Earlier today, Cincinnati-based rockers Foxy Shazam announced, via a Facebook post, their intent to disband, at least temporarily. The sudden communiqué has left fans shocked, puzzled, and seemingly irate, as the band were a mere four days away from embarking on a national tour in support of their most recent full-length release, Gonzo.
The band, who achieved considerable acclaim following the release of their self-titled LP on Sire Records, have had their sound compared to the likes of Queen and My Chemical Romance. Critics mostly attribute this to their compositional bombast, as well as their vocal stylings and aggressive guitar work, which some have said is, at times, reminiscent of Brian May. A trumpet in their aural mix only made the band stand out all the more amongst their touring contemporaries like The Fall of Troy and Portugal. The Man. The band’s song “Unstoppable,” off their self-titled record, was featured in numerous media spots, including the film Your Highness, a Cartoon Network series called Tower Prep, the video game NHL 11, commercials for Major League Baseball, and even Super Bowl XLIV.
Foxy Shazam have also been known for their intense live performances. Their concerts often showcased lead singer Eric Nally’s wild antics—feats such as climbing about the stage, microphone clenched between his teeth, and hanging upside-down from the rafters (usually to the chagrin of the security staff). Nally would also routinely consume handfuls of lit cigarettes, while keyboardist and facial-hair enthusiast Sky White manhandled his piano, often playing with his feet.
The notification of the band’s impending hiatus, which can also be found on their website, reads:
“After more than ten years of our lives completely revolving around Foxy Shazam, it is time to disband for an unknown amount of time. Performing more than two thousand shows together around the world has been life changing, but also has kept us from spending time with our families and pursuing our own passions and ways to grow individually as artists.”
“It has been an honor sharing ourselves and our music with all of you. Thank you to all of our fans, family, and friends that have supported us through everything to make this previous decade the best times of our lives. We truly believe there is a future for Foxy Shazam, that our best art is yet to come. We don’t know how long this will take but we plan on someday returning more powerful than ever.”
While many fans have been taken aback by the abrupt announcement, the heartbreak over the band’s indefinite hiatus seems to be matched by a level of outrage regarding their now-canceled US tour. Reactions to the post varied, but some of the sentiments being expressed were overtly angry.
Said one commenter, “Thanks for letting us know you were also cancelling the shows! I hurried up and got tickets when I thought this might my last chance to see you guys. Disband? Stay together? Whatever . F*** you. Thanks for leaving your fans with a bad taste in their mouths.”
Another commenter took a more measured approach: “Fan [sic] deserve a decent, factual answer for why the tour is not being completed. I’ve already spent my money on the ticket. I am fine with the cancellation – but I would like to know why you decided to stop the tour and break up now, and not after completing your current commitment.”
As recently as five days ago, the band were still advertising concert dates via Twitter, though all dates have been removed from band’s website, and their New Year’s Eve hometown show has been canceled. Foxy Shazam have yet to clarify fans’ confusion about the US leg of the Gonzo tour, though it appears fans will most likely receive refunds from the venues where they purchased tickets.