Milwaukee has always been a different kind of blue-collar town. It's filled with hard workers that understand the value of livelihood (probably due to the amount of bars that entice us to spend that hard-earned cash); but it seems that our daily grind doesn't halt our creative growth. The city continuously appears to be jam-packed with artists, musicians, and creators of all kinds; many whom make it a mission to live out their passions, despite the 9-5 institution. It begs the question of how does MKE become such a melting-pot for art? How can we possibly have so many different festivals, parties, shows and events happening on any given night? Who in the hell has time for all that shit!? And yet, Milwaukee finds time to let the art out.
There is another new band on the MKE horizon; one filled with people who definitely shouldn't have any time to make music. Add together two chef's, a brewmaster, a teacher, and a musician with two other bands, and you get SilverFoxxx; a new-to-the-scene rock band who is about to release their debut, self-titled album, which took over a decade to come to fruition. Their album release show is this Thursday, at 10pm at Company Brewing.
SilverFoxxx is Mark Jasso, Pat Zimmer, Alex Bentley, Chris Weber, and Kyle Ciske. We hung out with them at one of their practices (which is, for obvious reasons, a miracle that they can find time for that) and got a look inside how they all come together to create. We are also excited to premiere "Meet You There", a song off their debut album. Listen below while you read the thoughts from lead singer Mark Jasso, about the ins and outs of SilverFoxxx.
MM: How are you all doing? What are you up to outside of music?
SF: Everyone in the band has a busy schedule that includes families, working, and other responsibilities. At the moment Kyle is helping open up the Explorium Brewpub in South Ridge Mall as the brewmaster. I just helped launch a pizza trailer as head chef partnering with Raised Grain Brewing Company in Waukesha. Chris is busy as co-owner of Saints of Wingsconsin, a kick ass local hot sauce company. Alex teaches by day and runs marathons by night. And Pat is in three different local bands making tunes for people to groove to constantly. Needless to say we are all busy with our separate lives but we find time to come together once a week to play music that not only inspires us but challenges us as well.
MM: How did you all come together to start the group?
SF: I met Alex in 3rd grade and we've been friends ever since. Mr. Misty was our first band in high school with a bunch of our close friends playing out at venues like the Rave, Tasting Room, and Majeska. We met Pat in high school through mutual friends and just playing music together. Kyle and I worked at Kopp's Frozen Custard together as teenagers and found a common bond of music, and beer too. I met Chris at church about five years ago and we have been playing together since. All of the members of this band have been in the same band in the past in different reincarnations.
MM: What is the inspiration behind the band name, SilverFoxxx?
SF: It was that or "Eaton Green and the Blazers". We just liked SilverFoxxx!
MM: Is your songwriting a collaborative process?
SF: Usually someone has an idea or a riff that they came up with and we go from there. Sometimes the song is brought into practice in its entirety, already mapped out and orchestrated with lyrics and transitions. That is just how songwriting is. Sometimes the whole song comes to you, lyrics and melody, in fifteen minutes and it feels great. Some songs we are still working on, we wrote years ago. After we finished recording this album, Mike Hoffmann (producer) said that the attic inside your brain for songwriting will start to clear out and more ideas will come, and man was he right. Since almost a year ago when we started recording the album we have another album worth of songs written, and we are really finding our groove.
MM: You all have your day jobs and other passions at play. How do you make the band work?
SF: It's difficult, but we have a designated practice day and try to get together weekly to keep the progress going. Practice is cathartic and therapeutic for us. We can be open and creative in our space however we want to. It's a great stress reliever to play music with other passionate musicians. We have become close friends and that helps with the dynamic of the group as well.
MM: What are some of the inspirations behind your first album? Is there a general theme or concept behind the album, or is it more of just a compilation behind your efforts?
SF: It's been a long time in the making. Half the songs are from almost fifteen years ago when Alex, Kyle and I were in a band. The other from the last couple years. Some are from real world experiences, some are fictional accounts, and some songs can be looked at from a few different perspectives.
MM: Something you want the world to know.
SF: Be nice to everyone. Stop putting fruit on my salad! Always question authority.
MM: What are your favorites spots/things to do in MKE?
SF: The lakefront, tasty local beer, overeating.