By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Foxy Shazam lives up to its name: The Cincinnati, Ohio, band is a glammy, soul-kissed rock band with little regard for genres or conventions. This year's self-titled album, the band's major label debut, is a sassy collection descended from Queen, My Chemical Romance and the Darkness. From hi-NRG disco vamping ("Killin' It") to late-'80s trip-hop throwbacks ("Connect"), from horn-flecked funk struts ("Count Me Out") to piano-driven theatricality ("Wanna-Be Angel"), Foxy Shazam is a well-produced triumph.
When reached via phone, soft-spoken vocalist/band founder Eric Sean Nally was enjoying a rare moment at home in Ohio: "We've been so busy, and we will be so busy, that I'm trying to be more in the moment and be happy where I am." He touched on his love of music, touring with Hole and cowriting two songs on MeatLoaf's 2010 album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear.
Annie Zaleski: When Hole announced their tour, I thought, "Who could open for them?" And when I heard you guys were, I was like, "That makes total sense."
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Eric Nally: With our band, I always want to associate myself with things that are very rich in history. Courtney Love obviously has a very rich history, so it's kind of cool that we're teaming up together, because I feel like they've been through a lot. It's a cool thing to be attached with.
How did the tour come about?
Well, we played together a lot — some one-off shows, we did a lot of SXSW stuff together, and we played once together over in London, in the UK. [Courtney Love] also [has] the same management [company] as us, so we kind of have mutual friends. This is their first tour since they've been reunited, and they asked us to do it, and we were honored.
Are you at all nervous?
No, I don't really get nervous. I always tell people we were all born entertainers, natural-born entertainers. It's just in our blood; we don't stress out about it — it's just what we do.
When you were a kid, did you always want to be in a band?
Oh, yeah. You know how when you're a kid, for Christmas, every year you ask for something different, because every year you're into something different? One Christmas it's Nerf guns or Nerf football, the next Christmas it's G.I. Joes. At least that's how it went for me. And every year it changes, because you lose interest as you get older. But this music thing has been something [in which] I've never lost interest.
[Phone call cuts out for a few seconds] I've always had this one initial goal for myself, and that's to be the biggest band in the world and just go down in history for doing what we do and bringing something new to the world and being recognized for that. That's our ultimate goal, and I always tell people that. I know we're really far from it — I'm not saying we're anywhere near that time — but we're not going to give up until we do. That's our goal.
What were the first records that you bought — or your parents bought for you?
The first record I bought, ever, was Green Day's Dookie. A lot of people my age have the same record. That was a big thing for me. I wanted to dye my hair and all that stuff when I got it. It was really cool — and to this day, they're still a band I listen to. I've been doing a lot of that lately, revisiting things that I liked as a kid, even if they're goofy. I had the Green Day record, I had Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar, and then I would always listen to a lot of my mom's old vinyl she would play, like Elton John, the Beatles, Rolling Stones.
Now that your record's been out for a while, what's your take on it? Is there anything you would change?
You know what, I don't think so. This is the best record we've ever made, in my opinion, and I'm glad, because each record you should feel that way. You should never feel like, "Aw man, I wish something was different." I feel like records capture a moment in time, and if there's something that you don't like, it just makes it better, because it still stood for that time, whether you like it or not.
I have some tattoos on my body that I can't stand, but I'd never get 'em removed, just because that's what they're there for — to remind me of that time in my life, whether I like it or not. And I love the record, everything about it, and there are some things that I don't like about it. But not because I shouldn't have done it differently, but just because it reminds me of things in my life that are sensitive to me, and I don't necessarily like to think about. But that's what music is — whatever the emotion may be, as long as it provokes, makes you feel it, it's important and it's good music. And that's the way the record makes me feel — it just makes me feel.