Foxygen

If you’ve ever seen Foxygen live, you know that their show is usually tension-filled, but their bratty attitudes also seem to just be a part of the performance. However, earlier today, touring member of the band Elizabeth Fey posted a Tumblr screed describing turmoil between the two official members, Sam France and Jonathan Rado. In the post Fey, who is also France’s girlfriend, lays out the story of how the two met and how she ended up playing in the band. On her first encounter with Rado: “IT was strange meeting him and knowing they were supposed to be a ’duo’ but there was no friendship at all, just contracts that needed to be fulfilled.” Fey suggests that the genesis of Rado’s feelings toward her were that she replaced Rado’s girlfriend, who declined to tour to stay in school. She also spills that when the band was in New York, Rado and his girlfriend would not let her and France stay with them because Jackie “had finals.”

Toward the end of the long post, Fey discusses France’s and Rado’s solo endeavors and that she and France plan to start a band on their own:

[Rado] came out with a solo album out of nowhere and didn’t even tell Sam about it. He made such a big deal about Sam releasing his album “Star Power” online a year ago and made him take it down but then he goes and releases a solo album behind his back. He was threatened by Sam and I, saying it was, “The Sam and Lizzie show”. Well we are going to start our own band (not saying it is replacing Foxygen). It sickens to me to see how Sam has been walked all over. He isn’t the type of person to plot out things or think about business, he is just a real musician who is an amazing songwriter. I don’t think he was ready for all the craziness that being a popular band gives you.

After the post went up this morning, word spread that Foxygen had broken up. While it has since been confirmed that this is not true, the band even taking to Twitter to say, “ALWAYS, DEFINITELY, BELIEVE THE INTERNET.” Elsewhere on the Twittersphere, Rado’s girlfriend Jackie responded to New York Times pop critic Jon Caramanica’s link to the Tumblr post:

You can read the entirety of Fey’s post here. Some of it is very sad, some of it seems suspect, but it is certainly rife with band drama.

Foxygen’s most recent album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic came out this year on Jagjaguwar. Rado’s EP Law And Order is out 9/3 via Woodsist.

Comments (60)
  1. Mother Hummus, huh? What’s the over/under on how long she took to compose that tweet, including getting on dictionary.com to look up the word “egocentrism” to make sure it was used in the proper context?

  2. These guys were a bunch of bratty fucks at Pitchfork Fest this weekend. The onstage tension was less embarrassing than their general stage presence and banter. Even their musical performance seemed less than sincere. Dunno yet if the show ruined my ability to enjoy their last album.
    The Tribune’s review pretty much nailed it:
    “Clad in thin paisley trousers, the wiry France embraces the role of Jim Morrison, replicating many of the latter’s juvenile look-at-me antics and inane banter. He strives to convey elements of weirdness and humor, the equivalent of the kid in class that will stop at nothing to get attention and draw laughs. Yet France’s cartoonish behavior is about as authentic as Foxygen’s originality. “

  3. Too..much…beef. We need a story about hugs and harmony

  4. I don’t even know why she’s in the band.

    When I showed up to the UMO show a few months back, Foxygen had already started their set and it was AWKWARD. At first I noticed this girl up front and center dressed like the 70s were in full effect holding a tambourine. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what her purpose was in the band, figuring that maybe one of the band members wanted to bring their girlfriend or get a girlfriend. This is the first time I realized that it was Sam’s girlfriend and it explains a lot. Sam on the other hand…

    I couldn’t tell if he was tripping acid, shrooms or simply having a nervous breakdown. He was WAY TOO self-conscious about the whole performance. He spoke in between songs about how we (the crowd) were judging them and going to write snarky comments on our blogs. I don’t think he realized he was still in Oklahoma and hadn’t arrived at SXSW yet. Needless to say, his breakdown at SXSW was no surprise to me. He BARELY made it through the set and the rest of the band basically had to beg him to come back and sing their songs. Meanwhile his girlfriend just stood there without purpose.

    I was there to see UMO, but apparently I was in the minority. Everyone else seemed to be there for Foxygen, but I had not heard their new album yet. I figured I’d see them live and if their music won me over, I’d check it out. Admittedly, the songs they did pull off were impressive and fun. Except if it weren’t for what I detailed above, I figured this band was destined to fail because they couldn’t handle getting BNM’d by p4k.

    Thank God UMO was the headliner as it erased any memory of their super awkward opening act. I dunno, I have a hard time getting behind a band that can’t set aside difference long enough to play a 30 minute set.

    Good Riddance.

