A Singular Breed: Three Legged Fox
By: Marco Alvarez
Hailing from Philadelphia, alternative rock/reggae band Three Legged Fox has just recently released their third and long-anticipated album, Always Anyway. August 16th saw the unveiling of 12 completely new tracks that address a wide range of both personal and social subjects, from love and relationships all the way to the 2008 Wall Street bailout and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. After 2 years of writing and producing the album, it was well worth the wait!
Three Legged Fox is: Kyle Wareham (Vocals & Guitar), Mark Carson (Bass), Tommy Mosca (Lead Guitar), and Kory Kochersperger (Drums).
Let You Down is the first single on Always Anyway. Itâ€™s a song that anybody can identify with because we all have let down someone we love at some point. The music video for this song was released in August and is the first single for which they have made a video. Always Anyway maxed at #2 on the iTunes Top Reggae Album Charts, just under Bob Marleyâ€™s Legend (Remastered).
Quite impressive is the bandâ€™s self-reliance as this album was self-produced. Itâ€™s rare to see a band with such dedication and discipline to create their music. They fully stand behind their work regardless of whether it will lead to huge success or not, and this integrity is the core of real artistry and musicianship.
â€œIf someone who has never heard of us could only hear one of our albums, I would no doubt give them this one!â€ Wareham says. I got the inside take on 3LF and their new album for all our NUG readers from frontman singer and guitarist Kyle Wareham himself:
Three Legged Fox is a very unique band name. What does it signify?
The name itself is pretty arbitrary. We entered a battle of the bands back in â€˜06 and we needed a name. I had recently told the guys about this three legged fox that used to roam the woods behind my parentsâ€™ house in Pennsylvania. I remembered one of us noting that Three Legged Fox would be a good band name; so I went with it! We ended up winning the battle of the bands and decided the name should stick.
When and how exactly did you all originally meet and come together as a band?
The original lineup met down in Newark, DE. A friend of mine named Carter Perry was going to school there and asked if Iâ€™d like to start a band with him, so I started commuting down from Philly every week playing with different dudes. We met Eric Weisenstein, our original bass player, who introduced us to his roommate Mike Brody, who became our guitar player. After we won the battle, I decided it was time to beef up the rhythm section, so I called my long-time friend Kory Kochersperger who jumped at the chance to sit behind the drum kit again. After a few years of playing locally, it was clear that the band needed to start touring to increase our reach. Going from a local band to a national touring band is an immense commitment and requires a lot of sacrifice. At that point, we had to say goodbye to Eric and Brody and try to fill the big space that they would leave. Luckily, Philly is loaded with local talent and it didnâ€™t take long to recruit our current bass player, Mark Carson, and our current guitarist, Tommy Mosca. As we began to rebuild the band and the songs/show, we decided to add a keyboardist; there was only one guy in Philly I wanted for the job. I called my good friend Jon Duxbury, knowing well he had a good job and asked if there was any chance heâ€™d put it on hold to come on tour with us. I donâ€™t think I finished the proposition before he showed up at our studio, keyboard in tow! We knew from the limited traveling we had done in our earlier years that we couldnâ€™t manage ourselves out on the road. There is so much involved with touring outside of the actual show. Our tour manager is our 6th member. Brandon Pescrille completes the 3LF family.
What is it about alternative rock and reggae do you think helps them mix well together in your sound?
As weâ€™ve developed, I think weâ€™ve blended away a lot of the overt reggae themes (both lyrically and musically) in our material. The biggest influence from our collective love of reggae music is that of oneâ€™s ability to deliver a message through music. Reggae has historically been a vehicle of hope, love, political and social discourse. We try to use our voice to really communicate with fans so that our songs carry significant meaning. We also love the bass-heavy, high-hat-driven rhythms of reggae music. Weâ€™ll never lose our reggae backbeat. Weâ€™re also 5 white guys raised in the suburbs, which explains the alt-rock influence. Artists like Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Black Crowes, State Radio, Citizen Cope, and Ray LaMontagne are frequently playing in our van. Our love for rock guitars and vocals keeps us from sounding like a straight reggae band.
Did you guys struggle with the idea of making music for a living rather than have a job that people tend to consider more practical for paying the bills?
Thatâ€™s definitely one of the big sacrifices that you make when youâ€™re in an independent touring band. While we do make enough money to support ourselves on the road and to pay for small expenses like cell phone bills, we canâ€™t yet afford to live normal home lives. Some of us have given up apartments and cars to be able to do what we do. When weâ€™re off the road, we either stay with our parents or crash at friendsâ€™ places. Weâ€™re fortunate that everyoneâ€™s lives are compatible with this lifestyle and we know that weâ€™re making an investment; and should it pay off, then it will allow us to make a decent living from our passion. Weâ€™re aware of this small window of our lives that affords us this opportunity, and we all agree that we canâ€™t wait for our next lives to go for it!
