Interview: Rome Hero Foxes on “BSFBD”

Posted: by The Editor

Houston based indie-pop group, Rome Hero Foxes, have been hiding a sentimental single up their sleeves for years, luckily it has finally seen the light of day. The track entitled “BSFBD” (Be Sad For Better Days), recently premiered on Twitch streamer Gibson’s channel. Never short of out-of-the-box ideas, Rome Hero Foxes don’t just scratch the surface of the music industry with their cutting-edge schemes, they practically expunge the very foundations of it.

After continuously putting the single on hold and changing their sound repeatedly, the group finally decided to end their most recent album cycle with the previously unreleased deep-cut. Front-person, C.J. Burton stated, “This was just such a personal song for me that I didn’t want to let it go until I knew it could be fully useful and understood by our fans and listeners.” As follows, “BSFBD” is a track about coming to terms with the fact that everyone deals with their own struggles, everyone has times in their life where they feel like they are at rock-bottom, and we are all connected in that way. It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to have bad days, we need to feel that sometimes in order to be appreciative of the good ones.

Stream the track as you read our inspiring interview with Burton below. Make sure to catch Rome Hero Foxes on tour this summer with Heart Attack Man, where they will be selling limited cassettes (available now for pre-order) with tracks from 18 Summers, “BSFBD”, and more.

The Alternative: I interviewed you last summer in light of the release of 18 Summers. What’s new with you all since we last spoke?

Burton: Nothing much is new. We all have jobs or school and we’re always writing new music.  We’re on tour this June with Heart Attack Man, so we’re going to be playing a lot of shows soon.

How have things changed for you since the release of 18 Summers?

Since the release of 18 Summers we joined the agency APA [Agency for the Performing Arts] to handle booking our tours, and because of that we’re going to be on the road a lot more. We’ve been writing new music a lot, playing shows in support of the record, and coming up with plans for the future. We’re all really busy but when we find the time to come together to work on music we usually walk away with some really great ideas and a huge burst of creativity.

Your sound and creative abilities are constantly evolving, how do you think fans have been receptive of that?

Our fans have been very positive and open-minded when it comes to our music, for the most part, and we’re so grateful for that. At this point, we feel like our fans almost expect us to keep evolving our sound and explore our creative capabilities. There are always going to be people who get upset over our new releases not sounding like a direct “sequel” to our last (some of which are notably aggressive and vocal), but that can be flattering in its own roundabout way. By and large, though, our listeners are overwhelmingly supportive of us and we love them!

What advice would you give bands who are trying to get out of their bubble but are scared to try something new/different?

I would just advise them not to look at your potential as a musician/band so one-dimensionally. Everyone can look at their band and be like “yeah this our sound, this is all we can do”, but that right there just sets you up for failure. Even if branching out in sound brings you to completely start over, do it, ‘cause holding onto your past in almost all applications will lead you to the same dead end over and over.

There was a time after our first extremely post-hardcore release, which we branded as our debut, that we were just gonna end RHF; start over completely. But then we decided we’ve just built too big of a community to lose all that we had gained and then took the risk of just saying, “Fuck it, we keep the name, ditch the sound. This is who we’re gonna be now, and that’s our decision as the artists to make”. After putting out our last three releases, I feel now we have built a permanent identity for ourselves that is constantly changing, constantly evolving. Most of our fans now have the impression that every single release we do will be different from the last, and that is what will get you somewhere in this redundant industry.

Push yourself, learn to legitimately live and progress outside your comfort zone. If everyone is doing the same sound you wanna try out, do it better. There has to be aggression in your passion to really nurture the career you are trying to make out of your ideas. Especially when we’re in an industry climate where everything DOES sound the same sometimes, no one wants to admit it but it’s true. Be better than that, prove that you can become an artist that sets the standard for everyone to feed off of later on for their music and ideas. Or you can just make music for fun, there’s no harm in that either! I guess this advice goes for people who really wanna make a footprint in the world of music.

Can you tell me a little bit more about “BSFBD”?

BSFBD is actually an acronym for the full title, “Be Sad For Better Days.” I first wrote it all the way back in the late summer of 2015. I had just returned home from recording our first full length, For When You’re Falling Backwards, and just felt like I had come from being at the top of my world to starting back down at the bottom. It was a very vulnerable and dark time for me, personally. I was just graduating high school, we got our first shot of being a real band with a real album of quality and there was still just a lingering feeling of dread every day that I could not put my finger on. Looking back at this time, I find it was just a completely normal feeling that everyone experiences in life. You’re young, nothing is figured out, and when you dwell on it for days on end it can become an extreme weight and actually hold you back from making anything of yourself. So I guess I wrote this song to come to terms with all of that baggage.