  5. One of the big consequences of twitter becoming a resource for news stories is that we’re stuck we’re stuck sourcing these goofy-ass twitter names (Mother Hummus). Another good example: Jezebel’s article about the Zimmerman juror book which sources, again and again, “Cocky McSwagsalot”.

  6. Not sure I’m buying this. This girl made a big deal on Youtube about how that’s her in the San Francisco video, really trying to sell herself, so I’m guessing there’s some serious self promotion going on here, but that’s just a guess. I didn’t notice any tension at Pitchfork or at their aftershow Friday night.

  7. It sickens me that there is a slight possibility that any living being could give even one iota of a fuck about anything that Elizabeth Fey has to say. Why are you here Elizabeth? Go away. Groupie/girlfriend-turned useless touring member has about the most insignificant voice possible and is seemingly ultra-petty and craving attention.

    Who cares, Elizabeth? WHO THE FUCK CARES?

    • it sickens you? are you okay? why are you so personally invested in this? it’s kind of sad….

    • a groupie? Sam France asked her to be in the band……

    • The part about her best friend passing away early on is pretty sad. I’m sure she’s been thinking, “What if I didn’t join Foxygen and stayed with my best friend? Would that mean she’d still be alive?”

      That’s gotta be pretty damn rough.

      But this whole Rado’s girlfriend vs. France’s girlfriend is just classic textbook young kid nonsense. I’m sure once Mother Hummus said she couldn’t tour with them, Rado probably thought they’d just go without and she’d join back up later, while France figured he’s find a replacement. Then Rado gets pissed that France has replaced his girlfriend in the band, insert schism.

      …and just like that I’m writing Foxygen fan fiction. I should take oblivion’s advice and stop caring.

  8. Worthless band with worthless drama. Take it where somewhere cares: yourselves.

  9. Hey Foxygen, we know you love the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but spare us the band drama theatrics, bite the bullet and just break up already.

    Bands like this make me aware of my own age and maturity in the realm of a youth conscious music scene, because I’m guessing they’re probably — what? Early 20s at best? And they have this self-entitled perception of themselves as “artists” which is not like other younger artists who otherwise rise to acclaim and success with humility, an almost disbelief that they’re even going on worldwide tours and the self awareness that they have a lot to improve on, in which Rado and his caravan of clowns think they are so profound and integral to changing the way we listen when the reality is that they’re a bunch of trendy hacks we could seriously do without alongside their ungrateful personalities.

  10. My friend saw these guys once and seriously took the bassist aside to tell them to get their shit together. Thought that was a hilarious move, these guys sound insufferable.

    Every band comes with its share of colliding egos and drama, but this chick should be forever banned from making music for being such a Yoko.

    Eelium.

    • Just to clear this up, I guess it was an old bassist that was a dude… didn’t realize they were switchin up personell faster than Wavves. This is beside the point but Wavves f*ckin suck live, which is too bad cus “they” have the potential to be so good.

  11. Not gonna lie tho, I’m anticipating the solo records of these two dudes. I feel like Rado’s gonna go a total indie pop route and try to please audiences. On the other hand, I feel like Sam France will continue to write really weird glam-pop songs, maybe in a similar way to late-70s Ian Hunter albums!

  12. Is it just me or are bands exploding at a faster rate these days

    • it’s cuz they’re being propped up too fast. These guys, while having some genuine talent, are 90% aesthetic, cool clothes, wacky personality, MGMT-hacking (yes, I went there), bunch of cute indie darlings. aww aren’t they cute, they write pretty songs but argue all the time! I do like a few tunes I’ve heard, but it’s all too much.

  13. Wow all the negativity directed towards this girl is really appalling to me. All she did is post about how she was treated, and it sounds like she was treated bad. Rado sounds like an asshole. Fuck those guys.

    • My negative opinion of her comes from watching Foxygen live, and seeing how she acts. I was fortunate enough to see them put on a really good show, where Rado and France were (as it appeared) working together and playing off each other. The touring drummer was having the time of his life, smiling and “rocking out” with France, as he danced across stage. On the other hand Fey had this grimace on her face the entire show. Every time France would go on a weird rant or go wild on stage, she would sigh and contort her face as if she just could not handle it anymore. Honestly, I was surprised to hear they date given how she acted towards him.

