Welcome to the latest edition of our Virginian of the Week series. This week, we interviewed Alex Foxx, an Alexandria-based musician. His work can be found on his Instagram.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Are you from Virginia originally?

My name is Alex Foxx, I’m a song writer, guitar player and percussionist. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Brandee for over four years now. I was born in Miami, but moved here when I was 8 years old. So I may have not started my life here but I truly consider it my home. 

What’s your favorite thing about living in Virginia?

I think my favorite thing about living in Virginia is the history. I live in Alexandria and it’s an incredible city. Every step you take, you’re surrounded by something historical. Whether you’re riding a bike trail, playing at a local park or even walking the streets of Old Town, something of significance happened there, which I find exciting. You can have Starbucks and walk the same trail that more than likely our first president walked. It’s really cool. Plus a lot of buildings here are haunted and I’m extremely fascinated with the paranormal, but that’s another discussion for another time.

Tell us a little bit about how you got your start off in music?

I started getting involved with music when I was 12. I got my first guitar for $75. I still have it too which I’m surprised by. To buy it, I asked my stepfather for a loan and I mowed every neighbors yard I could that week to pay him back. My family wasn’t well off and we didn’t have the beauty of the internet like we do now. Fortunately for me I had neighbors Nick and Jesse Horak who were really into Metal music that showed me the chops. I remember always hearing them play and wishing I was as good as they were. I practiced and practiced just so I could impress them. From Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer to tons of hair metal bands. I even played in cover hair metal band when I was 20. My friend Jonas helped me get the spot and he really helped me get past the point of just learning and playing songs. He really taught me how to play guitar. Then just over time I eventually began writing my own. Drums is something I’ve always wanted to do and just play more for fun. Because let’s be honest, hitting things with sticks is fun especially if it makes good sounds. 

What’s your favorite thing about performing?

I think just the energy from the crowd influencing your performance. I’ve played to no one and have absolutely bombed it. You always hear of these bands saying things like “If I’m playing to a thousand people or one person, you’ll get the same performance out of us! We bring it every night.”. I feel that’s a false statement in most cases. When no one is there to see you play, your drive is not there. You play the same as the feeling in the room.

When I played in The Relapse Symphony we would play to sold out room at Rams Head and a few tickets shy of being sold out at House Of Blues and the energy level was like a static in the room. Once it touched your body it was a whole different feeling that nothing else could give you and the natural high of it would just come out from your instrument and your performance. 

I know you were in the band “The Relapse Symphony” for a while. Do you still perform regularly?

I don’t really perform as much, I played my last show a couple of months ago at the State Theatre. I’m not actively searching for a new band but if an opportunity arose that actually balances with the life I have now, I would do consider it. I don’t want to sacrifice my home life for anything. So for now, I play shows as something to do for fun.

What’s something people wouldn’t expect about your day-to-day?

My day-to-day I think is just as normal as anyone reading this article. I think people may assume my life is a never ending party But it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m up early everyday for a job I’m really proud of and I go home to my family each evening. 

Do you have any current favorite musicians? What do you like about them?

My favorite musician still to this day I think is Corey Taylor. The man is just walking talent. From lyrics to singing capabilities. I mean in all honesty some people are just born with it and I really enjoy what he has produced. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Ghost lately. I really like their 70’s sounding style with today’s Rock/Pop structure. It flows so well. Their lyrics are more on the darker side of things, but their music is just great to turn on and let the album play.

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working I’m spending time with my wife Brandee. We usually try and fill our weekends with eventful things to do in the area. Just spend quality time together. Trying new restaurants, unique events or going to the movies. We also spend a lot of time trying to find horror movie memorabilia and antiques in the area, since we use it to decorate our house. 

What’s your favorite book, television show or movie you’ve seen recently?

I think to answer the above question in one simple answer is just anything by Stephen King. I grew up reading Stephen King, watching the tv series based on his novels as well as the movies. The new IT films were done really well. Bills Skarsgard was excellent as Pennywise. 

Do you have any charitable causes that you’re particularly passionate about?

I’m an animal advocate and donate to local animal shelters. We have animals and they’re my world. 

This interview has been lightly edited.