It has always been easy to write something that intensifies my grief and anxieties, this time around I really wanted to write something to help ground myself; to help me understand that everything will eventually fall into place. Although it did help, I never found the right time to put my message out into the world, it just didn’t feel ready for the longest time. Sometimes I need to let life change the content of my songs, other times it comes together instantaneously in a sonic emotional boom. In this instance, it was demo’d out about three different times.

This was just such a personal song for me that I didn’t want to let it go until I knew it could be fully useful and understood by our fans and listeners. It was “supposed” to be on every release post FWYFB. At first, I wanted it to be a single. Then came to the brick wall that is $0 for funding a real recording session, so then I tried the idea of stripping it down to slap on our late 2016 release I/O. But now I felt striping it down took too much away from the energy I wanted this song to convey. So then I went to demoing it on my own right before we had our creative summery poppy detour that was 18 Summers and now it was an issue of “this song is too soft and dark”. Then, *laughs* we finally tried to record it on our own as we did with everything off our 2017 “Horoscope”. This time around the recording we made just did not do it justice at all. Finally, after thinking I was just gonna shelve this for good, our manager Sofi [Padilla] suggested the idea that we use the end of our 18 Summers album cycle to put out a single of something that didn’t make the cut. I immediately jumped at this opportunity to finally put “BSFBD” to use, and also this time we found the perfect producer to help us bring it to life. This man was none other than Austin’s-Legendary-Audio-Wizard, Chris Frenchie Smith, at The Bubble. This was our first time working with him and what we made definitely built a lasting impression and relationship that will extend well into our next releases. We’ve finally clicked with a producer and there’s genuinely almost nothing better than that!

What gave you the idea of wanting to premiere your single on a twitch stream?

Almost all Sofi on that one *laughs*. Our recently departed drummer, Adrian, had made friends with this streamer on twitch named Gibson. And I believe Adrian always watched his stream and just one day was like “hey check out my band” and he actually did and loved it right away. They became good friends after that, and since then we got to meet him at a show in Dallas where he brought his whole G3 fam, he’s covered a song of ours on his streams, and now has our song “Don’t Call My Name” as his outro for his YouTube videos! He’s shouted us out time and time again, so Sofi was like, “okay so what if we worked together with him on dropping the single?” I was scared it was too much to ask of him, but Sofi messaged me back like 20 minutes later and was like “he’s down, here’s what we’re gonna do”. Very excited to see how it pans out considering Gibson’s fanbase is already familiar with us thanks to his help!

How do you find inspiration? What helps you think out of the box when it comes to separating yourself from your peers?

It can be a bit of a battle sometimes. I’m a very isolated and intentional listener, I fixate on a few songs or records that stay with me until I’m able to fully study and review what they’re doing that peaks my interest! Another thing that’s helps is actually not doing anything at all! Let life suck you in and take you away from being a creative. Sometimes life can return you back a different person with new and better ideas. A lot of my songs, such as the one that this whole interview is about, I sit on for literally YEARS. Not in the way that I’ve been working on them every day until they’re perfect, just simply forgetting about them for a while until they naturally come back to you. Forcing yourself is never the answer, even if you think what you’re doing at the time is good, just let your ideas age with you. I guess also write too many songs for your own good that you have to section off everything into folders and complete one chapter at a time LIKE ME! Parts of I/O, Horoscope, 18 Summers and even the stuff we have coming we’re written all at the same time, but each one had time allowed to be fleshed out and put where they belong.

Do you have plans to release more in the near future?

Without giving too much away, we’ve definitely got a whole bunch of material that we’d love to put out, but we’re also being very meticulous with the writing process. There’s something really special about the songs we’ve been jamming recently, so we want to take extra care of it. Our future releases will be bigger and better than anything we’ve put out before, so all we can ask is for people to be patient; the wait will be worth it!

Anything else you’d like to add?

We’re on tour with Heart Attack Man this June and we’ll be playing BSFBD and a bunch of stuff from 18 Summers. If you’re in the area come out and see us we’ve been practicing a lot and we’re so excited to be out on the road again.  Also we’ve been writing some new music and we’re excited to see what the future holds!

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Emily Kitchin//@DeathNap4Cutie

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