GET YOUR ROCKS ON WITH GLAM ROCKERS FOXY SHAZAM!
“As far as being described to others? I’d rather not be described at all – indefinable,” says Eric Nally, founder and front man of Cincinnati rock ‘n’ soul sextet, FOXY SHAZAM.
However, the implied benefits of journalistic licence mean I can conveniently ignore this request, so here goes:
FOXY SHAZAM are like no other band I have met or seen play. They combine big hook-laden dramatic pop / soul / funk / punk / rock anthems with an exhilarating stage show; their music and antics ensure that everyone who sees them play leaves with a huge smile on their face; they are the complete antithesis to the current crop of festival friendly, shoegaze, indie bands. In short, while maybe not necessarily ‘indefinable’ they are most certainly incomparable.
Some have tried of course, but Eric becomes a little prickly when comparisons are made between himself and Freddie Mercury.
“It’s a compliment yeah, but I’m not ‘inspired’ by him. I think we’d both have similar inspirations though. I mean I love theatre, and being theatrical. I like to be precise with my vocals and I’m sure Freddie did too. But you know, I just wanna be my own person.”
Eric (and the rest of the band for that matter) certainly do like their ‘theatre’ and present the audience with wild, ‘over the top’ and at times somewhat ‘camp’ show. Tonight, for example, Eric swallows a lit cigarette; he hangs by the legs from the stage rafters; runs across the stage on all fours; sings whilst standing on his head, but more importantly, sings with such power and obvious passion for what he is doing.
Is there a danger that many people will not ‘get’ FOXY SHAZAM? Might they be regarded in some circles as a bit of a novelty act – a point I embarrassingly illustrate by quoting Steel Panther and The Darkness, only to find out later in the conversation that Eric has collaborated with his good friend Justin Hawkins and co-written a couple of songs that appear on Meatloaf’s new album! (Eric smiles. I may just have got away with it…phweew!)
“There’s always that danger – that people will misunderstand and take it all the wrong way to that we intended. Playing with Lost Prophets was a bit strange… from the reaction of their crowd, I don’t think they understood what we are all about!”
The complete extrovert showman on stage, Eric speaks quietly and eloquently. Offstage, his confidence is still obvious but not flashy and FOXY SHAZAM talk about the need for hard, hard work and dedication coupled with organic growth as being the route to achieving the band aim of being ‘the biggest in history.’
They recognise that they have a long, long way to go before ticking that particular little box, but with such a positive and inspiring outlook on life and what it can offer them, I wouldn’t best against them.
In Eric’s words from ‘Bye Bye Symphony’ (on the recent album):
“Life is a Bitch… but she’s totally do-able!” (COLIN JACKSON)