WEFUNK Ad2k Records & Filmworks Present's
Andre Foxxe, aka "the Foxxman", was a
gifted child musician who found his way into the Parliament/Funkadelic
camp while still a teenager, forming the band Trey-Lewds Flastic
Brain Flam with Tracey Lewis, George Clintion's son. That began
a long association during which Andre would perform with the P-Funk
All Stars, and Jimmy G. and the Tackheads. The Incoporated Thang
Band which Andre fronted was signed to Warner Brothers Records,
and his first solo project the "A. Foxxe Jam" was released
on the Don Davis label I.T.M. to strong critical reviews.
This talented Singer/Song Writer and Producer has collaborated with
a wide variety of artists in every capacity over the years. A list
of International Superstars that have included, Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Too Short, Foley, Phillipe Wynne and over twenty different albums
with George Clinton's Parliafunkadelicment Thang.
No stranger to Movie and Television production the "Foxxman"
has worked on tracks for the award winning Tracy Ullman Show and
The Simpson's album as well as written and produced songs for the
House Party and Good Burger soundtracks. Andre made appearances
in the movie PCU, the Fox TV show New York Undercover, The Grammys,
various television shows and videos by Hip/Hop artist Too Short
and the legendary P-Funk.
Once again Andre Foxxe is taking it to the stage as part of the
420FM Super MeltDown TripFest in support of his WEFUNK AD2k Release
"The Foxxe Files: A Dossier on Sex and Animals."
Funky like a Foxxe
BY FRANK DE BLASE
During a recent basement rehearsal, funkster
Andre Foxxe conducted his new backing band with things like "feel
it," "just hang back," and vague, circular motions.
There were no charts.
Foxxe doesn't confuse music theory with the
music. That would just clutter the honesty and feel. And funk is
He's a naturally gifted musician, not technically
hung-up but extremely intuitive. He vacillates easily between instruments,
though the guitar is clearly his natural extension.
In late '60s Detroit, things were getting
funky. Funk pioneer George Clinton was beginning to push boundaries
and freak a few people out along the way with assorted over-the-top
projects and ensembles. And little Andre Foxxe dug it deep right
away. It was his destiny.
"The very first record that I ever purchased
on my own with my little saved up allowance was a tune called 'A
Joyful Process,'" Foxxe says. "It was a Funkadelic instrumental
tune. This had to be 1967 or '68. I went to the music store, I got
the record off the shelf, and I gave the lady my dollar."
The clerk accidentally gave Foxxe his money
back along with the 45.
"I took it as a sign," Foxxe says.
"'This is what I'm talkin' 'bout.'"
"When I played the record, my mother
and father freaked," he says. "It was like, 'You really
like that kinda stuff?' I'm like, 'Yeah, don't you?'"
The funk fuse was lit.
"Had I known they were right in Detroit
at the time, I would've run away from home and joined The Funkadelics
at age 8," Foxxe says.
But it wasn't until the late '70s when Foxxe
was a teenager that things started to fall into place. One of Clinton's
singers lived in Foxxe's neighborhood and introduced him to the
band leader and his entourage.
"They offered me a job --- believe it
or not --- driving them around," Foxxe says. "I was really
like a gopher. I didn't tell them I played any instruments for a
But Foxxe could play jazz drums, bass, and
guitar, and he started jamming with Clinton's sons. He played with
Tracey Lewis in Treylewd and with Darryl Clinton in Son of Funkenstein.
When Foxxe finally broke out the instruments
in front of Clinton Sr., George loved it.
Foxxe joined Clinton's band in 1979. Which
band exactly --- Parliament, Funkadelic, Parliament/Funkadelic,
P-Funk, or The P-Funk All-Stars --- needs a little clarification.
Because of legal finagling with various labels,
Clinton was constantly changing the name of the band, though the
lineup remained basically unchanged.
"Really Parliament was the singers,
Funkadelic was the band," Foxxe says.
By the time Foxxe joined it was still Parliament/Funkadelic,
but legal battles in the early '80s forced yet another name change
to The P-Funk All-Stars. It was the same group of musicians. Foxxe
was simply added on and plugged in.
"George has always been a dude that
has big bands," Foxxe says. "There was always room for
one more. At any given time it was from 17 to 22. There were at
least four guitar players --- with a spare hangin' out."
Besides bringin' the funk into the general
consciousness, Clinton has always raised eyebrows. His shows are
a space-age Mardi Gras, a pre-historic, futuristic Babylon, a multicultural
carnival of funky freaks. Dudes in diapers, neon dreadlocks, and
wedding gowns: Clinton's children, one and all.
When Foxxe joined up, he donned a wedding
gown and platform boots, grabbed his guitar, and hit the road.
