Named in honor of Murphy’s former black lab mutt, the collection of songs are wrapped up in a pop-friendly shell of guitar fuzz while retaining the medically recommended dose of angst you can obtain from all things Foxing. There’s a clear line drawn between the two bands with a more relaxed approach in play in recording Smidley especially after the tour exhaustion the band was thrown through last year.
The record was produced by Hop Along’s Joe Reinhart and features assists from members of Sorority Noise, Tigers Jaw, and Dr. Dog. “It was the greatest time I’ve ever had making, recording or playing music in my life,” says Murphy. “I tried to eliminate any expectations for this record and focused entirely on having a good time with it.”
Conor was kind enough to clear up some burning questions from there. First and foremost, whether the songs of Smidley have brewed quietly underneath Foxing or if this a project that was separate from its inception:
These songs are a mixture of completely separate ideas from the band and somewhat rejected ideas and lyrics. Honestly, only a few of the lyrics in this album are ideas I expanded on after we left them on the cutting room floor on past Foxing records. The majority of the record is made of things I decided I really wanted to make without needing to run them by anyone else. I think I work well with others when I write (I hope) but I have a hunger for control in making songs that I needed to satisfy. More than anything, I just wanted to make something from start to finish that I had control of and loved.
You mentioned eliminating expectations. Was the level of collaboration involved something premeditated?
The expectation for this record was to finish it. That was all, really. Along the way, I asked friends if they wanted to be involved and I snowballed into a big collaboration. Really, having Joe Reinhart produce the record made it the least stressful project I’ve ever been a part of.
Exactly how long have you been waiting to put music to the rallying cry “Fuck This”?
Since the day Bernie Sanders was mathematically eliminated from becoming our president and I took acid.
You’ve trained your Bay Area fans enough to know when to writhe about and when they get a pass to stand in stunned silence. Any suggestions on how one should be physically prepared for the new music by the time you take the stage?
I think our Bay Area babies should do whatever their little hearts desire as long as they don’t fuck with the experience of their fellow show goers. Sit, stand, dance, whatever. We will melt their faces regardless.
Tigers Jaw, Saintseneca, Smidley
June 6, 2017