We got the chance to interview Nicholas Francis of For The Foxes at the Houston date of the Wake Up and Be Awesome tour! It’s a little noisy, so we’ve transcribed the interview below:
Harmonic Series: So, introduce yourself.
Nicholas Francis: I’m Nick. I play for the band For The Foxes.
HS: What is a hidden talent that you have?
Nick: I make lyric videos for other bands when we’re not on tour, or even when we are on tour.
HS: What videos have you made?
Nick: Just recently, I did one for the band Anarbor: “Damage I’ve Done.” I did another one for Action Item recently, called “Brave.”
HS: How did you decide that you wanted to tour as a musician?
Nick: Oh, man. Well, I started playing drums when I was seven, and I got into songwriting by the end of high school. Then, we just gathered a bunch of friends and tried to do this thing. There’s no looking back, and we’re still going strong.
HS: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?
Nick: Okay, so I’ve gotten this question before, and this is how I like to put it in one sentence: Picture a New-York-City-vibe band going to Las Vegas for a weekend, and just going out and going crazy.
HS: You guys recently covered Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” What made you decide to cover that particular song?
Nick: When [Death Cab for Cutie’s] record Plans came out, that was just one of those songs where I was like, “Okay, this is a timeless song. It sounds so good.” It’s always been such a romantic song for me. We were doing Hopeless—our record label’s—Valentine’s Day sampler, and I thought this would be perfect for that. It’s always been such a great song for me.
HS: Do you plan to make any more covers in the future?
Nick: There are always a couple covers that we like. Last tour, we did an iPhone sessions thing; I did a couple covers by myself, and I did some with the band. We covered a few different things, like Imagine Dragons, as a band, in our van, and we just played on the ground, with one microphone into an iPhone.
HS: Is there a specific song that you want to cover?
Nick: I’m trying to think of some; I know there are a lot. My favorite one that I’ve recently done is Phoenix’s “Rome.” I’m trying to think of bands that I listen to…get back to me for the next interview. I will let you know.
HS: How does the songwriting process work in the band?
Nick: I usually write all the songs, and the band is super supportive of that. Then, we go into the studio and work out some stuff and try to do compression things.
HS: Do you tend to write about personal experiences or stories?
Nick: It’s a little bit of both. Everything that I write about usually has to do with my life or things that I’m dealing with.
Someone opens the door behind us, which hits Nick in the back of the head, so we move locations.
So, what was I saying? That was crazy. Usually [songs] just have to do with relationships I’ve had or people that I’ve met or things that I’ve done while on tour, really anything. It’s usually all based on life experiences.
HS: What do you guys do on your off days?
Nick: We actually had two really awesome off days recently. We were in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and we stayed at this really nice family’s house. She had one of those “Cribs”-like pools, and it was like a grotto with a hot tub. We kind of just hung out on the beach and did that for two days. We try to just relax and gather ourselves.
HS: So you’re not the type to do anything crazy on your off days?
Nick: We’ll do some crazy stuff. One time we went to this crazy water park in Ohio called “The Kalahari.” It was a hotel-slash-water-park. That got a little crazy for a little while.
HS: What is the craziest tour experience you’ve had?
Nick: We’ve had some really weird ones. I mean, the water park was a pretty good one. We just hung out and went on slides all day. We got super drunk at night in a place called “Reserved,” so there’s that. There’s a bunch of inappropriate ones that I’m not sure to say, but if you hang out with us, you’ll know.
HS: What is the most frustrating thing about being on tour?
Nick: Bad drivers. Danny, our drummer, does all the driving for the most part. He has a short temper with drivers on the road. He has pretty bad road rage. I really love being on the road, so there’s not much that pisses me off about it.
HS: Do you miss home a lot?
Nick: I do miss home sometimes. My family’s there, and I do a lot of songwriting at home. I don’t really write too much on the road. It’s mostly when I get home, so there are sure things I like and miss about being home.
HS: Who outside the band have you gotten closest to on his tour?
Nick: We’re vibing out really hard with the Go Radio guys. All of them are really cool, and we have a similar sense of humor. We’ve been getting along really well. We’ve been chilling out with Steve and Alex. All of the dudes in Go Radio are really cool.
HS: What did you think of each other in the band when you first met?
Nick: Me, Jimmy, and Danny knew each other from high school, so I’ve known them almost my whole life. The other guys are from New York, and we met them on tour. It took us a while to get to the lineup that we’re at. It’s more about the hang; if we can hang with each other, then we can learn to deal with each other as musicians. We all got along really well for the most part.
HS: What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Nick: There are so many things, but the other night, we played a sold out New York City show at the Gramercy. For me, that’s always been a super amazing thing, playing a sold out show in New York City. We’re from New Jersey, so it was really close. It was a very fulfilling moment for me, being able to do these tours. We’re doing Warped Tour for the first time this year, and it’s super overwhelming in a good way. Watching yourself grow as a band has been the most amazing thing for me.
HS: Are you guys ready for Warped Tour?
Nick: No, we’re not ready at all. I got a call from my manager the other day, and he said, “What do you guys want to drive in?” I was like, “I don’t know. What are we going to do? We don’t have any money.” We’re trying to figure it out now; there’s a lot of stuff we need to figure out, like where we’re going to sleep every night, what vehicle we’re taking. It’s a lot. We’ve heard some crazy stories. We’re working things out now, but I’m really excited for it.
HS: Is there anything else you want to say before we end?
Nick: I just want to say thank you to all of you guys for coming out to the shows and being so supportive of For The Foxes and watching us play every night. Thanks to all the bands for taking us out on this tour. It’s been amazing. We’ll see you guys on Warped Tour.