Nashville pop-rock trio the Foxies are bringing us all back to the days of high school physical education, complete with booty shorts and sweatbands, in their brand-new music video “Anti Socialite.” The band are exclusively premiering the video for their energetic, glittery track with AltPress.
Vocalist Julia Lauren Bullock, guitarist Jake Ohlbaum and drummer Rob Bodley had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside John Oates, one half of the iconic musical duo Hall & Oates. You can catch him serving vintage sports coach looks, whistle and all, in the video.
The Foxies are gearing up to release their forthcoming EP, Growing Up Is Dead, due out May 29. The six-track offering will feature the upbeat “Anti Socialite” and the blunt, grunge-tinged single “Call Me When Your Phone Dies.”
AltPress got to peek behind the scenes and catch up with the band on what inspired the track, what plans they have for their EP and what it was like to work with the John Oates. Check out the full interview and brand-new music video below.
First and foremost, you had the opportunity to work with John Oates. How did that cameo come to be, and what was it like to work with such an icon in the video for “Anti Socialite”?
JULIA LAUREN BULLOCK: Honestly, it was such a surreal moment. Our best friend Morgan Swank, who wrote and produced the video and has a magic way of making things happen, gave us a list of actors and musicians she thought would be a good fit for the coach role. She texted me about a week-and-a-half before filming and said, “So…John Oates loves your music. He’s going to be the coach!” I immediately texted my family right after. Mr. Oates is the most amazing and inspiring person to be around. He was genuinely interested in us, as musicians and as people. That is a wonderful feeling, especially coming from an icon like him. Now he is our coach Fox.
In the video, you all got your workout clothes on and headed to the gym in style. Where did the idea for your nostalgic high school-themed music video come from?
JAKE OHLBAUM: Morgan Swank, besides being such a great friend and supporter of all of us on and offstage, is a genius. We were all so excited to work together after seeing each other’s work up close for so long. Her concepts tend to tie the whole thing together, and this one captured our humor, our intensity and our love for each other as bandmates perfectly. Anyway, she did a couple of rough treatments of the video for us before we went all in for this one. I couldn’t imagine it having a different setting now. As a huge fan of movies like Dazed And Confused, The Breakfast Club, etc., I was so excited. It’s the perfect setting.
You recruited a lot of young people for this video as well. What was it like working with a cast of high schoolers, and how fun was it to play dodgeball for a video shoot?
ROB BODLEY: That was probably one of my favorite parts of shooting this music video. First, the dodgeball scene was hands down one of the highlights of that day and possibly the whole year. It was a throwback to when they allowed dodgeball in school. I had the pleasure to shoot some hoops with some talented boys throughout the shoot, and it was so encouraging to see how excited they were to be in a music video. It really kept the energy up on a long day of shooting.
Tell us the story behind the song. What life experiences, if any, helped shape the lyrics for “Anti Socialite”?
BULLOCK: This song is the anthem of social exhaustion. Let’s be real. Trying to fit in, be popular, hang out and be “on” all the time is so damn tiring. I used to get insane FOMO because I had, and still have, this weird complex that people will forget who I am if I’m not around them physically. But after running myself ragged for years trying to be everywhere at once, I realized this: I am much fucking happier sitting on my couch, drinking wine, alone. So this song is an ode to maturing and sticking to yourself first.
“To all the boys and girls who tried to walk a thousand/Miles in shoes that we could barely stand in/When we could barely stand your personality/That’s a problem, don’t you see?” is an empowering line. What do you hope listeners take away from this message?
OHLBAUM: I really hope it sends a message that it’s totally OK, and honestly so healthy, to own some of your darkness and weakness. It’s not such a crime to want to take a break from people—or even to take a break from certain people. I’ve never been able to hang out with people that…I just didn’t want to hang out with. I think we allow so much pressure to be put on ourselves about acting a certain way or presenting ourselves a certain way, socially, and I think this lyric is about not only owning the moments when you’re just fed up and need a break but demanding that others do the same.
You’re sharing your new EP, Growing Up Is Dead, in May. What should listeners expect from this release? Are there any themes you want them to take away and apply in real life?
BULLOCK: Listeners should expect a body of work that explains the workings of my mind—all the wires in my brain and what each of them leads to. We have a song that touches on self-care by being anti-social. A song about mental illness and how I can be a total hyper-hypochondriac, which is written as a comedic conversation with myself. And a beautiful self-love anthem that started as a love song to someone but is also a love song to myself, reminding myself that I love deeply and I always will. Just to name a few of them.
OHLBAUM: Own yourself, be yourself [and] share yourself. We try in every single one of the songs on our EP to admit and accept something about ourselves, and that’s such a credit to Julia as the lead singer and our co-writers. But each of these songs brings something internal and introduces it to our audience, usually pretty loudly. I think that’s so healthy and empowering. It’s not about bragging. It’s just about something on the inside that needs to get out.
During this period of self-isolation, how are you personally staying sane? Any advice for creatives who are in a rut from being quarantined?
BULLOCK: Being quarantined is a weird “new normal” now. There is so much time on our hands to create that sometimes we spend more time thinking of creating than actually doing so. And because of the immense time we have, it is easy to fall into one’s mind, the dark parts people never see. When I feel myself slipping into rutsville, I FaceTime the band, call a friend I haven’t talked to in a while or I just simply remind myself that the world needed this moment to put everything on pause so it could breathe again.
OHLBAUM: You’re so not alone. That’s been keeping me going—it’s not like when we’re sad about canceling tours, meetings, and sessions that no one else is. We’ve all been hit by this thing, one way or another. I try to focus on gratitude, set small goals and get one or two things done creatively every day. The more focused we can be on keeping the chains moving during this weird time, the easier it will be to readjust when we finally get moving again full time.
BODLEY: Drums and video games are keeping me sane. My advice to creatives that may be in a rut would be to extend yourself grace. This is something we have never experienced before, and it is not easy on the soul to be sitting still and stuck in the house. Another tidbit of advice would be to use the time to work on your craft. Whatever area you lack in, utilize the time to strengthen that.