Discover more from Volatile Weekly
Interview with Sunflower Fox & the Chicken Leg
Kaity Heart (The Vocalist) & drummer Kyle Primus spoke for the band in this interview. Checkout their linktree: https://linktr.ee/sunflowerfoxandthechickenleg
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Kyle: My cousins lent me an AC/DC Live at Donnington CD. I was about 7 years old. I heard that album and told my parents that I wanted to start playing drums.
If I was not in music, I’d be doing all of the same things. Just with more un-happiness and cynicism.
Kaity: I know all of us got into music at a very young age-I think all of us but one went to school for music-it’s just been a part of lives since forever. Personally, I did a little bit of radio and I really liked doing that. I owned a business for 12 years and I enjoyed that too! Anything that involves a lot of problem solving I’m into.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Kyle: Netflix and Amazon Prime binges on the couch with my dogs. I steal ideas, themes, or quotes from the shows or movies and use them for lyrical ideas.
Kaity: When I’m not playing music I’m honestly working on this band hahahah-it really never stops. There’s always something to do-social media, content creating, writing music, contacting people, there’s just honestly so much to do! When you’re so immersed in it you’re always thinking about this genre and style-makes it very easy to write in the style of music.
How long has your band been around?
March 2020-We’re all professional session players and jobbers, so we had a lot of time during the pandemic to write since our gigs were canceled! It was rough not making any money-but we got a band out of the deal. Kaity asked James (who have been very close if not best friends for the better part of 15 years) if he was interested in just helping her put together a writing project with some other displaced, talented local musicians and Sunflower was essentially born.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based mainly out of Minneapolis, MN-widely known for Prince and the funky Minneapolis sound. It’s kind of bred into all of us if you grew up here-every rock band based here has a little bit of funk in them.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
This is the most commonly asked question since the band name is so ridiculous! I (Kaity) was toy with a more nature themed style name since nature names were very common in the 70’s. So she came up with Sunflower Fox. But it was a little too soft and indie. So we realized that Craig our bass player used to be quite a track star in high school…they used to tease him that he ran like a chicken being chased by a fox…so his nick name was chicken legs. So. We added Chicken Leg. Sunflower Fox and the Chicken Leg was born.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Well, this band has only done one show as technically we started releasing songs in January of 2023. When we first started writing it was 2020/2021 and obviously there were no shows during that time! However, we did do a big publicity stunt style show with a bar, two radio stations and a liquor sposor where they literally just paid us to drink 70’s drinks until we could barely play. Then we filmed ourselves playing the same song multiple times so you could see how bad it got. It was completely hysterical. The video is up on our YouTube!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Kaity: I think everyone is going to have a totally different answer to this one, but I do know that we love to travel and meet new people and that is one of my favorite parts. I do know that we love The Filmore here in Minneapolis, The Quarterdeck in South Padre Island, Oktoberfest USA in LaCrosse Wisconsin is completely nuts. We’re currently working on (hopefully!) a tour over in the UK-so basically anywhere over there would be great!)
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Kaity: Oh this is easy. Fleetwood Mac. Heart. The Eagles. As a band-any of our influences we would just be thrilled to play with.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Kaity: I work with lots of bands as a vocal coach! So I give a lot of advice all the time-so here’s some of the tips I give out:
1. Come up with stage names…why? Doxxing is a real thing. People are weird. No matter where you are in the public eye, fans and stans like to find you…do yourself a favor and get a stage name!
2. Don’t worry about perfect, new equipment. You can always upgrade. Start small, get things used and invest your gig money back into the band for better stuff after you get bigger. Don’t worry about it at the beginning.
3. Write. Write. Write. Write all the time. Don’t judge it too harshly. Throw it all against the wall and see what sticks.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Kaity: Get a degree in Marketing/Business not Performance…you’ll learn that just by gigging. I would tell ANYONE to avoid performance degrees. Just go out there and do it. So much of your job as a musician is marketing yourself and making sure you’re not in the hole financially.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Kaity: Really really depends on the player-but I can tell you that for me it’s probably ‘Naughty Little Girl’ as it’s about just being a chick in the music industry and how our band kinda gets the residual effects of that.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Kaity: Right now we’re still releasing songs and everything is getting great feedback-so we shall see!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Kyle: Kaity comes up with most of the lyrics. Mike, James, and Kaity start with melodies and chord structures, ideas, etc. They then pitch them to me and I lay down my gut reaction
Kaity: Yeah piggy backing off of that-it all just depends on who has the idea first. Sometimes it starts with me and the lyrics/melody line-sometimes it starts with the boys with a riff idea. Either way we write everything together. We really write for the song. Whatever makes the song better is the idea we go with.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Kyle: Authenticity. Be real.
Kaity: YES. I mean we’re recording live all together in these Iconic studios all around the country trying to bring back that more raw rock sound of the 70’s. We’re not doing overdubs unless absolutely necessary. We just want folks to feel that soul back in the music again
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Kyle: We really don’t have any disagreements. Everyone has a way of keeping their ego in check. The atmosphere is very healthy,
Kaity: Totally agree with this. This is the healthiest band I’ve ever been in in my life. Any alterations or criticism is met with gentle good humor and acceptance.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are in the infancy stages of planning a tour in 2024 for the UK-so we’ll see how that goes! We’ve just launched our Patreon page to help us pay for this madness and so we have a place to post all of our behind the scenes stuff!