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FENIX TX

It's been too long since the UK has had the pleasure of seeing Fenix TX in action. But the guys who brought us 'Lechuza' and their self-titled 'Fenix TX' albums are heading back this way for Slam Dunk Festival 2017. And we cannot wait to see them. They're now signed to Cyber Tracks, the record label founded by El Hefe of NOFX and wife Jen and have a new EP under their belts entitled 'CRE.EP'. Fenix TX are opening the Fireball stage, so make sure you get there early to catch them. They also play two headline shows before Slam Dunk - at Glasgow Audio on May 25th and London Islington O2 Academy on May 26th.

By Shari Black Velvet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Velvet: You're back in the UK for Slam Dunk Festival 2017. It's been sooooo long since we last saw you. What memories do you have from past UK tours?

Chris Lewis: We're beyond stoked to be back after so long.  There are too many memories to count.  We've had some crazy times in the UK.  This one show in Camden, a guy from our label got punched in the eye and subsequently lost his sight.  We had to fly back over months later for the criminal trial of the guy who hit him.   

BV: You have a song on your new 'CRE.EP' EP entitled 'Bending Over Backwards'. What is something you will bend over backwards to do at Slam Dunk?

CL: I'm really excited to see The Bronx and Against Me, but there are so many amazing bands, it'll be a busy day.

BV: You're first on the Fireball Stage. What are you planning for the rest of the day?

CL: Catch up with old friends, see some great music and doing a lot of driving.

BV: How does going out on tour make you feel - in your mind, heart and soul? How do you feel the morning you're about to leave for tour?

CL: These days, the excitement is mixed with a bit of melancholy. We've all got kids and families now, so it's bittersweet. However, we get a chance to do something we love, so showing our kids that is very important.  I like the way Jonah Matranga put it: "Daddy doesn't have to go, daddy wants to go." (paraphrasing) but that's the idea. Saying you "have" to go do something implies you don't really want to. Instilling that in our children is crucial.  

BV: What is something you think people who don't go on tour don't understand about the touring lifestyle?

CL: I think people who have never done it don't realize how much goes into making a tour succeed. Not just from a musical standpoint. There are people who do a myriad of jobs that never even see the tour in person, from talent buyers, to PR, to merch printing and equipment building. Then there's all the crew involved in the tour itself to keep the wheels turning. There are so many people who don't get credit for the end product, but these people are all essential to any band's well being. 

BV: Tell us about some of your crew. How many people do you have in your crew, who are they and how good are they at their job?

CL: For the last couple tours we were lucky enough to have two amazing crew members that we share with Unwritten Law. Scott McLaughlin, who is a native Australian, and Christian Ustarroz, who will be coming with us to the UK. Christian is crazy. He's 22, he owns a mechanic shop in LA. He's a mechanic, he builds sets for a production house in Hollywood, he plays guitar, bass and drums as well as being a vocalist and writing songs. On tour, he does merch, stage manages, drives and keeps our instruments in decent working order. I would not be able to do what I do without him.  

BV: If you could suggest an improvement to venues to make your touring life easier, what would you suggest they do or have?

CL: Showers showers showers! 

BV: What is something you've discovered about a fellow bandmate while on tour?

CL: Hmmmm, well, I'm not coming up with anything, but I'm fairly certain that everyone I've ever toured with has found out that I'm a bit OCD.  

BV: What is something you do on tour that people might be surprised to discover?

CL: I work for Playstation in San Diego and I work from tour. On this coming trip, I'm going out early to visit our offices in London and Liverpool.  

BV: Most inspirational band you've toured with?

CL: With Fenix, it's probably RX Bandits. The level of musicianship in that band is astonishing. I watched them almost every night and they amazed me every night. The improvisation, the attention to detail in tone and execution, it was eye-opening.

BV: Raddest fan you've ever met on tour?

CL: This has got to be Rory Levin! She read my bio online and brought me a block of cheese and a carton of cigarettes (don't smoke, kids) to a show.  We've since become friends and see each other when we're in the same city, which is rare, but pretty rad. Hi Rory!

BV: Have you ever lost anything important on tour?

CL: Thieves stole my backpack out of a van in San Francisco in 2011.  It had my computer and all my daily stuff for living in it, and that sucked, but it had a tour journal in it from the previous three or four years of touring and that was heartbreaking.  What's that old adage: "The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory"?  Yeah, I lost a lot of memories that day.

BV: Most torturous (or nightmarish) moment on tour?

CL: On the last Fenix TX / Unwritten Law tour in the states, I dislocated my shoulder three shows into a six week tour.  That wasn't the most fun I've ever had.  That whole tour could fill a book.  Ask me to tell you the story sometime. ;) 

BV: What's the best song you've written while actually on tour? Or best inspiration for a song while on tour?

CL: Will wrote a couple Denver Harbor songs about touring.  'Save Me' and 'Way Back Home'.  Mostly about missing someone while you're gone.  

BV: Fill in the blanks: When I was in _________ I had the most amazing ___________.

CL: When I was in London I had the most amazing tacos. For real.  There's this little cart in Camden with dope tacos.  

BV: If fans were to bring you gifts on tour, what would you most like to be given?

CL: Cheese and cigarettes!  Only kidding, I like Burberry? 

BV: Which soul would you most like to torture (in a good way) with your show (ie. Who would you most LOVE to come and see you play, and why)?

CL: I would really like Barack Obama to watch me play music.  

 

Visit www.fenixtx.net for more info.

 

 

 

 

Copyright: Black Velvet Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Please note that all articles, photos and other items on this Black Velvet website are owned and copyrighted by Shari Black Velvet/Black Velvet Magazine unless otherwise stated and must not be used elsewhere under any circumstance. Articles in Black Velvet Magazine should not be put online without the express permission of the editor.