Made up of Ben Schneid on the Guitar and Vocals, Jared Stenz on Bass, and Jon Stenz hitting Drums and Percussion’s, FOXTRAX is a musical force to be reckoned with. The LA-based trio recently dropped by MadeWest and treated the brewery to a soulful and hard hitting performance as part of our newest installment of The MadeWest Sessions.
FOXTRAX channels sounds spanning from 60's soul, rock, and blues to modern indie and alternative. Their sound is nothing but unique and they are the type of band that you can listen to just about anywhere at anytime. And not to mention, these dudes are incredibly humble and just downright awesome to be around.
With their new single, Lonely Man On The Island, and a handful of shows booked at South by Southwest, these guys are making waves in the music scene and it’s undeniable that they are just getting warmed up.
Checkout out the Q&A with Ben Schneid below and get fired up on these guys!
How did the band meet and when did you first know you wanted to create music together?
We all grew up together but weirdly we never made music together until we all graduated from college! It was actually a sort of odd fate that brought us together really. We were just kind of in the right place at the right time!
How did you guys come up with the name and what’s the meaning behind it?
When we first formed the band we lived in a cabin in North Carolina for about two months playing music and isolating ourselves from the world. We felt like we needed to figure out our musical identity and in that isolation we went hiking quite a bit in the snow. We saw these "FOXTRAX" in the snow and we realized in a way that we were following our own FOXTRAX in life but going against the grain and rejecting the normal 9-5 way of life!
Can you describe your song writing process?
Our songs tend to explore themes of our personal journeys and they normally start on acoustic guitar or piano with vocals. A great song, in my opinion, should be great even if its played in the simplest way. As we have evolved we have explored the weird characters in our lives in songs and that has been a really cool departure from where we started.
Where does the inspiration for your music come from?
I think that inspiration is happening all around us at all times even when things seem rather dull. Human beings are such interesting and bizarre creatures and I think delving deep inside their stories make from great songs and emotionally driven music!
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
I think I would be excited to write some jams with John Lennon if he were alive. He wrote some of the world's best lyrics and melodies and I think we would have learned so far out lessons from his perspective on music.
What is one thing that many people would be surprised to find out about you guys?
We all went and graduated from college, but not one of us studied music properly. We are all self taught in the school of listening to rock and roll records. Big thanks to the Beatles and the Stones for there many lessons.
If you’re not playing music what are you doing?
We all share of love of being outside and smelling fresh air. I personally love reading books and I think the more you read the better songwriter you become.
Favorite MadeWest beer?
This question is easily the toughest question in the interview seeing as we are avid beer drinkers and we have enjoyed almost every type of beer you guys produce. I am a simple man and so I prefer the Standard. It's just straight forward and amazing tasting. A real pleasure to drink!
Anything big lined up for 2018?
We have been super lucky and so we have some great stuff on the horizon. We have a brand new single coming your way 03/02, Just finished up a collaboration with the band Atlas Genius, we are playing SXSW and The Gathering Festival in Louisville in June! It is sure to be an incredible year and we are super excited to see what the world has in store for us!
Any last words?
Happy to be alive and doing what we love! Remember, don't force it, feel it!