Hold on to your leather jackets and get ready to perfect your best head bang! The one and only Billy Childs of Philadelphia based, heavy metal band Britny Fox has stopped by to talk with Music Matters Magazine. It’s been a busy few months for Britny Fox as they have played various dates and venues throughout the United States. “It’s not a tour per say,” Billy begins. “We’re doing select dates and festivals.” The band has already been to Mesa, Arizona; the venue Vamp’d in Las Vegas; and the famed Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, California. “We have more this week,” Childs states. “We are playing Farm Rock in Atlanta, with Lynch Mob, Tom Keifer, LA Guns and Night Ranger. We are also doing a show in New York at a club called Blackthorn 51.” Britny Fox will also be performing in Philadelphia with their friends Heaven’s Edge at the Theater of The Living Arts on November 13. Billy adds, “We’ll be doing shows next year as well.” As you can see, there are obvious future plans for the band!
Britny Fox has been around since the 1980s and has undergone some lineup changes through the years. I asked if it was a challenge to re-connect and re-establish their sound. Billy says, “As far as what I consider to be the real band, there haven’t been many changes at all. I had guys together in 2007 and 2008, but that wasn’t the real band. It was never presented as such; [we were] just going out and playing the tunes. To me the real band is what’s on the recordings, and this is the only bunch that will ever record; so this is the real band.”
Childs goes on to say, “We changed singers once from Dean [Davidson] to Tommy [Paris] about 25 years ago. Currently, Chris [Sanders] has taken over guitar duties in much the same way, as Mike [Smith] has no desire to be involved. Johnny [Dee] and I have been here since the beginning so it’s two changes in all those years. Britny just continues unless someone decides they don’t want to do it. Keeping that in mind, we’ve all been active in different things over the years so our sound came back pretty quickly.
We’re all very in touch with what we sound like and hopefully what the fans want to hear,” Billy concludes insightfully. “By the way,” Childs starts, “anyone who would like us to play a particular song, we’d appreciate input in shaping our set list. By all means, chime in on Facebook or Twitter!” There you have it, Britny Fox fans! Give them a shout out as to what you want to hear at a show near you!
Speaking of set lists, the band has plenty of catalog material from which to choose. Billy tells me the band has never been much into power ballads and that they are a straight up, hard rock band. “We’ll bludgeon you to death rather than finesse our way through a set. When you see us live, it’s a hard rock band. Loud and heavy! There isn’t a lot of balancing going on sans mine and Tommy’s brains,” he enthusiastically shares. As far as set list reception from the crowd, Childs states that it’s been great. “We’re getting our groove.” When asked if there was a chance of any live recordings from shows, Billy states that there are already two live Britny Fox albums out there. The band has been writing for a new studio album as well.
Billy, in addition to John, has been around since the formation of Britny Fox. So, what is it like for a band like Britny to grow up in the age of Aquanet. “…it’s been very interesting on many levels. The business has changed so much that it’s not even remotely the same. I think we’re all seeing things we didn’t think would happen. Not just with Britny but many other bands as well. The early days were great and very different than what the business has turned into. We’ve changed as well. I didn’t think we’d be doing this in 2015, but here we are! That in itself is a trip.” With the late 80s hit “Girlschool” being a crowd favorite, Billy says that “[the crowd] likes the ‘hits’ obviously. But, we try to keep a pretty constant energy level throughout the set.” In regards to covers, the band likes to do an AC/DC tune or two in their set list. Billy also states that there have been cover songs on some of the studio albums.
Musically speaking, challenges the band has been presented with include “dealing with different backlines every night. Not to mention, the usual long drives, hotel encounters, etc. We’ve all been doing this for a long time so you come to expect those complications and live with them,” Childs says. Britny Fox concludes their performance dates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the band originated. When asked about playing to the hometown crowd, Billy says, “It’s great to be playing Philly with Britny again. It’s been years. We’ve played there with other bands, but Britny in Philly is always special to me. We haven’t played there since the early 2000’s, so it’s going to be a blast!”
I want to thank Billy Childs and all the guys from Britny! Catch them live at a venue near you!
Witten By: Amanda Knight @AmandaJill82
All photos are copyrighted works shared by Billy Childs and Britny Fox