A Chat with Carter Fox (28.07.2020)

Carter Fox is a bassist and producer who you might know from the alternative-Motown outfit JUTAUN. He first captivated audiences with his solo work in 2018 and has been releasing tracks from his upcoming album Cartercraft. His single ‘Eclipse’ is the eighth and was released to celebrate a solar eclipse. We sat down with Carter Fox (CF) to talk about the single, his music and much more!

OSR: Was there a moment or person who inspired you to become a musician?

CF: Music has always been in my life in some fashion as my father was an avid listener of jazz and used to play the piano growing up, my mother and older brother both played sax. I always wanted to play something, and for a while, I thought it was going to be the cello. When I was 8, my class was watching a string instrument demonstration at my school and I was picked to play the big ol’ upright bass for a very interesting rendition of Popeye the Sailor Man. I just played the E string over and over but I was hooked, and I’ve been playing music ever since.

OSR: What instruments do you play and which ones would you still like to learn?

CF: I’m a bassist by training and profession, but also dabble with the drums, guitar, piano, and though I haven’t picked them up in a few years, I used to be quite the trombonist and low brass player (baritone and tuba). I would love to learn the sitar, the harp, and many of the Indian and African percussive instruments and drums (and drumming techniques). Really anything I can get my hands on and learn and play, I want to. There are many instruments that we don’t even mess with in most western music, but that’s changing thanks to experimental music from all over the world. Though I may ‘know’ some of these instruments, I want to get much more proficient on all of them.

OSR: What is your most useless talent?

CF: Meeting someone, doing my best to pay attention and still forgetting their name. Every. Time. I also have the ability to know exactly what to do after something is done, like coming up with a better talent for this answer after this is published!

OSR: Is there a backstory to your track ‘Eclipse’?

CF: ‘Eclipse’, like all the songs from this project, was originally inspired by many hours of playing the game Minecraft. While playing a round of survival, I was just staring at the sky in the game. I do that with lots of games, like Skyrim’s beautiful night sky. I put the controller down, made a groove, and it evolved into ‘Eclipse’.

OSR: ‘Eclipse’ is the eighth single from your upcoming album Cartercraft, when will you be releasing the album?

CF: This album has been so interesting in that I’ve been able to release so many singles and those singles actually got lots of support (spins, coverage, etc.). The plan was to release 2 or 3, and the album after that, which would have been about a year ago, but it just seemed like a good time to experiment with singles because of the support I was getting, and my creative partner Sofie at Biblioteka Records agreed. I made a plan to release a song every month for 6 weeks, and it’s been a successful experiment. The music has really made its way around and ‘Eclipse’ most recently was added to 4 editorial playlists on Spotify, which is huge for me. There are a few more songs left on the album and few more months left in the year, so I can say by the end of this year, all the ‘levels’ of Cartercraft will be released. The next song is called ‘Real Life’ and drops 14 August.

OSR: How different is working as a solo artist compared to being in a band?

CF: It’s definitely a more secluded process. I make my own choices and run with it. With the band, ideas are shared and feedback can be used to change a chord, lyric, groove, etc. When it’s just you, it’s just you. That isn’t necessarily a negative thing. It’s fun to create what you hear in your head the way you hear it, and let your unique voice come out through your art.

Carter Fox Eclipse cover

OSR: Do you enjoy collaborating with other artists? If so, who would you love to work with?

CF: At the same time as I enjoy creating by myself, I love collaborating. My good friend, and pianist for Freddie Jackson & JUTAUN, Steve Honsberger has been my longtime collaborator and songwriting partner, having appeared on many tunes on my last several projects. It’s just really throwing something out there and seeing how someone runs with it. The musical conversation. I would love to work with Stevie Wonder, Thundercat, FlyLo, Tycho, HER, Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, just so many people to even list.

OSR: Do you sing while you cook?

CF: Strangely enough, yeah I do. Probably show tunes most often. I’ll belt out a song from Phantom of the Opera, why not?

OSR: After the pandemic, are you planning any tours or gigs?

CF: I have the honour of working with R&B legend Freddie Jackson as well as a great band called JUTAUN and we do have some shows back on the books for 2021 that will hopefully be able to happen. For my solo music, I’d love to really put together a great live show and start planning on that for sometime next year, as well.

I can’t wait to get back out on the road and perform, it’s the best feeling in the world after all. But until it’s safe, it’s completely irresponsible to rush it. I’m a bass player after all and not rushing things is my speciality.

OSR: What is the one thing you would like people to remember about you and your music?

CF: That at the end of the day, no matter what else is going on, be a force of good in the world. I use the motto ‘travel soulfully,’ and it’s my version of carpe diem: seize the day, but with the twist of positivity. Be honest with yourself and with the world, and go into it trying to leave it better than you came. Though not all times are great (after all, like music, life is a series of waves, of ups and downs), by being a good person, that will create goodness in the universe.

My music is about expanding your mind and growing, and I hope that all of humanity can get on board with that.

Thanks to Carter Fox for chatting with us! You can find more about him on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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