“I’ve never scared myself after writing a song before, until this one,” Shannon Koehler of San Francisco’s The Stone Foxes says of ‘I Want to be You.”
“I saw a magazine with a dude who was ripped and looking quite svelte, and I thought, ‘Damn, I need to eat less rocky road.’ I started thinking about how fucked up it is when either women and men feel like they have to live up to the expectations set by magazines in the grocery aisle. Then I let my imagination run. What if a woman wanted to actually be the person on the magazine so bad that she stalked her, murdered her, and stole all of her fans and fame for eternity? I wanted to push the darkness of envy to the limit.”
The song itself certainly adds to that nightmare feeling, with its eerie sound effects, harrowing vocals, and infernal house band at Satan’s favorite honky tonk feel. “We tried to add to that with some dark western guitar, spooky organ, and a punk rhythm feel,” Koehler says. “I swear, I’m a really happy go lucky guy, but if the music wants to take you down the rabbit hole, that’s where you gotta go.”
For the video, the band tapped James Hosking, director of Beautiful By Night a documentary about three San Francisco drag entertainers of a certaing age. He took his reading of the song in another direction, as Koehler says, “further down the rabbit hole.”
“To reflect the mood of the song, I created a dark thriller inspired by 70s cinema,” Hosking says. “The video features drag performer Donna Personna, [of pioneering drag troupe The Cockettes] who also appeared in my documentary Beautiful By Night. It is a voyeuristic story of obsession and identity played out against California’s industrial landscapes. There should be an element of mystery for the viewer as to the characters and their motivations.”
The Stone Foxes’ 12 Spells is out in August.
Photo by Kenneth Kearney