Interview – Fab Claxton

By: Amanda Hather

Oshawa, Ontario musician Fab Claxton is the lead singer of The Marvelous Beauhunks as well as a solo artist. His indie/alternative style combines a mix of alternative rock, hip hop, and early punk. His music has recently been featured on many TV stations, such as NBC, A&E, The Discovery Channel, various sports games, as well as MTV.

You can check out his solo release, ‘Spazzamatazz’ on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/spazzamatazz/id570409988

Also be sure to check him out on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fabclaxton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fabclaxtonmusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/fabclaxton
Website: http://www.fabclaxton.com/index

Who is your biggest musical inspiration?

FC: I take inspiration from artists who are a lot more subversive than everyone else. Weirdos – but in a good way. Guys like Morrissey, Shaun Ryder, Mark E. Smith, Black Francis, Gary Burger, Lux Interior, David Byrne…….the list goes on. Weirdness is inspirational to me. Anyone can be normal – but where’s the fun in that?

Who is your biggest musical influence?

FC: It’d be a first-place tie between The Smiths and The Pixies. Both of those bands combine poppy music with some truly out-there singing and lyrics. I love that combination. It’s definitely something I try to achieve with my music.

What made you want to pursue music?

FC: I was 14 when I decided to become a musician. I had just discovered The Smiths after falling in love with the music of New Order and The Cure – and I knew then that it was something I wanted to pursue.

Have you always wanted to do something with music?

FC: Ever since I could play three chords on the guitar – I knew I wanted to be in a band. And some day – with perseverance and a little luck – I’ll learn that fourth chord.

If you weren’t in music, what do you think you would be doing?

FC: I have no other hobbies or interests – so if it weren’t for music – I’d be lost.

When you’re writing songs, what comes first? (E.g. lyrics, melody, etc.)

FC: Almost always the music. I tend to write the entire song first (chords, bassline, keyboards, drums, guitars, etc) before I even start thinking about the lyrics or melody. I have, on occasion, written a melody first and then written music to match it – but that’s rare.

If you could tour with any band or artist, who would it be?

FC: I used to think it’d be fun to tour with Happy Mondays – but I don’t think I could keep up with them anymore.

If someone hadn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? What song would you suggest they listen to first?

FC: My music is brash, loud alternative rock with punk and hip hop influences. Take equal parts of The Smiths, The Pixies, Happy Mondays, Outkast and Pavement and put them in a blender. It has a very late 80’s / early 90’s sound – though that’s not intentional. I’d suggest they listen to ‘She’s Trying To Fix Me’ if they want to get a good idea of my sound.

Out of all of your songs, which is your favourite to perform live?

FC: I’ve never performed live as a solo artist – but I perform live with my band The Marvelous Beauhunks. My favourite song to perform with them is ‘Coffin Candy’. Great energy and lots of yelling in that one.

Now for a few fun questions:

What is the first song you remember listening to?

FC: Apart from the usual Sesame Street songs (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 was a particular favourite) – my earliest memories of listening to music was The Beatles. My parents always played ‘the oldies’ in the car, and I remember really liking The Beatles’ sound. I still do.

Any guilty pleasures?

FC: No, none. I don’t feel guilt when enjoying a song – no matter ‘embarrassing’ it is to others. If I like a Spice Girls’ song – I will listen to that just as quickly as I will ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths.

Go to karaoke song?

FC: I’ve only sung karaoke a couple times. It’s not something I’m keen to repeat. I remember completely destroying a version of ‘King Of The Road’. I feel sorry for the people who had to listen to that.

You’re stranded on a desert island, name three things you would want to have with you.

FC: I wouldn’t do well on a desert island. I don’t even do well camping. I’m panicking just thinking about it. Let’s move on….

Any Canadian band/artist you would recommend to your fans?

FC: The 905s. If you like power-pop – you need to check them out.

Top three places you’d like to travel?

FC: I’d like to go to Loch Ness, the Universal Studios lot so I could visit the house from ‘Psycho’, and then to the small towns in Washington State where ‘Twin Peaks’ was filmed. Sadly I have more interest in ‘pop’ culture than I do in ‘real’ culture.

What is something your fans may not know about you?

FC: In addition to my solo work – I make music for production libraries that provide music to television, movies, commercials, etc. I’m also in two bands – The Marvelous Beauhunks (http://themarvelousbeauhunks.bandcamp.com) and The Cozyrs (http://thecozyrs.bandcamp.com). The Marvelous Beauhunks are my full-time band (we play live, release records, etc.) while The Cozyrs is an on-again, off-again studio-only project.

If you were ever in charge of putting together a festival, who would you have playing at it?

FC: Outkast, The Fall, Happy Mondays, The Pixies, The Stone Roses, Morrissey, Biz Markie – and I’d somehow convince The Talking Heads to get back together. The festival would only appeal to me and 10 other people. It would be a disaster.

Favourite song by a Canadian?

FC: ‘Alone In A Crowd Of Thousands’ by The Cozyrs. And yes – I might be in The Cozyrs – but this song has very little to do with me. The song was written by Mark Abbey – and he plays everything on the recording except for the drums. It’s been used in a bunch of skateboarding and surfing videos. Very cool. Mark Abbey is definitely one of those subversive, weird artists I mentioned before. Basically – my job in The Cozyrs is to keep the tape rolling long enough to capture Mark Abbey’s twisted genius before he goes back into hibernation.

What do you think your most played song on your iPod is?

FC: Right now it’s definitely ‘Oh, How To Do Now’ by The Monks. The most played of all-time would probably be ‘Cruiser’s Creek’ by The Fall.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

FC: To anyone who’s liked my music enough to download it – thank you very much. It means a lot to me.

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