TMG is pleased to present another introspective artist interview, this time with the New York, Indie Rock/Alternative band, Foxtrax!
Ben Schneid, Jared Stenz, Jon Stenz make up Foxtrax, a band recently formed in early 2015. The band is combination of prior projects, Ben Schneid and The Brothers Stenz. All three members grew up in Oceanside, NY and went to high school together. Ben Schneid played as a solo artist while attending Cornell University. Booking gigs at venues around campus and in NYC, he dazzled crowds with his talented blues and soul grooves and unique on-stage antics. The Brothers Stenz consisted of Jared and Jon Stenz. The band formed while attending Syracuse University and was a cornerstone of the Syracuse University house party scene. They impressed crowds with their raw and emotional songwriting and unique live shows.
After graduation, Ben, Jared and Jon came together to form Foxtrax with the goal of writing music that stays true to their classic rock roots, but still reaches for unique arrangements and tones.
The band blends elements of classic rock with new modern indie pop to forge a unique sound that’s both raw and catchy!
Here’s their songs, “Go It Alone” & “Save My Soul”
**NOW HERE’S OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH FOXTRAX**
1. What’s your bands name? Where did the name come from?
Foxtrax. Back in February we spent a month writing music in the blue ridge mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. In between writing sessions, we’d take long spiritual walks through the woods. On our journey we would find tracks in the snow left by the animals in the forest, most notably the foxes. We’d follow them and they would either lead us home or to a new and interesting part of the forest. In our minds this experience served as a metaphor for our journey. We were following our own personal foxtrax, which led us to our dreams and to each other.
2. The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
Our biggest struggle and accomplishment was recording our debut EP in a studio in three days. It was hard to organize all of our thoughts and production ideas into such a short period of time, but we were able to produce a record that we believe in. We are excited to release our debut ep late summer!!
3. What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play?
We can play banjo, mandolin, glockenspiel, piano, organ, flute, recorder, egg shakers, apple shakers, percussive frogs, fiddle, steel drums, brushes and theramin.
4. Why’d you start making music and why specifically did you choose your genre?
We started making music to communicate emotions that could otherwise not be expressed. We are highly inspired by acts like the doors, stones, and beach boys so our music just comes out in an indie/rock and roll format organically.
5. Do you have any memorable musical experiences that have shaped who you guys are?
Our most memorable musical experience was spending a month together in Murphy, North Carolina writing what would become our debut EP “The Cabin” due out late summer. It was a great bonding experience and the mountains definitely shaped the sonic landscape of the record.
6. Have you ever released any albums or are working on any now? Any special projects?
We have a few demos released on bandcamp. Our debut 5 song EP “The Cabin” will be released late summer 2015!
7. Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
We are such a young band, only six months old so we have collaborated sparingly thus far but would love to collaborate often throughout our career. We believe in creating an artistic community and the more minds working on a project the better the creative juices!
8. What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
We’ve played over 50 shows since forming in winter 2015. We’ve played NYC landmark venues such as Pianos, The Bitter End, Merceury Lounge. We’ve played national events such as the Les Paul 100th Anniversary celebration. We’ve played festivals like the Long Island Pop Festival and Hempfest. We play weekly cover gigs down on the water in Long Beach, NY. Our favorite experience so far was definitely playing a sold out show to our friends and family in Long Beach at The Inn. There is just something special about playing a huge show for all of your friends from home!
9. How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
We do it all ourselves! Our advice is to delegate tasks within your band and to form a team that can get things done. It’s all about networking and finding influencers who can open the next door for you! Also, social media is crucial. With good music and a strong social media presence your band will find more opportunities opening. You must take control of your own destiny in 2015!
10. Do you have any mottos?
Our motto is #FollowYourFoxtrax! This means to us to go after your dreams and to follow your passions.
11. What artists inspire you?
We are highly inspired by all art forms, from painting to poetry to music. We love books and good music! U2, The Doors, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, The Killers, Coldplay, The Strokes, Alabama Shakes, Mumford & Sons, The National, Vampire Weekend.
12. What’s next for your band?
Next for our band is playing a ton of shows around the northeast and releasing our debut EP “The Cabin” at the end of the summer. We hope to go on a college tour off our EP!
13. What do you do when you’re not listening to or making music?
When we are not making or listening to music odds are we are reading, working out, at the beach, playing sports or hanging with our friends!
14. What’s your favorite song right now?
Our favorite song right now is Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty
Huge thank you to Foxtrax for taking their time to do this interview for all of us!
Check out more of Foxtrax and their music through the links below!