It was Thursday night upstairs of the Roxy when I sat down with the indie rock trio FOXTRAX before their first Roxy performance as the headliner. I knew from my own research that their following was growing at an incredible rate, which I believed was due to insightful marketing strategy involving an interesting campaign for fans to collect points to receive prizes of all different levels, and other tactics many artists use to increase their fan base. What I didn’t realize though was how their warmth as a group to everyone was really the secret ingredient to their success. As soon as I walked into the room, I was received with great excitement, and reassured that I could take all the time I needed, even though I knew full well there was another interview right after mine. Their kindness continued throughout the interview, making the small dressing room feel like a part of their home.

One of the first topics we discussed was, you guessed it, their fans. This though was in a very genuine fashion, explaining in great depth how their fans are the ones who keep them wanting to produce high quality music. We discussed the fun street team point system, and Jared Stenz, bassist of the group, explained how they made it as a fun way to interact with their fans because they want to give back in a very real way for all the love they receive. We talked about how a million points would get you lifetime tickets to any of their meet and greets and shows while on any tour in the future. I jokingly declared that I was even interested in joining the street team after hearing about all the different prizes, and they declared that there was definitely still time to join in.

We continued the interview by discussing their upcoming sophomore EP release and their future musical aspirations. They spoke excitedly about the progress they have been making as a group and how all their creative energy is going fully into FOXTRAX. Ben Schneid, vocalist, keyboardist, and guitarist of the group, explained how they are putting all of their energy into the project now in order for them to continue doing what they love in five or even ten years from now. While they haven’t had much time on the road for any tour inspired songwriting, since they are sharing a small van with not much room for comfort, they emphasized that they will soon be working on a full-length album, marking 2018 a formative year for FOXTRAX after the release of their EP. Schneid explained that for the songwriting process he needs the dust to settle after the high of performing wears off after a month or so. Jon Stenz, the percussionist of the group and brother of bassist Jared Stenz, chimed in that they will be playing unreleased tracks that night at the Roxy, which I knew was going to be a great surprise for all fans.

Next, we discussed the experience they had while in San Diego a couple days ago. “A Red Trolley Show,” a show that films artists performing in an uncontrolled environment on a public trolley in San Diego, hosted FOXTRAX, and the group had an eye opening experience. Jon explained how during the performance, a new passenger joined and since they needed room on the trolley, they pushed one of the pieces of equipment off the seat next to them. While it shocked them, they seemed to take the experience positively, discussing with me how it showed them that performing in public created a raw element to the performance that is hard to replicate in a controlled environment such as a concert venue. Jared added that sometimes you want to be that guy who interrupts the filmed jam session in order to do what’s best for you at the moment, and that’s okay.

The name FOXTRAX was also a big topic of discussion throughout the interview. When asked the inspiration behind the artist name, Schneid explained how one winter in North Carolina, where the trio was staying in a cabin, they found a path of fox footprints in the snow and decided to follow them to see where it led. This experience formed their band name, but it seems as though it is more of their philosophy of life Throughout the interview, they continued to reference fox tracks, discussing how they are all trying to follow their own path, and for them at this time that was by pursuing their passion for music to its fullest potential.

At the end of the more formal topics, we discussed more fun topics like activities aside from FOXTRAX. Ben loves to cook in his spare time, Jon enjoys going to the beach, and Jared expounded on his love for nature and being a part of it. When asked if there was anything fans would love to know about them, Ben revealed that Jon sometimes wears clear glasses without prescription. We collectively agreed and laughed as a group, “That’s not very FOXTRAX of you, Jon.” Last but not least, we discussed what DJ names they would have if each of them were to have their own DJ set in Los Angeles. Jon quickly claimed DJ Johnny Rockets, Ben coined DJ Young Fox, and Jared proudly decided on DJ Jay-Rad.

At the end of the interview, the three of them all gave me hugs, leaving me with a feeling that I had just made three new friends in ten minutes of knowing each other. It is obvious after my conversation with them that it is this warmth and genuine appreciation for others that makes FOXTRAX a success, no matter where the path may lead them in the future.

The first three tracks off their new EP are currently released to the public, so give them a listen and click that follow button. You don’t want to miss out on this unique indie rock trio’s journey as FOXTRAX.

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