Monday 4 July 2016

Interview with Amanda Rampe from FOX 45

Fox 45 brings some cool heavy sounds from Rochester, NY. The band released their debut album “Ashes of Man” a few days ago through Twin Earth Records and the ladies will support this release with their mini-tour in States. Why do Fox 45 deserve your attention?

Ashes of Man” demonstrates groovy doom rock with big range of classic influences from rock’n’roll to stoner music. Catchy, attractive and ardent Fox 45 play sincere and actual material, and look – the album’s artwork is good too! Amanda Rampe answered some of my questions being right on the spearhead of the Fox 45 US tour.

Hi Amanda! Thanks for your time; I know that you're busy with the tour. How many cities are in your list?

We’ll be hitting 8 cities total, not counting our Rochester kick off show. They’re all listed on our bands Facebook page,

How does this mini-tour go? Did you already get the emotions you were looking for?

It's going great so far. We're lucky to have some great connections that have helped us a ton with booking and we're looking forward to making new friends. We're just getting started!

What do you usually take with you on the road? What are the necessary things you take with you?

Other than the obvious (gear)... Water. Snacks are very important. Tunes. And our driver Biff who is very important to the whole operation.

Do you plan another tour in this year? What was most difficult in organizing this tour?

While we're not planning another full tour, we are doing a couple farther away dates in early September. We're really excited to be playing he very first Stoned Meadow of Doom Fest in Omaha NE. We're planning on playing some other dates on our way to and from, so stay tuned!

You're from Rochester, NY. Is it easy to organize gigs there for the band like Fox 45?

Rochester has a really cool music scene. Although we are trying to play fewer local shows in order to get out of town more often, I’d say that yes it is pretty easy to organize Rochester shows.

What difficulties do you face as a band? Are promotion, financial side, recognition in this list?

Nothing specific really comes to mind. Of course things will always happen that are challenges, but you just need to work hard to overcome them!

Fox 45 - Gehenna

You started the band with Casey, Pauline and Vicky three years ago, how did you gather this lineup?

Casey actually only joined the band a little over a year ago. Vicky, Pauline and I met through mutual friends and started jamming together. We went through quite a few drummers before finding our perfect match with Casey.

I saw that there was a man amongst ladies. Who's Dusty West and where’s he now?

He was a past drummer in the band. We’ve since parted ways. He has a couple other bands including metal band Diluted who we saw at the last Finger Lakes Metal Fest.

By the way, what does band's name mean?

The name is a reference to a Quentin Tarantino film. See if you can figure out which one!

How did you work out the sound of your debut "Ashes of Man" album? What are your requirements to the songs?

It all came together pretty organically. We had some references for how we wanted the mix to sound, but as far as writing the songs they’re really just a mix of our different ideas.

What are your main influences amongst doom and stoner artists?

Of course, Black Sabbath is a given. Pentagram, Blue Cheer, others for sure. Some more current bands that we think are really cool include Windhand, Sleep, The Sword, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats… I’m not sure if those are really influences on our music, but I guess everything you listen to comes through somewhat.

How long did you compose these songs? And how is the recording process organized in Fox 45?

The songs on the record were composed over varying periods… For example Phoenix Tongue was one of the first songs we ever wrote as a band, way before Casey joined. It’s morphed and changed since then, but it’s been around for a while. Other songs were written during the course of recording.

We recorded the album at More Sound Studios in Syracuse, NY. Andrew and Jock are the two engineers there and they really know their stuff. So we had an idea of how we wanted the recording process to go, but we really worked a lot with Andrew to make things go smoothly

Who produced the general ideas for “Ashes of Man”? How do you share duties with writing lyrics and music?

Everything with our song writing is a collaborative effort. The division of duties just changes depending on what will work best for that song.

Fox 45 – live in studio

Your debut album has laconic yet impressive artwork, what tasks did you set before the artist?

The artist that did our cover art is Harley and J; she’s done a lot of work for many stoner/doom bands and we think her stuff is amazing. We were pretty vague with the instructions that we gave her. We knew that we wanted something dark, and some kind of landscape scene, but she really put her own interpretation. We love how it turned out!

What is Fox 45 message? I don't see titles based on such terms as "devil", "ritual" or "weed". But there's "Urinal Acid" song for example. What's it all about?

I wouldn’t say that there’s one central message. We definitely don’t try to do what a lot of stoner bands do and make everything about smoking weed and hailing Satan. You might be able to pick out a couple of those themes in some of our lyrics, but they’re kind of hidden. I think most of our songs just tell a story, and the story is in the person’s head who wrote the lyrics (all of us take turns writing lyrics). For the most part we just choose song titles that entertain us.

What else entertains you in Fox 45?

Cheetos, pizza, vegan cheesesteaks, playing pool, and singing along with songs in the van are some of the things that have entertained us today.

You just finished the album, but do you already have in mind an idea how would you like to see the next one? Do you already have a plan for it?

We don't yet! A couple new tunes are in the works, but a new album isn't yet taking shape. We'll have more news on this later!

Amanda, you also play in new southern / stoner outfit Saints and Winos, what is the story behind it?

Saints and Winos is an awesome band! They’ve actually been playing together for a few years at this point, but I just joined about a year and a half ago. Fox 45 played a show with them, then soon after they lost their bass player. I offered up my services, and we’ve been playing together ever since! So the line up is myself on bass, JB Rodgers on drums, and Joe Dellaquila on guitar. We’ve been writing tons of new songs and hope to get into the studio soon.

Amanda, that’s all for tonight – thanks for your time! I wish you all the best in promoting Fox 45 and good luck on the road!

Thank you! Peace love and rock and roll... Til next time!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Amanda Rampe |