By HAZEL REID
New Zealand music duo Foley are back with fresh tunes for you to pump out all day and while I would usually catchup with artists over a coffee in a cafe, this lockdown has forced us all into the world of video calls so I sat down (online) with Ash and Gabriel (Gabe) to chat about their new EP On My Conscience, putting touring plans on hold (for now!) and the journey to becoming Foley.
First we addressed the elephant in the room – how the lockdown was going and how we were going a little stir crazy already, with Ash mentioning she was starting to get sick of the walls of her home. They had just released their EP On My Conscience days before the lockdown but at least everyone has more time to consume it… on repeat! The five-track EP includes their first single Can’t Help The Way, radio hit and summer jam Cola and pop ballad Homesick.
Talking their new release, Ash said “the reason we called it On My Conscience is that the whole EP is Gabe and I over-analysing/overthinking – our minds are pretty similar. All the shit we chat together has ended up in these songs.” Gabe added “The oldest song is Can’t Help The Way – it came out in June last year so we were working on that song this time last year so it’s taken us a bit of time but we made sure we had the right songs for it – the EP was the first step.”
I hadn’t spoken to Foley previously so I wanted to head back to the start – how did Foley start and how did the name come about? Turns out they’ve been friends for a while now and met while they were in seperate bands but rehearsing in the same spot and became pals so when those bands disbanded, the journey to becoming Foley began. “We were both principal songwriters and had a chat about writing songs together – they were great in our mind so we took it to a producer who didn’t like them so went back to the start and it was the kick we needed,” Gabe tells.
Self-confessed music lovers, it’s apt that they ended up landing on Foley as the name of their duo (after doing a show under a different name and a name brainstorm while on a trip in Vietnam of course) as ‘it’s a sonic word’ and they see making music as creating sound effects for their lives.
They look to the likes of Prince and Fleetwood Mac as some of their influences with Gabe mentioning if there was one song he wish he’d written it would be I Wanna Be Your Lover by Prince and Ash’s would be You Seemed So Happy by The Japanese House and Yesterday by The Beatles as they are ‘so simple in a beautiful way, it’s hard to write like that.’
Photo by Peter Furlong
When getting into the creative process, they draw on a lot of different areas – including music they’re listening to as they’re always ‘trying to consume more and more music and engage with more genres’. Ash tells “The songwriting process is great for us as we’re friends anyway and start from an open place. We write the song acoustically as we want it to stand by itself without the production. We bounce ideas off each other and will start producing it in regards to the soundscape.” Gabe agrees they are massive music fans and they “always work collaboratively – 50/50 as much as possible with lyrics, instrumentation and production.”
Foley has had a whirlwind summer with a set on the main stage of Rhythm and Vines to start the new year off with a bang, touring with Six60 and finishing the season just before COVID-19 restrictions hit with a special show at Black Barn supporting Drax Project. Ash mentioned the Black Barn show ‘was a special one as people really connected’ and they have enjoyed playing Homesick for the last few shows as ‘it is emotional and people have latched onto it.’
While current circumstances has put a halt on live performances and touring for now, it’s definitely in the future plans for Ash and Gabe (who wanted to tour this EP) and Ash shares “the goal of performing live is creating something that people can be apart of.” They also are unable to pinpoint just one favourite song as it changes depending on ‘the energy of the crowd’. Gabe noted they play live with a band which gives it a different energy ‘that’s not on the recording’.
Speaking of performing live, Ash noted that she is ‘such a big festival girl’ so it would be a dream to play in an artistic environment like Sziget Festival in Hungary with its production value and the whole energy there while Gabe has a goal of performing live to over 20,000 people. Foley came near this while performing with Six60 over the summer. He also mentioned loving Muse’s set at Wembley in 2007, “the production was insane – that would be incredible to run around on 200 metres of stage with massive props.”
They’ve only just released this EP but it will be music to the ears of Foley fans to hear that they’ve got ‘heaps of songs’ in the works with plans for new singles and maybe even another EP out before the year is over. Ash says “music is one of those things that keeps chugging along – as much as live is heavily affected [right now] – we haven’t done covers or acoustic songs or direct Q&As with fans so [we are] trying to be more creative and connecting in a new way.” Taking a positive by mentioning “it’s cool to have time to prioritise that sort of stuff.” Gabe agreed by adding, “we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks and go from there.”
Foley’s EP On My Conscience featuring the hit single Cola is out now – available online and on streaming platforms. You can also keep up with them on the ‘gram @wearefoley.
Whos’ Hazel? From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, Hazel is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.