Meet FOES. This four piece from Birmingham are gathering speed and fans in equal measure. My latest serendipitous “B Town” find is made up of Tommy Kearns, 24 (Guitar and Vocals), Drew Linforth, 26 (Lead Guitar) Alex Regan, 24 (Bass Guitar) & Marcus Williams, 29 (Drums). Tommy and Alex went to school together and started the band The British Kicks whilst at University. They both realised that they shared a similar interest in music which drove them to start the band. But what band is complete without a drummer? Or an additional guitarist? Post some internet adverts et voila FOES was born. Influenced by a diverse range of genres grunge/punk/hip hop those influences manifest in the band’s commanding guitar riffs, big beats and vocals so rich and deep they could give Eddie Vedder and Ian Curtis a run for their money.
We had a chat with Tommy to find out more.
MH: Congratulations! Your gig last week at Brum’s Sunflower Lounge supporting The Samuel Rogers Band was a sell out and you have more gigs lined up for November including one in London. Where else have you played? Where would you love to play?
TK: Yeah, it was an amazing night and maybe our best show in Birmingham to date. We’ve played the majority of venues in and around Birmingham including The 02 Academy, HMV Institute & The Rainbow. Outside of Birmingham we’ve played London a few times including a sell out show at the Camden Barfly & The Dublin Castle. We’d LOVE to play The Old Blue Last in London but truthfully we just love playing shows so basically anywhere where theres a stage!
MH: Which one of you tends to write the music/lyrics? Or is it a group effort?
TK: The music normally comes from myself or Drew. We tend to write together but naturally it gets brought to the rest of the group to finish it. The lyrics mainly come from our bassist Alex Regan, he’s a wizard with the pen! I’ve personally dropped a few words into a couple songs but we’re looking at a 60/40 split.
MH: How do you go about composing a song? Do you use a situation you’ve been in or take inspiration from other situations?
TK: I think musically it’s whatever feels good. Do we get a reaction from it. Lyrically, I personally write from situations where I’ve been in or been around. It’s an easier way to work for me personally. I believe it can speak to people more when it’s a personal situation.
MH: The opening bars of your high energy track “Tu Casa” are reminiscent of The Fratelli’s “Chelsea Dagger”. Is their music an influence? Who else are you influenced by?
TK: Ha, that’s the first time anybody’s made that comparison. To be honest, it’s not. I’m personally not into that side of music so maybe it’s just a coincidence. I think our influences vary from band to band, genre to genre. I’m more into Hip Hop where as Drew is more into Punk but I think what works for us though is, we recognise what’s a good song whether it be a groove, a sequence of chords or a hooky melody.
MH: Whose musical career would you most like to emulate?
TK: Any player in a band where he can make it his day job. Obviously we’d all love to be Mick Jagger but playing music is the passion and we just hope we can do it forever.
MH: Name a song that you wish you’d written.
TK: Gene Pitney – “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart”.
MH: Which of your songs are best received by the crowd?
TK: Our last song of our current set list which is song titled “Amazing”. We are in the process of getting it recorded so hopefully you’ll be able to hear it very soon.
MH: If you could be anyone dead or alive who would you be?
TK: Johnny Cash. He was the man in black. The coolest man to walk this planet.
MH: What music are you listening to?
TK: I’m listening to anything by Kanye, the man’s a genius. ‘Yeezus’ is a piece of art. I think as a band however, our mutual interest is anything by Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age etc.
MH: What do you think about when you are alone in your car/train/bus?
TK: We tend to think about KFC when we’re driving to out of town shows. So I’d say KFC. I’d give a better philosophical answer but truthfully when we’re out on the road, the music is loud and our stomachs are hungry.
MH: What song best describes your personality?
TK: M.O.P – Cold as Ice. I’ve picked this because I think we like to think we’re cooler than we are.
MH: It’s the end of the world. What do you do?
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