Interview: Danny Garland & Josh Gallop of Phoxjaw

We sat down with Danny Garland and Josh Gallop after their show in Hobos, Bridgend supporting the mighty Black Peaks. We talk the tour, their management Future History, their sound and Josh being Danny's forever girlfriend...

Noizze: So how is tour going? It's only night 2 but how was tonights show in comparison to last night?

Josh Gallop: Yeah great, we were under a bit more pressure tonight with load in times etc but still fantastic. Everyone seemed to really dig it though and it went off though especially towards the end when we really got it going..

Noizze: Was it you that ran over and dropped your guitar on the merch table? It felt pretty unhinged but I feel thats kind of the vibe. Does that mean you are the liability of the group Josh?

Josh: Yeah that was me... It weren't planned! I think if you re going to go to a rock gig you want to feel a little bit of something!

Danny Garland: He is the least liability of the group.

Josh: No not really. So that shows you what its like if I'm the least...

Danny: I think there was a bit of frustration tonight with the sound, I just wanted to go and mosh.

Josh: I was just like lets just have a fucking party.

Noizze: I did see you ditch your bass at one point Danny, it looked like enough was enough!

Danny: The whole show I couldn't hear my voice at all so I found it really confusing and there was a huge amount of noise on stage! There was a bass drum that got knocked and was making a droning noise so we did what we could.

Noizze: Its funny you say that but there is the idea that most bands want to hold a perfect performance and it's actually the case that most people go to a live show because they don't want a polished studio rendition of the bands material.

Josh: I think if you are one of those bands that go out and do the same set every night you are doing your fans an injustice because they are paying for that night and that experience. That's why people go to see live music. Its not the artists job to constantly think how can we make it different and do a backflip that night but there has to be that possibility of things going different to the night before.

Noizze: It might be the little things that make the difference, like with tonight and you dropping your bass Danny and jumping in the pit will be the memory of some fans that they take away with them.

Danny: I think what we wanna do is what Nirvana had and bands like that had. You can have all the right dudes and gear and play just how it sounds on record but for me if I am paying for a show there has got to be an atmosphere, a whole vibe to it. If you are doing heavy and angry I am going to be looking down at the crowd and *Makes screaming noise*... it's gotta be ugly and aggressive. I've gotta be convincing. I like to meditate myself into a performance but we didn't have that time tonight, it was very much just GO and we were on so I struggled with that but we just went for it.

Noizze: Situations like you had tonight are make or break, you can either let it show and let everyone know you are struggling or you just embrace it and land on the other side making the most of it and I would argue your sound even compliments this, you can account for guitars screeching, it adds to it.

Danny: It's annoying for us, the bass is a massive part of the riff where I just threw it down. I would be lying if I said things like that didn't bother us even though I know the crowd wouldn't have noticed.

Josh: You have to care, we give a fuck and that's why we do this.

Danny: We spend every day thinking about this. Even when we are at work we are building shit. It means everything to us and tonights performance didn't go as well as we would have liked but that doesnt take away how much we enjoyed it. I would rather be the guy that sits here and is bothered by it rather than not give a shit.

Noizze: So how did Phoxjaw start out? Josh: It came from us! I was recording Danny's old band and we were doing some vocals and it went from there.

Danny: We had known each other for a long time before. It was like a match made in heaven, we have both been in bands with some incredibly talented people but they didn't have the drive and the passion we have. We work together and compliment each other a lot. He (Josh) gets production and I am really creative and write a lot as well as thinking of concepts and image. His organisational skills are excellent. He runs the band pretty much and without each other we could not create what we are doing. Sometimes you meet someone but you have had to go through all the shitty girlfriends to find the one that works with you.

Josh: Dan is my forever girlfriend.

Danny: We just work well together and will be working together for a long time. It is part of why I think Phoxjaw has a real shot of doing something worthwhile because this is what we do and we are going to keep making music.

Noizze: And is this tour the biggest you have done so far?

Danny & Josh: Yes!

Noizze: So arguably you are going from strength to strength in what is a very short period of time..

Danny: Yeah and we got another tour lined up after this. I have been a musician for a long time but haven't done anything like this.

Josh: This band has given us so much already. We can't believe it.

Noizze: That's how you can tell there is a spark there. When I first listened to the EP and even now I can't hear much that sounds much like you guys.

Danny: I have to agree! You know recently I sat down and actually got to enjoy Goodbye Dinosaur or the first time because I am disassociated with it now and it is finished and I have enough time away from it to really enjoy rather than feel like I am working on it.

