A Few Minutes with… Fox Kraft
Interview with Fox Kraft (shortly after the release of new full-length album ‘Outstare the Stars’)
W.A. Wright: Hi Fox Kraft. First off I just want to say I’m a big fan of your new album and the previous ones, as you can tell if you’ve read my reviews. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! I’d like to get started by asking a very general question: when did you get started making music?
Fox Kraft: Hm. I’d have to say around 2018. By accident.
W.A. Wright: ‘By accident’? What does that mean haha?
Fox Kraft: So I bought an audio interface for a friend; I set everything up and they ended up not wanting to use it, so I did.
W.A. Wright: What kind of audio software was it?
Fox Kraft: I use (digital audio workstation) Ableton. It works really well.
W.A. Wright: Is it like samples and keyboards or are there any live instruments? Because a lot of the sounds on the new album are so good you can’t tell what is real instruments and what isn’t.
Fox Kraft: It’s mostly midi with plugins, but there are some real live drums. I use a lot of mastering plugins to help.
W.A. Wright: Well it sounds good; it’s apparent from your first album Dystopia back in 2018 you knew what you were doing.
Fox Kraft: I was hasty back when i made Dystopia. It was a lot of stuff that doesn’t sound great now; only a few of the tracks are up to my current standards. I had some of these as singles on Spotify that ended up going on to the first album. In terms of learning the software I did it all myself; I’m really stubborn and just powered through all the frustration. Including plenty of hair-pulling and headbanging…
W.A. Wright: And at this point a few years later you’ve done plenty more…
Fox Kraft: I now have 4 albums. Before I put together an album, I typically release singles as a way to test the waters of whether to put those songs on an album.
W.A. Wright: What were your early experiences with music? Did you play an instrument when you were young or take lessons?
Fox Kraft: I never really had lessons on musical instruments. I played saxophone when i was younger, from elementary to middle school. I also played guitar; I started in 6th grade and liked it a lot more than the saxophone.
W.A. Wright: Do you have any significant early musical influences or like people that inspired you?
Fox Kraft: My dad was a local musician that played blues and classic rock. He was also in Electric City Horns as lead guitarist; I always ask him for support on music stuff. He went to my very first show which was sort of an open mic/benefit for a friend’s father. By the time I went on, there were only about 10 people left.
W.A. Wright: Did you go to a lot of shows when you were young? Local ones? Arena rock haha?
Fox Kraft: I went to a lot of local hardcore shows; it wasn’t exactly my thing just something to do. I saw a lot of shows back in high school; especially hardcore shows in the Albany area like Brick by Brick. I never really got to go to Bogie’s until the end when I saw Hanzel und Gretyl there. I really liked going to shows at the QE2. I saw Clay People and hardcore there mostly because that was what was around. My first large concert was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the RPI field house. I also saw Tori Amos, Nine Inch Nails in 2005 at SPAC…
W.A. Wright: I was at that show! I was there to see Bauhaus because I’m an old man haha.
Fox Kraft: I was also a big fan of Bauhaus! I’m into Goth/EBM; I was kinda a Goth chick in middle school and high school. I went to the QE2 Goth night… though I guess it was called the Fuze Box at the time, years ago. When I’ve gone recently though it seems like there’s a whole new crowd of younger people that are more EBM than goth. During the Pandemic, I tried to see goth night over live stream but I didn’t enjoy it.
W.A. Wright: Speaking of ‘goth’ and EBM, what genre would you consider your own music?
Fox Kraft: I don’t really know what genre I am but I usually just say electronic. When asked I say I’m ‘weird electronic music’; Superdark kind of markets me as ‘experimental electronics’, which I don’t have a problem with but I was never really good with the labeling thing. I love really experimental stuff but I don’t play it.
W.A. Wright: What do you consider to be experimental stuff?
Fox Kraft: Some of early Swans stuff was just noise experimentation. Coil would be like really experimental. But for me to make stuff like that I’d need more structure; to know how to build a song. I need a box so I can break out of it… I can’t just make a sound for ten minutes; I need to move on. So I guess I’d say I like being experimental within reason.
W.A. Wright: Do you think your music falls under the category of industrial?
Fox Kraft: I did like your particular description of my sound as ‘downtempo industrial’ — I’ve been listening to a lot of industrial and always have, but I don’t really think I have a certain sound yet; certain other genres always poke in. I’ve also been listening to a lot of movie soundtracks lately. But I listen to all sorts of stuff… like I really love the music from Battlestar Galactica; the reboot has world music in it that I really love.
W.A. Wright: What’s it like to play live as Fox Kraft?
Fox Kraft: I love to play live! It’s still one of the best ways to get yourself out there. You can network with people in person to tell if they’re interested. It’s fun and also terrifying, but I just suck it up, and usually, my hands stop shaking about one or two songs in. As a result of the pandemic, I’ve only played outside before so the show at No Fun (which was March 29th) was a change. The show I played on October 29th (at Rare Form) was cold and outside.
W.A. Wright: Where do you see yourself in the future? Where do you want to take your music?
Fox Kraft: I’d love to play larger clubs in the future. My goal is to get myself out there and honestly I don’t know how to do that; I don’t have a manager or anything. But I don’t have a choice because i have a full-time job. The only successful booking of myself so far was the Super Dark Collective; I tried Cafe Lena and Lark Hall and got no response (though that’s probably because they book a different kind of music like Cafe Lena is mostly folk/acoustic stuff). For my recordings eventually, I’d like to put them on vinyl and also cd because cd quality is still good; I haven’t released any CDs yet but I’m looking into it.
W.A. Wright: What do you think about what you’ve seen of the local scene lately?
Fox Kraft: I haven’t really had the chance to see any local musicians because all the shows I want to see start when I’m still at work. It does seem like there’s a lot of really cool stuff out there and it’s wonderful, but I’m just getting into the more local scene again because I’m involved in it.
W.A. Wright: Would you say your music has progressed after all the albums you’ve made and having played around at least a little bit locally?
Fox Kraft: I will always be developing my sound because I don’t want it to be stagnant; I always try new things, I try new styles… Lately, I’ve been concentrating on mastering and mixing. But in general, I do it because I just enjoy making music and I want to share it with people. It’s really cool to be a part of this local scene right now.
W.A. Wright: Thanks and I’m really looking forward to seeing you live!
(Note: Mr. Wright broke his promise and did not see Fox Kraft live because he is a totally pompous greasy industry-type liar. Seriously though he was very sick and is really pissed that he missed the show… if you saw it and have a video please share it with us!)