‘The ShyFox’ band of brothers infused with SWC talent

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NOT SO SHY - The ShyFox frontman Julio Robles jams with band members in front of the SWC Student Center at a recent performance. PHOTO BY Mirella Lopez

NOT SO SHY – The ShyFox frontman Julio Robles jams with band members in front of the SWC Student Center at a recent performance. PHOTO BY Mirella Lopez

Naming a band is never easy. For every Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, there is a Toad the Wet Sprocket and a Limp Bizkit. Ask Alexis Robles, drummer for San Diego band The ShyFox.

“It’s a pretty funny story,” he said. “My brother Julio and I have this dog that resembles a fox and she’s very shy. So we named it after our dog.”

Alexis and Julio Robles, brothers and former SWC students, formed The ShyFox in 2011.

“At first we started a cover band with some church friends,” Julio said. “After that we decided to see if we could make our own music and from there we formed The ShyFox.”

Originally a quartet, the Robles brothers said they chose to go at it together after recording their self-titled debut album.

“The problem wasn’t really us wanting to be a duo,” Julio said, “it was more of us trying to find the right people that would fit with our musical style and personalities.”

Together the Robles brothers recorded The ShyFox’s second and third albums, “Southern Skies” and “Beneath the Beech Tree.”

In live performances Alexis plays drums and Julio plays rhythm guitar and sings, yet in the studio they incorporate a variety of instruments including a harmonica, piano and synthesizers.

Their musical influences are as diverse as their instruments. Coldplay, Interpol, John Mayer, Michael Jackson and Radiohead, as well as classical luminaries like Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky add to the ShyFox’s musical soufflé.

Around the fall of 2014, the Robles brothers said they decided to branch out and find other members to join their band.

“We always felt like we would eventually let others into the group,” Julio said. “It was just a matter of when.”

SWC student Giancarlo Dongo said he found The ShyFox through Craigslist.

“I had seen their flyers all over campus,” Dongo said, “so when I saw the ad on Craigslist saying that they were looking for a bassist I was already a fan of their music.”

The ShyFox also acquired a new lead guitarist named Francisco Pagola. He attends Mesa College.

“I first joined the band in October of 2014 after answering an ad for auditions,” Pagola said, “and now I’m a permanent member.”

Julio said he was impressed with his new bandmates’ talent.

“Francisco has these amazing guitar shredding skills,” Julio said. “Giancarlo is a multi-talent with both bass and singing abilities. I can’t tell you how happy we are having them in the band.”

When it comes to writing and producing songs, Alexis said that it is truly a collaborative effort.

“It’s like a cake,” he said, “we do it layer by layer. Julio will write the acoustic part with his vocals, then I’ll add the drums and write the bass parts and add synthesizers towards the end.”

With new members, Julio said he sees the band’s dynamic evolving.

“Now that we have Giancarlo and Francisco in the mix, our music has shape-shifted to their talents and I can’t wait to see where this new direction will take us.”

While the band has no further performances scheduled in San Diego, they do have upcoming gigs in Los Angeles and Orange County.

The band’s three albums are available for purchase through iTunes and can be streamed on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube. Details, concert listings and music can be found on the bands’ official website www.shyfoxband.com.

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