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Foxy Shazam, ‘Evel Knievel’ of rock and roll brings act to Picador

BY MELEA ANDRYS | FEBRUARY 18, 2009 7:50 AM

Though the name Foxy Shazam would be a perfect title for a blaxploitation film, five guys from Ohio think it’s also fitting for their own special brand of piano-driven punk.

“[Foxy Shazam] was formed about the same way as any other band, really — we were all in bands around Cincinnati, and after heavy flirting, we decided to join up and write some songs,” said guitarist Loren Turner.

After its inception, he said, the band’s distinctive name simply fell into place. “They used to say ‘foxy shazam’ if people liked your shoes at [lead singer Eric Nally’s] high school.”

The soulful hard-core pop sound of Foxy Shazam will invade the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., at 6 p.m. today. The A.KA.’s, Dr. Manhattan, and Lost Apparitions are scheduled to open the all-ages show.

“Foxy Shazam was booked because it rocks,” said Doug Roberson, the Picador’s talent buyer. “[The members] have a certain sense of humor that could appeal to anyone. It is just a good time — no pretense, just fun.”

That Foxy Shazam has one hell of a funny bone is apparent from the moment the band takes the stage. The self-proclaimed “Evel Knievel of Rock ’n’ Roll” has developed a reputation for unexpected physical antics that pepper its live performances. These stunts include lead singer Nally’s tendency to hang from the ceiling, and keyboardist Schuyler White’s knack for producing as much sound as possible from his instrument by banging it with his feet.

“Evel Knievel was a daredevil who took major risks in order to entertain the crowd, and I think that kinda fits our live persona,” Turner said. “We all just feel the music and go with flow. I don’t even think we know what to expect.”

Foxy Shazam will be touring to not only promote the band’s 2008 release, Introducing Foxy Shazam, but also its upcoming untitled project.

“We’re planning to spend all of March writing for the new record,” Turner said. “It should be pretty cool; we’re all excited about it. I feel like we’ve come a long way as a band and as songwriters.”
Foxy Shazam’s repertoire is entirely penned by its members. Turner describes the songwriting process as a collaborative effort, though when pressed about the group’s overall relational dynamic, he quipped that doesn’t wear overalls.

“It usually starts with either a vocal melody, piano or guitar riff, and it sort of builds from there,” he said. “Some members may run with the torch more than others on certain songs, but we all throw our flavor into it.”

But after the songwriting is completed, he said, the main goal of Foxy Shazam is to have fun entertaining a crowd onstage.

“We play just good ol’ rockin’ soul … The best show is any show where the energy is great in the room,” Turner said. “We’re not too picky — we just wanna rock out.”

If technology is the hurdle keeping rock fans away from Foxy Shazam’s show, Roberson has a direct rebuttal.

“[People] should come to see the show because they need to get out of their apartments and interact with real people, not Facebook or MySpace.”


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