Stone Cold Fox and Pancakes are no acquaintances. But our readers may be familiar with the Brooklyn based indie rock band as a five piece. That changed, however, when the band debuted their set at The Knitting Factory as a four piece on March 31st.
You see, in order to really solidify and simplify Stone Cold Fox’s lineup as a four piece, they really wanted to lock down complete control over their live sound setup – as well as redistributing synth duties towards guitarist Graham Stone – so that he could comfortably alternate between instruments. We caught up with bassist and synth player Justin Bright to get a brief synopsis on the tech side of their stage dynamic, and how simplifying the lineup had a direct change on their sound. After a few whiskey shots at the bar post-show, we gushed over their new live setup
And – something to be vitally noted – the band’s own freaking geotag on Snapchat – courtesy of folk savant and opener Sean McVerry. Very impressive, guys.
P&W: How did switching up Stone Cold Fox’s lineup change the live dynamic?
SCF: The transition from a 5 piece to a 4 piece presented a few large challenges for the band. We had to figure out the best way to maintain the sound we had created as a 5 piece, without simply putting our now ex keyboard player’s parts on a backing track.
P&W: Can you talk more about the transition to In-Ear monitoring for the live set?
SCF: We decided to take the dive into incorporating In-Ear monitoring, as well as a computer rig running Ableton to give us the ultimate flexibility to perform the song’s current arrangements with two less hands on stage. Using a Behringer X-32 digital mixer / recording interface, we are now able to all have separate In-Ear mixes, which we control through the x32 app on our iPhones. Ableton also gives us the flexibility to have multiple software synthesizers/instruments available on the same midi-controller, allowing us to have access to many sonic pallets without having to change patches mid-song.
If you haven’t caught a Stone Cold Fox set yet around town, you are seriously missing out. There’s a real energy there, but it’s not the kind of in-your-face, down to rock energy. Lead singer Kevin delivers with elegance and a suave nature, similar to the likes of The Kooks or even earliest Freddie Mercury.
Some serious standouts were the boys’ rendition of MIA’s “Paper Planes,” (watch the live studio version below) some newly released singles – “Morning Light,” and a personal favorite “Contagion.” It seems as though these foxes’ sound matures and specifies in it’s own unique way with every new body of work they release.
As the group preps for a few upcoming dates in the Northeast, ‘cakes wishes them a continual and fluent future – now that they’re all tech’d up and ready to go.
Catch Stone Cold Fox at Mercury Lounge May 7th. Tickets here
Article: Hillary Barleaux