Foghat Interview

By Danny Coleman


“Yeah man, it’s a busy season for sure,” says Foghat vocalist and guitarist Scott Holt as he discussed their recent release “Sonic Mojo” and the band’s future plans. “The album came out on November 10, the first singles were “Drivin’ On” and “She’s a Little Bit of Everything.”

Foghat as an entity has never stopped evolving as a unit; from the days and association with Savoy Brown, to their immense success in the ’70s and ’80s, the band has had personnel changes, they’ve begun their own line of wine and condoms and continuously perpetuate their now diverse brand. So, how did Holt become part of the evolutionary process?  

“I met Roger Earl back in 2015 or 2016 through a mutual friend of ours who connected us; they were looking for an understudy for Charlie who was the singer at the time in case he couldn’t make a gig. They were just getting ready to start working on “Under The Influence” and Roger and I hit it off. So, I went down to their studio in Florida and worked with Roger, Craig and Brian and played some of the Foghat stuff and then we started writing songs almost immediately. We were supposed to write two or three for the album and we ended up writing 17 (laughs) and so, we had all of this music leftover and we were like; “What are we going to do with this?” So, Brian suggested we call it “Earl & The Agitators” and we put a whole record out with this band that we made up and much to our manager’s dismay because she had to figure out how to promote this thing (laughs); I just kept in touch with Roger and we kept doing stuff. It’s a real creative environment when the four of us get together and we’re always writing, we’re always coming up with stuff, Roger and I were trading texts yesterday about some stuff we want to work on for the next record. So, we’re already thinking past what we are supposed to be promoting right now, which is the way I think you’re supposed to do it.”

The aforementioned Savoy Brown has sprung many individuals and the various bands careers. Drummer Roger Earl was part of the unit and maintained a close relationship with founder Kim Simmonds after his departure and that friendship has contributed to this recent release; even if it’s “Bittersweet.”

“Kim wrote three songs for us on this record, he was a dear friend of all of ours and of course he and Roger were in Savoy Brown together back in the late ’60s and they stayed friends throughout all of these years,” elaborated Holt. “When we got ready to do this new record, the initial intention was to have Kim write a song and record it with us. He wrote three songs for us and unfortunately passed away before we could record together. The first two singles, “Drivin’ On” and “She’s a Little Bit of Everything” are Kim’s and it’s bittersweet. Every night we play those songs and we are honored to celebrate Kim’s memory and specifically point out that these are songs that he wrote for us but yet I wish he was here to hear them and I wish he was here to play with us. So, it’s a bittersweet thing but yet, you can’t not deal with loss, it’s gonna happen to all of us.”

With a music history as rich as that of Foghat; does the current line-up ever struggle with maintaining their signature sound when writing new material? A laughing Holt, a guitarist, says not at all for this band and the reason may just surprise you. 

“The beauty of a great rock band is that it’s all built around the drums. You pick any rock band and you have to look at the drummer first, that’s the core of the band. The Rolling Stones were Charlie Watts’ band, Foghat is Roger Earl’s band; it’s built around the drums and the nice thing about Foghat is that we’ve still got the original drummer from the beginning; it’s a lock right there. As far as mentally for the rest of us, I can only speak for myself but I think it’s a responsibility to honor the past, be sure that you understand the history of the band and respect that and you treat that with integrity but to keep it from being a tribute band or some catalog band; you’re constantly moving forward. You are constantly writing new material or constantly trying to push out; just like the things we put on this record. The things that we wrote or the things that we covered; we did a BB King song. We didn’t want to do it like BB King but how would Foghat approach a BB King song; how did Foghat approach the Muddy Waters’ song “I Just Want To Make Love To You” back in the ’70s? How did they look at that song and say, OK, we’re gonna do this with it? Those are just things, that as a musician, I think it’s the relationship of the band that creates that environment. I mean, we weren’t put together by some outside force, the four of us got together, played together, liked playing together and decided that this is the band; it’s kind of like dating (laughs). You find a girl you like, she likes you and you get together. This is coming from a guitar player (laughs), I’m supposed to be telling you how the guitar is the most important instrument but it’s not! I mean, nobody dances to a guitar solo but you’ll dance to that groove, you’ll dance to that beat. Some of my favorite musicians are drummers because that’s where it starts.”

