Interview with Billy Fox

Off the back of his new single release Avalanche, Sydney-based producer Billy Fox has revealed the supporting tour dates and an accompanying animated music video. Along his travels, Fox has previously supported the likes of Glass AnimalsBoo SeekaThe Aston ShuffleTijuana Cartel and R.W. Grace, and back in April performed at the sold out RARE FINDS showcase at Oxford Art Factory alongside Deep Sea ArcadeLime Cordiale and Owen Rabbit. In this interview, Fox discusses his musical roots, creative collaborations and much more!

Congratulations on the release of your latest single, Avalanche! Are you pleased with the response from fans across the world thus far?

Thank you for the congratulations. The response really has been very solid. There has been a buzz created in all sorts of places around the world from Avalanche, so yes, I am pleased.

Having been raised in a musical household, did you receive encouragement from your parents to pursue a musical lifestyle, or was it a natural progression?

It was a natural progression, but my parents have supported myself and my siblings in anything we have chosen to do in our lives. Music for me is something that comes naturally, I feel like I don’t really need to think about it too much, it just happens. If you tried to stop someone in a situation like that if you were a parent, it’s not going to end well.

Can you recall the first time you performed for a crowd of people? Which instrument were you playing and was it a positive experience?

I only remember vague snippets, but when I was around four years old, I used to have a little clarinet I think it was, and I would saddle up to the table with my parents and all their friends and play for them. Who knows what I was playing, and they were all jazz heads, so they were probably just stoked to see a little tacker have a crack.

Are there certain times of the day or places where you write better?

Yes, I’m definitely a day-time writer. If I can get my morning coffee and be dropping that first note by around 11am, I’m happy. I’ll write through to the evening, and maybe keep going into the night if I still have energy. Usually I like to wrap it up for some rest though, then re-visit it the next day.

What has been the most monumental event in your life?

My mother passing away when I was 13 certainly had an impact.

An accompanying stop motion music video for the original version of Avalanche has recently been released. Who have you been working with to bring the visual interpretation of the track to life?

I teamed up with a Mexican stop motion artist named Alberto Hernández Mérida who heard the song and pitched the idea to me. I checked out some of his work and went for it. Basically, I gave him an idea of what was in my head when I wrote the song, and really left the rest up to him. Alberto is the man!

Kris Howard has created a few cover artworks for your music releases. How did you form a partnership with him?

Wow, you really have done your homework here. I’m impressed. Yes, Kris created the artwork for the last few releases and is super talented. He’s from Sydney too, but based in Berlin, so time differences aside, we work really well together. I think a friend put me on to Kris a year or so ago from memory.

What, have you found, is the biggest misconception people have in regards to making a living from music?

That musicians just turn up and play good music. If you are not part of the process, you would rightfully be unaware of the time, energy, planning, rearranging, changing, consulting, money and waiting (amongst the rest …) that goes in to just one release. Let alone the years and years of practising, writing, rehearsing, gigging, mistakes, success, blood, sweat and tears that goes in to developing as an artist to be in the position to release said music.

What’s the best aspect about being an educator?

Learning about yourself along the way.

Five fast questions for five fast responses:

  • What was the title of the last book you read? The Woodcutter
  • If you could have open up your own surf shop, where would the ideal location be and what would the shop front look like? It would be on some filthy break somewhere around the globe, and the shop front would be all glass so I can keep an eye on conditions for my lunch break.
  • In seven words or fewer, describe your most recent dream. I honestly can’t recall at the moment.
  • What was the first concert/festival you attended and where was it held? Pearl Jam at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
  • Which would you most love to explore – the bottom of the sea, outer space or the human mind? Outer Space

You’ve got your East Coast tour coming up soon, performing in Manly, Melbourne, Byron Bay and Sydney. What can people expect from one of your live shows and how does your music translate to a live performance?

The live show is pretty huge sounding. It’s myself and my drummer with a few bells and whistles. We’ve actually had a good friend of mine on sax for a couple of songs for some shows, too. We’re pretty pumped!!

Finally, if you could give your ten-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Pull your head in ya cheeky bugger!!

This interview was first published for Amnplify.

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