Interview with Julia Lauren Bullock of THE FOXIES

On the evening of August 2nd I got the opportunity to speak with Julia Lauren Bullock of THE FOXIES. We discuss how the band got there name and who they are, the opportunity to play BreakFest and what to expect from their upcoming debut album, Who Are You Now, Who Were You Then? (out September 23rd).

I will just kind of jump right into it. Kind of touch some basic stuff as I know the debut album is coming out next month. Super, super stoked about that. I actually caught your set back in May at BreakFest. I had never heard of you and I didn’t know who The Foxies were. I showed up just a little bit late and you guys had already started and I was instantly intrigued. I was very impressed with what I heard and whenever I saw things come through for review I knew I had to do this one. So it’s really kind of exciting to see what you guys have got out there.

Thank you so much. That means a lot, you know, that was a whirlwind of a day for us. We had one of the early slots and then I couldn’t stick around cuz I was doing a musical downtown. So yeah, I had to be at the venue at like 5:30pm and we ended at like 5:15pm or 5:20pm. And, you know, my favorite thing is talking to people and meeting people after our set. And I couldn’t do it at that one. And it bummed me out. I’m glad you liked it.

Yeah. I had drove in for mainly for Further Seems Forever. I’ve seen the guys in NFG a few times. Whenever I saw that FSF was playing and that they were doing The Moon Is Down I was like, okay, I it’s worth a three hour drive ticket price alone just for that. But it was, it was a great day, you know, getting to check out some of the other bands, especially you guys, you know, like I said, I hadn’t heard before.

So, just to kind of start things out. Who is The Foxies?

So The Foxies consists of Jake Ohlbaum. He does guitar and keys. We’ve got Rob Bodley, who is the drummer, and he also runs tracks and builds our light show. Um, and then me, Julia Lauren Bullock, I sing. And then we also have our hired bass player who’s pretty much, you know, our bass. He’s our, he’s basically a godsend to us, right. His name is Chris Ammond and he’s just a whiz on the bass.

Okay. Cool. Very good. Yeah. So to make it sound all superherolike what’s the origin story? How did you guys come about?

Well, uh, it kind of happened by an accident really. I lived in Brooklyn in 2013 and I wanted to do music, but it was so hard for me to do that at the age of like 20, in such a big city. I was working four jobs and I didn’t know what to do. I had no time for music. So I got this opportunity to write an album with some co-writers based in Phoenix, Arizona. And I ended up moving there. I wrote the whole Oblivion EP that we released in 2016. But it was just a solo project at the time. And then I was like, no, I need a band. I’ve always been a band girl. I need a band. So I had some members float in and out from like 2014 to 2016, but I got the chance to move to Nashville in 2016. That’s where I met Jake, and I met him through a friend of a friend and he filled in for guitar once. And I thought to myself, I was like, this guy’s great, but I don’t think he’s gonna be The Foxies guitarist. Now I don’t know what I’d do without him, you know? Then Rob joined about a year later, um, his band was playing with us at a show and he looked at me after our set and he was like, yo, your drummer sucks. Let me be your drummer. And I was like, all right, we’ll go get beers and talk. So the rest is history.

So pretty interesting because I mean, kind of a bold move on his part. Like, Hey, your drummer sucks. Let me just be in your band, you know?

That was exactly it, it was so funny because, you know, and granted the guy that was drumming for me at the time, he was just a fill in cuz he knew that I needed somebody quickly and Rob was like, let me be your guy. You need the right guy. I’m the right guy. And I was like, I love this. You’re the guy.

So the band name The Foxies. What’s the story there? How’d that come in to play?

