A few months ago, Pittsburgh's Young Fox not so quietly released their debut EP, Predecessors; an aggressive yet dulcet offering taking cues from the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate and Thrice. Editor Brooks Ginnan had the chance to ask drummer Chris Lehberger a few questions about the band's ethos, beginnings and why the days of becoming a rock star are long gone.

When did the band meet and decide this was a project worth pursuing?
I think we met up in 2012. It was just Luke (Cypher), Marty (Lunn) and I at the time.

Who were some artists that significantly affected and helped shape your songwriting from the start?
We really like 90's alternative stuff. Luke was really into Smashing Pumpkins and Deftones growing up. Marty and I both love Failure, Hum and Sunny Day Real Estate... and Radiohead. Dang. Listen to "Climbing Up The Walls," that song is a jam. William Goldsmith and Jeremy Enigk from SDRE are just so good too. I drove down to DC to see them on their reunion tour in 2009. It was rad.

How did you get acquainted with Spartan Records, and what makes your relationship with them work in an era of bands increasingly deciding to go it alone? 
John (T. Frazier) just happened to find us online. We talked for a few months about what our goals were and what Spartan's were, and they all aligned. We love being on Spartan and John has been the absolute best to work with. For us, knowing a guy who had probably close to 15 years of industry experience working with bands I loved growing up was a big selling point. I think the "record label" of old doesn't exist anymore, at least in the sense I think it does. It's nearly impossible to make money as a new musician. The days of signing to a label and quitting all of your day jobs and becoming rock stars are long gone. Labels and bands need to be creative. John is really good at building things from the ground up and we're all super stoked for the next few years.

You've stated that with this band, you want to put out something beautiful that people can contemplate. That being said, what does Predecessors address thematically?
Life is full of layers. I'd like to think some of the songs on the EP start to peel those back a little bit into things such as how we deal with tragedies and bad relationships and what to do when the impossible happens. Marty, our guitar player, has had some pretty heavy stuff happen to him. We all have, but we've grown into new places and those layers I was talking about still exist but they look and feel different. I don't know. I guess life if good, even after the bad stuff.

What is one thing you hope listeners will take away from your music? 
We want them to feel something. A lot of times, there will be bands that everyone loves and I try so hard to get into them, but just feel nothing. One of the reasons why Luke likes the Pumpkins and Marty and I like SDRE is that they connect with us on a spiritual level. That's one of the hardest bonds to break.

Young Fox's Predecessors is out now, via Spartan Records.

About the Author

Brooks Ginnan
Brooks Ginnan is the editor of Exiled Music Press. He is usually crying over the fact that we will never see a reunion of The Smiths or Cocteau Twins.

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