Q&A: Lead vocalist Eric Nally of Foxy Shazam

Cincinnati-born rock band Foxy Shazam is blaring through Americans’ headphones with style, attitude and sass. Their shows are wild and they have more energy than any up-and-coming band on the music scene right now. The State Press recently caught up with lead singer Eric Nally, just after the band’s new self-titled album was released.

State Press: Where did the band’s name come from? Eric Nally: It was something that the kids said at my high school (Cincinnati’s Shroder Paideia High School). It means “cool shoes.” If you had cool shoes on, they would say “foxy shazam!” My high school is a huge inspiration to me. I was one of three white kids in my school and the other two acted black, so it was a really awesome experience for me to learn from different cultures. It always stuck with me … “foxy shazam.” I’ve only heard it at my high school.

SP: Let’s talk about the release of the new album, which was released on April 13. Describe the sense of accomplishment … you’ve worked for so long on the album. What did you guys do the day the album released? What did you guys feel? EN: That morning I woke up, I was a little nervous. I couldn’t have been happier and I was so proud of myself. When I listen to our new album, it tingles up and down my spine and I got teary-eyed. I’m just so proud of this album. It’s our best work yet.

But to be honest, the morning of our album release, I was like, “Now what?” I guess it’s just a matter of writing a new record and always moving forward. It’s born, it’s out there [and] it’s going to do its thing. It’s just like having a kid, really, which I know a lot about because I’m a young father of two boys. You have it, it’s born and then you do everything you can to support it and back everything up that it does.

That’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to back up this new album with touring and anything you could possibly back a record up with. And then we’re going to start on a new one. SP: You guys recently did an event at a college where you took part in a basketball game and then you got filmed all day. Let’s discuss about that. EN: That was at Buffalo University. There was a fundraiser going on. They set up games and everything. It was just a really cool experience. I like college atmospheres because I like to be part of a community. I feel like campuses are really communal and everybody’s going about their own way, but they’re part of one thing. I like that a lot.

SP: What’s the concept behind the video for Foxy Shazam’s song “Oh Lord?” The video is so different from anything out there right now.

EN: Everything visual from Foxy Shazam is something that Warner Brothers has been very open to. That was really important to me, and it always has been and it always will be. It’s a whole lot easier to understand a sound when you can see what the sound looks like — everything from videos to pictures and anything artistically [and] visually that the band does — comes from me. It’s exactly what we want.

That song is written about my son, Julian, and that song is telling him about the hard times in life and the good times in life. He doesn’t really understand right now, I don’t think, because he’s young, but it’s really cool to think about. Down the line when I’m long gone, he can listen to it when he’s older and he can think that someone was so passionate about him and wrote something about him.

SP: Do you guys party a lot or do you guys relax and explore when you go to a new place? What’s life on the road like for Foxy Shazam?

EN: We’re not big partiers. The six guys on stage have nothing in common with the six guys offstage, so when people see us on stage they’re like, “I bet you guys are crazy.” No way, we have nothing to do with that scene. We’re really relaxed and we love to sightsee and try different foods and stuff like that. We’ll celebrate things once in a while and get loose but it’s not frequent.

SP: A lot of people have said you’re like a modern-day Freddy Mercury. That’s such a powerful comparison. How do you feel about that? EN: I actually hate that. He’s not an inspiration to me and I’m not an inspiration to him. I just want to be me … I just want to be Foxy Shazam. SP: Do you guys have any plans for future collaborations?

EN: Dustin Hawkins, formerly of The Darkness, is my best friend. I could imagine myself doing something with him down the road.

SP: What’s next for you guys, besides touring? EN: Our ultimate goal for this band is to be the biggest band in the world and go down in history doing what we do. I know we’re a long way from that right now but this new record is a great step in that direction. By no means do I feel like we’re on any type of plateau or anything. I think we have a long way to go in order to achieve that ultimate goal. What’s next is just supporting the record. I’m very curious to see what it’s going to do. We’re going to do a support tour this summer and we’re planning to do a lot of festivals.

Reach the reporter at lenni.rosenblum@asu.edu


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