So, WTF Happened to Foxygen at SXSW?


Foxygen plays the El Korah Shrine at Treefort Music Fest.

Seeing as how Foxygen has rapidly become the toast of the indie world, Boise Weekly hoped to interview the band while in Austin for SXSW. But it wasn’t to be. The group had a bit of a meltdown at the showcase for its label, Jagjaguwar, with singer Sam France cussing out a member of the audience and stomping off stage.

So, when BW caught up with Foxygen members France, Elizabeth Fey and Justin Nijssen in Boise for Treefort, naturally, we asked them: “What happened?”

France: "Band drama. My voice was completely gone. I was getting really frustrated with those shows. I had nothing to give. That guy was heckling me. I was just not into it. I took my anger out on him. I was really just mad at myself."

Fey: "We were having band drama before the show. It was a conglomeration of a couple things."

Nijssen: "And I think that was the third show of the day. It could have been any show, but it just happened there."

Fey: "Which just happened to be our label’s showcase."

Nijssen: "If you’re going to have a meltdown, do it at your record label’s showcase. 'Cause they’ll tell you it was great."

BW: Foxygen has been around for a few years, but your new album has really blown up. What was it like to get so much press and hype for this new album so quickly?

Fey: "Horrifying."

France: "It’s interesting, and at times surreal and a bit intimidating. People come to the shows expecting to hear what’s on the record. Somebody hears "Shuggie" or "San Francisco" on the radio and just comes to the show not really knowing the personalities of our band or what our live band is like. 'Cause we’re different than our recording. So that’s the biggest pressure there is. Hoping to impress the audiences."

Fey: "We were playing a lot of the songs that are on 21st Century before this album came out and people weren’t very receptive. And now we play those songs and people know them now.

Was that a sudden shift?

Fey: "Like overnight. Sometimes people know weird stuff about us. There’s this one fan who researched Foxygen so deeply, he knew all our side projects, our friends' side projects, all of our other bands. That’s pretty cool that someone would be so into it that they would research it that deeply."

Is this your first time in Idaho? What do you think so far?

Fey: "My favorite movie is My Own Private Idaho, so I was excited to come here."

That’s mostly about Portland, Ore.

Fey: "Yeah, I know. But it still had the name. There’s some shots of Idaho in there."

Nijssen: "This place is awesome. I think this is the nicest venue [the El Korah Shrine] we’ve been to on tour."

Fey: "I like the scenery; it’s peaceful."