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The SXSW 2010 Interview With…Foxy Shazam

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

The lucky people who attended the Austin, Texas music festival South By Southwest this year have seen the future of rock. And its name is Foxy Shazam.

The awesomely monikered, 12-legged Cincinnati rock 'n' roll machine was, leather-gloved-hands-down, the best live act at SXSW this year. Debuting at Spin magazine's SXSW afternoon soirée with a gut-, ball-, and genre-busting set of "songs to play for God at the gates of heaven," the Foxy guys brought over-the-top theatricality and cheek-tongued rawk ridiculousness to a festival otherwise overpacked with self-effacing, shyly shoegazing  indie types.

The band made quite an impression, with Chachi/Leif Garret-styled Camaro-rocker Eric Sean Nally (a true showman just for his handlebar 'stache and Fauntleroy-fringed mullet alone) dry-humping mic stands and his hapless bandmates like an unfixed mutt; chicken dancing; crawling on the Stubb's roof; and belting out genius lines like "life is a bitch, but she's totally doable" and "the only way to my heart is with an axe" in an alien wail that was equal parts Allison Moyet, Pee Wee Herman, Meat Loaf, Justin Hawkins of the Darkness, and the Little Caesar's pizza-guy cartoon.

Not to be entirely upstaged, keyboardist Sky White banged out Foxy's boogie-woogie saloon riffs with his feet and/or while standing on his chrome-domed head, and trumpet blower Alex Nauth puffed out his Minnie-The-Moocher burlesque riffs while dancing frenetically in tie-dyed skeleton pants.

And despite all this insanity, Foxy Shazam never came across as gimmicky or hokey or jokey, because it was obvious they're the real deal. This was a proper rock show, people.

I was exhausted just watching Foxy Shazam perform, but backstage at Stubb's after their Spin showcase, the adrenaline-overdosed band still had oodles of energy as they chatted with me, almost stream-of-consciously, about their utterly unhinged live shows; working with fellow aforementioned rock-opera gods Justin Hawkins and Meat Loaf (!!!!); and their unusual scratch-'n'-sniff inspirations.

This interview is totally crazy like a Foxy:

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