Josh: Me and Dan totally obsess about this stuff. We are making another record at the moment and we are on it like 12 hours a day. I am mixing it as well so we are constantly bouncing around idea to each other. We are the hardest critics of ourselves. It doesn't need to be great it needs to be greater.

Danny: We take some risks on this next one. There are some tracks I have no worries about but we do take some gambles. We will release the new record this year but we like the idea of it being called a title rather than an EP.

Noizze: You guys have always done things a little off the cuff and I seem to remember tour when you recorded loads of random videos...

Josh: Yeah it's constant!

Noizze: It is great. It is quite different and doesn't feel forced.

Josh: I think nowadays you can get locked into different scenes and ways of doing things. Everything is so professional but people want to see humans behind the music so we can make stupid videos and things and it feels fresh rather than sticking to the whole "here is our next gig" followed by professional photographs. We like to inject some life and character into it.

Noizze: Now you are working with Future History Management has that had any impact on this?

Josh: Ryan from Future History is great. He is going to take what we are good at and make us better. He loves what we do and that's why he is working with us.

Danny: He has already opened so many doors for us. And sometimes we really push the boat out and can be a bit nuts but that is who we are. We are very real.

Josh: It is a very competitive industry and business with what we do, you can't get by without a bit of character. Styles come and go but if you have good songs and stay true to yourself I think that's what shines through.

Noizze: So how would you describe your style to someone who hasn't heard you?

Danny: Rock with like a folky twist especially on the new stuff.

Josh: It is a very dynamic mix and we definitely merge genres. Constantly heavy all the time is too much.

Danny: There are some bands I love that are really heavy and that is great but I don't want to just be a heavy band. Like High On Fire I fucking love them but I couldn't get on stage every night and do that. We have that melodic emo side to ourselves. The Nirvana loud and quiet thing works too.

Noizze: You can hear the grunge influence.

Josh: I think it just comes from a place where it is a bit unhinged and isn't perfect. We aren't a super polished band, we don't really play to clicks. We just want to be 5 guys playing together and it feels more natural to us.

Noizze: So being on a bill with Peaks, a band that probably have quite a similar ethos to you, and seeing them on album 2 with a slightly more polished sound but still holding onto that raw angst and anger, is that kind of what you can see yourselves doing as time goes by?

Danny: I think whatever we are into at the time is what we are going to do. If it got to the where what I wanted to make shifted and I was no longer feeling what I was doing before I wouldn't enjoy it.

Josh: If you are not enjoying the music you are making you aren't being honest.

Danny: And it isn't going to last long. It's a hard job doing this.

Josh: If you aren't loving what you are doing it is going to become hard and those around you will become disinterested because you aren't being honest.

Danny: I think that is why we are doing well. We are an honest band and that rebellion in us is a bit punk too. This sweater I am wearing *Points to his red fleece with dogs and paws on* (See pic on right) it is a non-conformity thing. I have always been like that.

Noizze: Is it something you now consciously do to be different?

Danny: It is an art thing about being yourself. An expression.

Noizze: So going back to Future History, how does it feel to be part of that management group with bands like Loathe? And do you feel you have earned your spot?

Danny: Loathe are a metal band with style. I think we have a similar mentality even though we don't sound the same.

Josh: I think that is why Ryan has picked out all the bands on this roster is because we are all really out there.

Danny: Ryan saw us at a really interesting show actually. I had flu and thought I was going to die and came off stage thinking that was horrendous and then he came up to me and was like "I want you" and I was like take me. I am aching so you can do whatever you want. It was our first ever tour as a band.

Noizze: So what are your inspirations outside of the band musically?

Danny: Swans. I love Swans.

Noizze: As in the animal?

Danny: No! They are a really cool band.

Josh: A majestic creature. I love Tom Petty. I am loving Grimes too. We like a lot of shit. The band playlist is mental. In the van we have been listening to trance albums because it helps when driving home on a rager. We chat a lot to be honest because we all get on really fucking well.

Danny: I prefer that. What Kieran listens to I can't stand.

Josh: We all love Slipknot.

Danny: I would love to support them.

Josh: I tell you what would make a great line up. Slipknot, Loathe, Phoxjaw!

Danny: I am trying to stop us being metal but Josh is just hammering the riffs all the time.

Noizze: So the rest of 2019...

Danny: We got some cool plans. It is in Bristol and it's gonna be big.

Josh: 2000 Trees! We played the cave stage last year but it's a different one this year. We are higher up now and on the Thursday! It is a great festival.

Danny: We went down really well there.

Josh: Yes we have played hows across the UK since and people have come up to us like we saw you guys at Trees. That set has done us well. Anyway 2019 is gonna be a big un!


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