Houston’s Rome Hero Foxes named their sophomore LP 18 Summers, but it more accurately describes the band’s beginnings. Shortly after graduating high school in 2016, the quintet was discovered by Dance Gavin Dance’s Kurt Travis and released For When You’re Falling Backwards. As far as debuts go, its expanse melded the urgency of post-hardcore with an inward gaze offsetting any chaos. That introspection, bent over swirling guitars and mesmerizing vocal lines, led to reinvention. Instead of baring their teeth through arrangements that spiraled and warped, the band took a self-imposed journey into simpler territory. A pair of twin EPs, I/O and Horoscope, reset Rome Hero Foxes as a group indebted to surf rock and indie pop instead of gnarlier waves, with the latter predicting their shimmering follow-up. 18 Summers enters like a dream abrupt and disorienting before adjusting to this new state with enthusiasm. This eternal sunshine captures a world where time is relative: sit back, relax, and dive in. Because here, love reigns supreme.
MiLLENNiAL sat down with the upcoming band to discuss the new project.
Tell us about 18 Summers.
18 Summers stands as an “everything so far” kind of story, capturing many parts of our life in this band perfectly from songs I wrote either 4-5 years ago or more recently. Put together, it all ties into a nostalgic timeline of our lives feeling inflated by time and the hardship’s we’ve gone through as both a unit and individually. It’s a look into a life where the time between each summer feels like years, each one bringing about drastic change and the harsher realities of growing up and moving on only to trip on the same mistakes.
How is this debut different from your first album “For When You’re Falling Backwards”?
Remarkably different, yet familiar. Although we completely switched gears in direction, there’s still a lot of our old sound at the foundation. Putting out the first two releases after FWYFB had given people the notion that we were going into softer territory when we were really just putting out songs that were in the same pool as everything we were working on but not good enough to float with the bigger material we had lined up. 18 Summers will definitely sound different to our listeners, but to us it sounds like something we should’ve been doing in the first place. It’s more comfortable and natural for us to write and perform.
What was your favorite part of working on 18 Summers?
I think my favorite part was the way it all happened, it was really just a bunch of broken pieces of thought and chance that made the whole thing fall into place. I like to think we needed that bit of chaos we endured during the process to truly strip down our sound, reflect, and start over as a band because now we’re better than ever and still growing. Another thing to note is this is the first time we were all able to be together recording it at the same time. On the last record, everyone kinda flew into Portland at their own time, tracked their parts, and headed back home or to school. This time we were all in the same room bringing this record to life as a full band and it was an unforgettable experience; pure bliss.
Describe your sound to those who haven’t heard your music.
I’d say we’re rather eclectic in our sound. Even when we were set on being a post hardcore band, we were always writing songs that were always kind of all over the place which I feel is our style we’ve adopted by now. Everyone in the band has always had very distinct taste in music individually and I really think that’s also makes us sound like more than just one thing either all in one song or on different parts of the record. Currently speaking, I’d compare our newer material on ‘18 Summers’ to bands like Wavves, Bad Suns, and Hellogoodbye. There’s so many more I’d love to mention but each song is just so it’s own thing from it’s own influence.
Who influences your work?
At least speaking for Andrew and I, Radiohead is a extremely present force in our inspiration for the path we want this band to go on. I find a lot of similarities between their story and ours, being they started as something already on the market, ditching it after 2 albums, and going on to constantly reinvent themselves and the world around them with their music with every record. For us that’s definitely the end goal in this to keep outdoing ourselves each release. When it comes down to personal influences for this record, we all kinda did our own research. I was already more into these up and coming bands at the time like Beach House, Mac Demarco, Oso Oso and more as well as older classics like The Cardigans, The Beach Boys, and The Strokes. But of course, it’s ever-changing, I’m always looking for more inspiration and the guys do a great job of always bringing in their taste into the mix as well.
What is next for Rome Hero Foxes?
It’s always hard to say, because so far it’s only been our decision but I’d like to believe we’re at a good turning point in this band. We have been stern on doing this new album strictly independent. This wasn’t just another follow up to what we did, this was a reinvention of ourselves and we were completely focused on building the right team. Our manager Sofi Padilla took us on back last summer and she’s really been the unsung hero of this whole project as well as our publicist team, Dayna Ghiraldi and Becky Kovach at Big Picture Media. We’re currently in between booking agents and we’re looking for the right people to join this passionate team head on. Other than that it’s finishing our team, hittin’ the road, and seeing where we land in the great blue sea of music.