Fox Violet Is Looking To Connect With The Masses in 2020 They Play The Satellite Free Tonight (1/30/20)
LOS ANGELES, CA- Fox Violet is a melodic rock group based out of Los Angeles and if fronted by the London born singer/songwriter Thea Juliette. Last year, Blurred Culture was fortunate enough to host them for a performance at Madame Siam back in November, and they rocked the house right. With Tito of Tito Woods on lead guitar, Max Cary on bass, Phoebe Silva on violin and vox, and Dennis on drums, Fox Violet lay some serious cinematic rock down in the room.
I was able to catch up with Thea and Max after the fact and they let us know a little bit about their music and origins. Check it out!
Tell me a little about the music that you put out so far. On Spotify, I noticed that there are three tracks that you’ve released as Fox Violet. “Who Are You”, “Trenches” and “Freak”. There’s a pulsing heaviness to your music, especially “Who are You”, which happens to be my favorite track. You seem to have a cheery personality in person, so I wonder where you pull your musical spirit from. Where does that darkness come from?
THEA: I take a lot of inspiration from a subconscious questioning of human behavior. It morphs into its own sphere and exists on its own. I feel to me melancholy is the purest emotion, especially in the question of our own identity. I’m probably in constant pursuit of representing melancholy in both all its shades, in as honest a way as possible, so it never ends.
MAX The weight of these songs is something that I really enjoy playing with during our live set. These slow-building climaxes and these dark and heavy tones really establish a vibe, and I really try to carry that forward in the performance. The music is just so immersive, so the thrashing about and scowling and other shenanigans that we get into during our act just comes so naturally. It’s a nice little catharsis, to get up on stage and unleash your demons for 30 or 40 minutes.
THEA: With Fox Violet, it’s a journey that is obsessed with nostalgia and dreams, existing at that pinnacle between sleep and wake where things seem more honest and real. Whether we achieve it or not that’s the sound we are chasing and crafting. I’ll probably be chasing that inspiration forever.
MAX: These songs are such a treat for a bassist as well. It can be easy as a bass player to get caught up chasing these complex and technical basslines, but then you get a song like “Who Are You”, where the bassline has got this intense weight and gravity, and it commands so much of the song’s attention, all with just four quarter notes, and it just makes you feel like an all-powerful thundergod up on stage.
When it comes to songwriting, is it a communal thing where you all sit in a room and bounce ideas off of one another, or does someone usually write a song, and then you all add your own flourishes to it?
THEA: So far it’s been the latter but we are currently in the process of working in a communal way
Where did the idea for Fox Violet come from? … In fact, where does the name Fox Violet come from?
THEA: Foxes eat and sleep alone even though they raise families in communities and are nocturnal and majestic. They represent a survival instinct that is at the core of the music. Violet flowers symbolize delicacy, love, and fragility. Blue violets represent purity and it’s also as a color of dreams and the future. Both these together represent the worlds created in this music. Both fierce but fragile… With an obsession with dream worlds and myth.
Does that descriptor, “Fierce but fragile”, describe you in real life?
THEA: Yeah I would say so. I think I would say I’m determined and vulnerable instead of fragile, but that description absolutely applied to certain points in my life.
You recently released a new single at the end of December. Can you maybe give us a little insight to that track? It’s backstory perhaps?
THEA: “Lair” is a song that truly looks at and exposes what it feels like at the heart not just to be lied to in a relationship but also to lie to yourself. It’s about that double-edged sword of denial we impose on ourselves in relationships and in life, and why in parallel we lie in the first place. Dishonesty in our self, in our reaction to the world and the catharsis that comes from shouting about it. It’s also a reflection of taking no more BS from people, or situations that don’t serve you. I’m obsessed with building tension in music and in building a holistic experience musically that taps at different senses. That’s why at the start we have this choral voice ensemble, it’s an emblem of purity- that then takes you on this journey of angst and destruction. The juxtaposition of fragility and grit stand at the center.
All the songs have elements of dissecting identity and identity crisis, they are always songs that look not just at the self but relationships and yet also stand for metaphors about society and the world. I have a very micro-macro obsession in that regard. I want people to listen to the lyrics and not just think they are about me (or our band if we write together), they are writings that are obsessed with looking at the metaphors of words and what means as a commentary on human relationships as a whole, and what they mean and how this offers a commentary on relationships as a whole.
“Freak” is about on the micro doubting your worthiness when you get to heaven (its not religious tho) but it’s also about questioning of what we even think is worthy, what is normal and who is a freak and why -it’s about making the abnormal normal and vice versa.
“Trenches” was a crucial turning point instrumentally as is aims to capture the feeling of lucid dreaming sonically, of being connected to the universe. It’s questioning feeling trapped but the music offers the hint that we are connected to a wider universe, one that is transcendent and I wanted to really reach and give that feeling musically whilst also weaving lyrics that again reflect the corse reality of being human, in the trenches of life.
What are your hopes, as a group and even individually, for 2020 when it comes to Fox Violet and music?
I just want to push myself as far as possible… really grasp deep down at all that I’m missing and bring that out in the music. Sometimes it’s hard to feel you hit the nail on the head but I am pretty obsessed with getting a cohesive record out, one that really strives for emotional integrity and transparency. It’s a peeling the onion thing, you have to step aside and do the work.
I would love for Fox Violet as a project to reach that point and have that kind of connection with people.