Foxing’s Josh Coll talks sadness, art and impermanence - Metro US

Foxing’s Josh Coll talks sadness, art and impermanence

Mitch Wojcik

Whether you call it post-rock or emo, Foxing’s orchestral sense of melancholy is unmistakable. Personal stories of sadness, regret and trauma comprise much of the St. Louis band’s lyrics. On their latest record, “Dealer”, they explore such difficult subjects as Catholic guilt (“Magdalene”) and bassist and co-songwriter Josh Coll’s service in Afghanistan (“Indica”). But the band’s compositions, swaying from whispers to grand crescendos, also convey the life-affirming aspects of painful experience. We talked Coll about Foxing’s approach to music, and living as a rock band.

I think we’re often taught to avoid sadness, or too quick to label as “depression” what might be a natural process of grief. And maybe it comes out easier through art like the kind Foxing makes. Do you connect with that idea?
I feel like our culture doesn’t know how to handle sadness — it still can be viewed as a weakness for people, and I think that’s really disheartening. I’ve felt like a lot of the stuff we deal with in our music is a little bit therapeutic or cathartic. Sometimes I think we’ll talk about the things we talk about so that, in our day-to-day lives, we’re able to not have that weigh so heavy on us. A lot of people that meet us have commented on how light-hearted we can be, and that’s interesting to me.

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Your stuff is often so personal, but lot of bands can be more like fiction writers. What draws you to autobiography?
Everybody has a different way of writing — I’ll look at certain bands and really wish that I could from more of an outside perspective. I just don’t think it’s a strong suit for us. When [lead singer] Conor [Murphy] and I are writing, we find the best results from looking inward.

In your bio, you write, “Foxing is a band. Someday Foxing won’t be a band.” Is that just a little joke, or are you saying something deeper about how we’re all going to die?
When I wrote that, it was a little more tongue-in-cheek, but when we started the band, we kind of had a statement amongst ourselves: if you’re putting yourself into a project, something that you care about, there’s no reason for half measures. Be 100 percent proud of everything that you put out into the world, because your time as being relevant to the world is extremely fleeting. That carries over into everything we do.

If you go:

March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100

March 12 at 6:30 p.m.
The Middle East Downstairs
472-480 Massachusetts Ave, 617-864-3278

New York
March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., 212-260-4700

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