we had a great catch up with Foxglove's Abi to discuss their recent performance on Scruff of the Neck, crochet and their new single!
Anyone who's ever been in a band before knows that the hardest part is indeed coming up with a name, where did you get yours from? You're so right! We wish we had a really cool story to tell you but we'd been through so many names that we just picked our favourite sounding flowers off a flower species list in Wikipedia and ended up with Foxglove. But weirdly enough after we'd chosen the name, I found out that my zodiac flower is a Foxglove! I always clarify to people that it's definitely a flower, not a Fox wearing gloves haha; a Fox wearing gloves isn't half as cool!
We loved your live performance on Scruff of the Neck! How different was it performing to an audience you couldn't see compared to your usual gigs? Thank you so much for tuning in! It was an incredible experience and we're all on such a high from it. Even though we couldn't physically see the people, it was definitely more nerve wracking! There were 1,700 people watching at one point and usually we're playing gigs to around 50 people in a room so it was absolutely mental; I genuinely woke up this morning thinking it was all a dream! We had a screen above us so we could see all the comments coming in on Twitch so there was the aspect of an interactive audience there even though it was a bit different to usual. Doing the live gig felt like such an escape from what's going on at the moment; my mum even said this morning that she felt that for 45 minutes she was transported back to a non-covid world! I know my mum is probably biased but I hope we helped other people feel like this too. This third lockdown is really tough on everyone but we've all got to stick together and know that there is an end in sight.
Do you remember your first gig? How well did it go? I feel like for Foxglove there's been a few 'first gig' experiences for us all! For all of us, Foxglove wasn't our first musical venture performing in bands, we'd all been in other bands prior, but non the less the first gig you do as a new outfit will always be scary! I always see Foxglove as having two first gigs. The first one being when we initially formed in the Summer of 2016, and the second one when Joe joined in 2018. I still have the setlist from 2016; it was at a venue called NQ Live (that doesn't even exist now!) and out of our setlist there's only one survivor that has made it to 2021 and that's 'Tuesday'; although now we play it so differently that it's almost unrecognisable! The first gig we did with Joe was in the January of 2018. It was at Factory and it was absolutely FREEZING. I can't even describe how cold it was in there; everyone in there was in coats and we were donning our best gig outfits which happened to be really thin T-shirts that definitely weren't weather appropriate! We thought a lot about what direction we wanted to go in at that point; putting electronic interludes between songs and playing them through an aux cable connected to a laptop, but now we realise the best way to find your direction is to make the music you want to make and you will develop and go in a much better direction than you would if you try and pigeon hole yourself into a style or genre.
And you have a new single coming out this month, could you talk a little bit about it; musical inspirations and messages behind it? We talk a lot about nostalgia and the late 90's and early 00's running through our tracks as it's when we were all growing up and some of that music shaped our tastes to this day (Ryan loves his 90's sounding guitar music and I am still a HUGE pop fan; you can thank Pop Party 1 for that). Based on our inspirations, we wanted to combine a pop sounding vocal and melody with 90's/ early 00's inspired guitar music. We made a playlist with all the inspirations that helped shape 'Give It Up' that you can find here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0pYOwefIBJAYmyFBiTtvc2?gclid=CPesjO7_gLQCFax7cAod9jMAeA When it comes down to the lyrics and the meaning behind the track, I actually wrote them at the same time as I wrote the lyrics for our previous single 'Bright Lights', so it's worked out well that we've released both tracks in succession. At the time I was at a bit of a cross roads stage in my life- when I wrote 'Bright Lights' I was pissed off and I think you can hear that in the lyrics and the tone of my voice. 'Give it Up' I guess is the vulnerability and reflection that follows a situation like I was dealing with in 'Bright Lights'. The meaning is a lot more sombre, reflective... and kind of sad really! In the song I touch on not being able to open up and talk about my emotions, which is something not many people knew about me at the time so it definitely felt like our most vulnerable track to me. Since writing this song my mindset has changed and I'm very open and honest about how I feel in situations. I guess the message I want people to take from this is that honesty really is the best policy and there is really no judgement when you open up and talk about how you feel and your emotions.
You are obviously one of those bands who are not letting the pandemic stop you from doing what you love. How are you finding it tackling these obstacles Covid presents to Foxglove? We've been trying so hard to stay as active as we possibly can during these times! Initially we only anticipated that we'd be in this situation for a month or so, so we just rallied together and put out an acoustic cover of our first single 'Tuesday'. I was singing in the bath because I didn't even have a recording microphone or DAW at that point, and Ryan and Liam were also in the same situation so we were just using our phone audio. A couple of weeks down the line when we realised we were in it for the long run, we decided to invest in home recording equipment, mics, DAW's and editing equipment so we could keep as active as possible, and it's helped us develop so much! Because of learning all these new things, we've now remotely recorded demos for all our tracks which will help us refine the tracks and pick the next singles. On reflection, these obstacles have actually helped us develop our skills and our sound, but we are just desperate for live gigs to come back now!
Finally, with mental health cases among young people currently on the rise, how are you keeping sane throughout lockdown? Funnily enough, I read an article the other day about how to keep sane during lockdown and why people are finding this particular lockdown so difficult compared to the others. The psychologist suggested that the best thing to do is keep your mind as active as possible and try to do new things every day and this is what I've tried to do during lockdown. So far I've taught myself how to do digital art (and designed our last two artworks which was SO fun!), crochet, home record music and do gel nails! Anything that's arty-ish I find quite therapeutic and cathartic! I've been doing a lot of reading too! I guess I just try and keep my mind as active as possible. It's really tough some days, but other days can be really productive and positive. I just always think that this won't last forever!