Tomorrow night, The Felice Brothers are stopping by The Fox Theatre on their “Life In The Dark Tour”. Actual Felice brothers Ian and James hail from upstate New York, where they formed the band (originally with their other brother Simone), and began making their way down to the NY City to gig and busk in subways. It was here they sparked a lot of attention, bringing their Catskill roots to the sounds of the city.
The Felice Brothers quickly made a name for themselves in the folk community, touring with bands like, Dave Rawlings Machine and Old Crow Medicine Show. After a touring stint with Bright Eyes, the Brothers scored their first record deal. And though they rep those folk vibes, they equally pull sound inspirations from roots and punk music throughout their discography, which has spanned the last eight years. Their stripped-down sound and dynamic storytelling lyrics are well worth the listen.
The Felice Brothers’ current members include Ian (guitar/vocals/piano) and James Felice (accordion/keyboards/vocals), Greg Farley (fiddle), David Estabrook (drums) and Josh "Christmas Clapton" Rawson (bass). The band recently released a self-recorded nine track album, 'Life In The Dark', and are touring the rest of October in the US before hopping across the pond to Europe for the rest of the year. Earlier this week, we sat down with James to chat more about 'Life In The Dark', what the band digs most about this tour, and breakfast (duh). Check it out:
What led the band to self-produce 'Life In The Dark'?
It was just a matter of circumstance and timing, but mostly we just started recording what we thought were going to be demos, and we sort of realized right away that we liked what was happening. So we just said, ‘You know what? Let's just make this the record now!’ The self-produced process turned out to be the right one for this record.
There seems to be a mass confusion among journalists as to whether or not you guys actually lived in New York City. What’s up with that?
It’s so weird. The definitive truth is we NEVER lived in New York City. We always used to go there to gig and busk. We would be there for weeks at a time, or for a month or two but we never actually lived there. We always lived in the Hudson Valley in New York… Everyone wanted us to be from Brooklyn but it is not so.
Following your Fox set tomorrow night, you guys are playing Larimer Lounge down in Denver on Friday. Are most of the venues booked for this US tour repping a similar rock club vibe?
Mostly we’ve been playing small venues and rocks clubs because that’s how we like it. We prefer the more intimate settings. It has to do with the energy. A lot of people closer together in a small room makes the show funnier for us. [It] creates a cool kinetic energy between the crowd and band.
What city are you most looking forward to on this tour? Or do you have a favorite venue you try to get back to every time you’re on the road?
We have spots we like. It's less about certain venues, and more about putting on a good show everywhere we go. Usually we have restaurants we like to go to in every city, and if we have time we love to get out into the wilderness. We have a tradition to try and always eat breakfast together. So we wake up early before we need to drive or do whatever we need to do and eat together. We like to eat food in this band.
The Felice Brothers seem to have it all figured out: good breakfast and solid shows. Tickets for their show at The Fox Theatre can be purchased here. And if you prefer a more intimate show, check out tickets for their Denver gig at the Larimer.
Watch the music video for The Felice Brothers' new song “Aerosol Ball”:
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.