Jake Mosling, Arlis Meyer, Luke Fuller and Graham Dickinson of the band Foos play a game of foosball.

Jake Mosling, Arlis Meyer, Luke Fuller and Graham Dickinson of the band Foos play a game of foosball.

Photo/Kent Irwin

For more information, visit

When you see the name Foos, don’t picture a viking screaming at a dragon on top of a mountain, elongating the S. Instead, picture a group of much smaller men impaled on long poles, so that the word rhymes with “booze.” That’s right, the band name is not a reference to a move in a popular video game about dragons, but to foosball, a sport for which the members declare themselves “avid enthusiasts.”

When asked who the best foosball player among them is, they offer lead guitarist Luke Fuller and guitarist/vocalist Jake Mosling, the two senior members of the band.

“It depends on who’s had more to drink,” said Mosling. “But for the most part I’m better.”

It was beer that brought Foos together, one fateful night of drunken jamming in a basement. The guys bonded over some of their preferences, which found them mostly in the same camp. Beer over weed, ass over tits, denim over leather, Sex Pistols over The Clash, Buddha over Jesus. They’re an even split between The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, a foot firmly in each camp.

They’re also divided over what to call themselves in terms of genre, as many labels could fit the bill—garage rock, punk rock, alternative, skate punk or alternative punk are all styles that go into the stew of Foos’ sound.

“I just call it rock and roll,” says Fuller.

Fuller originally joined Foos as a drummer. His dad introduced him to Led Zeppelin, and the legendary drumming of John Bonham inspired him to practice and develop his own rhythmic style. New recruit Arlis Meyer sits the drum throne these days, with Fuller moving over to guitar. Meyer says he always looked up to his older brothers listening to punk and alternative rock albums back in high school.

As for Mosling, he recalls an old boyfriend of his mom’s, who he describes as a “washed-up punk.” He bought the young Mosling his first Ibanez bass.

“I just went crazy with it,” says Mosling.

Foos play with a grungy, distorted tone at a brisk, high-octane pace. They agree this adrenaline is fueled in no small part by their passion for sports. When he’s not bouncing his sticks on a drum, Meyer bounces a basketball on a court. Fuller’s fast guitar work is a match for his deadly speed on the soccer field. As for Mosling and bassist Graham Dickinson, their preferred sport is hockey, their favorite player Bobby Orr.

Foos’ sound also imparts the rebellious spirit of skateboarding on its listeners, boarding serving as a common ground for their disparate athletic preferences. The shredding guitars, tumbling drums, and driving bass of the band’s music feels a lot like watching a competitive sport, like watching them play foosball, trying to one-up each other. But Foos manages to channel the chaos into a powerful sonic assault at the audience.

As for lyrics, Mosling tries not to be obscure, preferring the everyday to the ethereal. Dickinson and Meyer also prefer to leave the high-mindedness elsewhere, studying at University of Nevada, Reno to be mechanical engineers. When they get together as a band, they just want to rock.

Mosling distills his philosophy through an athlete his dad introduced him to, the long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine.

“He was a total douchebag—Prefontaine, not my dad,” laughed Mosling. “Well, maybe my dad too. But he just showed me that you gotta be out there.”

Mosling further ponders the thought over a cigarette for a moment, and then hammers the point home.

“Yeah, that’s how I’d say it. You just gotta be out there.”