Among the whirlwind of excellent Metal bands gathering in and around Denver, Colorado – a location where genre-specifics have gotten lost within a glorious flume of legal weed smoke over the past decade – four-piece upstart’s Fox Lake have been taking Hardcore music in unexpected directions. Mixing in elements of Hip Hop, Nu Metal, and Metalcore with the already in-your-face nature of Hardcore, you can expect to hear the name Fox Lake a lot more often in the coming months.
It has been just under a year since the release of their last single, “Born 2 Lose,” the band picks up where they left off with a brand new chunk of Denver Hardcore Hip Hop they’ve called “Dog Eat Dog.” Check that out below:
Now, in my mind, the video above changes the dynamics of the song somewhat. Clearly these guys have something to say, and their desire to say it loudly and dramatically is obvious, based on this single alone. No matter your opinion of the material, it would be rather difficult to argue that Fox Lake wasn’t intentional about the direction they’ve taken with their art. And if any questions remain, I’m guessing it won’t be long before the band answers them – either in an interview, or through the release of more music.
The band was kind enough to take some time for TMW to answer some of the questions we had after hearing “Dog Eat Dog” the first time or two. Something about it kept popping back into our periphery, and relentlessly poked at our minds eye – minds eyes? Mind’s eye… eye’s? Fuck it! This tune is a catchy little bastard, and we just had to ask the boys a few questions.
TMW: Hi guys! Thanks for taking some time to chat about Fox Lake and your new video for “Dog Eat Dog.” I want to talk about the music, but what people are going to notice first about this video is the imagery. It’s quite jarring without context, which proves its effectiveness. Can you help us better understand the story you’re trying to tell?
Fox Lake (FL): There are a few things at play: first off, we have had a few videos preceding this one, but none of them have really offered the opportunity to display a consistent visual theme that set a tone for our band. We wanted to provide a look and feel that accompanied the aggression in the song while also referencing both contemporary and classic hip-hop imagery in a way that complemented the hardcore foundation the band is built on. So it was a conscious choice to lean towards outrageous and over-the-top to establish those themes and set that tone right off the bat.
Second, the lyrics for “Dog Eat Dog” touch on people’s inability to engage in any meaningful discourse and the “dog eat dog” mentality that permeates today’s political and social landscape. So we wanted to utilize the color orange as much as possible to exemplify that “caution” and hesitation that people are so careful to maintain when avoiding certain issues and hard conversations.
The “gun to our head” imagery is pulled straight from a lyric, and shows how often it can feel like there is a constant threat of punishment for perceived deviation from the norm. Conversely, we use the gun motif to show our violent opposition to the weakness in that mentality and lack of any significant discourse. Also, it definitely helps that guns and money and gambling and motorcycles all just look really cool in a video.
TMW: Your sound is described as “equal parts Rage Against the Machine and Slipknot” with a mixture of other bands that came to the forefront of Metal in the 90’s. Those influences along with the likes of Gideon, Knocked Loose, and Upon A Burning Body come to mind. That’s a pretty great accomplishment for just one song. Can you tell us some more about your musical roots and how they feed your work now?
FL: We all come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds, and that diversity is still very prevalent in our songwriting and branding. For most of us, the musical roots branch out from the Solid State/Tooth and Nail Christian Metalcore classics like Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, P.O.D., Showbread, and Haste The Day. But there are a ton of isolated interests that evolved out of that foundation-
Nathan is a certified rap aficionado, but is also a massive country music fan, and as a trained piano performance major he is extremely well versed in classical music, the blues, and pop. He tends to be the one that can help wrangle ideas into a solid structure with more pop sensibility, even if the songs aren’t written to be widely accessible.
Griffith is a Metalcore and Hardcore connoisseur who is consistently helping to ground the riff ideas when they start to get too busy or hectic.
Zach truly listens to anything and everything under the sun – indie, folk, country, hardcore, rap, straight-up rock and roll, everything is kosher. The variety of his interests often means he presents the ideas we wouldn’t typically think of right away. When a song needs something to push it out of predictable or familiar territory, Zach can contribute something new and fresh that keeps it from sounding stale.
Brandon is all over the place as well, dabbling in everything from more chaotic Metalcore and powerviolence to indie pop, midwest emo, and funk. But his love for 90’s Hip-Hop and bonafide Hardcore is the most obvious source of inspiration for Fox Lake sonically and visually.
TMW: You’re on tour with Guerrilla Warfare this summer. Looks like you’ll be spending a good deal of time in the western states, and hitting some central and eastern states towards the end of the tour. A lot of road time for you guys! Coming out of nearly two years without being able to perform live, how are you feeling about the tour?
FL: We can’t wait to hit the road with GW again. We were fortunate enough to tour with them a few years ago and we absolutely love those guys, so another three weeks on the road with them this summer is guaranteed to be killer. Plus Promise Breaker and Degrader are also absolutely phenomenal bands. So, it’s going to be such a blast to watch those three sets every night. We’re also ecstatic to be back on the road because our last tour was unfortunately cut short on the first date due to Covid, so we’re itching to make up for lost time. We can’t wait to meet everyone in the cities we haven’t been to and see old friends in the cities we have.
TMW: What’s next for Fox Lake? Are you working on an album, or releasing any more singles?
FL: We have a massive year planned with a ton in the pipeline. We have another single that will be dropping not long after “Dog Eat Dog,” plus we’re already writing the next batch of singles for later in the year. We’ve been constantly demoing ideas for a full-length, and while there aren’t any set dates for that yet, we know it’s coming soon and it’s going to be completely irresponsible. It’s going to be amazing to be able to show more facets of what this band is capable of that we just aren’t able to convey through the limited scope of singles and EP’s alone. We’re actively scheduling the next run of shows as well, and should be bouncing between the studio and the road in the late summer and early fall so come hang out, say what’s up, and feel the groove!
The Metal Wanderlust thanks the band for their time, and for giving us an early listen to “Dog Eat Dog.” Look forward to seeing these guys on tour this summer! Cheers!