The release of the two singles was done somewhat far in advance of the actual November 10 release of the album. Holt states it was done purposefully because the band felt this record was too good to be kept totally sequestered upon its completion. 

“I think it was just the natural progression,” he said confidently. “We got the record done and you have to promote it but we didn’t want to wait until November for anybody to hear any of it because we are really excited about it and we’re proud of it and we wanted everybody to hear it. We wanted them to hear it in context and digest it; there is a lot of white noise in the world and just putting a record out, it might or might not get heard no matter who you are. So, to give it a fair shot and I think it’s a really good record, I’m really proud of it and we wanted it to have the most opportunity for the most people to hear it.”

Ah yes, “White noise.” There is definitely much of that in today’s technology driven environment. Holt says the band has no newly devised plan on how they plan on making “Sonic Mojo” stand out from the crowd but they will go at it as the group has done since its inception. He offered up their strategy as well as an opinion on today’s artists and music.  

“We’re doing the best we can, we’re promoting it, we’re playing the songs live and we’re hoping that people find it the way they’ve always found Foghat music and that’s really all you can do. When we were talking about white noise earlier, I agree that there was a big glut of it during the pandemic but it was happening before that. Record releases come fast and furious and there is so much music being put out that it’s impossible to consume it all. Everybody has their favorites, you have your favorites that you go to time and again and I do too but there is good music being put out today. There is new music from young artists being put out just like there was from the beginning. The thing is, as a musician, it’s a hard line to travel because on one hand, I can easily see myself having a knee-jerk reaction to new stuff; ah, this sucks, this is no good and then completely dismissing all of it but at the same time, as a musician; I understand that I’m still putting out music and I don’t want people to do that to me so, I kind of have to give everybody a fair shake. I’ve also got a daughter and she plays new music for me and she exposes me to stuff like new pop and stuff that I normally wouldn’t listen to and through her, I get to hear Taylor Swift and understand she’s got some good songs and she’s a talented songwriter and that there is some quality to that. She’ll play me somebody like Harry Styles, I’d never voluntarily pick up a Harry Styles record but I’ll listen to it with her and I’ll hear things in it; that’s a good thing right there, that’s a good song, that’s a good idea. So, there is good stuff out there, you have to be open minded to get to it. It’s not all good but the truth is, all of it in the ’60s wasn’t good, all of it in the ’70s wasn’t good, all of it in the ’80’s wasn’t good. I mean, there have been bullshit records put out since the beginning of time (laughs); just because something is old doesn’t make it good. So, it’s just one of those things where every generation has their thing. I remember my parents thought the music that I listened to was junk. I’m sure their parents thought the music they listened to was junk; there was a generation that thought Elvis was an abomination. The Beatles were reviled by a generation of parents; it’s hard to imagine that the icons we have today; I’m sure if there was a temple of rock ‘n’ roll, there would be a statue of The Beatles and a statue of Elvis in there but at one time they were maligned as just noise. I mean, it’s going to happen, there’s stuff we are exposed to today that we think is crap that 20 years from now is going to be a classic and we’re gonna be like; what happened there (laughs)?” 

Holt is well aware of Foghat’s legendary reputation as a hard hitting and rocking band and he states that going forward as they hit the road to promote this release; this will not change.

“The history of Foghat is that Foghat is one of the hardest working, live touring bands ever; we’ll try and keep that title. We are on tour now, we’ll be on tour now that the record is out, we will be touring after it. We’ve already been playing stuff off the new record, we convened down in Florida to rehearse the whole record to prepare for the record release parties in New York and California. We hit the road and we just go; we’re out all the time trying to find any place to play and for as many people as we can find.” 

To purchase “Sonic Mojo” or see what Foghat is up to; please visit

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