Phillip Foxley – Artist Interview
Written by Matt Zin on September 30, 2020
BTD Radio Interviews, Phillip Foxley
BTD Radio presents…. Phillip Foxley ! Welcome to the studio!
Phillip Foxley: Thanks for the warm welcome, it’s a pleasure to be involved.
Wow, I got to say… I am pretty excited to meet you. We have aired several of your songs on BTD Radio. Could you tell our listeners where you are from?
Phillip Foxley: Hey, I’m exited to meet you too, as you say, you’ve aired several of my songs which is great and very much appreciated!
I was born in Urmston Manchester but have been based in Conwy, North Wales for the last 35 years.
I have a ton of questions to ask you but I will start out with several pretty simple questions just to get you into the groove of things. So who were your musical influences?
Phillip Foxley: Well, my influences are many and varied, starting in the 70’s with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Tony Iommi, and Dave Gilmour, moving through the years with Mark Knopfler, SRV, Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani … the list goes on. The thing is that there are so many fantastic, influential guitarists both signed and unsigned out there – quite daunting really.
I see that you picked up the guitar in the 70’s, I just love a sexy guitar. What was your first guitar? How did you start out playing… by ear or by some sort of sheet music or classes?
Phillip Foxley: My first guitar was an old (even then) Gibson SG Junior, I used to play by ear some of the easier Black Sabbath riffs on it. The funny thing is that I always thought it was a ‘cheap’ learners guitar because it only had one (P-90) pickup, so I eventually sold it for a song. I discovered years later that it was really rare and probably very expensive to buy now – especially left hand versions!
I can read the dots if I really have to, but I much prefer to construct riffs, melodies etc by ‘feel’
Do you prefer to play the guitar with a pick or with your fingers?
Phillip Foxley: Interesting; I used to play exclusively with a pick to get the loudest crunch possible, but as time passed and having listened to the tips and tricks from the top players, I’ve learned to trust the guitar (and the amp) to create the tone and the volume so I play both pick and fingers at the same time.
Let’s talk about your music, when did you really start getting serious about your it? Could you tell our listeners about your first gig and how that all went down?
Phillip Foxley: My first ever gig was a nightmare; I was the rhythm guitarist in a band with a much better lead guitarist. Unfortunately, we had optimistically booked the venue etc which, in hindsight, was far too big so the place was virtually empty apart from our friends and a few curious bystanders. In addition, at the last minute it was decided that I would play bass to try and fill the venue with sound – but my amp wasn’t up to it so I had to borrow one … I was also frightened to death … I could go on but I think you get the idea.
I want to talk about your song, “Demon Lover.” Yum yum, that is a sexy song with plenty of juicy blues riffs. Now just in case our listeners don’t know, this song is an instrumental, so Phillip how do you name a song without lyrics such as this song “Demon Lover?” It must be a feeling or something that comes over you, tell us… tell us.
Phillip Foxley: Thanks, glad you like this one. Actually, I wrote this as a more up tempo (almost Reggae) vocal song way back in 1999 for my wife Dawn but I can’t sing, so rather than let the song wallow in obscurity, I decided to try it out as an instrumental. I’m pleased to say that there is now a version with female vocals which I’m really pleased with.
How does your song writing process start out?
Phillip Foxley: I usually just sit around with a guitar (electric or acoustic) on my lap and I just play around with different chords and timings etc, very often something interesting comes out of it. Occasionally, a riff, a lick or a lyric will come into my mind first and I try to play that.
I hear vocals on some of your songs, some of them have beautiful vocals from some female vocalists. Who are they? Do you sing on any of your tracks?
Phillip Foxley Well, I’m really lucky to have bumped into two exceptional female session vocalists with very different styles. The first is called Eve – she performs under the stage name 3V3Sound (pronounced EveSound). Eve can be heard on the acoustic version of the song called ‘Promises’. The second vocalist is called Krenadean and she performs with a partner under the stage name OKTeam. Kren can be heard on both the piano version of ‘Promises’ and the rockier song called ‘Seize The Day’.
Are you a solo artist or do you have a band? Could you take me through a day of what you do to prepare for a gig?
Phillip Foxley: I’m exclusively a solo artist and I don’t actually gig these days. I much prefer the (lazier?) option of writing, playing and recording music in my tiny home ‘studio’. I would consider a couple of gigs or collaborate with other artists should the opportunity come along.
I really love the song, “Falling For You.” It starts out with a great rock guitar lick. Is this song about someone you know? Tell us the juicy story.
Phillip Foxley: Thanks, this song came almost from nothing really, it was borne from one of the play around sessions I mentioned earlier. Alas, no juicy story as it’s not about anyone in particular, the lyrics just sort of came out as I mumbled my way through the riff as it developed.
Do you play any other instruments?
Phillip Foxley: No, just guitars.
I gotta ask, how many guitars do you have? Do you play the classic chords or do you choose to play the guitar with BARRE chords? Perhaps a mix of both?
Phillip Foxley: I have three guitars; A 1990 Gibson Les Paul Standard, a 1995 US Fender Strat (with YMG pickups) and a 35 year old battered Eko Ranger VI acoustic. Surprisingly, the acoustic sounded amazing miked up so I used it on the instrumental song ‘Indian Summer’. As far as the chording goes, it depends on the song really, but generally, I play classic chords together with three note ‘lazy’ bar chords.
Where do you see Phillip Foxley in about five years from now in the music biz?
Phillip Foxley: My main interest is to write music to pitch to film licencing opportunities, particularly in the US. No takers so far but its early days (he says optimistically).
Any new projects coming in the near future?
Phillip Foxley: Yes, I have remixed all the songs that you know plus several new songs in preparation for my new EP called “I’ll try ‘til I die” which is set for release around Sept/October 2014. In fact it would be great if I could send you both the updated songs to replace the originals in your archive and the new songs for your airplay consideration.
We would love for you to tell our listeners where they can find your music? If you have any special shout-outs, please feel free to do them now.
Phillip Foxley: Ok, the links are as follows:
For best sound quality (16 bit CD wav file versions) – https://soundcloud.com/phillip-foxley
For best play stats and Press testimonial info etc – http://www.reverbnation.com/phillipfoxley
My new website – http://www.ptfoxley.co.uk