Connor Shambrook, Luke Schoepf and Alex Guder had all been friends since the fourth grade before they became the Inland Empire rock band known as Foley. They first played for a church event, followed by a high school graduation show. The guys decided they enjoyed jamming together and started rehearsing on a regular basis.
For two years they spent long hours practicing and writing music, perfecting their act until they were ready for live shows. How do they describe their sound? “We dabble in a lot of different styles. We don’t restrict ourselves to one thing.” Shambrook says. “I guess you could say we’re alternative, but we also play pop and classic rock songs.”
Foley may be your typical rock lineup (plus a keyboard) but its music has a genuinely beautiful quality that’s reinforced by Shambrook’s almost angelic vocals. Rather than crash or grind, the guys harmonize and rhapsodize, with a style similar to Keane or even The Moody Blues.
“We’ve even been playing country westerns songs lately, just to try something new out.” Schoepf says. Well, Led Zeppelin got a little country with its music, too.
The band cites other groups that have influenced its style and development. “We really love John Mayer and The Beatles,” Schoepf says. “What makes artists who they are is that they listen to other bands, take pieces of what they like, and then they add their own flavor to make something new.”
“Mutemath is one band we are big fans of,” Shambrook adds. When asked what piece they’ve taken from a band like Mutemath, he says, “We saw them play live several times, and we try to have the same energy as they do, where it just seems like they are having fun . . . If we’re just up there playing and having a good time, we feel that our fans are as well.”
Foley’s latest EP, tentatively called Tonight, will be produced by Spender Riley and features a friend of theirs, Paul Boyle, on drums. “We actually lost our drummer right when we started recording, but that’s OK,” Connor says. “We are naming the EP Tonight because that’s the name of a song of ours that we love to play.”
When I ask how the band makes use of the Internet to market its music, Schoepf explains how they are on top of it. “We’re releasing our single next Wednesday night on Facebook and MySpace. It’s a pop rock song called ‘The Key.’”
I ask Schoepf how a group might still stay connected to the people who want their music. “One way is just to answer questions on Facebook that fans ask. We want to set up a forum on our website where we can just talk to people and get to know them.” Shabrook adds, “Most famous bands don’t really talk to their fans, unless it’s at a concert.”
Shambrook warns that Foley is still evolving. “We don’t want to feel constrained to do just what our fans want. I think we will always be trying to move forward, so don’t get too into our newest stuff because it’s always going to be changing.”