A Q&A With Sunflower Fox and the Chicken Leg


Unholy mix of 1970’s rock, carpeted vans and Hamms beer…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
‘Shadow Girl’ is our latest release. This one is special because it was the first one that I wrote lyrics to, the first one that the band ever worked on, and the first one that we recorded. It was written in 2020 and then recorded at Pachyderm Studios here in Minnesota in 2021. The song and lyrics have taken on several meanings since then, I guess it’s up to the audience to decide what it means to them right now.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The band actually started as a writing project with two other members. We had no idea how long the pandemic was going to last and frankly, this was the only time any of us had to just sit down and write and record. Those other two members got real busy, real fast and had to step away. But the acoustic playing on that song was stellar so we wanted to keep it-and that guitar player had the hard drive we needed in a box somewhere after he moved! There was a bunch of phone tag and such but we finally got what we needed. On top of that because of the pandemic, we were all desperate to play out and needed money so mixing and such kept getting pushed off. THEN we added our ‘new’ lead guitar Mike Schmidt who needed to redo electric leads and do a solo-so honestly this one took quite a while to get done! But the end product is great. We all love it.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
So a couple of people had their hand in this. Our original producer was Matt Kirkwold (who played acoustic on this song), who helped show us the way on how to really find a true north for a song. Add little ear candy here and there (a fun little bass solo for Holets etc), edit my crazy vocal breakdown so it wasn’t 27 tracks, all the things. Then once we partnered up with Ron Nevison, he started putting in stuff we never thought of like the wind at the beginning (that’s actually wind outside Ron’s front door!). And of course, everyone was thrilled about the backwards-talking Latin buried in the mix.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
In general, our stuff is fairly raw in comparison to what is out there. Of course, it’s mixed, mastered and has effects. Because otherwise, it would never stand up to what’s out there today. BUT, when we go in to record we are rehearsed and we play all together. We only overdub if absolutely necessary. We will just do it over and over until we get it. Because in the 70’s they didn’t have the option. Tape and editing was extremely expensive-and talent was elusive. We want to behave as though we were there.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
It normally starts with either myself with lyrics/melody line and/or basic chords OR one of the guitar players and a riff or chord structure. But anyone can come to the table with an idea. We write for the band…not our egos. Then after the basic structure is in place, we take it to the other members who flesh it out, add new sections, change it up, or whatever needs to be done. We will then record a scratch demo and start practising it. It will then morph until it’s ready to record. EVEN THEN up until we lay down the final tracks it will be rewritten a million times over. The best idea always wins.  Whether it’s from the engineer, the dude getting coffee, or Holets the bass player.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
It’s now starting to depend on the album! But in general, it’s Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, 38 Special, HeadEast, Allman Brothers, Thin Lizzy…so many things. The whole band is just a love letter to the 70’s. Again it’s all about the raw talent. You can hear the little mess ups or the shoes in a dryer drum fills but the rest of the take is gold. You can hear the soul. That’s what we love. It’s so real.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
We are really focused on Ireland and the UK right now. We have a ton of great responses over there and we would LOVE to meet all the people that are connecting with our music. But honestly, we’ll go anywhere that will have us! We love to travel, we all do so much of that with our corporate cover bands (that frankly fund this project) that we’re used to it!


If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
That’s gonna be a toss-up between ‘Naughty Little Girl’ and ‘Breathe It In’. ‘Naughty’ is riffy, dirty and heavy like more of the straight-ahead rock bands of the 70’s.  Whereas ‘Breathe’ definitely has more of that Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Led Zeppelin feel to it. More instrumental sections, big vocals, even bigger guitar solos…you get the picture.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We would love to tour this band for sure. Partner up with bands like ourselves or one of our influences. I think that would be fantastic. More than that, the mission of the band has always been to bring these iconic studios and the magic of live studio recording back to the forefront of musicians’ minds. Don’t let these amazing places die with the availability of technology. It’s just too cool of an experience to have disappeared into the ether of time.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
If you want to support us or ANY original band, please like/follow/interact as much as you can. This is literally the easiest and best way we and other bands are discovered! Go out and support live music, buy merch, and don’t let rock and roll die!

For all Sunflower Fox and the Chicken Leg info, go to: linktr.ee/sunflowerfoxandthechickenleg


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