- 20 Feb 20
We catch up with Limerick rockers Fox Jaw as they gear up to release their third studio album, Breathe In The Strange.
“The Beatles are really not overrated!” Ronan Mitchell, Shane Serrano and myself are sitting in the Hot Press offices. We’re supposed to be talking about Fox Jaw’s upcoming album Breathe In The Strange, but the conversation has turned into a bit of a Beatles nerdfest. “Look at what they were doing and when they did it, and the time-frame they did it in,” Mitchell continues enthusiastically. “They’d have an album out every year, and it was always something completely new. There’s one song where they recorded the solo and accidentally played it backward, and it was like, ‘Let’s do that instead!’”
Fox Jaw take a lot of their influences from bands like The Beatles, but they also give credit to artists like Tom Waits and Queens Of The Stone Age for shaping their early sound. The quintet have been playing together for around two decades. Their first album, released in 2014 to critical acclaim, saw them hailed by Hot Press as having an “exciting sound that’s unquestionably their own.”
That hasn’t stopped them from experimenting on their latest venture, though.
“Musically, we’re all very different,” Mitchell says. “We try to bring as many influences as possible into it. There were a lot of synthetic sounds on this album. We’re not really used to doing that, but it started to happen organically. The title track is something I wrote purely electronically.” The song in question is moody and guitar-heavy, an ode to fearing the unknown but ultimately embracing it. “That’s how we always are as a band – feeling our way, not really sure what’s around the corner.”
The lads live between Limerick and Galway, commuting in order to make music. They also all have day jobs. “I’m self-employed,” says drummer Shane Serrano, “but I think another key factor for us is that we have understanding partners and bosses.” Serrano works in the film industry as a cameraman, and shoots most of the band’s videos himself. That DIY ethos has been the hallmark of Fox Jaw since they began recording, and they’re not going to give it up any time soon. Still, the advances in music technology has opened seemingly endless doors. “Before, I would just write an acoustic demo and send it in,” Mitchell tells me. “Now I can make a whole demo on Logic and say, ‘Here’s what I’m thinking’, without having to do so much explaining. Everyone gets the idea and the main vision is so much clearer.”
Between getting married, working, writing, and touring, it seems that the members of Fox Jaw never really stop. When they do have free time, it’s devoted to writing new material. For this particular album, the band spent every weekend together. “We rented out a house and did nothing but write,” says Mitchell. And what’s next for them? “We’re just focused on making music together.”
Listen to Breathe In The Strange on Spotify!
- Pics & Vids
- 20 Apr 20