So when I was doing the solo stuff in Phoenix, um, I went under the name, Body Talk. The worst name ever. People thought that I was an Olivia Newton-John cover band, and I was not. So I was like, you know what? I think it’s time to change the name. And I started looking at, um, just like going through Spotify, seeing if any words really jolted out at me or made me feel a certain way. And there was a song by the band called, um, The Foxing, uh, I think it is. I was listening to a song by them and I really loved that song. And I was like, The Foxing, man, that’s such a cool band name. And I was like, Boxing the fuck the fuck. The Foxies. Let’s see if that’s taken and it, it wasn’t. So it stuck so just kind of one of those random happenstances, hey, no one’s using this. It sounds cool. You know, kind of, inspired off of another band name, you know, liked what you were listened to and it’s just like, Hey, you know, there, there it is. And, you know, I put so much pressure on myself to find the coolest band name. And I maybe had been like searching through songs and reading poetry and reading books for like a week straight, trying to find something that made me feel a certain way. And I always knew that I wanted a band name with “the” in front of it. Like The Foxies, like I always wanted that. It just kinda worked and low and behold, nobody had taken it except for a wedding band back in the 80s. So I was like, well, I think they’re done now so we’ll go with it. Well, hopefully they’re done.

You’ll get that lawsuit like 10 years, like copyright infringement.

I know.

So with The Foxies, I know, like you said, you’ve kind of been the primary force behind it kind of, since the inception, you know, and people have just kind of come alongside at different points in time and it just has kind of solidified to what it is now. So when it comes to this songwriting approach, do you guys kind of take a collective aspect of it? Is there a primary person? Cause I know like you see different aspects of bands, you know, it’s like you have the one person, they kind of bring everything to the table. Here it is. And everybody’s like, oh, I can work with this. And then you have like the collective idea of like, here’s what I’ve got, what we got? Let’s let’s throw ideas around kind of what’s the approach you guys take?

You know, it’s funny because we tried so hard or we tried, we tried very, very hard to write as a band back in like 2017. And it just didn’t quite work very well. Like it was just so many cooks in the kitchen. We were like, what do we want? What’s our sound. Then at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Jake and I both got signed to Round Hill Publishing. So it kind of, since that was pretty much our job. We were writing together all of the time for The Foxies and I was the type of person that I was never really good at co-writing I never knew how to do it. And because of this, it has taught me to not only be open minded, but it’s, it’s made him and I, the best songwriters that we’ve ever been before. And so usually, Jake will come in with an idea or I’ll come in with a cool little like song title, and we’ll just kind of vibe off of what the vibe is of how I’m feeling that day. And usually here recently, it’s been like, let’s write a bad song, just super grrr just pissed off at everything. And it could be the sweetest little title, but making it sound mean, and dirty is so awesome. It’s such art, you know? So the core songwriters are Jake and I, um, we do work with co-writers and producers as well. But then Rob comes in and he puts his drums on it and he builds the tracks and he makes it pristine for all of our live shows.

Nice. Very cool. Knowing that the debut album’s coming here, I think 9/23, I think is the date that I’m seeing popping around. Yep. But I’ve not got to listen to it yet.

I’ll get Charles or my team, whoever you were talking to. I’ll get them to send it to you today so you can listen.

Sweet.

Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Thank you.

So what can we expect to see coming from the debut?

You know, it’s funny because we didn’t even know we were writing an album. We spent two years writing it and we had no idea. I think when you’re saying that you’re writing an album and when you have that intention from the beginning, there’s a lot of pressure put on the art that you’re creating. Whereas here it just happened completely organic. So there’s no pressure behind these songs. And it’s exactly what my brain and my feelings and who I was as a person. It was, it’s that journey of where I started it, you know, like end of 2019, the beginning of the pandemic and all the things that I went through, all the relationships, all of the relationships with myself, um, that journey into where I am and who I’ve become now. Which is kind of how we got the title of the album. Who Are You Now, Who Were You Then? because this whole album is just a constant journey. It’s a journey of self love, but it’s also a journey of like, who am I in the relationship? What are these relationships and how do they affect my day to day life? It’s a very internal piece of work. It’s like, hey we’re The Foxies, this is our first album here. Cut me open and look at all of my organs.

