If you say “Stacey’s mom” to a music fan, a common response may be, “Has got it going on.” But if you ask those same people the name of the band whose lyrics they just quoted, they may not know that this memorable piece of pop-songwriting genius belongs to Fountains of Wayne. This comes as a surprise, because FOW’s first release came out in 1996. That means that they’ve been turning out sensational pop-rock ditties for the past ten years! In that time the band has released four full-length albums, the last of which was Out-Of-State Plates, a double album with a massive catalog of rare songs previously unavailable to fans of FOW.
If you didn’t catch on to Fountains of Wayne through their albums or on the radio, maybe you heard them on the television. The band wrote and performed the theme song for the Comedy Central show, Crank Yankers, and the short-lived VH1 series, Hey Joel. Even if you don’t have cable, you may have run into the FOW song, “All Kinds of Time,” which was used by the ABC network’s sports division and the NFL. As a matter of fact, many of FOW’s songs and recordings have been featured in television shows and movies during their persevering career. And print publications such as Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine have put the guys on a number of top album and artist lists.
Fountains of Wayne is comprised of Chris Collingwood (vocals/guitar), Adam Schlesinger (bass), Brian Young (drums) and Jody Porter (guitar). Adam and Chris met in college while Jody was fronting a band in England called The Belltower. When Porter and his band decided to move back to New York, Adam joined them on bass. Following the demise of The Belltower, Adam and Chris formed FOW and called upon Jody and Brian to complete the line up.
These four guys all share a common influence from the British Invasion and many English bands from that period, The Beatles being their favorite. “My peers would definitely say I have a shrine for The Beatles back home,” Jody shares. This affinity toward those big time Brits first brought VOX amps to the attention of a young Porter.
“I just wasn’t into transistor amps,” explains Porter, who has been using vintage VOX amps since the early ‘80s. After touring with the VOX AC30CC2X Custom Classic, Porter instantly praises, “AC30s have a nice, warm mid-range for me, and I try to make the guitar do the talking when it comes to EQ.” Then he continues, “The AC30 Custom Classic works really well with Fender, Gretsch and Gibson guitars, which are what I play.”
Jody’s playing is not just confined to Fountains of Wayne. During his career he has recorded parts for many of his friends’ albums and most recently has layed down guitar tracks on Brookville’s last record. Jody also played on Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes’ solo album, Yours To Keep. Even when he’s not recording with FOW or his friends, he still has The Astrojet, a solo project that put out a release called, The Mile Low Club, in 2003. “Astrojet is basically just my songs which I produced myself and played a good part of the instruments.” And throughout all those different sessions one thing stays constant, VOX AC30 Custom Classic amps. “I’ve been using them pretty much full-on exclusively. It’s part of my sound really. I just kind of move guitars in and out of the equation… but the amps stay the same,” Jody ensures.
Jody is in this for the long haul, and has come to terms with the rigors of life on the road. He shares some of his philosophy. “I was a control freak in my 20s, but you kind of loosen up the older you get. It just seems to make life easier, especially around touring. You kind of have to accept that once you go out, you’re not coming home for a month or two and just kind of make the most of it,” Porter confides. He and his band mates have been “making the most of it” as they play a few festival dates this summer and prepare to work on a new album which should be out next year on Virgin Records.
For more information on Fountains Of Wayne head over to their website at www.fountainsofwayne.com.