Since they won a local St. Catharines, Ontario, radio competition a decade ago, a lot has swung right for The Standstills, but it’s not like it’s been showered down upon them. The rock duo has had to work hard to build an audience and a reputation, and even after a nearly four-year gap between studio releases, that audience is still there and growing.
Husband and wife team Jonny Fox and Renée Couture released their latest full-length Shockwave last month via MNRK Music, 13 new fiery, urgent rock n’ roll tracks. Typified by its blend of accessible rock choruses with songwriting depth that makes for many repeat listenings, Shockwave uses what worked on 2019’s Badlands and builds on that guitar-driven frenzied sound.
Fox and Couture have made all the right moves since emerging as a no-name indie act out of Oshawa, Ontario. They now have garnered the support of some of modern rock’s most notable forces, with Shockwave produced by Neil Sanderson of Canadian rock staples Three Days Grace and mixed by Howard Benson, the all-thing, everything, two-time GRAMMY-winning producer. It’s been a nice little run this duo has been on, and it shows no signs of letting up.
We recently caught up with frontman Jonny Fox for a quick catch-up about the new album, touring, and what he still loves most about playing live music.
How would you describe your own music?
Jonny Fox: “Our new album Shockwave is a mix of hard rock, stoner rock and alternative rock. It’s a playful and passionate rock roll love story. Raw, real, dark, light and everything in-between.”
What is the story behind the band name?
“We wanted a name that meant something personal to us. The Standstills means the height of a feeling or moment that makes time feel like it’s standing still. Just like a great song.”
You guys are a heavy band. How does it make you feel when that power and energy you channelled in the studio comes to life in front of a crowd?
“Touring our new album Shockwave feels incredible. We put a lot into making fun and slamming tunes. When we see people rocking out to them it really brings the songs to life. And we keep that in mind during the creative process. The power behind the new tracks are bigger and stronger. It’s a real empowering feeling to celebrate them every night.”
How would you describe your creative process?
“In the creation of Shockwave, we spent a lot of time looking introspectively. We wanted to stay true to us and life we’ve been living as a couple living in the rock n’ roll world. We experienced some any things, and we wanted to share those feeling and events with the world.”
Tell us more about Shockwave; what was your experience of making it? What went on behind the scenes? Any notable moments that stand out?
“Shockwave was a life-changing experience. At the time we started writing it, we thought it might be our last album because of the state of the world. So we really pushed ourselves in its creation. We’ve always been big fans of rock songs that have big catchy choruses, and that was our main focus. We also teamed up with Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace and Grammy Award producer Howard Benson. And we also had our friends of Eagles of Death Metal join us for a song. It’s a truly special album, our best album to date.”
Who are your biggest influences?
“We were listening to a lot of grunge, post-grunge, stoner rock, and classic rock when making our new album. I think influences can come from everywhere, it really depends on where we are at and what songs really speak to us at the time.”
What do you like most about playing music?
“I love the feeling music gives. It’s an art form that is so extremely powerful. When I play music I get to deliver a feeling to others. That, to me, is the coolest part of it. Music changed my life when I got into it at a very young age. It makes life better, and I love that we get to tour and make music that people love.”
What’s the highlight of the tour so far?
“The highlight of the tour so far for me is performing our new songs. Shockwave is a really fun album to play live, and I love to see people moving to it. The crowds have been incredible, sold-out nights, and so loud. It’s such a great party vibe.”