You may not have heard of them yet, but in light of their recent “The Cabin EP,” FOXTRAX is sure to be popping up on your Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist in no time. The aptly named EP was recorded over a six month stint while the boys were holed up in a cabin in the woods of North Carolina. They’re currently at the beginning of a west coast tour with Barns Courtney, and singer Ben Schneid was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us before taking the stage last Friday evening.
B-Sides: You guys stayed in a cabin in the woods to record the EP, what inspired that decision?
Ben: We’ll we’re from NYC, so we wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. Get away from our friends and family for a little while and get inspired. A lot of great artists have gone out to the woods, like Bob Dylan, The Band’s “Big Pink” album, Bon Iver. It was nice to get away, with no cell phone service, we really tapped out from society. We really became a band out there, we were a band before, but we became really cohesive.
Ben: Definitely. Everything was very echo-y out there, from the room, to the mountains. I remember walking out on the porch and yelling, and hearing it echo across the mountains, which I think made us want to go for a bigger sound. Lots of reverb.
B-Sides: What were some of your major influences for the EP?
Ben: We definitely had more than a few. Coldplay, U2’s “Joshua Tree,” Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago,” Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes. Lyrically we were really inspired by our own lives. The struggle to do something incredible and follow your dreams, in spite of criticism. Friends that aren’t doing things like this think it’s a waste of time, which can mess with your feelings about everything.
B-Sides: What’s next for the band in terms of recording?
Ben: We’re hitting the studio soon in Brooklyn with Ben Roulston, who has produced for Florence + The Machine, which we’re very excited about. We’ll probably do a three or four song EP. We’ve been testing some of the new songs on tour, so we’ll try and expand on those once we get in the studio.
B-Sides: You guys played South by Southwest this year, what was that experience like for the band?
Ben: It was absolutely crazy, the streets were filled with people. We played some amazing showcases, and people were really digging it. We were meeting a lot of artists and not just critics, and that’s what matters.
B-Sides: Do you have any cities you’re particularly looking forward to play?
Ben: Man, we love anywhere just because they’re all pretty new to us, but definitely Portland, Seattle, and Denver. We’ve never been, and it’s definitely an interesting and different vibe from LA, and NY. Seattle is supposedly somewhat gritty. We’re eager for the new experiences to find their way into the music, it’s hard to ignore.
B-Sides: Last question, just kind of a fun one. Who’s your dream collaboration?
Ben: I know it’s probably a little unexpected, but probably Adele, or Ed Sheeran. They’re such great writers, they’re song guys. The best song always wins, and those two are just so prolific right now. The amount of material Ed Sheeran pumps out is insane, he’s like a machine. He ghostwrites for so many artists, ones you wouldn’t even think he’d write for.
B-Sides: Definitely, those are incredibly solid picks. Well that’s all we had for you, good luck with the show tonight!
Ben: Thanks, and thanks for doing the interview!