You never know who you might meet in the mountains of North Georgia.
For example, how about a saxophone-playing Bigfoot next month at the annual Holla Yella Live Music Festival in Ellijay.
The Best of the North Georgia Mountains prides ourselves on interviewing the huge cache of talent walking the streets of this area. That now includes Bigfoot, or better known to musical enthusiasts as SaxSquatch. Check out what the big fella had to say to us as he gets ready for Holla Yella slated for June 10-12.
What was the response to Saxsquatch like at first?
I was walking through little towns in France and playing the saxophone. People were frightened. I started wearing a bandana and Pit Vipers to look friendlier. That’s when people started falling in love with Saxsquatch.
Are you a Bigfoot believer?
I didn’t believe in myself for a long time. But now, I believe in myself even if no one else does.
Tell us about how you became interested in a musical career to begin with.
I thought saxophones were shiny and would get me attention from the other squatches. When I heard saxophone on the radio for the first time the sound was so primal and made me feel alive. I got my first saxophone at a pawn shop in the mountains of North Carolina. I was a little kid squatch.
Who influenced your music as you were growing up, and who’s influencing you these days?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of Jazz and Electronic. Some of my favorite acts were Daft Punk, Charlie Parker, and my grandpa squatch Gigfoot.
Where were you born and when? Do you come from a musical family? Is there a Mrs. Saxsquatch and any Little Feet in the house?
I was born in the woods but came alive when I found the saxophone. My whole family played music. It was a great way to pass the time and hang out together.
What instruments do you play? Do you play sax strictly as Saxsquatch?
On tour I play the bass guitar, keyboard, saxophone, sing, and rap.
What’s the response to your act been like on social media and in concert?
My fans on social media are insane. Millions of people going nuts over a sasquatch with a saxophone is not something I thought I’d ever see. Most of them keep returning to watch more videos which warms my heart.
Tell us about your “Live from the Woods” performances.
My manager said at one point it was the most live streamed music series online. Fans would go crazy sharing them on Facebook. I’ve always loved performing outdoors.
How did the John Oates collaboration come about, and how was it working with him? Could we get a quote from John about you?
He dm’ed me on Instagram and asked if I was a Maneater. I told him I had never eaten a human but could play a mean saxophone. We bonded over music and started recording in Nashville.
Talk about your surprise Valentine’s Day song with Oates.
We were in Nashville filming for our music video of Maneater. In between takes we were playing the blues for fun. The director caught it on camera. John’s team loved the video so much they asked for us to upload it on Valentine’s Day.
Tell us about your experiences on Jimmy Fallon’s “That’s My Jam.”
It was a dream come true. I’ve been a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon my whole life. It was a big honor to dance together and play Careless Whisper.
What are your thoughts about the Holla Yella festival? What can we expect to see there?
I played last year, and it was one of my favorite live events. The people are so fun and kind. They’re all ready to get down and saxy. The line-up this year is insane. They did an unbelievable job with it. It’s one of the best places to watch Saxsquatch perform.
What are your long-term plans for Saxsquatch? Who would you like to perform with? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have been releasing music with the label Monstercat. We’ve done a couple songs with the hit game Rocket League. I want to keep growing as a musician. Learning new instruments, experimenting with different production styles, and always finding a way to make people smile. One of my goals is to get more kids playing saxophone.