What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I began my career as an Engineer then Builder, grew up in Virginia then created the band Box of Moxie having been self-taught as both a guitarist and vocalist. Began recordings with the great Producer & Multi-Instrumentalist Alan Weatherhead of Richmond, Virgnia, yet created my first release “Intrepid Souls” with Producer Mark Graham in Charlottesville. See below a web site delineation of my Bio.
“Box of Moxie’s body of work is a collaboration between Virginia band founder and Frontman Stephen Jacques & Nationally recognized Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer & Recording Engineer Alan Weatherhead (The Cardigans, Cracker, Magnolia Electric Co., Camper Van Beethoven, Hotel Lights, Sparklehorse). Alan is an exceptional, prolific & insightful musician with an extensive list of credits in the Music industry. Stephen (vocals, guitar, lyrics) began writing the 1st of over 60 songs & ballads following the crash of the 2009 American Real Estate market. A silver lining of sorts as Moxie was launched out of the starting blocks
Box of Moxie has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, Folksy Rock, Avant-garde. But mostly, there’s a lifetime of working in the real world that has essentially delivered the goods in terms of the lyrics by Stephen. He spent over 25 years working before the first lyrics were ever penned – as an engineer, custom builder, TV show host, and actor- strumming his Acoustic along the way. Who would’ve known such prolific songs, beginning in 2011 with the release of “Intrepid Souls”, would come from that career path. Yet these real life experiences seem to reveal all of their truth in the varied topics he takes on in a delicate, beautiful and often humorously posed fashion. He’s weathered the storms, whether as a business owner or artist striving to make a living.
With a worldwide fan base- and despite all the changes in the internet and music scene itself, which can turn musicians’ lives upside down, the Moxie fan base is growing and rolling down the tracks. One day Stephen may be interviewing with a California Public Radio Station, the next day a London Radio Station is doing a special on one of his tunes. The goal has been to write and sing what we he believes in, never influenced to make something in hopes of others liking it. The lyrics are so real that you can almost smell or taste them- and only conclude that nobody influenced them, which is the absolute truth. In Stephen’s view any other approach ruins art and would be phony. The goal has always been for 100% solid truth in the deep feeling, content, impetus for recording in the first place and general vibe. All to shine through in the end result: Beautiful timeless songs for all of us to adore and respect.
Box of Moxie’s 6th studio effort entitled Submission Admission, departs the standard Alt Rock folksy vibe, boasting Love songs. We see this prolific American band marrying contrasting rock elements in producing lead off songs such as “Irish Sea Lover”, “In the Palm of My Hand”, “Train Car Romance” and “Favorite Dance in Town”. But this departure still captures the good energy and upbeat rock vibe that Stephen has always embraced and envisioned to always create something fun and interesting, keeping us on our toes. Written and Recorded in Richmond, Virginia there’s almost a sweetness- not dissimilar to the honeysuckle scents that enveloped his walks through the trails and river paths that straddle the James River scene- of his childhood. The fifth release Surfing the American Dust Bowl may have harnessed the energy and rock revealing the Dust Bowl strife itself yet we can still see that moxie and energy carried forward, that is to say with a softer touch. This juxtaposition, while so artfully approached, is what Stephen intended and was something captured while walking the streets of Richmond, Virginia in the Summer of 2017. So many artisans and friendly folks from this charming southern town found their way into these songs; Whether leaving a dinner spot or crossing the street for a quick hug with a new friend near a corner bar dance spot, those moments were infused in his soul and speak to the lyrics in a profound, engaging and meaningful love spirit of sorts.”
Expressing observations or daily life and overseas trips seem to be my muse, and our love songs CD “Submission Admission” is the result of some of those observations or experiences.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
”Submission Admission” is our CD of Love Songs and ballads that delves into the vicissitudes and journey of love, romance and the search for joy and fulfillment. With such a huge topic we can only scratch the surface with our approach and attempt yet it should stir some thought proving elements.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
The list is so long of influences but performers such as Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Billy Bragg, Beatles, Warren Zevon, Townes Van Zandt, Nancy Griffith, Bob Dylan , Vic Chesnutt & Lou Reed.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
We’re more of a unique storytelling convergence through an alternative music prism but not so much jangle pop or whatever that it would depart from the basics that were set down so great by the Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie’s we follow. But I also like to hear pedal steel for example that tips its hat to alt-country on occasion reminding me of the roots of so much good music.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Exile on Main Street, Kerosene Hat by Cracker, Any Beatles, Stones or Dire Straits,
the books The Sea by John Banville or Sophie’s Choice, Devil in the White City,
Film: The Big Lebowski or the Life of Miles Davis are a couple i loved.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Radio, TV and Studio over “live” because i have more experience there, but live works well with the right crowd in the right venue. Hoping to do more soon.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
First Record there was a rumbling earthquake in Central Virginia that sent me to the sidewalk in Charlottesville one afternoon while trying to finally finalize that CD which seemed to never end. Some fear and frustration and concern all blended into that moment for sure.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Nocturnal Love” from the Moonlight on Wings Release was rather unique as I was trying to capture the feeling of what it would be like for an owl in the forest in the Spice Islands to view the likes of Magellan’s ships floating by and that quest and man inhabiting and taking to those lands.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Current plans are to have a West Coast of U.S. radio station tour and band tour and equally in Europe this year. At the end of the day there will probably be about 15 Box of Moxie Releases when i finally call it quits one day. But who knows? I got a late start so it’s hard to tell.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Why did it take you so long to start recording, why not at a younger age?
Because i could not afford the studio costs and was enjoying the tsunami of great music coming at me, never thought i could figure out how to write a song, and didn’t start a band because i worked all the time.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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