Yeah, and I think that’s a very, probably a very real and authentic approach, too. I mean, just given everything with the pandemic out here and a lot of people and a lot of artists it’s like, oh, hey, you know, I’m being at home and I can’t tour, let’s just make more music. And then of course you have the adverse of that. Like I’m sitting home and I can’t tour, I can’t pay my bills, you know? And so you saw definitely different sides of that, you know, with that. And I think now that we are hitting, you know, over halfway through 2022, we’re starting to see a lot of music basically birthing coming out of this pandemic era, you know, that we, we basically collectively all lived in for 18 months to two years. Yeah. Where a lot of this music that’s coming out now is very much speaking to that journey. You know, kinda like you said, very the internal, because I know there was all the hot button topics whichever side you fell on.

Then obviously people like, well, what is the mental health toll it’s taking on people not being able to be around people and socialize. And that was kind of a huge thing because I know early pandemic, um, we lost my brother very suddenly and it wasn’t even COVID related. It was just kind of a real sudden thing. And we weren’t even able to have a memorial service or anything for like three or four months, you know, just like that type of thing. Being able to grieve collectively. You know, as part of that, like, you know, I was able to grieve on my own with my wife and my children and on occasion with my parents, you know, but just like being in a very, um, it was just kind of a rough stent, you know?

And I’m one of five, you know, sizeable family. Yeah. So definitely getting that, that journey aspect of it, that internal, aspect with that. So that I was really curious if the title of the album kind of played on that a little bit was kinda like, I think I might have an idea of where this what’s coming from here.

So I’m really excited to kind of see how the story, so to say, plays out with that.

So, I know, you kind of touched on a little bit with BreakFest, you know, getting to do that. And it was a bit of a whirlwind day and having to get done playing and then say “see y’all thanks for coming,” you know, and get where you gotta be. What was that like? Kind of, I mean, obviously New Found Glory. They they’ve been in the game 20 plus years. They’re kind of, you know, the titans of pop-punk. And then to see a band, like Further Seems Forever who came outta nowhere when they did. You know, you get Chris Carrabba, pre Dashboard. And everything that just kind of the, the story tumultuous, you know? Three albums with three different vocalists in each album, it just packed its own dynamic and getting to kind of play, you know, on that level with those guys, like, what was that like?

It was really cool. And it was a nice moment of, kind of like a pat on our back for ourselves. Cause there are so many times in so many moments in this industry where you try and you try and try and you get, you get pushed down a lot. I mean, we didn’t pick an easy industry to be in, you know, but if it was easy, we wouldn’t wanna do it. So getting this moment to play with some really dope people was so eye opening and amazing, and it was just like, God, thank you.

Like, thanks for taking a chance on us. Thank you for letting us share the stage with history pretty much. Um, and all the guys are just so sweet. Like everybody that we met. The way that it came about is we were playing in Austin, Texas the same night as New Found Glory and Less Than Jake back in 2019 or no, 2020. And Rob, our drummer was like, Julia, hit up New Found Glory and see if they wanna get a drink after this. I’m like, they’re not gonna answer. I hit New Found Glory and Chad and I was like, yo, we’re down the street playing, but you guys wanna go grab a drink and they hit us up the next day and it started just kind of like a friendship conversation. Doing a show together and then BreakFest happened.

Really cool. Chad seems like a super legit dude, like I’ve, I’ve never met him personally. Of course this was BreakFest 3. I actually did get to attend it in 2019 and it’s really cool, like to go down there. I had almost like this fanboy aspect, like Chad just walked next to me, like two inches, you know, because just, that’s not a common occurrence, you know, around here, but obviously you go somewhere around Nashville you’re gonna bump into somebody more than likely. But was really cool. Like I would see him just like, he is running around all day long. He is carrying cases of water, you know, and this I’m just like, this dude is in it. And you can tell it’s like, it’s a labor of love. Like obviously they’ve been playing as long as they have. He is up there every night giving it his all, and you can tell he was just having a ball. Oh yeah. And, you know, just to see him do that, you know, and really kind of be like, even after 20 years, it’s like, “Hey. Yeah, I kind of paid my dues to a sense, but I still kind of like that serving.” Like I’m gonna make sure everybody’s taken care of, you know, so it’s really cool to see that.

