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While they were working on their 2022 album Who Are You Now, Who Were You Then, Nashville power trio the Foxies would often emerge from their recording sessions at Quad Studios to find a strange cast of musicians occupying the building’s other rooms. Nothing could’ve prepared them for the late-’90s juggernaut awaiting them on one occasion.

“One day it was Scott Stapp and I straight up crumbled,” lead singer Julia Lauren Bullock recalls. “The butt-rock in me is vibing right now.”

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Nashville musicians of all stripes often wind up in rooms with unlikely companions, but — Stapp fandom notwithstanding — the Foxies are decidedly not a Creed-esque nü-metal revival act. The band’s lineup of Bullock, guitarist Jake Ohlbaum, and drummer Rob Bodley, which coalesced in 2017, has become one of Nashville’s premier alt-rock exports thanks to commanding live shows and a series of releases that mix punk attitude with pop precision. It’s music that connects the dots from Miley Cyrus and Charli XCX to Blondie and David Bowie. 

“I grew up with Bowie, the Sex Pistols, INXS, all these different bands,” Bullock says. “Put that in a pot, simmer it down, you’ve got what we’re doing.” Fittingly, they’ve toured the world supporting new wave and punk hero Billy Idol. 

The Foxies
The Foxies in Nashville (Credit: Alex Justice)

The band has only one full-length as of now, but they’re a prolific singles outfit. Offerings include the shimmering indie pop of “Deep Sea Diver,” the sleazy disco of “Anti Socialite,” and the aggressive rock of “French Boy” — from the Growing Up Is Dead EP — that combine electronics and guitar crunch with Bullock’s expressive wail. They pay homage to a present-day matinee idol in the spunky, sweet “Timothee Chalamet.” Onstage, they round out their ranks with bassist Chris Amond and have the backing tracks support their chemistry as a live band.

It’s a good time to be a performer who loves guitars and hooks, considering the excitement around fellow Nashvillian Soccer Mommy, the three songwriters of Boygenius, and of course, pop supernova Olivia Rodrigo. “When I listened to [Rodrigo’s new] album, I was like, ‘This is bulletproof,’” Ohlbaum says. “It was genius. Her songs are great,” Bullock agrees. “We write shit like that so it’s like, ‘Hey girl, bring us on tour!’”

In 2024, the Foxies are preparing to release more new music. “Natural Disaster” makes being young and messy feel like a sacred rite, while “Call Me Later” offers a pledge to a friend: I’ll be here when you need me. “It’s like our love song to people who listen to our music,” Bullock says. A third song, “Talk to Me That Way,” begins soft and strummy like Muna’s “Silk Chiffon,” but then cranks up to an arena-worthy chorus in which Bullock sweetly tells a guy trying to pick her up, “Listen when I say, there ain’t no fuckin’ way.” 

“It’s about dating in your late 20s and feeling so exhausted by hearing the same thing,” Bullock says. “People don’t want to commit, people just want to fuck. I’m tired of that shit.” 

For now, the Foxies are still recording and releasing their music independently, but they’re open to partnering with a label if the arrangement makes sense and will help them achieve some ambitious — one might even say Creed-level — goals.

The Foxies
The Foxies (Credit: Alex Justice)

“We want to be as big as Queen. We want to take over the world,” Bullock says. “That’s such a big thing, but if we become just a cult classic too, that’s awesome.”

“I don’t really want anybody else’s career,” Ohlbaum offers. “We’ve never felt like, ‘Okay, it’s time to do something completely different.’ We’re like, ‘What’s the next step for this thing that already exists?’”

“It’s more like, ‘How do we figure out TikTok?’” Bullock concludes. “That is enough to make anybody go, ‘What the what?’”

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