Black Foxxes frontman Mark Holley reveals the songs that inspire him, and admits he’s not a fan of guitar solos...
The song that made me want to play... Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix
“I remember hearing that riff blaring on the vinyl player and having an urge to play it. I actually started learning classical guitar, and my dad said that if I could play Classical Gas, he’d buy me an electric, thinking I’d never be able to learn it. So I learned it to spite him and he had to buy me one!”
The first song I covered... Breakfast At Tiffany’s - Deep Blue Something
“I remember we did Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Also (and this one wasn’t a cover) we wrote a song about Jason Donovan! The first band I was in was just awful. Sometimes people will send me their band’s music and they’re like, 16-year-olds, and I listen and think, ‘How are these kids so good?’ Because what I was writing at that age was an absolute shambles.”
A song I’d like to cover... Suffragette City - David Bowie
“Actually, we already do Suffragette City. We’ll always play around with covers but it’s got to translate to our style for us to use it. We tend to like going down the 60s/70s route - this Bowie song translated amazingly.”
A solo I love... Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
“It’s not the solo as such, it’s more the way the guitar builds around the song. I think that’s more appealing than a two-minute shred solo. I’ve never been into twiddly, fast-paced solos that tend to fall into metal genres like Dragonforce. It’s incredible, but it’s never appealed to me.”
The song I’d play to someone who had never heard my music... I’m Not Well - Black Foxxes
“I think from the first record, the title track I’m Not Well really sums everything up. I’m proud of that track; it feels like a stadium track the way it builds and everything comes in at the end. From the new record, there’s a song called Joy, which is a five-minute track, but three-and-a-half minutes are just a section that fades out. It’s just chaos, it’s so punk rock and different to anything we’ve done before.”
A song I’m currently listening to... Well Done - Idles
“I love the Idles album, Brutalism, and the song Well Done, I’m obsessed with it. And Phoebe Bridgers’ Smoke Signals as well - she’s unbelievable.”
The song I’d like to be remembered for... Float On - Black Foxxes
“I wrote that song before the guys were even in the band. It’s a pretty obnoxious five minutes, and I thought, ‘Nobody’s going to want to join this band!’ Now it’s on the new album as the closing track.
“It’s another self-indulgent five-and-a-half minute song. It’s about a cousin of mine who drowned in a river. Our family were losing their minds, there was a manhunt for him and everything. I figured I’d try something a bit different and write a song for him, and I’m really proud of the way it came out.”
A song I listen to when I’m touring... Daydreaming - Radiohead
“I used to really struggle being out on the road, but now I can’t wait to get away! I think Daydreaming by Radiohead is a huge one for me. When the plane’s on the runway and I want to switch off, that’s the one I always go to.”
Black Foxxes’ second album Reiði is out now on Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records.