Merchants of Seven rockin’ out at a house show in Blacksburg, Virginia. Above from left to right: Kevin Ponceloranca (21) on drums, Ian Patrick (21) on guitar/vocals, Luke Minnich (22) on bass guitar, and Wesley Fox (20) on guitar/lead vocals/keyboard.
Chattin’ it Up With the Fantastic Mr. Fox
I recently got a chance to sit down with frontman, Wesley Fox, of Acoustic Alternative Reggae Rock band, Merchants of Seven. Read on to get an inside look at their music, their upcoming debut album, and – most importantly – their thoughts on Rebecca Black.
LBB: So, how did the band form?
FOX: Me and Ian lived on the same hallway in the dorms at VT my Freshman year. We heard each other practicing and started jamming together and it all just kind of built from there. One of Ian’s roommates, Kevin, just happened to be a fantastic drummer. [laughs] And we found Luke on Craigslist. Best craigslist find anyone could possibly make.
*Fun Fact: Kevin was hesitant to record the album with us because he hadn’t played drums in a few months and said he was rusty….rusty my ass! Wait til you hear the drum part.
LLB: Who are some of your favorite bands?
FOX: My all time favorite is Led Zeppelin. Sublime and Jack Johnson are also up there. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, Simon & Garfunkel, and Fleet Foxes.
LLB: Tell me about your new album.
FOX: It’s going to be awesome! We’re hoping for 11 songs that are all originals. The songs range from soft acoustic reggae rock to almost ambient light metal. There’s even one song that has a slight bluegrass feel.
LLB: Does it have a theme or underlying tone?
FOX: I would have to say “change.” Some of the songs on the album I wrote in high school, and some I just finished writing in the past couple months. It’s about growing up, finding yourself, and transitioning from one stage of life to the next…ending relationships and fighting through the storm that comes along with that, as well as starting new ones and realizing how it was all for the better.
LLB: When does it come out? Where can we get it?
FOX: The release date is still TBA. We’re hoping for sometime in the next month but we’ll see. Check our Facebook page for updates. You’ll be able to download it from our bandcamp page, from the itunes store, or if you know any of us we can get you a hard copy. Oh, and did I mention we’ll be giving the whole album out for free?
LLB: What is your favorite song to play?
FOX: My favorite song to play is “No One Else”. It has quick guitar riffs that are so much fun to play and a really solid, feel good vibe. All of my songs are based on personal experiences, but this one in particular has a great background story. In my freshman year I entered a contest on Campus Live (which you should definitely check out if you’re in school) and I won a trip to Key West, FL. I brought this girl I had been talking to and a couple of friends. “No One Else” is about how great that week was and how I completely and wholeheartedly fell for the girl. And just so you know, this story does have a happy ending.
LLB: Where do you guys normally play?
FOX: Anywhere we can. So far, we’ve only played in and around Blacksburg, but we want to play shows more often and in more places. We’re hoping this album will really allow us to promote ourselves to make this possible.
LLB: What has been your favorite show that you’ve played?
FOX: I would have to say our first headliner at Shesha’s in Radford. Or the show we had at my apartment. I think we played the best we have ever played that night.
LLB: Okay now for some current events slash embarrassing question quick-fire questions…Who’s the ladies man?
FOX: I’d have to go with Ian.
LLB: What’s the last concert you attended?
FOX: Sigur Rós. Jónsi was absolutely amazing.
LLB: What song would you want played at your funeral?
FOX: That’s a tough one. Dust in the wind? [laughs] I don’t know.
LLB: What was the first CD you owned? First cassette?
FOX: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my first cassette was Backstreet Boys, Larger than Life. My first CD was Alien Ant Farm.
LLB: Any other artists you used to like that you’d be embarrassed to admit now?
FOX: Probably Dashboard Confessional.
LLB: I’m guilty, too. Who do you think is the most undeserving artist out there right now?
FOX: Rebecca Black.
LLB: What is the catchiest song on the radio?
FOX: Call Me Maybe. I hate it but it gets stuck in my head alllllll day long.
LLB: What are your thoughts on dubstep?
FOX: It sounds like a light saber battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
And with that, I’ll leave you guys to dig up your old Alient Ant Farm and Dashboard CDs. Make sure to “like” Merchants of Seven on Facebook and check them out on Bandcamp for updates on their new album!