Foxy Shazam first charmed with a piano-driven indie-rock resonance on their earliest LPs, 2005's “The Flamingo Trigger” and 2008's “Introducing.” But since then, they've continued to evolve and alter their style. While the six-piece from Cincinnati came across as pop-rock darlings on 2010's self-titled album, they've jumped further into the deep end on their fourth studio offering, “The Church of Rock and Roll,” released in January.
On “The Church of Rock and Roll,” Foxy Shazam have become a glam-charged theatrical rock outfit with an anthemic flair, with more potential breakout hits than ever before. That emotion blazes through immediately on the opening track “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll" (heard in the video below), the climatic “Freedom” and the fist-pumping leadoff single “I Like It.”
The group is in the midst of a monumental tour across the country, but trumpet player Alex Nauth recently spoke to us -- from the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood -- about the new album, underwear and the group’s obsession with evolution.
Going into the recording process for “The Church of Rock and Roll,” what did the band set out to accomplish? What was going through your minds?
We looked at it as part of human nature where, year to year, you're not the same person you were. You take experiences with you, and music is a reflection of you, and it has to be true.
We function on that principle, but on this album in particular, we had a pretty down point and [were] unhappy with the state of modern music. We wanted something new and fresh that had all the rules of the past somewhat. So we decided to create a modern rock-and-roll sound that was the future, for us, and we had a very focused record because of that. We wanted to create music that felt familiar, but you never heard before, in a way.
When you released your earliest records, you guys were more of a piano-fueled rock band. But now, you've morphed quite a bit from the days of “The Flamingo Trigger” and “Introducing” into the different animal.
I would hope so. I would hope that we are changing with who we are as people and who we are as a band. We're looking for something different because your goals change. Everything changes about yourselves -- not so much changes, but it accumulates. You learn, desire and create goals you wanna get to, so I hope we're a different animal and I guarantee the next record will not be the same record.
Does the band enjoy having the element of mystery?
We feel that the element of mystery is almost lost nowadays, with the Internet and social media being a part of our lives now. Things have gone by the wayside because of that, and we're trying to bring a little bit of that mystery back.
Well, you got to tell me something about the band that nobody else would know.
Let me think. I wear Sky’s underwear most of the time. I never buy enough, and I rip through my underwear consistently, so Sky and I share underwear … and I feel really embarrassed by telling you that and less of a man.
So wait, do you wear the underwear Sky wore the day before?
I plead the fifth.