“Out Of My Hands” is only Fox Royale’s second single, but it’s an honest and intimate explanation of the struggles of entering band life. As frontman Nathan Hurley passes through Kansas during a 12 hour drive from his hometown of Joplin, Missouri to Colorado, he takes the time to share the ins and outs of this new song with EARMILK over the phone. Frontman Nathan Hurley was married only two months before a three-week trip to California to write music with Fox Royale. Long distance relationships are never easy, but they are made even harder when you have vowed to be someone’s life partner. In a band, you never know how long you’ll be asked to be away from home and how much time you’ll be able to give to another person. “You don’t know what’s going to happen and band life is extremely unpredictable,” says Hurley. “If you’re not intentional with your relationships, they just don’t work. Especially if you’re in a band because you’re meeting tons of new people and a ton of interesting people and you have all this shared experience with other people and your spouse misses out on a lot of that.” The song is a peace offering to his wife, and a vow that he will do his best with the distance and uphold his commitment to her. It’s a plea for forgiveness and patience, and an admission of fear of the unknown. The track takes on a dual meaning with its message of commitment, as it also signifies the bands commitments to each other. The four have promised themselves that they’ll do whatever they can to make the band work, in good time and in bad. “It’s very similar to couples and actual marriages,” explains Hurley. “Let’s just stick together. It’s all we can do. We can figure out everything else and learn how to look cool in photos later.” Hurley met bassist Davis Drake and drummer Evan Todd in a contemporary christian choir. Hurley admits that they were not the cool kids of the group, but they found kinship in their mutual love for nerdy things. Soon after, they were playing their own folk music at pizza places around town, with Hurley’s younger brother Caleb joining the lineup on keys.
Their break from pizza parlors came when the Wrecks played a show in Tulsa and their opening act, Badflower, cancelled last minute. In a serendipitous stroke of luck, Fox Royale got that slot. They had dinner together post-show, and that was the beginning of a friendship and collaboration. In fact, The Wrecks’ frontman Nick Anderson produced “Out Of My Hands.” With Anderson’s help, Fox Royale were able to grow their sound beyond their pizza parlor folk-rock, borrowing sounds and techniques from their favorite artists, from Coldplay to Vampire Weekend.
The members of Fox Royale are big film buffs, citing movies like Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr. Fox as inspiration for their band name. They wanted the name to sound like a run-down old hotel, or “something that was maybe popular back in the day, but has not been updated, because we’re a little old fashioned,” jokes Hurley. He says that some of their upcoming music is film-inspired, too.