From the waxed and elaborately curled mustache to the artfully crafted, brow-furrowingly cryptic lyrics to the untethered stage presence, it's not difficult to draw a line from Foxy Shazam's Eric Nally to Vaudeville Freud's Paul O'Moore. The similarities are more apparent when O'Moore reveals his longstanding devotion to Nally and Foxy.
"I grew up watching Foxy Shazam," says O’Moore from his Clifton apartment’s rehearsal room. "I was that guy that every band wants, that guy that tells everyone and their mother about this band and forces people to listen. I went to every show they've played in Cincinnati, and I've developed a really good friendship with those guys. They help us out whenever they can."
It shouldn't be assumed that Vaudeville Freud is simply a Foxy knock-off. The band's debut full-length, the about-to-drop Tapdance! The Musical, reveals a group steeped in darker, more off kilter influences — Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Modest Mouse — that become even more distilled and intensified when filtered through O'Moore's twisted musical vision and the breathtaking translation from his band of musical gypsies: guitarists Gabe Wimberley and Sean Poe, bassist Jeremy Click and drummer Michael J. Hamilton.
"We wanted something that was weird and couldn't be identified with anything," O’Moore says. "Another big thing for me is Ween; I like them because they do different genres. We play a standard bluesy Soul song, then a Motown song, then into some weird Pop/Grunge song, then we get really heavy from there."
Vaudeville Freud plays the 6th Annual AYE Music and Art Festival at Southgate House Friday. Go here to read Brian Baker's full interview.