On a typically muggy night in Washington, DC I ventured downtown to Adams Morgan to see Foozle’s album release show and subsequent kickoff to their national tour. I had seen guitarist & singer Jake Lazovick’s side project, Sitcom a few months earlier. After that performance I went home and quickly delved into his discography.
Foozle is a DC based band on independent local label Babe City Records. When I found their debut album, Everything’s Casual it was clear that I discovered a new band to place into regular rotation. The band formed in 2009 while members Jake (guitar/vocals), Joanna (bass/vocals), and Ryan (drums) were still in high school. When the invincibility of your teenage years wears off and becomes the power that defines your early 20s, it releases itself in the form of many mediums.
Their second album Romantic Comedies proves and explores that. Instead of the heavy punk influences of their first record, they opted for a more fuzzy, shoegaze inspired, and ultimately introspective sound. I headed to the first show of their summer tour here in DC just a few weeks ago. In that time I talked with the band, gained some insight on growing up in the American suburbs, how that influences their music, and who they would most like to take on a road trip.
It was in the basement of Songbyrd, a relatively new venue in the Adams Morgan area of DC that I finally got a chance to see Foozle live. It was a great pleasure that they decided to play the entire album from beginning to end. Later I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever been a show like that. During the past week I had listened to the album but didn’t have quite the same impact as seeing it live with a hometown crowd.
video for “Blue Sweatshirt from Romantic Comedies
After the show might now be my favorite time to interview musicians. While this time was more haphazard out on the street, you get a sense of energy and excitement. I wanted to get more insight on how this record was different than the last. “With the first album we were separated and recorded in a Silver Spring studio in several parts. The second album had a closeness and was more of a bonding experience.” Jake says. “ A 3 day sleepover which included lots of cooking.” Romantic Comedies was done in Jake’s bedroom and a warehouse space in mostly 2 sessions. Even through creative meltdowns it helped the flow and created a cathartic experience. In an event to find out what film of the past they would love to have scored, Goodburger was one that was easily agreed on. “It would have been awesome do to those whee guitar sounds”, Ryan says. This ultimately made me re-watch the film later that night. A true overlooked 90s classic indeed.
We only had a short while to chat after the show and I had to conduct the interview outside and armed with just a pen and a Moleskine notebook. The American Suburbs are a tangible background for most of their second album. In films it’s often portrayed as this rose-colored setting but just like any Hollywood fantasy, it’s just an illusion to some extent. Ryan says “So much of the suburbs that’s shown in Hollywood is just very one dimensional. You see the nearest big city as this magic place where anything is possible. It’s just like that Talking Heads song, “Heaven” the lyrics are Heaven is a place / A place where nothing / Nothing ever happens.” Joanna says “ At some point though, you have the thought, I gotta get out of here.” I suppose growing up so close yet so far from the city just gives you that itch of curiosity at some point.
In between I’m snapping some quick Polaroids and getting a glimpse of the tattoos on their ankles. The closer I look I see that it’s for Winston, Joanna’s dog that she’s bringing on tour. In keeping with the tour spirit I pose the question of who they would like to take on a road trip. In an epic answer: W.E. Du Bois, Chance the rapper, Noam Chomsky, Abe Lincoln, Kendrick Lamar, and their close friend Adam (who did some of their artwork). Now, that sounds like one epic documentary I’d watch.