INTERVIEW: Foley release new single 'Can't Help The Way': "In reality the heart is more powerful and you have to let yourself give in to it"
New Zealand duo Foley, consisting of close friends Ash and Gabriel, formed in 2017 as a passion project with their first single ‘Settle’ released the same year. Their second single ‘Talk About It’ has been streamed almost one million times on Spotify alone, and both it and third single ‘Talk About It’ hit the top 10 on the Official NZ Hot 20 chart. The band have just released their fourth single ‘Can’t Help The Way’, a carefree, 1980s-riffing, absolute bop with a comforting blast of summery vibes to warm up your winter. We recently caught up with Ash from the band to find out more about Foley, their music and their commitment to gender equality.
Hi Ash! It’s great to chat with you, how is everything in the world of Foley right now?
Everything is fan-bloody-tastic! We just released our latest single and it’s been really well received by our fanbase and managed to crack into some new audiences that we didn’t expect which is a great feeling! Happy days for us two wee-heee!
You and Gabriel are best friends - where did the two of you meet?
We met in a high school band contest in two competing bands, and we became best mates from there! It was an awesome way to meet because we knew immediately that we were on the same page musically and bonded straight away. It’s been a wild ride ever since!
What was it that made you decide to form a band?
I guess it just happened really organically because our friendship had us talking so openly about our lives that it felt natural to put that discussion into song. We sort of fell into this songwriting partnership and it developed from there.
Does working together ever cause friction in your friendship?
Never - we are like siblings so we are brutally honest with each other all the time. I think that honesty is the key because it means we are never beating around the bush and creating tension. Sometimes we disagree creatively but it’s always with love.
You’ve just released ‘Can’t Help The Way’, what was the inspiration behind the track?
The track is about letting go of the overthinking and overanalysing in a relationship and just allowing your feelings to take hold. It’s so easy in your 20s to get in your own head and try to intellectualise everything but in reality the heart is more powerful and you have to let yourself give in to it. Good times ahead!
Can you share the story behind the music video?
The music video was a concept that was sent to us by our incredible director Angus McFarland. He heard the song and really vibed with it and came up with the one shot idea travelling through each of these environments to tell a story that was constantly moving and changing. The concept in my eyes is that as much as we sometimes go on these journeys through our minds and consciousness we always come back home. A little whacky but they did an amazing job!
You made a decision as a band that all songs would be crafted 50/50. Is there a part of the songwriting process that each of you tend to naturally lean towards?
We are super collaborative but our strengths definitely differ. When it comes to lyrics Gabe definitely refines them and has more of an eye for concise pop lyrics, but aside from that we both jump on different instruments and move around a lot to keep the energy flowing.
There is clearly an emphasis on equality within Foley which isn’t always the case in music. What are your thoughts on sexism and gender inequality within the music industry?
WE HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS! At the end of the day we have been lucky enough to not only have each other for support in an industry that can be harmful, but also the support of many other female musicians that surround me. The biggest generalisation that I find harmful is that the female is the vocalist and the male a producer. There is a constant assumption that I can’t play an instrument, or I only sing and someone else writes the music. It’s an absolute shocker! The industry is full of hard working talented female instrumentalists and writers and we shouldn’t have to prove that we are worthwhile before we’ve even entered the room.
Can we expect a full-length album from Foley soon?
We are writing an EP at the moment which is just shy of a full album! But new music none the less.
What else is on the agenda for Foley in 2019?
Hopefully a naughty little summer tour for us and we are hoping to come over to Australia to say a proper g’day and play some shows for ya! Looking forward to it!