Foxy Shazam are (from left to right): Guitarist Loren Turner, drummer Aaron McVeigh, keyboardist Sky White, singer Eric Sean Nally, horn player Alex Nauth, and bassist Daisy
Latest project: Their major-label debut album (and third overall), and a two-month headlining tour
Sounds like: Theatrical, ‘70s-inspired pop-rock for the post-emo generation
Biggest claim to fame: Their latest single, “Unstoppable,” was featured during the Super Bowl
Official Web site: http://www.myspace.com/foxyshazam
Eric Sean Nally is not one to mince words. “I want my friends to think I’m awesome!” the singer wails on “Wanna Be Angel,” a typically over-the-top punk-meets-Queen anthem from his band, Foxy Shazam. Together since 2004, the Cincinnati-based six-piece is ready to achieve a whole new level of awesome this year, with the release of their first album for Sire Records (home to Regina Spektor and Jack’s Mannequin) and a single that’s already soundtracked the Super Bowl. We caught up with Foxy’s theatrical frontman to get better acquainted.
Be honest: Did you have a big Freddie Mercury poster in your bedroom as a kid? Or possibly Meat Loaf?
Although I am flattered that you would make that comparison, Freddie Mercury has never been that much of a direct influence on me. My friend Justin and I recently wrote two songs for Meat Loaf's new record, so I guess he is a part of my music in a way. But what I will say is those are both very theatrical artists…we probably share a common inspiration from theater, movies, and musicals.
Where did you play your first gig? And how’d it go?
Nashville, Tenn. It was the first time I was arrested for indecent exposure.
When you’re in town, where’s your favorite place to go for post-show/late-night food and libations?
I have been waiting for someone to ask me this question for years! There is a restaurant down the street from my house so I go there all the time—it’s the best pizza in the city. It's called Padrino Italian. Come eat some pizza with me.
You decided to make the leap from an indie label to a major for your latest album. What sealed that deal?
4.6 million dollars, and the role of "MR.Mann," the villain in the new 007 film. Tentative release 2013. [Editor’s note: Foxy Shazam’s publicist assures us that Nally is just kidding about this part. Maybe.]
Basketball seems to figure prominently in the Foxy Shazam iconography. What’s your best shot?
I want to be the Michael Jordan of rock ‘n’ roll. The basketball for some reason is a symbol of that for me.
"Unstoppable" was featured during the last Super Bowl broadcast. Are you a football fan? Who were you rooting for?
I like to support our local team the Cincinnati Bengals. I think Ochocinco is awesome! But in the Super Bowl I was rooting for the Saints because I love New Orleans and I think they deserve their victory.
If you could open for any band, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
Elton John. He is one of my favorite musicians. He has a song for every one of my moods. I love his flavor. It would be so nice for me to open up a show for him then go to the bar, grab a little drink…and kick back and watch him…and sing along to every word.
» More photos: Our pals in NYC shot Foxy Shazam at The Knitting Factory.