Shoxx are one of NYC’s most exciting new bands. Their members have played in local favorites like Nomos and Pollution, and their live sets have made their collective chops more than evident very quickly.
I spoke to Sean, their guitarist, who was kind enough to offer us some insight on the band, their fundamental approach, as well as a download of their newly released (and pretty god damn stellar) demo cassette.
Steve: It’s hard to put a finger on what you guys do stylistically. NYC punk has been killing it left and right, but it seems like a lot of bands have won us over by doing very spot-on takes on very specific sounds. Where does Shoxx pull it’s influence from, even loosely? Introduce the band while you’re at it.
Shoxx is Sean (guitar)/ Will (bass) / Elsner (drums) / Nate (vocals)
Sean: Between all of us, we have so many different influences and ideas of what we’d like to put in a song. I’ve never really wanted to be in a band that apes a particular genre or band. I’m not totally against that, but I personally do not want to work that way. A friend and I were just having that conversation recently. We were wondering why so many bands start side projects to sound like what they are into at the moment. Shoxx is definitely not trying to be “elitist” or “obscure for obscurity sake” or anything like that. It’s punk, why not throw everything into it. As a sidenote, I told Adam at Katorga that this was my accessible “rock” band. He just kinda shook his head and laughed. I was actually being serious.
Pollution were CRIMINALLY underrated. Was that in any way a part of what made you guys throw in the towel?
Absolutely not. Ryan decided he was not into doing the band anymore. Elsner and I decided to move on and start a new project. I also tend to think bands shouldn’t stick around for more than 3-3 1/2 years. We were at our 3 and a half year point so it made sense to pull the plug.
How does playing in Shoxx compare to what you did with Pollution? Do you think the positive response you’ve gotten is a product of stage dynamics? People seem to get really excited about Nate as a vocalist. Do punks still have an unfair bias towards bands with a designated front man?
As far as comparing it to pollution, Elsner and I were both in that band so I guess we have the same sensibility when it comes to riffs and what not. When we first started writing new riffs we went out of our way to do something completely different but it just seemed too forced. We decided to do what comes naturally. Will has brought in a ton of killer ideas, he basically counterpoints anything I play. Nate is a very proactive singer, so maybe people have a really positive response to that. I also think Nate has great vocal ideas like, for example, not having to sing/scream the entire song. He’s really good at pinpointing at where and when to put vocals on a song. Maybe punks do have a bias towards bands with frontmen. I think it’s ridiculous if they do. So many great bands didn’t have that (Rudimentary Peni, C.O.C. (Animosity era), Dr. Know, the Wipers, Sonic Youth, etc…).
Where the hell did the name Shoxx come from anyway?
The name Shoxx came from the Japanese music magazine “SHOXX” that was covering the visual kei scene in Japan. One of my best friends (guitar player of -/-) got me into the Visual Kei music scene back in 2000-2001. We both pretty much hated all music back then. There was NOTHING interesting going on except some black metal stuff and Visual Kei. It was a great escape from all the “stoner rock” and “revival rock” crap that was going on.
What is your least favorite part about being a band from New York City?
Having to pay car services to get our gear to shows. Paying alot of money for a tiny 10×10 practice space. The usual things.
Will DIY continue to progress, or are we just heading for a plateau? How do this city’s politics and infrastructure affect punk’s survival? Are all cops still bastards?
DIY will always be around and yes, the majority of cops suck.
Punk, in some shape or form, has survived for about 40 years or longer (depending on who you ask) in this city.
As far as politics and infrastructure effecting it’s survival, I have no idea. I’ve never even thought about it till now. It just seems punk will always be around. Unless, of course, the city turns into a “Footloose” kind of town. But even then there will be some Kevin Bacon dude who moves into town and saves the day. Sorry, I have no idea what I’m talking about.
The Shoxx cassette is one of the year’s best demos. Is it true that an LP is next? Does the material demand the 12 inch format, or are you each just tired of the tape-7 inch-LP cycle?
Haha! I did not know it was one of the year’s best. I haven’t really heard anyone talk about it. I’m not tired of the above cycle at all. I just wanted to concentrate on an album-I’ve always liked that format. The tentative title for the LP is “Japanese Dope.”
Upcoming shows? Closing statements?
Depending on when this is published, we are playing with Nude Beach at Death by Audio on Wed Aug 29th.
Other upcoming shows are:
- Sat, Sept 8th at Death by Audio w/ Icon Gallery (on tour from Pittsburgh and who totally kills), Goosebumps, and Acid Problem
- Also, a show that’s shrouded in mystery on Thursday, Sept 13th with another band that may or may not be playing a few shows that same week.
Listen to more Moonshake, Helios Creed, and the new -/- (Double Negative) recordings are the biggest middle finger to the naysayers of the new line-up! For fucking real!
Shoxx tearing shit up at 538 this past spring:
Download Shoxx’s 2012 Demo CS: http://www.mediafire.com/?85c35p4w6njnzbh