Laura Weinbach of Foxtails Brigade

[Article by Jaylan Salah]

Ever since they started making music in 2006, the Foxtails Brigade have created their own individual style as an acoustic band emerging from the crowded streets of San Francisco. Founded by Laura Weinbach, Foxtails is a band with a voice, combining string-heavy folk with chamber pop, accompanied by the angelic, deep voice of lead singer Laura.

For Synchronized Chaos, we had the pleasure to interview Laura Weinbach, asking her various questions on different kinds of topics. Laura started by saying that her musical influences mostly come from within her intimate group of family and friends. She was greatly influenced by her brother Brent Weinbach, her band mates Anton, Joe and Josh, and her close friends Billy, Tony, and little Freddy Fuckface. In a broader sense, Laura was also influenced by the great Billie Holiday, Joanna Newsom and Faun Fables.

Laura was a typical funny gal from SF, with a sharp wit and a great sense of humor, as shown through our interview. Although the band’s distinctive musically by their lack of a traditional drummer and their emphasis on handpicked guitar, intricate violin and cello arrangements, Laura stated that the uniqueness of their band came from her costumes; plaid shirts, tight jeans, and Converse, and the fact that she had a beard.

Moving on to Foxtail’s song choices, Laura started by thanking God, then Miller Light for cracking a cold one for her every Disney afternoon. She also mentioned her family, her producer Harvey Ozwald and everybody else at Miramax films, and her deepest gratitude went to her director Tupac “whose words of wisdom I will always cherish and use as a guidance counselor”. Being the free spirit that she is, she stated that her song inspiration came from her experiences in substitute teaching, fairytales, Target, and PH Bullet use.

“I go to Target and skim through the bathroom section,” she said. “They usually have some pretty good deals on PH Bullets and lyrics there. It’s always good when lyrics come out first because it makes the music flow a little more smoothly. But it’s different pretty much every time.”

PH Bullets even got her through tough times and depressing moments when she thought she would completely give up.  But that wasn’t what made her become more daring in expressing her music. She grew balls in terms of her expanding her musical style when she teamed up with her Foxtails buddies; with herself on guitar and vocals, Anton Patzner on violin, Joe Lewis on bass, Josh Pollock on percussion, and Geoffrey on jockstrap. The team played hard last year and she added, “We’re gonna get back out there next year and break some sweat, break some ‘straps.”

Foxtails Brigade has been touring some European cities and playing in the streets. Their best experience so far was Reykjavik, Iceland, after that they headed to Paris and later they were going to visit Japan, Historic Filipino town, Sao Paulo, San Pablo, and Grant Lyon.  When asked about the reason behind choosing music as her preferred medium for self-expression, Laura said that although she once attended The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis to see “Poetry of the Penis” she was not a huge fan of the spoken word. She added that she hoped to “achieve music XL one day.”

Aiming to satisfy the curiosity of our foreign readers, we asked Laura if she ever expanded her music style by listening to some worldbeat music, maybe something Afro-Asiatic. She replied that she loved the Aladdin soundtrack and would have loved to be Jasmine and go on that magic carpet ride, or to become a genie and sing “Who Ain’t Never Had a Friend like Me”.  Also her band mate Anton had become obsessed with Afro-beat music and had gotten her into it. She added that the band was always up for new music challenges and adventures.

On what makes watching “Foxtails Brigade” live different from just listening to their CDs, Laura said that she did a unique “defecating on stage” routine as a shout out to the late “Punks Pumps” and their legendary “Here’s the Pump”.  Their songs convey eccentric themes and messages, such as life, Steph and the sweet hereafter or as Laura named it “Steph by chocolate”.

Since they were on tour for a long time, many funny or strange incidents have happened to them on the road. About a certain captivating memory in Iceland, Laura says, “On our last night [in the country] while we were playing our set, the Northern Lights appeared unexpectedly and left when we finished playing. We thought we missed them but they came back about an hour later and were in full-fledged action moving across the sky like giant angels taking in codes. It was awesome. ”

Laura finished her interview by implying how Foxtails’ music has grown over the years “by developing breasts, some pubic hairs and a third nipple for the devil to suck on” and she hoped that would be enough to take them to the top of the charts. Let’s hope for that, too.

Don’t miss out on Foxtails Brigade’s third album, released on December 3rd, 2011, entitled “Time Is Passed” – www.foxtailsbrigade.com.

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You can reach Jaylan Salah at vigilante171@yahoo.com.

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