Clinton quickly picked up on Foxxe's talent
as a producer as well. Foxxe appears on every George Clinton recording
from 1979 to 1996 as either producer, songwriter, guitarist, or
vocalist. He produced the singles "Quickie," "Do
Fries Go With That Shake," and "Nevermind."
"I got to tour the world at least three
times," he says. Foxxe appeared with the group in movies like
PCU, House Party, Howard the Duck,and TV shows like New York Undercover.
Foxxe learned and lived the lifestyle ---
an experience he calls "GeorgeClintonUniversity" --- until
a high-heel accident in 1996 in San Francisco soured things.
"That's what caused my demise: those
platforms," he says. "I actually fell off the staircase
of the Mother Ship and broke my leg."
Clinton didn't have Workman's Comp insurance,
and Foxxe forced the issue. Clinton took it personally and let him
Out from under the Clinton umbrella, Foxxe
embarked on several solo projects, using various P-Funk members,
P-Funk disciples like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and "just
whoever would hang out with me," he says.
He had moved to Rochester in 1991 on one
of the stateside treks with Clinton.
"I ended up liking the city, meeting
a nice lady, and hookin' up," he says.
He fronted Incorporated Thang Band and spent
some time recording for Warner Brothers Records.
United Sound Recording Studios bigwig Don
Davis signed Foxxe while he was still with Clinton. Foxxe recorded
his first solo album, I'm Funk and I'm Proud, with Davis for the
P-Vine record label in 1994. It was released in Japan and Australia.
It was later re-released in the States as The Foxxe Files: A Dossier
on Sex and Animals on the Wefunk label in 2001. He recorded his
second solo project, Myllinium, also for P-Vine,in Rochester at
Frank Scheidt Audio in 1998.
Foxxe kept busy with sideman and solo work
until he went into musical hibernation eight years ago.
Foxxe is a seasoned pro who expects the band
to be on his wavelength and groove. What's in his head needs to
come out of their fingertips. In rehearsal, you can see every part
of a tune translate through his body as the band grows more familiar,
tighter. He shrugs a cue to the guitar player. He eyeballs a break
to the drummer. His legs are locked into the bassist's groove.
The musicians, in their day-job clothes,
are crowded into a basement rehearsal space in Gates. The music
rocks with an r&b sophistication, in part due to Foxxe's soulful
pipes and the musicians' casual proficiency.
They've been rehearsing every night for about
a month now. And though it's the core group of three guitars, keyboards,
vocalist, bass, and drums, there's talk of a horn section and background
singers and who knows what else. It's gonna get big and crowded
on that stage. Clinton would be proud.
And once they latch on and get in the pocket,
Foxxe lets loose with some loud, rock-rooted guitar. He digs into
the high end voraciously and holds the bottom together with chords
that are yet to be named. With the steady groove of his band beneath
him, Andre Foxxe is funky and mean. Wah-wah, flanger, and thick
distortion accent a tone born of the quasi-psychedelia Clinton no
doubt sparked in him.
He's happily married with four kids and a
straight gig in the local Stagehands union, but there's still an
itch to be on stage that needs to be scratched.
"I just wanna play the guitar again,"
he says. "I'm calling it 'Andre Foxxe,' but the concept is
the new sensical, no-nonsensical musical. That's where I'm at."
Foxxe has new material but promises to hit
on some of his P-Funk hits.
"There's nothing nostalgic about what
I'm trying to do," he says. "What I wanna do is not bring
funk back, because I don't think funk went anywhere. I just think
the ability to use that four-letter word and then stand on stage
and put some power behind it has faded."
Foxxe credits hip-hop and the nouveau-hippie
jam scene with keeping funk alive. Yet he blames bands that don't
go deep enough for hurting it.
"You've got a lot of bands that are
almost funk," he says. "But if you don't live it, if you
don't feel it, man, it ain't funk to me. Funk ain't dead. Funk has
nothing to be scared of and it's a kick-ass thing. And people wanna
Foxxe still dresses slick but you won't see
the wedding gown or nun's habit or platforms. There's no Mother
"It's time to get back on board, man,"
he says. "Instead this time it won't be on the Mother Ship,
it'll be on the other ship."
"It may not be as glamorous with the
costuming and all that type of shit that it used to be," he
says. "But the music itself, the pulse behind it itself I ---
not wish, not hope --- am going to put it in a futuristic frame
He'll head back to the studio at the end
of December to begin working on a new album for Mo Music, a Malaysian
record label based in Quebec. He's patched things up with Clinton
and there's talk of touring with him again. He'll just have to be
careful around the Mother Ship.
"Darn right," he says. "I'm
gonna stay on the ground."
Click on a photo
www.kraked.com - The
site for Kracked, the bands European BMG affiliated label. Check
out the French take on D.R.U.G.S. The Prescription for Mis-America
- The place to buy the entire Wefunk Catalogue.
www.GeorgeClinton.com - The
official site of the biggest dog in the game George Clinton.