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What the Foxes Say

San Francisco band takes its time with new songs

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TEAM PLAYERS Stone Foxes are releasing one song a month for a year to create new album. - MIKE ROSATI
  • Mike Rosati
  • TEAM PLAYERS Stone Foxes are releasing one song a month for a year to create new album.

In the decade since they first formed, San Francisco rockers the Stone Foxes have continually evolved as a group, and the last year has been no exception.

Originally comprising brothers Shannon and Spence Koehler and Elliott Peltzman, the band has recently doubled in size and sound, and their blend of soul and blues rock is sharpening the group's edge and amplifying their energy.

"Over the last year, we had some new guys join our crew," says singer and songwriter Shannon Koehler in an interview, referring to bassist Vince Dewald, drummer Brian Bakalian and guitarist Ben Andrews. "We added them one by one, and over that time we would jump in the studio and record songs. It wasn't like we went into a barn and lumped all these songs together. Each song had its moment in the studio, and a lot of songs get overlooked on a record, so we wanted to give each track special attention."

For their upcoming fourth album, Twelve Spells, the band is taking a new approach, releasing one track every month for a year, each with its own album art, in an ongoing "First Foxes Friday" singles series.

"Usually we write songs that are more social-justice-oriented. We're a fun rock band, but we want to make sure whatever we sing about, we care about," says Koehler about the new tracks. "But lately, most of the stuff I've been writing is more personal."

The band's latest song, "Cold Like a Killer," relates to Koehler's heart condition. Koehler has had numerous surgeries and pacemakers in his time, battling bad valves and an unstable heartbeat. "I take more pills than my grandma does," jokes Koehler. "But I'm in a good place right now. I'm healthy and can run around."

And that's a good thing, because the Stone Foxes put on a physically exhausting live show, with members running around onstage while they switch roles and rock out with every ounce of energy. The band play the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Feb. 21.

At the show, the Stone Foxes will also be collecting nonperishable foods as part of the bands Goodnight Moon Project, an outreach program that attempts to humanize and put a face on the homeless population. All food collected at the show goes to a local homeless shelter or food pantry, and the band will give out a 7-inch record in return for each donation.

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