The Great Escape: Bustin' Out with The Fox Sisters

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Photo credit: Maggie Grace

Some good news: The Fox Sisters of Rochester, New York, are back with a full-length album that socks it to you, spins you 'round, and generally sends you into a delirious fit of wigglin’, thrustin’, and grinnin’. Check out the video below for the first single on the album, “The Song I Sing,” and a demonstration of said "g" dropping side effects:

More good news: Lead singer Patrick McNally recently submitted to a question-and-answer session with Quixotronic about his band’s new album, Bust Out!, and the seductive power of their cool and sharp take on R&B and garage rock-n-roll.

Under what terms did the Fox Sisters unite? Who are the current Sisters? Have you ever arrived at a gig and found people surprised that you are not women (and/or that none of you have the last name Fox)? The Fox Sisters arose, a fully-formed band, from the foaming waters of Lake Ontario, floating to shore on a giant zebra mussel shell.

The Fox Sisters are:

Patrick McNally – Vocals

Jimmy Filingeri – Bass

Phil Marshall – Guitar

Mark Bradley – Saxophone

Brian Shafer – Drums

Josef Bushen - Keyboards

People are always surprised that we are not women. They find it hard to believe that we are not women even after they see us in person and spend time getting to know us. Some are also surprised that we are not members of the actual Fox family. We are, however, well-known frauds in our own right, which seems to be enough of a similarity to satisfy most.

How would describe the “typical” amount of sweat involved in a Fox Sisters show? If there are not six pools of sweat on the stage by the end of a Fox Sisters show, we feel that we have not earned our money and we return our guarantee. Audience members sweat at their own discretion.

You have released several fantastic 45s on your own Dive Records since your last full-length, 2015’s Under the Stars. How did you decide it was time to record another LP? What was the recording process like for Bust Out!? We wrote a large number of songs in a short period of time and they all hung together pretty well. It seemed natural to release them all together as a single album.

Recording of Bust Out! took place in the basement studio of our friend/producer The Squire. We recorded it mostly live, in a few takes. We did it this way because we were hoping to capture some of the energy of a live show. We bumped our heads a lot, due to low ceilings and hanging utilities.

You guys write such fun, short, energetic songs. What is the band’s songwriting process like? How long is too long for a song? Jimmy or I bring a bare-bones song idea to rehearsal, and the rest of the band help to fill it out and finish it up. The process doesn’t often take very long. If a song doesn’t pan out relatively quickly, it’s usually a clunker. Our songs are usually three minutes or less. We don’t like a song to wear out its welcome. Stick and move!

Your video for “The Song I Sing,” the first single off of Bust Out, is a total blast. I see it was filmed in a bar in Rochester and directed by Austin Lake, who is a member of Rochester’s Televisionaries (with whom the Fox Sisters did a split-single in 2015). What else should we know about Rochester? Rochester has a very active rock-n-roll scene. We have lots of friends in lots of great bands here. It’s pretty easy to get a show together or to find somebody creative to help you out with a project. Austin does a lot of film work and we’re really pleased with the way the video came out. Besides drumming for the Televisionaries and making movies, Austin has his own band called Aweful Kanawful that are great! (Check out Aweful Kanawful's new album Much Much Nice) We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed the video!

Finally, I love the quote (and you must, too) on your website touting your last album: “It’s as if The Kingsmen put out a new album but got ten times better!” I don't really have a question, but does that rule out you guys from using fake audience noise on any future recordings? We refuse to rule anything out! All options open, and all guns blazing at all times, is our motto.

Bust Out! comes out Friday, June 5, on Bandcamp, coinciding with the website’s fee-waving promotion to support artists during COVID-19, Also, be sure to check out bassist Jimmy Filingeri’s fabulous podcast, the Hey Sah-Lo-Ney Radio Program.

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