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With the release of their incredible debut EP earlier this year, if you aren’t already familiar; Foley are definitely a band you’ll want to get to know. Writing/ producing/ recording duo from New Zealand; the indie funk-pop band is made up of two best friends Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett. Their debut EP On My Consciencethat features their hit single Colais a 5 track record presenting an upbeat commentary of the doubts, stresses and challenges that face all millennials, that you can listen to hereEarlier this month, we had the chance to chat to the lovely duo and discuss their journey, music and latest releases! So go and check out Foley’s full discography herewhich will make the perfect edition to iso life; and keep on reading for the full interview with Foley down below!

TSU: For those who don’t know you already, how would you describe yourself and your musical style?

ASH: We’re a pop funk duo- Gabe and Ash! We are best mates- have been for a LONG time which definitely makes our music pretty conversational and open. We both overthink things a lot and are chatty kathys who talk it out, so that ends up being the music! 

We do everything together as 50/50 as possible, including the production, song writing, vocals, and instrumentation. 

TSU: Tell me a bit about your journey as an artist so far, and how you came together as a band.

GABE: Ash and I have been friends for so many years we’ve lost track. We were both the songwriters in separate bands in a high school band competition and both bands became a big friend group. After literally years of friendship, one day we just started writing together.

ASH: It seems ridiculous now that we didn’t do it sooner! 

TSU: What have been some of your best experiences so far as a band?

GABE: I’ve loved all of the shows and festivals we’ve played so far, but the best part has always been people reacting to our music and telling us what it means to them. We write to cope with things in our own lives and it’s a crazy feeling if it helps someone else too.

ASH: When someone reaches out to tell you that they’ve been through something similar and your song has helped them – I can’t even explain how connected and amazing that feels. We are all the same and music is just another way that we realise that. 

TSU: You released your debut single, Settleback in 2017. What made it stand out to you as a single?

GABE: Settle was the first track that sounded like the sound we had in our heads. We’d written a whole bunch of songs before it but that was the one that stood out and it became almost the blueprint for the Foley sound at the time.

“When I’m not around, when you find yourself feeling blue
Can’t help but come back you”

Foley – Settle

ASH: Once we had that bassline really nailed, it just felt like the energy we had been trying to get across the whole time. We had been writing together for a year before we released anything because we were waiting for that one song that felt like it hit in the right way. Settle was it! Our sound has changed a lot since then, but I think its core has stayed the same. 

TSU: How would you say you’ve changed and developed musically, and as band, over the last three years since Settle was released?

ASH: Being able to play the songs live and see how fans react has really shaped the sound. You can never guess what’s going to actually connect to people, so the live shows have educated us around what our fans actually want to hear. We’ve also started working with a greater range and variety of people on production and song-writing which has completely smashed open the influences and inspirations we draw from. Collaboration is everything- but in New Zealand it’s a fairly new concept so we are a little behind the times! 

GABE: I think each release has been us experimenting with different things and figuring out what works. We’ve done fast super energetic pop, slow songs & more guitar-heavy stuff, which all contributes to how we sound and work over the years. We’ve both gotten a lot better at songwriting and we work together really quickly and succinctly on that now.

TSU: Are there any stories behind any of your tracks that are particularly unique, or that people wouldn’t expect?

ASH: I think we are pretty literal and honest in our songs so there not much left to the imagination… 

Sometimes the songs can start being about one thing, and then morphe through the songwriting process into something else. Can’t Help The Way was written overnight at a mates house, and by the time it was workshopped and released, our circumstances had changed so much that I’m not entirely sure who the song was about… woops! 

TSU: How would you say that New Zealand itself, and the music coming from other Kiwi artists such as Drax Project and Benee, have influenced your sound and direction as an artist; if at all?

GABE: NZ music is incredible and when you have people like Drax Project and Benee blowing up on the world stage it just makes us strive to do better! In literal terms we’ve written with a bunch of kiwi artists and producers who have worked with many of the successful acts so our sound is a culmination of all that.

TSU: Where do you find most of your creative inspiration comes from? 

ASH: Gabe and I are both such music lovers so we are constantly discovering new sounds that light our fire. I think its also important to live some life outside of music so that you have real experiences to write about. We aren’t the kind of people locking ourselves in the studio every day – we like to balance our social lives and work lives so that we are growing as people as well as musicians. 

GABE: It’s anything that we can both relate to – we’ll usually talk pretty honestly to each other and figure out what we’re going through and go from there.

TSU: When writing; are there any topics you find easier or harder to write about, or anything that is off limits?

GABE: The best part of songwriting is that there’s unlimited ways to do it and countless ways to say what we want to say. We won’t do something if one of us doesn’t want to do it, we’ll just come up with different ideas until we find one that’s better.

ASH: If we aren’t both on board, its off limits! But outside of that we only really write about things that are truly happening in our lives, so if it’s happening were probably chatting it through as mates regardless- may as well pop it in a song! 

TSU: With writing and performing being such a personal and creative outlet; how do you deal with putting yourself and your experiences out there when writing and releasing music?

ASH: It’s really difficult and personal to lay yourself bare like that- but I think having each other makes the whole thing less terrifying. At the end of the day the point is to connect with people and make them feel like they aren’t alone- the only way to do that is to be honest and authentic so it’s a risk were willing to take! 

TSU: In March, you released your debut EP, On My Conscience; a truly great project. Tell me a bit about the EP and the creative process. Was there a general creative concept it was centred around, or any particular point of inspiration?

ASH: It feels incredible to have this project finally in everyone’s ears! The EP is a collection of singles and songs that felt connected by their time in our lives. Essentially we wrote all these songs in a year (amongst others) and chose them because they felt like pivotal moments or stories. It’s almost an archive for us to look back on and ponder 

GABE: The title ‘On My Conscience’ is alluding to the way that we both overthink and overanalyse, and constantly decipher all the things that happen around us. That’s a common thread that pulls together all the songs.

TSU: Were there any tracks that didn’t make it onto this EP that we may get to hear in the future?

ASH: ASBOLUTELY – we have so many songs we don’t know what to do with them all ! But it’s awesome to get to choose from what we have as opposed to be trying frantically to write more songs. We are working on the next EP now so some of those songs may get a new life on EP 2? 

TSU: Where do you see yourself heading musically this year; and can we expect any more new music releases heading our way?

ASH: It’s so hard to know with the current musical climate whether or not we will be back to touring or releasing any time soon but we really hope so! At the end of the day nothing can stop us from writing the music so we may as well keep releasing it…. Keep a cheeky eye out. x 

Foley at Mystery Creek

An absolute pleasure to chat to Ash and Gabe; make sure to give their EP On My Conscience a listen, and keep up to date with them on social media @wearefoley for updates on new music to come!

Feature image photo cred @ Peter Danger Furlong

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