Philadelphia glam boys Britny Fox are the focus of my final Backstage at Rocklahoma interview series. All the current members of Britny Fox crammed into a tiny, air conditioned trailer less than an hour after their Sunday performance. Singer Tommy Paris and bassist Billy Childs did most of the talking, while the others laughed. During the interview, Britny Fox spoke about a glam resurgence, a new project and Olde English. Transcription follows.
Bring Back Glam!: You literally just got off the Rocklahoma stage. How was it?
Billy Childs: Fantastic. It was kind of early in the day, so it wasn’t as crowded like a night, but I think we (Britny Fox) and the audience all woke up and got drunk at the same time, so it all worked out. The crowd really seemed to love it and we really appreciate it.
BBG: You played first, before the heat set it. Just how hot was it on stage?
Billy: 126 Celsius. Or is that Fahrenheit? We didn’t leave on our fancy jackets very long. (Laughs).
BBG: Tell me about your upcoming projects.
Billy: We’ve been on a tour since May. It goes until the end of July, and we have some European stuff planned, too. Tommy and I have been writing, so we’re waiting on a window where we can record some stuff again. We just recorded a couple old songs for a new compilation with Gilby Clarke for Cleopatra Records.
BBG: What’s the name of the compilation?
Billy: We don’t know yet.
Tommy Paris: We remade “Girlschool” and “Long Way to Love.”
BBG: What’s the new version of “Girlschool” like. Please tell me it’s not industrial.
Tommy: Laughs. No, it’s not industrial. You’ve got to hear it. Gilby put his feel in to it and basically we just recorded the song with this line-up. Gilby is great to work with and the song sounds killer. Maybe we can do a record with him this year. It was great working with him.
BBG: Why do people always spell your band’s name incorrectly?
Billy: Because we have an incorrect, bastardized spelling.
Tommy: The Olde English version isn’t spelled our way!
Billy: We’re kind of dumb. We’re from Philly. We don’t know big words. We didn’t realize, or even think about it. There’s such a long tradition of rock n’ roll misspellings, like Def Leppard or Led Zeppelin…
Tommy: Anytime we sign an autograph for a girl name Britney, there’s always an “E” or an “I.”
Billy: Phonetically, our name is spelled correctly.
BBG: Ok, well why did a bunch of guys decide to name their band Britny Fox?
Billy: Oh, it was just an idea we all had way back in the beginning. If you remember what we looked like on the first album (Editor’s note: at this point, Billy Childs produces a laminate from the Britny Fox 1988 tour.) It was just a point in time in the music industry. Just remember, that if you don’t play ball along a certain image, you were not going to get looked at. A band like us, the only choice we had, was to take it to the next level. After we took it to the level we did – Pirates of Penzance! – there really wasn’t that much farther to go at that point.
BBG: What does a festival of this magnitude say to you?
Billy: I think it’s amazing the music has endured to the level it has, and I think that’s a feeling shared by all the bands playing. We’re all very happy to still be around in 2007. There’s a surreal quality to it.
Tommy: For whatever reason, it seems like there’s been a real spike in the interest in this kind of music. Which is cool for us.