LOCAL FLANNEL ROCKERS WATCHING FOR FOXES: Q&A W/ Connor Dirksen

Last week Thursday, Watching For Foxes blew away a hometown crowd of over 300 people at The Pyramid Scheme, with support from two local acts and one touring group, all of which added up to an incredible night. It’s been about six months since WFF headlined the Scheme, and at that time they celebrated the early release of their debut album, “Undone Bird.” Since then, the band has gone through some changes in lineup and in sound, moving from the folky flannel rock that garered their early fanbase into a fully fleshed rock and roll lineup. I sat down with singer Joey Frendo and cellist/singer Geoff Kartes to discuss how the band has grown in the past year.

CD: So about a year ago, you guys were in the studio recording “Undone Bird,”and since then you’ve grown a lot as a band. How do you guys see these changes have manifested?

JF:  I think for us it’s been a really long journey. Everything we’re doing as a band and our professionalism has grown ten-fold. We’ve had a lot of epiphany moments in the time since we put out the record, and it will always be special to us because it captured that transitional moment before we even knew exactly what was happening like that,

GK:I said it then and I’ll say it today: that album is very much a transition piece. Even at the time, it wasn’t necessarily where we were, but it shows where we were going. We have a lot more sounds and layers, sonic elements, to our live show now than we did then. It keeps the music interesting for us to not play those songs exactly how you hear them on the record. And it’s not like we went into rehearsal and said “Here’s how we want to change these songs.” It happened very organically.

CD: That’s a really cool way to approach the album. It sounds like you embrace it for all that it is. Tying into that, you’ve talked a lot about the importance of mentors and having people to look out for you who have experience in the business. Who do you feel were the essential players keeping you guys going over the past year?

JF: Ben Zito [of The Crane Wives, who produced the album] did a great job.

GK: We’d be silly if we didn’t mention Ben. We’re certainly grateful for him. A lot of the songs wouldn’t be captured the way they are without him.

JF: I know for me personally, when Geoff came into the band about a year and a half ago, he brought such a wealth of knowledge into the equation. Our friednship and our business relationship has really flourished.

GF: Jared is kind of the foundation of the band, not only from a songwriting perspective, he has breathed the breath of life into this thing. And he’ll be the last one to ever admit it.

CD: So with all that said, you’re not backing down, your’re not going anywhere, maybe taking a breather after your summer tour, what’s next for Watching for Foxes? Is this the end of the Undone Bird album cycle, or do you think there’s a little more to go?

JF: Schedule wise, December is pretty chill, January’s pretty chill, we’re going to take some time to get centered and do some other things. There is one show we were added on we’re really excited about, that’s Penny and Sparrow here in town at the Ladies Literary Club. But at rehearsals we have been playing songs we haven’t played at all during the album cylcle. And we’re going to work on demoing some songs for the next record. And next February we’ll have some cool supporting slots to announce.

GK: Yeah I think it’s a breather as far as local shows go. We like to use the winter to write, and we have a goal that we want to write fifty songs for the next album and narrow it down from there. We have quite a few written already, and we’re trying things out. The big thing on the forefront for us is we’re heavily label shopping, looking at several differrent ones who have expressed an interest. We’re working behind the scenes as hard, if not harder than ever.


The hard work from behind the scenes shows, and if you have the chance, check them out at the Ladies Literary Club on December 1 opening for Penny and Sparrow.

We also have an exclusive premiere of a live video the band shared with us! Watching for Foxes performs a cover of “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, recorded live at Ohio Recording Company in Fremont, OH.

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