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| If you were in Memphis during the 90's or just keeping up with the local music scene, then you probably have heard of this guy, without maybe realizing who he is. Tod Fox played lead guitar in a band out of Memphis called "Sabrah" and their music (and his massive guitar playing) was heard on the local airwaves in heavy rotation. Sabrah was a very popular draw on the club scene circuit as a headliner as well as opening for some national bands on their way through. The band received interest from a major label and was on the verge of getting signed. But as luck would have it, the timing was all wrong. The band members were going through some problems in their personal lives that literally ended all chances of getting signed. Tod and the other members of Sabrah had no choice but to watch as the record deal went up in smoke.. After that, Sabrah broke up and the members went their separate ways..Sadly, Tod put down his guitar and walked away from music...
Luckily for all of us,Time has a way of healing all wounds and after some time had passed, Tod forgave himself for a past chapter that could not be re-written and began playing guitar, writing new tunes, and pouring all those bottled up emotions back into his music again.. Check him and his gear out at www.unclefezter.com Tod and I spoke recently about his musical past and future, as well as a lot of other cool stuff, and he was more than happy to share his thoughts about all of it with his own unique brand of humor..
|Holly~ Where did the name Uncle Fezter come from?
Tod~ It actually started as a family joke! I bought a house with my sister Michelle & her husband Randy (and my nephews Chris & Cory). Their family name is Adams, so naturally, being a wise-ass, I was always teasing them about being "The Addams Family". Every time someone would walk into the room I’d start in on the theme music from the tv show. You know…"duh duh duh duh….snap snap"! Drove them insane! Which always makes it more fun! One day while me and the bro-in-law where guzzling beer with some friends it hit me! I said, "Damn, if y’all are the Addams family and I’m the weird uncle who lives upstairs, that makes me Uncle Fester!" I changed the s to a z like Fez from That ‘70s Show (my fav-o-rite show, also my cat is named Fez) and….there ya go! I’m Uncle Fezter! Who woulda thunk it? Ha Ha!
Holly~ Where are you from?
Tod~ I was born in Homestead, FL. Grew up in Memphis and moved to the country north of Memphis last year! It’s totally great out here! You can drink beer, play LOUD, drink beer, shoot guns and drink beer!! And don’t forget the beer.
Holly~ Who are the other members of Uncle Fezter? Or explain your solo efforts and use of computer...
Tod~ I am Uncle Fezter all by my lonesome for now. I’m currently looking for a vocalist in the Memphis area. I can do everything but sing!! Help!! LOL!!! Seriously though, I have only 3 songs completed at the moment because my writing takes for-fucking-ever! I am soooo slow. It's almost like taking a month to squeeze out a damn kidney stone! Slow & painful. By the time I finish a song...I need a serious brain-break! I’m almost always writing, but at least 70% of what I come up with I never use. It just isn't what I want to hear. If it doesn't do anything for me, I don't bother doing anything with it. And since I have to do all the playing, recording, engineering, producing etc etc etc…..it takes a LOT longer, I'm not spending a lot of time with something that doesn't float my boat, ya know? Maybe I'll regain some of my former speed with time...I just started playing again a few months ago. Literally. Anyone can do the home studio thing, though, if you have a couple of bucks and the patience. For really studio-quality drum sounds you would need at least 16 tracks and a lot of expensive microphones and compressors and all that. What I do to get around that is I play the drums on my computer! I use a drum machine program called "Hammerhead" to program the beats. Sometimes as much as 8 bars at a time, sometimes as little as a single beat. I do not use loops, they sound fake. Once you’ve programmed and saved everything on "Hammerhead", you export them as a ".wav" file. Then I use another program called "Mixmeister" to string all the parts together. Once it sounds the way it did in my head, I export that as a separate ".wav" file. Then, I just let it play from my computer to my Tascam 4-track and I have drums that sound like they were recorded at a very expensive studio, and all it cost me was about three hours time! Patience is the key!!! When the drums are on the tape, I plug my Warlock into the Behringer V-Amp2 to record the guitars. That thing is amazing! Like with the drums, you plug it straight in to the 4-track and don’t need any expensive mics. It can sound like 32 different amps, 16 speakers cabs and has all the effects I need! It rocks in a BIG way! When the rhythm guitars are down, I plug my bass directly into the 4-trck and lay that down. Then lay down the solos. When its complete and I get the mix I want, I run it through BBE Sonic Maximizer and back into the computer. The BBE is great, too! It gets rid of the muddy sound you can get with tape and makes it sound like I recorded at Ardent or someplace like that. Save it on the computer and burn it onto cd….and you beeees rockin’!!!!!
Holly~ Where does UF play mostly?
Tod~ Uncle Fezter’s Attic! That’s what I call my little home-studio!!
Holly~ What has been your favorite show and why?
Tod~ My favorite show is That ‘70s Show..Oh, you mean a SHOW! I used to play with a band in Memphis, we had a few originals make it on the daily rotation of a local station and they contacted us to open for Blue Oyster Cult at an outdoor gig. When they (BOC) arrived I went to introduce myself to the lead guitarist (I don’t even remember his name now….does anyone? LOL!!) and he completely just blew me off!! I wasn’t even there to him!!! Dickhead! In front of God and everyone I called him (REALLY LOUDLY) a "scumbag loser piece-of-shit has-been" and challenged him to step onstage in front of his "fans" and cut some heads with me!! He had some rather large Neanderthal types remove me from the vicinity! LOL!! Now THAT is rock n roll baby!!!!!
Holly~ Who does the majority of writing?
Tod~ Like it says on my web page: written, performed, produced, engineered and recorded by Tod Fox.
Holly~ What type of gear do you guys use?
Tod~ My guitars are a Charvel (by Jackson) that my grandmother bought me in the mid-eighties, and a B.C. Rich Warlock. And I have a Rogue bass. As for all the rest…..check out my web site! Uncle Fezter's Attic! It’s all listed with photos and everything!!
Holly~ Tell me about your early influences..more recent influences?
Tod~ The very first album I ever owned was a Partridge Family album!! LOL! Can you believe that shit? After that I got into Elton John and then Kiss. I was one of those super-nerdy Kiss freak teenagers, too!! My bedroom was wall-to-wall Kiss! I wore make up to the concerts and all that shit! LOL! I still love those guys. I play because of those guys! I remember my first concert was Kiss…when they came out with the explosions and people screaming and raising hell and staring at them like they were gods……I thought to myself "dude, you gotta get a guitar RIGHT NOW!!" I still dig them, but these days I’m mostly into older Aerosmith, Metallica, Korn, Manson.....shit like that. Mostly heavy shit. I like the energy and power of it.
Holly~ Tell me about your music..
Tod~ That’s tough. The easy answer is heavy metal. Mostly, I play what I want to hear. I got my philosophy about making music from an old Ted Nugent interview. I don’t remember the quote verbatim, but was along the lines of " I play what I want to hear. Anyone who doesn’t like it doesn’t have to listen. Fuck off. Anyone who does, Great! Welcome aboard!" That pretty much covers my attitude about music in general.
Tod~ Thank you, Holly!! You are welcome in Uncle Fezter's Attic anytime! We'll put on an old Kiss album and fire up the lava lamp!! I think I have a disco ball around here somewhere, too! LOL!! Just don't forget the beer:)