PHOX to visit Temple Theater
Appeared in SEVEN Magazine, 2016.
For a band busy taking the nation by storm, the native-to-Baraboo PHOX is decidedly humble about their origins.
Frontwoman Monica Martin explains, “It’s crazy, three out of the seven original members, actually four of us, were in Taekwondo together from seventh grade on for five years. Then Matt Holmen, who’s my best friend, he was like, ‘I’m wanting to work with someone who sings, someone told me that you sing.’ It was great. We started a band, then the rest was really history.”
For Martin, making music with lifelong friends is unparalleled. She says, “I think, you know, you’re with these people that have this deeply embedded discipline that you’ve developed together from a young age, and to apply it in a totally different way, it’s really rewarding.”
Prior to PHOX’s genesis, Martin was preoccupied with finding her voice on her own: “I actually spent 2 summers as a loner, and I would just yodel in showers and in bus stops, you know the bus stops that are covered? And parking garages, any room that I could find that had great reverb. And then I thought, you know, I should do this in a more focused way and lean away from old country yodeling.”
Although the band is busy writing new music (which is admittedly lacking in yodeling), they’re looking forward to a brief Midwestern tour, including a gig at the nearby Historic Temple Theatre in Viroqua, Wis. On the marketing and programming committees for the Temple’s board of directors, Molly Reese and Jess Reed are delighted to be bringing PHOX to the area. Reese remarks, “We aim to make our theatre a destination for amazing music. It's a beautiful space and deserves to be used to its full potential.” Reed adds, “PHOX’s pride about being from Wisconsin first attracted us … We knew our audience, and the surrounding area, would love to hear this band play. We’re so looking forward to it.”
Despite offers to leave the state, Martin and the rest of PHOX are content where they are. “Wisconsin is lovely,” Martin says. “I think the fact is we had a moment in time when we were going to move to a different city just to have diversified experiences, but I think every big city that’s lovable also has a downfall. Brooklyn is super diverse, the food is delicious, everything’s happening there, but at the same time, the hustle is crazy, it’s just far too expensive. Austin, Texas is really dreamy, I think, but it seems that there’s this really comfortable party trap down there where I feel like maybe we couldn’t get stuff really done. So Wisconsin’s just, our family’s here, and the winter might be daunting, but the summer makes you forget.”
In terms of looking to the future, Martin stays grounded. “I think we’re going to do Jell-O wrestling at our Fourth of July party, so that should be great,” she laughs. “I really was hoping they would incorporate nacho cheese or mashed potatoes, but it’s been controversial."