Have your families always been supportive of your musical pursuits?
Always. Our families are very supportive of all of us and believe in what we do. My family has been like a second family to the other guys. When we need a place to stay or a meal, theyâ€™re always quick to oblige. My family has been the single most important reason why Iâ€™m able to do this. Without them, I donâ€™t know if there would be a Three Legged Fox.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
My house was always full of music growing up. My dad played guitar in a few bands as did my uncle, so it wasnâ€™t uncommon for live music to be happening in our living room on a Saturday night. My dad was usually playing old blues albums through the stereo, so I listened to a lot of Albert King, Muddy Waters, and Edgar Winter. He also often played Grateful Dead and Bob Marley. I actually came across an old music video of myself singing â€œWhen the Lights Go Down in the Cityâ€ when I was about 10, so I guess there was some Journey thrown in from time to time!
Whatâ€™s the music scene like around Philadelphia and on the East Coast? Has it been a nurturing or somewhat difficult starting point as far as establishing a base there?
Philadelphia is an incredible music town. Thereâ€™s so much musical history here from Gamble and Huffâ€™s Philadelphia Records label to the many classic songs that have been written about Philly. New venues are popping up all the time and thereâ€™s always some great original music to see. Everyone who is involved in the Philly music scene is extremely supportive of one another. Itâ€™s really been a great place to grow from. Geographically, itâ€™s centrally located to many major cities including New York, Baltimore, Boston, and DC. This makes hitting major markets logistically easy.
When will 3LF be coming to play on the West Coast, and in California? Do you have a show scheduled for San Diego sometime in the future by any chance?
Weâ€™re looking at a tentative November tour out West. San Diego is one of my favorite cities in the country, so Iâ€™d be hard-pressed to pass up a SD date!
What can you tell me about your thoughts on the legalization of cannabis? Do you feel it should be legalized simply for medicinal use, or should it be completely legal?
It should absolutely be legalized for medicinal use; any opposition to that is borderline inhumane. As far as complete legalization, I tend to go back and forth. I think that the U.S. could benefit from legalizing and taxing one of our biggest cash-crops. Iâ€™d love to be able to buy a pack of joints at the corner store. However, I have friends who make their living growing and selling cannabis, so legalization could potentially put them out of business. I think the most important thing we could do for society would be to drastically decriminalize marijuana. No one should have to serve jail time for a substance that isnâ€™t physically addictive and is historically much safer to use than alcohol. Our nationâ€™s prisons are overpopulated because the government classifies marijuana with serious, life-ending narcotics like cocaine and heroin.
Does cannabis have any sort of influence or role in your music-making?
I smoke on a regular basis. Marijuana has always helped open my mind to inspiration. It makes music sound better, and it makes me more creative. Our keyboardist actually blows glass for a company out here called Illadelph, who supplied us with a custom 3LF tube that never leaves my side in the studio! The only downside is the effect it has on my voice, so I try not to smoke before a show.
The name for the new album, Always Anyway, what does it mean?
Always Anyway is derived from a line in the song Let You Down. We went back and forth on a few different album titles but ultimately decided that this one was the most powerful. Itâ€™s vague enough that people can attach to it whatever meaning they want, but it also offers an essence of hope; a promise of sorts, to oneself or another. It also sounds pretty cool!
Is there a personal favorite song of yours on it?
I honestly love each song on the album for different reasons. Recording and producing an album yourself has a weird way of pulling you out of the song itself though, which makes it hard to hear the tracks the way an objective listener would. Now, when I listen to the record, all I can hear are levels and highs, mids, and lows. My favorite song to play live right now is High Time For Arrival. It has this really cool go-go inspired breakdown and I get to rock the cowbell!
The album cover interestingly blends all of your faces together onto one body. Who came up with that cool idea?
Thanks! That was Koryâ€™s idea. When he presented it to me, I wasnâ€™t sure exactly what itâ€™d look like, but I always trust his judgment. When the first proof came back I was sold!
Any shout-outs or anyone youâ€™d like to thank?
Weâ€™d like to thank our sponsors: CAD Audio, Aguilar Amplification, Silver Surfer Vaporizers, Illadelph Glass, Axion Footwear, Fucluk Creations. And our friends: The Pier, Music Bailout, Branch Out Music, Persona PR. BIG THANKS TO NUG MAGAZINE! Hope to see you guys out West!
To further satisfy your appetite on Three Legged Fox, visit their official website @ www.threeleggedfoxlive.com & their press website @ www.threeleggedfoxpress.com for some insightful interviews on the making of the album as well as some bonus tracks!