the record?
“I travelled there a few times and there’s nowhere else on Earth like it. It’s a place to escape everything and I just fell in love with the place. I wrote a lot of the lyrics for the second album there, easily 70% of them, and a fair chunk of the songs."
What did you find so inspiring about Iceland?
“It just feels otherworldly and like being on another planet. The first time I went I was really suffering with anxiety and depression. I could barely leave the house. I just booked a flight to somewhere, I wanted to find somewhere that was the opposite of being comfortable at home and Iceland was where I went. I’ve got a weird romance with Iceland, we’ve been on a journey together.”
Do you think you might ever get to play there as a band?
“Realistically there’s only one place to play, which is Reykjavik and financially it makes no sense to go there unless you’re a giant band. One day, when we’re bigger, definitely.”
Finally, are you able to look beyond this album to what’s next yet?
“We’re already eight tracks in on album three, but it’ll be interesting what we do. There’s a lot of talks about going about it in different ways, but we’re compiling a huge bulk of tracks. We’ve got a very busy summer and a lot of festivals, so we’re getting lots down while we can…”