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Tag Archives: Teleskopes

Fox Fagan – Musician

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Photo: Genie Sanchez

Fox Fagan is a talented Melbourne artist – now living and working in LA – pursuing (and living) the dream.

Fox is a damn good musician whose specialty (or first instrument) is bass, however like most supreme talents, he can play most instruments super well and does a pretty mean vocal as well.

Playing the Melbourne rock scene for much of his adult life with bands such as Electric Mary, Jon Stevens, Rob Mills as well as English performer – Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Fox moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago to take his music career to the next level and to work and write with some of the best muso’s in the world.

Since moving to LA, I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s been an easy path. It rarely is for most creative types. It takes years of hard work, networking, meet and greets, lots of broken promises, random opportunities and just dumb luck. (Talent is a given). But you’ve got to be in it to win it right?!

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Photo: A Horse With No Name Photography

Having known Fox for quite some time, it’s been exciting to see him land some pretty cool session work with some of the biggest names in the music industry and to start to make in-roads in to what is a bloody tough industry. It takes balls to take your talents to the world in the most competitive market of them all…

For the last few years he has also been on a world tour with Wilson Phillips. (For any youngsters out there that have never heard of them … the girls come from music royalty with their fathers having formed the legendary 60′s surf/rock band – The Beach Boys and The Mamas & The Papas respectively)

Wilson Phillips are multiple Grammy Award winning and chart topping artists in their own right however. They also famously appeared in a cameo in the hilarious 2011 film – Bridesmaids – performing ‘Hold On’, which I (along with many other chicks around the world I’m sure) have mimicked countless times since…

Fox also continues to gig and write with his own band – Teleskopes, as well as do his own solo work. I would urge you to keep an eye (and ear) out for his sounds.

http://www.facebook.com/teleskopes

http://www.soundcloud.com/foxfagan

Q&A:

1) You are a session musician for some of the biggest bands/acts in the world. Give us a bit of a background on how you got to do this sort of session work in LA / who you have worked with and what genres you are drawn to?

I just kinda turned up in LA really… only knowing one person. Went for an audition and got the gig. Immediately after I was offered to go and rehearse/audition with another band playing most of the spots in LA. Coincidently, two of the members from that band became my partners in Teleskopes.

That summer I ended up gigging at a lot of the popular clubs in LA as a bassist, and even managed to play The Roxy and The Viper in one night which seemed huge at the time.

For the next 3 years I played with various different artists in town and put out a solo EP on vinyl, in which I was lucky enough to record with the people who mixed and engineered songs from ‘In The Key Of Life’ by Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson’s – BAD. I was tripping.

One day after being turned down for a job at the counter of Whole Foods, an Aussie mate who’d been here playing for a while called me and said that we were gonna try out for Wilson Phillips, whom I immediately Googled and realized the amazing families I was about to be involved with.

Living here for 5 years has definitely evolved my taste buds – genre wise, and has taught me versatility in my writing, playing and production for which I am very grateful for.

I find that I’m drawn more towards roots with cerebral flavors, and seesaw between being completely bare-boned and doing the full wall of soundscaping that we create in Teleskopes.

Another cool guy I got to work with was Dave Stewart, playing bass for a beautifully voiced artist he was working with out of NYC called Jihae. It was just amazing to see him come in and understand in a split second the relationship between the artist and the audience you are about to play in front of, and know how to convey the message in the best possible way. His guitar was loud as fuck on stage, and it was awesome.

2) You’ve had some pretty crazy experiences since living in LA. What has been the most rock n roll moment to date?

The most rock n roll experiences, I can’t really say…

But it feels like something is going on here where you’re just actually in it. You’re part of it. You’re creating what it is that’s actually happening and you just need to live your life and enjoy every moment of it.

3) What do you feel has been your biggest career achievement? / What’s the biggest show you’ve played so far?

We played a 20K seat arena in Manila with Wilson Phillips, but I don’t think it was as important to me as meeting and sharing the stage with Brian Wilson.

Then again, the club shows that Teleskopes are playing in LA are just as exciting. I can walk off stage at The Viper or Harvard & Stone and feel like it was the biggest show.

4) What do you feel are your biggest challenges as a musician or creative person?

There are many. I’ve definitely learnt how to be patient but also not to just sit back and hope everything will fall in to your lap. There’s a delicate balance of being open to receiving opportunity, remaining productive and also making sure you can keep your lights and phone on. Most of all, it’s creating something that you like, which isn’t always the case, but that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t get the chance to enjoy it.

5) You also write and perform your own original music with your own band. How would you describe your personal sound and how this has grown over the years / what are you working on right now?

Teleskopes is definitely a main focus right now, we’ve been building it up live in LA and it’s starting to feel like people might have heard about us. Our sound literally came from us being a band and jamming in the room, then writing songs from there. It’s basically a wall of guitar loops and delays and really kinda noisy with disguised pop songs in there somewhere.

We posted some of our first recordings on facebook.

No official release yet but we’re working on some self produced recordings right now and will hopefully get them out early in 2014.

I’m always constantly writing by myself and with others too… I’ve taken to posting very early demos for people to listen to on my soundcloud page. www.soundcloud.com/foxfagan

6) As a creative person – who and what inspires you? / What are you creatively passionate about? / What do you love most about your work?

I’m constantly being inspired and re-inspired. It comes in waves and circles. I feel as though the inspiration is always there, it just depends on your openness and antenna to be able to channel it in some way.

Lately I’ve simply enjoyed putting on old Bill Withers records and just playing along with them. Still the most satisfying thing is to finish writing a song, the first draft is always the one I’m most excited about.

I love working as a musician, whether it be as a bass player, a singer, the writing the producing… It’s nice being able to wear a few hats for sure.

7) If your life were a soundtrack or song – what would this be?

Haha um… No Pussy Blues, Grinderman.

8) What do you enjoy doing in your time off?

I love going to shows and museums and art openings and events. Hiking on the mountains and swimming in the ocean.

I try to keep fit and relax with a book. I’ve been cooking a lot of roast dinners lately; I’ve pretty much mastered Yorkshire Pudding…

9) You are a true muso – playing many instruments as well as writing music. Is bass still your fave and if you could work on any creative project – what would this like or who would it be with?

The more I get into bass the more I’m loving it. It’s never gonna get old. But singing is a huge passion for me and very gratifying to do live on stage. I used to dread the singing part but it comes far more natural these days.

I would love to play bass for Gary Clarke Jr – that would just be a very cool gig.

Collaborations with Dan Auerbach, and Elvis Costello or Danger Mouse are some definite bucket listers. There’s really so many people that would be fantastic work with. But how about Dan Auerback, Gary Clarke Jr, Quest Love and me on bass. Yeah, that’d be dope!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

Continuing work on Teleskopes material. I have plans to make a video for a song I just wrote called The Grateful Song. I’m really hoping to put out some vinyl next year with Teleskopes and some of my own stuff. I’m totally open to whatever comes along.