Declared by Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Bakers as “unstoppable”, Phoxjaw are proving just how immovable they are, as they further cement themselves as one of the UK’s next big bands with debut album, Royal Swan. We caught up with vocalist and bassist, Danny Garland to chat about supporting Zakk Wylde in the middle of the Baltic sea, their love of split EP’s and recording among werewolves.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where the name came from, how long you’ve been going for and anything else new fans would want to know.
Hey I’m Danny, I sing and play bass in Bristolian rock band Phoxjaw, named after my great uncle DANNY VI Swordsman of Warmley. We’ve been together for about four years now and are very close as pals, so much that we actually hold hands. Sometimes we take a walk through the English countryside and play spot the robin. Take my hand into this interview and I will tell you some information about Phoxjaw.
Phoxjaw have a pretty eclectic sound, what are some of your first memories of music?
Speaking with regards to us all, we have a history with Slipknot’s first album as it showed a raw energy that would turn us all on to heavy music forever. The intensity and chaos was fun for us as kids and I used to love rocking out in my room to ‘Eyeless’. I would bang my head against the wall til I was sick and then put the CD back in the jewel case and place it on the side next to my Eminem CD. That chaos still burns inside of us and I’m sure has something to do with our live shows being so energetic.
You’ve shared the stage with some crazy cool bands already, is there a band or artist that you’d love to collaborate with and/or open for on tour?
We plan on doing a split with our brothers in Poisonous Birds as they know what’s up. Collaboration and split records are something we want to do in our future. We love the splits that bands like Full of Hell and Merzbow have done. We did plan on collaborating with the Italian doom band Zolle but both of our bands got too busy to do it. Hopefully that will happen one day.
“To me that sounds massive”
Jack Saunders, Radio 1
Speaking of live shows, what’s your favourite story from a show so far?
Our best show so far has got to be the one in the middle of the Baltic sea. We played with the mighty Zakk Wylde and it was just unreal. Our flights back got cancelled so we ended up partying in Stockholm and met a guy that looked like Crocodile Dundee. Burn It Down festival was crazy also, though we had the best crowd that day down in Torquay.
You’ve just released your debut full-length album, Royal Swan – what was the most fun and most challenging aspects in the studio?
We recorded it in the middle of nowhere in Devil’s Bridge in the deep countryside of Wales. The record was challenging in a few ways, but we got to make it in a cosy little cottage with funny little maps of local places on the walls and nature leaflets of the local pine marten population.
We wanted the debut to sound vintage and analog, so we used old gear. For example, the bass was tracked on a 1970s Traynor with matching original cabinet for the antique gristle. We had a whole assortment of pedals to pick from, which was fun. Josh got up close with an original Russian big muff pedal. We even caught them having a vegan lunch on the front lawn a few times.
The isolation was hard at times but the nature was beautiful. We had to stay inside on a night though as there was werewolves out looking for tasty local sheep.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world) pineapple on pizza?
Yes, lovely pineapple.
Rising to the challenge, Phoxjaw has put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
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