Today, San Francisco-based rock outfit The Stone Foxes, co-founded by brothers Shannon and Spence Koehler, have released “Help Me Now,”the latest from their forthcoming LP, On The Other Side, due out on November 18th.
In the summer of 2020, Shannon, who suffers from congenital heart issues, had to undergo his second open heart surgery (and his 14th heart-related surgery). His old pacemaker wires were wearing out–the doctors needed to access the back of his heart, so they had to go through his sternum this time.
"Because my issues are congenital, they usually send me to a children’s hospital, where there are lots of stuffed animals and Disney movies playing in waiting rooms," he says. "When I woke up from my surgery, I saw my fiancée on my left and my mom on my right. As my eyes kept opening, I started feeling a sharp, knife-like pain in my chest. I looked over at my IV and didn’t see a drip going. I had woken up from open-heart surgery with no pain meds, and it was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. Shouting, barely able to get oxygen, I started cussing up a storm in Stanford Children’s Hospital,” he adds. “It was a combination of extreme anger and fear of whether I could actually withstand the pain...it’s something I’ll never forget."
“Help Me Now” follows "Time Is A Killer," which features big riffs, thundering beats, and cinematic horns--like early Wu-Tang meets Ennio Morricone. “The lyrical theme came from the idea of Mother Nature being a character – a stone cold killer – which she is. Mother Nature doesn’t play games. Mother Nature will auto-correct our foolishness. And after a certain amount of time, Mother Nature will move on without us if we don’t get wise,” says Shannon.
Lead single “Man’s Red Fire” was inspired by a lyric from The Jungle Book's “I Want To Be Like You.” “I’ve always loved that song and that phrase, and living in California surrounded by wildfires every summer for the past four years, it was stuck in my head,” Shannon said of the song. “The flames are a symbol of power and I couldn’t help but think of this raging fire of racism that’s been burning in our country since its inception. Just looking around, it’s obvious that the civil war isn’t over, so I started writing lyrics with civil war imagery in my head, and putting them together with lyrics that symbolized a quest for power.”
LISTEN: “MAN’S RED FIRE”
On The Other Side will be the first full-length album recorded by Shannon (lead vocals, drums, harmonica, producer) and Spence (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, pedal steel, bass, producer) in over six years. For the Koehler brothers, On The Other Side is a cinematic western rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack to pull you through when the journey gets rough. The lyrics and sounds reflect Shannon's journey through a second open heart surgery, the brothers’ struggles with anxiety, being grounded by love, and the experience of living in a deeply disturbing America.
It's also an album of many firsts. "It’s the first time Spence and I have been the main songwriters on every track of a release," says Shannon. "It’s the first time I’ve sung lead vocals on every track of a release. It’s the first time I’ve ever written songs on piano that turned into actual songs on an album. It’s the first time Spence has been the main bass player on a full album."
The band has also launched a new fan club, The Fox Den. Members will receive early access to the album and exclusive demos, listening party invites, exclusive merch, and can even have their names listed in the CD liner notes or receive handwritten lyrics from the band. Membership levels begin at $30 and are available at https://www.thestonefoxes.com/the-fox-den. Be sure to follow The Stone Foxes at the links below for the latest news and updates.
SEE THE STONE FOXES LIVE - MORE DATES TO COME:
10/28 - Fulton 55 - Fresno, CA
11/18 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA