The Stone Foxes Return to Philly for Another Rollicking Rock Show this Sunday!

Photo credit to Staci DeGagne

The Stone Foxes may be one of the hardest working bands in modern rock n’ roll.

After touring relentlessly for years and creating sweat-inducing, high energy live sets, the bluesy rock five-piece from San Francisco recently released their latest EP, Visalia, and are in the midst of a self-titled “Gigantour.”

“The tour has been awesome so far,” says vocalist and drummer Shannon Koehler in an phone interview with Rock On Philly.  “We love touring, we feed off of it. Every night we have fun and we have an emotional connection to what we’re playing, so that doesn’t get old.”

The EP is named after the rural town in central California where the band went off the grid for a bit to finishing writing the songs and get some tape. “What was special about Visalia is that it got us there,” Koehler emphasizes. They pitched tents during a chilly November on their friend’s lawn and focused solely on the music. “It was totally its own experience,” says Koehler. “When you are in a band it’s a team thing, and camaraderie is really important. We took that to a new level there.”

In fact, the first track of the EP, “If I Die,” was recorded on their friend’s porch in Visalia – the car sounds you hear are authentic. In the chorus, Koehler sings “If I die tonight, that’s alright,” which carries more weight when you consider Koehler lives with a pacemaker and has undergone multiple heart surgeries.

“I think when you go through stuff like that, you have to think about that, and you don’t have to choose where or when… I was born with that stuff, but I appreciate everything and take it to the limit… If you’re going to spend time on this earth, you might as well live it to the maximum potential, doing something you love and brings people together,” he shares.

While “Shake Like Buddy Holly” pays heartfelt homage to the band’s musical forebears, the last three tracks – “Hypno,” “Fight,” and “Arrogant” – comment on the current political and social climate in the US. “It’s not hard to be thinking about that stuff right now,” admits Koehler. “We all have these dual lives right now, and we are all concerned what’s going on.”

“Fight” especially sounds like a call to action. “I know it’s the law but it’s ain’t the truth… are you ready to fight?” sings Koehler on the track. “This new alt-right thinking is pushing people to the brink,” Koehler explains. “We’re encouraging people to speak up and protect one another, to get out and vote, be proactive and help your community.”

The Stone Foxes have been helping their local San Francisco community for four years through their Goodnight Moon Project, which raises awareness of the homelessness population in the city. “After I moved to San Francisco at 18 I was shocked and traumatized to the homeless community, but all of a sudden I found myself getting desensitized to it which was disturbing,” says Koehler. He ended up writing a song called “Goodnight Moon” from the perspective of the homeless, and the band created a music video for the song featuring people who have suffered from homelessness.

They have brought this spirit on the road as well. They collect food at every show, donate the goods to a local food bank, and encourage their fans to get involved. “A show can be a show, but it can also be powerful human experience,” says Koehler. “We try to create an experience of community and love on stage, and we try take those habits off stage.”

It seems like the ethos of San Francisco is still well and alive in The Stone Foxes.

Listen to Visalia below and go see The Stone Foxes this Sunday, October 15th at Johnny Brenda’s! Tickets are available here (show is 21+ only). Don’t forget to bring your canned goods!

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