An Interview With The Portland-Based Duo FOX + BONES On New Music and More!
Posted On 15 Aug 2019
Portland, Oregon based folk-pop duo Fox and Bones are the product of life on the road. Their music is ripe with vocal harmonies that pull at the heart strings and a rich, often times metaphysical lyrical landscape. They’ve spent the majority of their four year career in transit, relentlessly touring the greater United States, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This unwavering commitment to the road has spawned dedicated pockets of fans and friends all over the world.
It’s not all gas stations and hotel rooms for the internationally touring sweethearts. In 2018, they released their sophomore album “Better Land” which was met with critical acclaim. Their newest single “Running Free” came out on August 2nd.
The duo’s live shows are an intimate hybrid of storytelling and comedy as they play improv games and share stories from their adventures that draw in the audience and create a strong sense of community.
Connect With Fox and Bones Here:
Learn more about Fox and Bones in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day for you both?
We are rushing around our home town of Portland, Oregon preparing for our two month European tour.
Now that we are more than halfway through the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating this duo so far? What are some goals that you have for this year and how close are you to reaching them? Did you already?
2019 has been a whirlwind so far. We’ve toured the continental U.S., thrown a heartwarming and community building Folk Festival (Portland’s Folk Festival) and wrote and recorded the first single for our upcoming album. Our major goals for 2019 have been to keep working our hardest and to put all that we can into performing and playing music. So far we’re on the right track!
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far? How did you come up with your name?
For me (Scott) It happened the moment I saw Sarah perform. The way that she sang and carried herself on stage, I just knew we had to create something together. That week, we wrote a song over Facebook messenger (“Bones”) and from then on there was no stopping us. The name came from nicknames we already had, and they sounded good together so we went with it!
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
(Scott) I learned a lot of my humor from my friends growing up in Martinez, California that has stuck with me. I want a Fox and Bones show to be fun and full of laughter and I want our interactions with fans to feel like home.
(Sarah) I don’t know if my hometown inspired my music as much as traveling the world did. It wasn’t until I left and went on that adventure that I started writing music! I traveled for three months in Peru, Colombia and the Bahamas and my life was forever changed!
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo work?
We work well as a team because we’re both hopelessly committed to the success of this project. I think we both feel more balanced when we’re working towards a goal. Sarah has a particular ability with social media, branding and booking, while I (Scott) am I a gear head and handle most of our technical issues and photoshop designs. Between the two of us, we’re one fully functioning business person.
Let’s talk about your latest track “Running Free.” What was the inspiration for this song? How did it come together? How would you say that it prepares listeners for more music from you?
We wanted to write a piece about our current situation as musicians and as people. We had recently moved out onto the road, to completely immerse ourselves into the music and we wanted to create a song that captured the optimism and uncertainty of what was ahead of us. It was a few days before our recording session that we locked ourselves in a room and refused to leave until we had something worth recording. “Running Free” was born. It’s a hopeful track that serves as a reminder that while chasing the dream isn’t always easy, it’s definitely the most fulfilling thing one could ever do.
When do you plan on putting out more new music and a full collection of new songs?
We plan to have a full album mid-late 2020, though the project is yet to be named.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I’ve found the stage is where we are most at peace. You have to remain focused and in the moment which tends to breed happiness.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band? Where are you excited to play next?
One of our favorites was at the 2019 Portland’s Folk Festival. We had all of our family and friends in attendance and there was an abundant feeling of optimism throughout the event. An ideal performance is when we really sync with the audience. Where they feel comfortable to laugh uproariously and we are able to be our true, silly selves. We are excited to be on the road in Europe and seeing our friends and fans across the sea.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
It gives us purpose and direction. Fox and Bones helps us funnel all of our nervous energy into a project that (hopefully) brings people joy. Plus, it allows us to see the world and connect with all sorts of different people on a regular basis.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
It is a very polarizing political climate these days and we feel our job as musicians is to draw people closer instead of furthering that divide. Our career has carried us all over the world and has allowed a peak into so many different cultures and we see so many more similarities than differences on the road. We feel that music can be the bridge that joins two opposing views/tribes. We try to keep our personal politics out of things, while at the same time trying to inspire a better world through real, meaningful human connection.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
We have a lot of love for our fellow Portland folk artists, John Craigie, WORTH and Glitterfox who are all doing really inspiring things right now. A dream collaboration would be with ALO who we’ve loved for years.
Where would you love to hear your music being played? A TV show, a movie, in your favorite store, etc…?
It would be fun hearing a song of our on the big screen in some fashion. We’d pour a bag of popcorn on our heads if that happened.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
The heartbeat of our songs is optimism. Life can be difficult at times but there is so much beauty in the world and we want our songs to be a mantra of that hopeful optimism.