“We Wanted To Be Able To Tap Into A Lot More People” – Tristan Jane, Black Foxxes (The VH Interview)

With a critically acclaimed second full-length record and a near sold out headline tour, the start of 2018 has been very kind to Black Foxxes.

The trio from Exeter show now signs of resting on their laurels with a busy summer of festivals in the pipeline, including an appearance at this year’s Boardmasters Festival in Newquay this August.

It is an exciting time to be a Black Foxxes fan to see the evolution of the band transforming into the absolute powerhouse band which have been tearing up venues across the country.

Vulture Hound had the opportunity to speak to bass player Tristan Jane about the explosive start of the year the band has had and what the future looks like.

Congratulations on Reiði I know it has been out a few months now but the reaction has been incredible, so how is it being on the inside of all that excitement?

It has been really positive, we are really lucky to have some really supportive guys around us helping push the record and the reaction we have got so far has been really great.

From Reiði compared to I’m Not Well it feels like you guys have grown into the sound you have wanted outwardly portray, would you say that is the case?

What we had with I’m Not Well was more of a collection of songs that we had written over a period of two or three years. Whereas by the time we came to write Reiði we had been playing together for a good four or five years so we knew each other well enough to know how each one of us writes and what we can bring to the table. We have become all very in tune with each other and without really talking about it that was the sound that we wanted to take. It was the right step that we needed to take, and people always say the dreaded second album, so we were all heads in the game and cracking on.

From an audience perspective have you found that fans are buying into the band a lot more with what you are doing this time around?

The way I see the comparison between the two records is that I’m Not Well is a bit more straight up rock with grunge elements. With Reiði we had fine tuned that to a point and made that our signature sound. So for us it is playing to our strengths.

Even with the recording process we were allowed a lot more time and we had more room to play with sounds and we had more resources to make this record a huge step up for us. Reiði is more mature and more dynamic which is to our benefit.

I was lucky enough to see you guys when you played Southsea Fest a number of years ago and this time around on your headline tour I saw you at the Joiners. The two were completely different so are you also finding your feet as live performers as well?

I remember that Southsea show – it was a tiny room above a pub, and when we got there it was dead but when we started playing the room filled out a bit. We do all love playing those smaller shows. What is difficult is when we are supporting in those bigger venues when it isn’t necessarily our demographic. Headlining shows is where we come into our own and we feed off the energy of the crowd.

It has been quite eye opening for us as you really get a sense of how much love those hardcore Black Foxxes fans have for us and the material we write. One this headline tour we had a few people moshing and in Manchester we even had a wall of death which was a bit strange. It is really great to see that but we are more used to supporting it is humbling to see people go crazy for us on our headline shows.

The headline tour was right off the back of the release of Reiði so was it strange to see that reaction to the new material straight away?

Absolutely. We always hope the new record would take off more that I’m Not Well. For me I we wanted it to be able to tap into a lot more people, for example you could not name just one demographic which were coming to our shows. That shows we are going in the right direction as it appeals to a much larger audience.

One expanding into a wider audience there seems to be more of a drive towards hook driven songs this time around. Was that something consciously that you wanted to do in a bid to get that bigger audience?

When we wrote ‘Manic in Me’ and ‘Sæla’ we knew these were the “radio tracks”. These are the singles. But you have to give everyone a bit of everything. We would be stupid to say we would just write songs for us and fuck everyone else. So to play the industry you do have to think about those things. But that move came naturally and it wasn’t us selling out because it is very much still us.

You have the hardcore fans who come along and sing along to the more obscure tracks, so they aren’t just coming for the radio tracks they are consuming the material as a whole.

Having said there is something for everyone you are part of the eclectic Boardmasers Festival line-up this year – so for you to be among those bands, some of which are house hold names is it quite humbling?

As a kid living in Plymouth loads of my friends would go to Boardmasters because it was a festival on the beach – why wouldn’t you want to go? And I remember there were always really good bands playing but I never got the chance to go because I didn’t have the money. We are just lucky to take part in all these festivals. The more the merrier.

The Main Stage at Boardmasters Festival.

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Black Foxxes headline the Boardmasters Festival Netloft Stage on Friday August 8th.

For full line-up and ticket info, click here.