One listen to Black Foxxes’ electrifying debut album and you’ll be glad lead singer, Mark Holley’s so helplessly compelled to make music. A righteous cocktail of energy, melody, dynamics and passion in service to Holley’s anguished, cathartic and ultimately uplifting songcraft, Black Foxxes is the sound of triumph over adversity, the sound of the strength of vulnerability. We caught up with Mark ahead of Black Foxxes’ headline show at London’s Tufnell Park Dome in September…
When did you first start making music?
I have been playing and writing music for as long as I can remember. I used to have a Tony Price tape recorder and pretend I was playing Glastonbury, that’s one of my earliest memories as a kid. Music was always in my family and I took to it as soon as I can remember.
Who is your biggest influence?
Neil Young. I’ve grown up listening to his music, admiring his punk rock outlook and being in awe of his songwriting. There is no one better.
What was your first gig?
I think No Comply, Capdown & Howards Alias in Plymouth. I actually think my first ever gig was my own, I was playing shows from such a young age (12/13) that I didn’t ever really have a “first big gig”, because I was playing them.
What is your favourite song to play live?
River. It’s the first song I ever wrote, in fact I wrote it before Tris & Ant were even in the band, with two other friends that started Foxxes. I went through a phase of hating it live, but its the song that gains the biggest reaction from fans and I just lose myself in it now. I get a “solo” at the end, which is basically 2 minutes of feedback, job done.
What is your favourite album of all time?
I couldn’t possibly pick one. Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything To Nothing, Neil Young – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Fugazi – The Argument, Nick Cave – Push The Sky Away, Coldplay – Yellow. TOO Many.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Dave Grohl / Josh Homme – In my opinion they are the last true pioneers of rock and roll. I’d love to bounce off them and see how they shape songs differently to how I do.
Have you ever met someone that’s made you starstruck?
I don’t really get “starstruck”, we’re all just human beings. I also don’t think I’ve really ever met anyone remotely mega famous, I get more nervous around cute dogs I meet hoping they like me as much as I like them.
What has been your favourite song this year?
Idles – Well Done. Not only is it my favourite album of the past few years, that song rips so hard.
What should people expect at one of your gigs?
An honest performance of songs that really mean something to a small group of people. Our fans tend to be incredibly respectful and during the quietest sections of songs you could hear a pin drop in the room. On the flip side expect blistering noise and dynamics a plenty.
If you could choose anything to be on your rider, what would it be?
Puppies. They are on our rider and we’re yet to tick that one off the list!
Don’t miss Black Foxxes headline show at London’s Tufnell Park Dome on September 29th, tickets on sale hereAccess All Areas / black foxxes / interview