Look around at the live music offerings in Myrtle Beach these days and you’ll find an increasingly heavy dose of Reggae-inspired rock floating through the beach’s open air bars and pumping out of the speakers of local venues.
A handful of homegrown acts have emerged as leaders of this movement locally, while medium-sized venues such as The Boathouse, Pirate’s Cove, Hot Fish Club and others have created a strong base for the growing number of fans turning out to see these laid-back tunes.
And with growing support for this music locally has come an increasingly high-profile string of up-and-coming acts who have brought their music to Myrtle Beach such as SOJA, The Movement, Ballyhoo! and Groove Stain. The latest of these, Three Legged Fox, is a Philadelphia-based quartet who will perform Saturday night at Blarney Stones at Broadway at the Beach.
The group, which consists of Kyle Wareham (Vocals/guitar), Tommy Mosca (Guitar), Mark Carson (Bass) and Kory Kochersperger (Drums) is kicking off a tour this week in support of its third studio album “Always, Anyways” which was released Tuesday.
We caught up with Wareham recently to talk about the new record, producing his own band and his thoughts on Myrtle Beach. Here’s what he had to say:
Your new album just dropped today, are you excited to get it out to the world?
Oh yeah, really excited. And really busy. But we’re kind of just enjoying the ride so far.
And what can you tell us about the record?
The album is different. Different from what people would expect it to be from our first two albums.
There’s a lot more in terms of production, even though we did it ourselves. It’s got an edgier, more modern sound to it and the songwriting is elevated above anything we’ve put out so far.
To me, it’s a real cohesive group of songs. It’s the first time we sat down and actually though about recording an album as a whole instead of just putting out a group of songs we had written.
You guys spent about two years making his album, did the sound you were trying to achieve change during that period or did you know what you wanted to accomplish all along?
I think we definitely knew. We knew that we wanted to sound bigger, we just couldn’t afford it before. It was like the first album we made was just on a little multi-track mixer in the basement.
We knew we wanted a more powerful sound and we knew that we wanted to say a lot more with this record.
As far as the songwriting goes are there certain themes or things that you based this album around?
There’s a couple love songs and things like that, but overall it’s just more eloquently written.
Our drummer Kory wrote a lot of the lyric on this album. He’s always been a great writer but he just got so prolific here in the past 18 months and started cranking out songs way better than the songs I was writing. I don’t know what came over him, but he just started burning through a lot of great material.
How do you feel about the album as a whole are you still basking in the glow of what you’ve done or are you just ready to move on and do something new?
I’m ready to make a new one. I was just talking to the drummer about writing a handful of songs while we’re touring and dropping an EP or something in a couple months.
I was really basking in the glory of this record when it was finished like two months ago before it came out. You know, this is just when everybody else gets to hear it.
But I’m excited and nervous about how people are going to respond to it. But I’m definitely ready to start a new project.
So you engineered the entire project yourself. Did you find the process of producing your own band difficult?
OH YEAH...It was frustrating! So frustrating! But I like being in control like that and I like the freedom that comes with it.
When you’re in the studio with a producer it’s like you’re on the clock. Everything is scheduled and you have this much time to get a record done and out.
But when you have all the time in the world and access to it at any time you want it can be so great but also make it impossible to ever finish anything. It’s like being a writer with no deadline. Deadlines are really the only thing that get things done.
I was actually doing all the engineering and kinda learning it as I went. I just bought ProTools about three years ago and learned it all through forums and magazines and just reading as much as I could on it.
It was a lot of just the band sitting down and using our ears and saying “I don’t like the sound of that kick drum, how can we get the sound that we want?” and getting records we liked and trying to emulating portions of that and put our own spin on it.
It was a lot of trial and error, but I think we’ve got a really good sounding product.
What are some of the things about your bandmates that make the whole Three Legged Fox equation work?
Interesting you should say that, because we actually just got a new guitar player and so I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work out yet. I guess you’ll have to wait until the next record to know for sure.
We’re about to start touring heavily the rest of this year and unfortunately our last guitar player that just wasn’t going to work out the way his life plan was.
But yeah, our new guitar player I think he’s ready to roll. You really don’t know until you get out there, but we’ve practiced the hell out of these songs and I’ve taught him everything that I could.
But it’s different, you know. I mean, we had such great chemistry with Brody and we all had developed playing relationships with him over years so it’s always going to be a little different. But it will settle in I’m sure. And we also have a keyboard player now.
What about Three Legged Fox’s overall style? You guys moved much more toward the alternative rock tip with this project, do you see yourselves heading even further in that direction in the future?
It’s not really something that I or we consciously do. It’s just like we listen to a lot of music and a lot of different stuff has influenced us over the past two years. As a musician when you hear something cool and new it’s just natural that you want to make something that sounds like that.
But you never know, I mean, the next record could be all acoustic, singer-songwriter stuff cause I starting to get into that but it’s not really a plan. But I guess I don’t even know what to expect on the next record.
You guys played here this spring with The Bastard Suns. What kind of impression did Myrtle Beach make on you the first time around?
Oh yeah, we loved Myrtle Beach. The first time we played there I think we had some kids drive down from Wilmington to see us and a couple other places and it was a pretty small crowd but you could tell right away that people knew who we were down there.
And the next time it was 2 or 3 times as many people and it’s great because everybody just loves live music down there and that’s something that’s kinda rare nowadays.
And what can people expect from a Three Legged Fox live show?
It’s definitely gone up in energy since we started playing these new songs. With the new sound on the record we wanted to really be able to rock out live and so it’s definitely a high-energy show.
More sweat, more guitar, louder drums. People can just expect to have a really good time.
Any other interesting shows or events that fans might want to know about?
We’re booking a couple big tours. Big Southeast tour in September and if this all goes according to plan we’ll be heading out to the West Coast in October. So yeah, just be checking our schedule as to where we’re going to be at and we’re going to really make a run at being a nationally touring band.