Fox Opera used to hate each other. They're better now.
After a year or two of drunken shows and loutish sets, including lowlights like breaking their own equipment, throwing milk crates at one another in the Marquee Room at a show no one attended and getting put in choke holds by the Stetsons' sound guy, the band has now pared down to three members and become a much better live act.
"Now we don't play bad shows anymore," says drummer Noah Rabinovitch. "It used to be that every second or third show we played it was absolutely useless."
Guitarist Caitlyn Copeland agrees, shaking her head at the memories.
"Terrible," she says. "Like each show was our first show ever. But for the last while we've been playing really well."
With the recent mending of the group's friendship, their music has tightened up significantly. They like each other again, and you can tell -- they banter back and forth in a playful manner like happily squabbling siblings.
Although the group hasn't released a proper LP or EP, the band has a rather impressive sound. Copeland's tense, angular guitar riffs mix with her soft vocals, Rabinovitch's complex, calculated stomp 'n' crash drums provide the constant backbeat to the band's energetic rock.
For Rabinovitch, who also plays in other Calgary bands like If I Look Strong You Look Strong, it's good to be in a band that is consistently strong.
"Every band that I've been in has never been always consistent," he says. "Usually they've been pretty consistent but always have a few off-shows. But Fox Opera -- every show is great. We don't practice a ton; we practice a fair amount."
Copeland quickly interjects.
"I wouldn't say that; we practice maybe once a month."
While Fox Opera hasn't released a full length aria quite yet, they're currently planning a quick intermezzo to satiate themselves and their small fanbase.
"We're planning on releasing a split 7 inch with Hunter Gatherer later this year," says Copeland. "It'll either be in September or October -- we're still trying to figure out the final details -- and then hopefully after that we'll be able to pull together some funds to do a full length. We've been trying to do it for a while, but it hasn't really worked out yet."
Rabinovitch quickly interjects with the most obvious plan for the band: get signed to a label.
"We're going to record the full length and then get signed to a label," he says impishly. "If not, we're going to break up."
Let's hope they don't. With a great sound and an energetic live show -- that features less instrument breaking but more of the occasional Copleand/Rabinovitch wrest- ling match -- the band could be one of the next Calgary groups to watch.