Some publications have called Foxy Shazam a band to watch in 2010. We highly agree. The band has a lot going for it including it’s first major label release (“Foxy Shazam”, 2010), a song at the Superbowl (Unstoppable), a unique sound, and an incredible live show. UberProAudio was lucky enough to catch up with Loren Turner, guitar player in Foxy Shazam, to talk about all the big things the band has going on in 2010, and of course lots of guitar gear talk!
UberProAudio: Hi Loren. Thanks for talking with UberProAudio. Many have said Foxy Shazam is one of the bands to watch in 2010. Tell us what you guys have planned for this year.
Loren Turner: We're going to be releasing another album April 13th and were kicking off a headlining run very soon. I know there are lots of tours and festivals planned for this year but it’s too early to say. 2010 is gonna be a busy year for Foxy.
UberProAudio: Some have a hard time defining the style/genre of music Foxy Shazam plays. How would you best describe it?
Loren: I'd say good ol Rock "N" Soul
UberProAudio: The song “Unstoppable” was featured in the 2010 Superbowl. That’s a great accomplishment. How was the song selected to be played in the Superbowl? What was it like for you hearing that played there?
Loren: I'm not to sure how that happened. I'm sure it had a lot to do with our publicist. But I was pretty stoked to hear it. I remember we were all watching the superbowl waiting for it to air and the second it did everybody's phones blew up. Calls and texts were pouring in from friends and family. Only thing that would be cooler is if we play it next year. Ha.
UberProAudio: Foxy Shazam is releasing their new self titled album on a major label - Sire Records (Warner Music Group). How did you guys get hooked up with this label?
Loren: It all had to do with John Feldmann. He knew about our band for some time and he saw that we were gonna be playing Bamboozle with Goldfinger, he hit us up via MySpace and wanted to know if we could hang out sometime. So after about a year of talking we finally cut some demos with him and took it to Warner Bros. Soon after we had a deal and we were working on our full length. It all happened so fast. I'm really scared.
UberProAudio: How would you compare the major label recording experience to the independent experience?
Loren: Oh man. It's not even the same sport. Everything is different. You are working with much more expensive gear and everything is under a microscope. You spend way more time tuning the guitar than tracking it. Everything you do has to be done with great finesse. It was a huge learning experience for me.
UberProAudio: Foxy Shazam’s first independent release The Flamingo Trigger (2005) was a wildly cool album. How would you compare the upcoming album to that first record? How has your song writing evolved?
Loren: The up coming album is a more organized Foxy. We have matured a lot as a band and as people within the past five years. I'd say that our song writing has become more focused and to the point as well. We have all gotten better as players over the years and Eric's singing ability is light years ahead of where he was during the Flamingo Trigger days. I'm really looking forward to getting started on the next record.
UberProAudio: You are listed as a Washburn guitar featured artist. Tell us about your Washburns.
Loren: I have four of the Nuno Signature models. At the time they were exactly what I was looking for. It was a strat style body with a Floyd Rose and 3 single coil pickups. I also just recently hooked up with Ernie Ball and I'm gonna be getting a couple Music Man guitars from them. I'm really excited about them; their intonation is one of the best on the market. I used one for some of the clean guitar tracks on the record and it always stayed in tune.
UberProAudio: What other guitars are in your collection?
Loren: I got an 89 Japanese stratocaster that I paid $200 for. That thing is a tank. I swapped out all the electronics for American Standard electronics. I've gotten so many compliments on that thing. It's always sitting off to the side of me at every show because if my back up or back up-back up fails, it'll be there tuned and ready to go. I also have a Fender Toronado with P90 style pickups that's pretty cool but I broke the neck off at one of our shows. Let me know if you have a replacement neck for a Toronado laying around, I would love to get it up and running again.
UberProAudio: What other gear do you use in your live guitar rig (amps/cabs, effects)?
Loren: I'm currently using the Randall RM100 head with two matching 4x12 cabs. I also like to mic the cabs with an SM 57 and an Audix I5, the cabs have a DI out so I use one of those as well. I'm always playing around with different stomp boxes but currently I'm going through a Korg Pitch Black tuner, Digitech Whammy, Zvex Fuzz Factory. Everything is held together with Mogami and Monster cables. I never skimp on cables!
UberProAudio: What gear did you use to record the new album. Was it the same as your live rig?
Loren: For the stereo rhythm tracks I used a Gibson Les Paul and SG through a Bad Cat and Hughes & Kettner amp. For clean tracks I used either a Music Man or a Telecaster through a Bogner Ecstacy. For solos we used the Les Paul through a Diezel amp. I also used a Soldano amp here and there for octave leads and what not. As far as effects, I used a Zvex Fuzz Factory and MXR Carbon Copy for feed backs and even some rhythm tracks.
UberProAudio: Foxy Shazam is known for its very energetic live show. Any pre-show rituals to get pumped up?
Loren: I like to stretch really well and do some jumping jacks. I also do some trills to get my fingers moving. And I like to have two glasses of wine or what I like to call wizzle.
UberProAudio: Foxy recently posted a YouTube link on Twitter to a news video of Cincinnati’s citizen superhero The Shadow Hare, whose voice sounds remarkably similar to Eric. When not playing shows, is Foxy Shazam really a group of superheroes?
Loren: I can not confirm nor deny.
UberProAudio: You are going on tour soon. What are your favorite / least favorite aspects of touring?
Loren: My least favorite part of touring is not getting enough sleep. Everything else is awesome.
UberProAudio: What’s the future hold for Loren Turner and Foxy Shazam?
Loren: I'm gonna finish this interview and Foxy is gonna have rehearsal tomorrow (smiley face).