In typical cheesy 90’s fashion, Stone Cold Fox presents their song “Sold” in the form of an over exaggerated infomercial. Improv actors from St. Fortune Theatre Company took basic direction from the guys and were handed various props (including cat nip, a shower cap, knives, a grill and even energy in a can) to create funny scenarios with. The video ended on a close up of the actors holding up Stone Cold Fox’s album, Memory Palace and slapping a bright orange “available on iTunes” sticker on the front therefore selling the music itself.
I got to meet up with 4/5 of Stone Cold Fox on Friday at Black Cat Café in the Lower East Side to chat. As we lounged around on the black leather couches, and drank coffee that was hopefully up to coffee connoisseur Graham’s standards (a little birdy told me he takes his French press on tour with him), I learned a little more about the idea behind the video for “Sold,” their plans for the new year and the new song they’ll be debuting at their Rough Trade show this week. Be sure to get your tickets here.
How long have you guys been together?
Kevin Henthorn: Pretty much almost three years. Me and Ariel started it in September (2011) by ourselves and then we got everyone together in 2012.
Where did the name Stone Cold Fox come from?
KH: I liked the movie Virgin Suicides; it says it in there.
Justin Bright: Kirstin Dunst gets called a “stone cold fox” by whatever male actor.
KH: By Josh Hartnett.
Ariel Loh: It was the easiest choosing a band name ever, which is unheard of.
KH: Yeah it doesn’t usually happen like that.
AL: Kevin was like, what do you think about Stone Cold Fox and I was like yeah that sounds good. That was probably the least amount we’ve ever argued.
What was the concept behind your video for “Sold”?
KH: This is kind of funny. When I was 16, I did a really, really silly commercial for these 40-year-old women who wanted to pitch this brownie commercial to this local Maine brownie maker. I tried to get this footage. I went to their house in Maine and tried to dig up this footage and couldn’t find any of the raw footage. We were going to incorporate it but instead we just did our own infomercial.
Graham Stone: Made it even weirder.
KH: Had a little fun with it. Got some actors from St. Fortune (Theater Company) that Ariel knows.
AL: Those guys are awesome improv actors – and gave them props and a set.
KH: Gave them props, gave them ideas and direction.
AL: They just did their thing and they were amazing.
KH: They were hysterical.
GS: The raw material of them actually doing the improv is amazing
AL: The audio of the whole thing is ridiculous. We couldn’t use it because everyone was cracking up. It was the most fun we’ve ever had.
GS: I think my favorite part about this brownie story is that these women weren’t affiliated with that brownie company at all. They were just bored.
JB: Who knows if the brownie company even wanted a commercial!
AL: So that was the inspiration of the video, the very seed of it.
KH: And we figured we were on a shoestring budget and we’d just use a mini DVD camera and just shoot an infomercial like they did in the 90’s. My film professors would be yelling at me.
How long did it take you guys to make the video?
KH: Just a day of shooting. I had friends from school – we all went to film school at Purchase – and they came down and shot it.
What’s the message that you’re trying to get across with the song “Sold”?
KH: I had a time in college where my parents got a divorce, my dog had just died and they were selling my house. “Sold” kind of came out of that. Kind of the start of a realization that anything you could have imagined not happening can happen and likely will happen. So that was a realization of that experience, kind of shocking. The video takes something and expands on it. We could have done me depressed in a house by myself.
GS: That’s the video for “Seventeen”
KH: Well, yeah. But instead we were like, what else can we do with it? We took it to the most literal sense – sold – and just sold the song basically.
GS: I think that tone of that matches more with the song,
AL: Yeah, it’s fun and silly.
GS: We could have easily made a very depressing video.
AL: Oh absolutely but no one wants that.
JB: Take the depression out.
So your show at Rough Trade on January 15 is your first show of 2015, you excited?
All: Oh yeah very excited!
AL: It’s probably our most recent big show in New York, if not our biggest show we’ve had thus far.
GS: We’re going to sing a new song that no one’s ever heard before
KH: “Contagion,” yeah. We’ve been practicing like crazy with that. We’re almost done recording.
AL: It’s a song we’ve been working on for over a year.
KH: A year and a half, yeah. We’re excited to play it.
GS: It’s a labor of love.
KH: This year we’re just taking it step by step. We’ve got a big show here, a big show in LA, and we’re going to line up something else in the spring. Just trying not to over saturate it because with CMJ and this whole fall that we had we were playing a show every three weeks and it’s too much.
GS: We like Rough Trade a lot. It’s cool. They’ve done a great job with that space. The sound system’s great. It’s clean.
JB: They have a green room. That’s unheard of in New York City for venues under 1,000.
KH: They have two green rooms it’s great, and we get the one upstairs. Fancy!
So you mentioned a bit already but what are your plans for 2015?
AL: We’re going out to LA to play a School Night, which they have at Brooklyn Bowl here as well. We’re working on new music right now just to have new music ready to go but as of right now we don’t have any solidified release plans yet for anything.
KH: We’re kind of more focusing on pitching to the correct labels because this is the time in our band’s history that we’re starting to get access to have meetings with majors (major labels) and that’s new and different so we’re not going to try to rush a release, we’re not going to try to make a move that we don’t need to do yet.
AL: We’re just preparing ourselves to play the game.
GS: It’s more about honing in on the live show for us. Playing a lot of live shows.
KH: It’s also hard because we don’t go on regular tours quite yet. Regular tours are what make a band known inside and out. It’s kind of hard, trying our best to get there, and the only way to do that is to play a show every night, be on tour.
JB: The tough thing about bands is before you get to a certain mark in your career you’re just going to lose money. It’s a great idea you know, let’s go on the road boys, we’re going to get better and make some new fans!
AL: We were stoked about CMJ last year. Every year we’ve done CMJ it’s gotten better and bigger.
Yeah, I saw you guys play at one of the SoFar Sounds shows during CMJ, how did you like that?
KH: That was so fun, we loved doing that! We love SoFar.
AL: We drank a lot of Mezcal that night.
KH: Free tequila, you can’t go wrong.
Article by: Merissa Blitz