This holiday season, discover the joy of music with Nippertown’s Sly Fox, who sits down with Super 400’s Lori Friday before the band’s December 17 show at Saratoga’s Putnam Place.
Sly Fox: What first got you into music?
Lori Friday: My dad was a real big fan of ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll: Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard–type stuff, and that’s the music I grew up with. I loved the sound of that left hand style of bass on the piano. When I hear it even now, it gets my heart pumping! One of my earliest memories is being 4 years old on the couch with my grandma’s Afghan blanket and stuffed animals, listening to this music on my dad’s big headphones with the coiled cord. I really just fell in love with the music.
S: What was your first concert?
L: My dad took me to see Hall & Oats at the Glens Falls Civic Center when I was 9 years old. I had never been to a space with thousands of people I didn’t know. Back then there wasn’t as much access to bands as there is now—maybe a little on MTV—so to actually see the band moving in 3 dimensions was thrilling. After that show I knew I wanted to do music. I started a notebook of answers I would give to interviewers and mapped out the other instruments I wanted to be in a band
S: What is your creative process like?
L: These days inspiration comes to me in quiet times alone, such as driving and just before I fall asleep. Then I have to decide if it’s something so good I need to get up and start working on it, or at least hum it into the cell phone! As a band, we always do the music before the lyrics and often we will use a process where I write a verse in the notebook then give it to Joe [Daley], and he will take it for an hour and then come back and give it to Kenny [Hohman] to write one. And then we just continue passing it around in that circle. Everything we do is a total group effort.
S: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten from a musician?
L: The night before we went on our first tour as a band overseas in ’97, we were very young and with our dear friend (and 518 musician!) Joe Mele. He said, “It’s going to be exciting over there and will go by fast, so make sure to take some time to go off by yourself and just be there when you’re there.” I took his advice, and it was a beautiful and wonderful experience.
S: What’s next for you and the band?
L: This is the time of year we love to go inward and spend time in our studio playing. We plan to clean our slate of songs that have been laying around so we can open up the next chapter!
Sly Fox has been part of the 518 music scene for more than 20 years. He is the vocalist/guitarist for his band Sly Fox and the Hustlers, and the general manager of the music venue Putnam Place in downtown Saratoga.