      Although her complaints are legitimate, I can’t help but feel like she is taking advantage of the situation to get in the spot light. I think it is legitimate for touring musicians to complain, but this seems like something minor that really did not have to be brought up in public. I may be biased because I found her stage presence to be detrimental to the show, however she could have just had a bad day, and therefore I am wrong to judge. With that in mind, I think with such young men, you are going to have drama like this, and it really does not need to be made public whenever something minor comes along

      • Well I am friends with Sam and Lizzie and usually all she did is add to the band, I have seen them play multiple times, but maybe she was having a bad night the night you saw her. Sam and her usually worked together great in my opinion. From talking to her about this media hype, she never intended for it to be on stereogum or pitchfork, she was just writing on her tumblr about how she felt she was treated. I wonder what show you saw them at…? The truth should be made public, I respect her for speaking her mind. I know her and Sam and what she wrote was actually NICE compared to how she was really treated by Rado and Shaun. So next time you say stuff shouldn’t be made to the public why don’t you shut your mouth and think for a second. Being the only female in the band and being blamed and unappreciated would make anyone feel bad and I commend her for being brave and telling it like it is. I wish more people could be like that. I’d prefer more people, men and women, to come out and talk about situations that weren’t fair then for them to wither away feeling useless and horrible. Maybe she seemed upset at that show because one of those members had been an asshole. I don’t know really, all I know is that I know her personally and think she was great in Foxygen. I miss them playing San Francisco.

    • This strikes me as limp feminist pandering, which I see way too often. There is no excuse for doing what she did. If you care, that’s fine, but she is offering insight into a common spectacle/experience for anyone who’s ever been in a band.

      All she did by making such a fuss out of something even a layman crowd member (my friend, mentioned above) could discern from watching a single performance. It’s clear self promotion. There is no reason to do something like this besides sending the message ‘hey, look at me, and keep me in mind for some upcoming indie project that i may actually contribute a morsel of creativity to.’

      OK, there were enormous issues going on between the two songwriters, and they may have treated her like shit. This all leads me to the question I have for people like Snowden, Manning, and, in a sense even Muto: What the fuck did you think you were in for when you signed on for this gig?

      The fact is, when you join a band you assume loyalty to them. It’s like signing onto a job – you get access to great challenging work, but with that privilege comes the small price of keeping your fucking lips tight when the ‘genius’ you had been heralding turns out to be a bit of a psychopath/jackass/twit/or even possibly a nebbish.

  14. Oh break up already. your 15 minutes of fame is over Foxygen

  15. Just to be sure this was from Elizabeth Fey of Foxygen and not Elizabeth Stamatina Fey aka Tina Fey, correct?

  16. That’s news to me…

    ….

  17. well. this escalated quickly.

  18. this is sad :( did anyone even read the post or are people just reading the quotes the website posts?

  19. There might be a lot of pretentiousness and douchiness involved with Foxygen, but it’s all good, because I still love the album.

  20. I saw them live yesterday. Fey was NOT there, but they turned every song into a Blue Cheer/Hawkwind level freakout, which was cool, and caused much consternation from the kids who had only heard “San Francisco”. “No Destruction” and “21st Century Ambassadors” were highlights. The stage banter was kind of obnoxious, but sometimes amusing. That concludes my review.

  21. Newsflash Stereogummers: A lot of talented musicians and artists are actually emotional nightmares.

    So much vitriol and backlash here, for what I don’t know. It makes perfect sense that this band has it’s issues performing live and such considering the incredible hype and quick ascent to a headlining act, but hey, their album is damned good. I hope they don’t go anywhere, because they were a great breath of fresh air this last year. These dudes can write a hell of a song, and I want to hear more of them.

  22. I know Sam and Lizzie, too.

    To timeoftheseazon (above):
    HI LIZZIE!!!

    To everyone else:
    Read her blog post, read this, and tell me I’m wrong.

  23. One of the top ten worst band names in the history of music, so, whatever.

  24. Nobody has commented on the creepiest part of this whole thing.

    DUDE NEEDS TO LEAVE THE TEENAGE GIRLS ALONE!

  25. Yeah, has anyone noticed that she tags everything online with #Foxygen? Desperate to be back with the folks she crapped upon, claiming she is willing to be friends again-wtf? Sounds pretty delusional and completely egotistical. “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” Time for her to go away and stop bothering people.

    • Bothering people? Don’t read my blog then, there’s a solution for you. I can tag whatever I want with #foxygen. I was apart of the band for a while and am still friends with some of the members and am dating Sam so if me tagging stuff with Foxygen really bothers you that much you need to get a life, seriously.

  26. This is Elizabeth Fey and I just gotta say, you are all fucking idiots. Goodbye.

  27. just watched a video of jonathan rado’s new band and i must say, very disappointing.

  28. foxygen will never die this is all a phase ………. i will just keep telling myselfthat

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