Mike Cotton Interviews Kory Kochersperger of Three Legged Fox
With Three Legged Fox preparing for the imminent release of their third album, drummer Kory Kochersperger took time out his busy schedule to talk to Musicbailout about all things music, the new album and why the band is happy to be classed as a reggae-rock band.
Three Legged Fox, a four-piece out of Philadelphia, first burst onto the reggae-rock scene thanks to an appearance on The Pier’s Summer Sampler 2008, with the catchy Maybe I’m Sorry – a tune which stood out from the crowd for the simple reason it was not a typical reggae-rock song. In fact it had more in common with alt-rock, soul and a bit of blues.
Fast-forward three years and two full length albums later, Three Legged Fox will release their new record, Always Anyway, on August 16, an album Kory says is “a significant departure” from the last two albums the band have put out.
MB: Let’s start with you new albums, what can fans expect from it, how will it differ from Not as Far, Ideas and Acoustic Trax 2010?
KK: This new record is a pretty significant departure from the two records we have out. I think in the past we kind of just wrote song ideas, each person wrote their parts, and that’s what it was. And that comes across in the recordings of those 2 records, pretty simple, pretty raw.
This time around, we knew we wanted to make a “big” record. We went away from the traditional model of reggae being skank guitar/one drop drums/horns/and organ.
We try a lot of new things this time, which excites us. We wanted to make it big, and loud, and fun. Lyrically it’s pretty similar to the others in that we touch on society, love, greed, being away; things that still play a big role in our lives. But musically to the ear, it’s quite different than anything we’ve ever done."We try a lot of new things this time, which excites us. We wanted to make it big, and loud, and fun."
Three Legged Fox describe themselves on their facebook page as an indie-rock, reggae-rock band but this is a tag which many fans feel does not do the band justice. What many fans like about Three Legged Fox is the different genres the band manage to squeeze into their music. This is something the band takes as a compliment.
“We have heard that reggae-rock doesn’t do it justice or whatever, but I think we’re just simply a product of what we are individually influence by.
“Being classified as a reggae/rock band is fine with us. It’s still the simplest way to explain our sound.
“It’s not a conscious effort to be outside of the standard reggae-rock bubble,” explains Kory.
But Three Legged Fox’s previous albums certainly incorporated more than reggae. Soul, rock, and blues can all be heard on Not as Far and Ideas.
“Our previous albums definitely have a little soul or blues in them, explains Kory, stuff just kind of morphed that way.
“For what it’s worth, when people say that our band is more than just a reggae/rock band, we certainly take it as a compliment. To be perceived as being even a little bit unique in the music world is a humbling compliment.
“There’s also a good chance that after hearing this new album, people will have some new genre’s to throw in there for us too.”
MB: What influences you to make music?
KK: I can say with certainty that writing songs from scratch is by far the most satisfying and enjoyable part of being in a band. Writing songs, and putting them together, and all that stuff is a fulfilling form of expression for us. To be honest what influences us the most are the fans. To have a platform (however modest it is) to present our music to people who really truly want to hear it; that’s the motivation.
MB: Are you politically engaged, do you view music as an avenue to get your politics across?
KK: We’re politically engaged to a point. We don’t stand on one side of the political line and then point our fingers at people who are on the other side. For us, the world isn’t just black and white like that....there are hundreds and hundreds of different shades of grey.
So when we deliver songs that are rooted in politics or are socially motivated, it’s much more just a viewpoint, it’s the way I see something through my own eyes. And the song is just me talking it through.
There are plenty of people doing enough finger pointing. So, we kind of make it a thing to always be looking inward. What do we have control of? What do we have the power to change? What can we do to better ourselves?
As for other bands and how they choose to fuse politics and music, that’s clearly up to them. But we’re not going to build an audience willing to give us their ears and their time; and then just sing to them about smoking weed and chillin’ on the couch.
MB: Musically, who influenced and still influences TLF?
KK: Pretty diverse groups. And that list is probably fluid.....ever-changing. Some bands that have always influenced ours a little bit would be: Citizen Cope, John Browns Body, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, SOJA, Black Crowes, Black Seeds, Tarrus Riley.
Kyle was deep into reggae far before the band started. Mark is real into the complicated/genius type of musicians. I came up on rock music. Brody started out real into jammier guitar guys.
MB: How did the band form?
KK: The band came together when Kyle and a friend of his started writing songs at the University of Delaware. He was actually the 3LF drummer for a few months. They held auditions looking for some guitar and bass players. That’s where they got Brody and our old bass player Eric. Kyle and I incidentally went to high school together and had played together for years, and I took over on drums just a few months in. When the band parted ways with the original bass player (January 2010), we started asking around, got some names, had a fe