Foxy Shazam Comes Back Better Than Ever

Foxy Shazam wsg Devin and The Dead Frets
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
Dec. 28, 6:30 p.m.
$15, (616) 451-8232

If there's one band that you simply have to see live, it's Foxy Shazam. Period.

The Ohio-based group has spent the last decade building a reputation for themselves, being well-known for their signature live performances that are often a somewhat delicate balance between wildly theatrical and just plain insane. And they do so while wielding a unique and infectious brand of rock in a style that's all glam.

While 2012 saw the release of the band's fourth studio album, The Church of Rock and Roll and a tour with legendary guitarist Slash, the following year seemed to quiet down for the group. But appearances can be deceiving, as was the case with Foxy Shazam, which was actively spending that time in pursuit of a collective self-improvement.

"The big news for us is that over the past year we have been focusing almost entirely on our craft as musicians," said keyboardist Sky White. "We were able to do this for the first time in a decade because we are not on tour between 200 and 300 days a year. We took the time to make ourselves become a better band than any of our fans have ever witnessed."

But even with the intent on bringing better music to fans, the performing lull hasn't been easy for a group of individuals that live to be onstage.

"Myself and the rest of the Foxy guys were born to perform and it has been hard not doing that as much as we always have," White said. "[But] we needed this for ourselves to progress as artists and our fans deserved this for being so supportive of us throughout the years."

Not only have they been focusing on honing their craft, they've also been working on a new record, and are doing so with the help of producer and engineer Steve Albini, known for his work with a variety of bands including The Stooges, the Pixies and Nirvana. And while specifics on the new album are pretty scarce at this point, excitement for their tour is not.

"These shows coming up are us becoming unleashed back out into the world as a better, stronger, stranger, and foxier Foxy Shazam," said White. "I can't wait to play for you ... It is always a fun and strange experience playing for you wild jerks."