Yeah. They, they were so accommodating and so wonderful and they made everybody just feel really, really great. And they’re just great. And so is Chris Carrabba. I mean, I just remember, uh, standing, listening to some sound checks and he walked up to me and he was like, “Hey, you’re “The Foxies?” Yeah. I was like, you know who I am? I literally like in those moments you try to play it cool, you know? And you’re like, yeah, yeah. You’re Chris. It’s so nice to finally meet you. But internally you’re like motherfucker. I was, I was stoked. I was like, Hot damn. It’s just a great full circle moment. And that’s the beauty of this, this industry and beauty of this, this profession is like you start off falling in love with music and falling in love with your idols. And then one day you’re sharing the stage with them and it’s beautiful. And that’s why we do what we do, because it’s like, that’s magic right there. People who say that magic doesn’t exist. They haven’t felt that kind of moment yet. And that is, that is complete, true definition of magic is that type of moment.

Absolutely.

Oh dude. Oh, that’s the coolest thing about Nashville. It took me forever to move here because I was just always in denial. I was like, no, I’m never gonna move to Nashville. It’s country music, blah, blah, blah. And my dad. Was like, Julia, I think you’re gonna find out that it’s not really as much country as you think. So I moved here and really the only thing that’s country is literally Broadway. And of course, you know, like downtown the hall of fames, all that stuff.

And this is where, you know, country really thrives, but we’ve got so much more to offer in Nashville and all these alternative scenes. And there’s this company that, um, that has just kind of started in Nashville and it’s they pair with emo night a lot. And it’s just, it’s truly just like the amplification of all the alternative scenes of Nashville, trying to show people that Nashville is not just music or not just country music city, but it is music. Like every genre you could think of thrives here. And we’re trying to build that up. Just being The Foxies, too.

So last question I’m gonna leave with. We’ve kind of touched on a little bit of everything. What are your biggest musical influences? Just in general, going into the new album or you know, just overall, what have been your biggest pivotal musical influences in life?

I think No Doubt. Tragic Kingdom that helped me find my voice. Um, so that’s pivotal for me. Green Day made me see that being in a band was possible. I went to my first Green Day show when I was 10 with my dad. He used to take me to all the Green Day concerts around our area and it was amazing. He’s wonderful. Um, but I think my style and, and the stuff that I really really vibe with has always been Joy Division, The Smiths, The Cure, David Bowie, uh, Blondie, The Sex Pistols. Um, and of course Nirvana, I mean, that’s a pivotal moment in music in general, so yeah, definitely very new wavy punk, new wave and punk, for sure.

Awesome. Yeah, that’s definitely a, a, a broad spectrum. I mean, cuz you hear a lot of people, you know, obviously. Um, you know, doing the type of music that you guys do, you know, obviously some would be like, well, Nirvana’s an obvious one, you know? Um, but I think just about anyone who grew up in that era when Nirvana was there, you know, whenever Kurt died, you know?

Yeah. All the, all of us 90s kids, you know, like. That was huge for us, you know? I mean, cuz that, that to us was like, that was our generations, Jimmy Hendrix, you know? Or something on that level that you know, that we can all kinda like relate to and kind of go back to pinpoint, like, I remember this sort of thing with that.

So cool to see No Doubt in there, obviously like you saying that, like, you know, um, that helping you find your voice. I’ve been a huge fan of Gwen Stefani, um, for years. I keep hoping for the day that No Doubt would put out just one more album, just one more.

I freaking know, like, oh please, for the love of God.

Thank you for, you know, fitting some time in your schedule to meet. Looking forward to hearing the album.

Totally. And if you’re ever in Nashville do it when we’re playing a show, we’ll get you in. It’ll be super epic.

Sweet. I will let you know.

Who Are You Now, Who Were You Then? is set to release September 23rd. Full album review is forthcoming.

For a small taste of what’s to come, check out the latest single, “I Don’t Wanna Want It” on all major streaming platforms.

The Foxies – “I Don’t Wanna Want It” Official Music Video

Follow The Foxies on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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