All words: Tim Snyder
Raw Feels has an incredible use of guitar pedals and vocals to get you groovin’ hard before you even realize your whole body is dancing and it’s no wonder; they have their own awesome blend of psychedelic rock/indie-pop that’s been brewing and developing over years of playing together. Raw Feels is one of the best new jam bands to watch live–all their sounds and the frequent use of a projector makes for quite the show, which we know we’ll be getting at Black Cat’s Bad Friend Records 2nd Anniversary Showcase this Friday. We had the pleasure of asking these Virginia locals a few questions about their tunes and what we can expect this weekend.
Ben Wood: We are Ben Wood, Chris Carr, Mikey Blackburn, and Kana Zink from Fredericksburg, VA.
So I’ve listened to the songs from your 2012 Raw Feels EP; your music has quite the unique sound to it. I’m super into the “Waiting/Wasting” track, the wild swirl of guitar, bass, quick drum beats and hypnotizing vocals gets you into trance-like groove. Any bands you would say could have influenced such a sound?
BW: Tame Impala was a big influence when I first started recording. I got a lot out of that first album. My Bloody Valentine, Ceremony (the Fredericksburg shoegaze band), Skywave, Slowdive, always… Um….what else? Bob Dylan?
Kana Zink: Brian Jonestown Massacre, definitely. And Neil Young, always.
It’s no secret Ben, Chris and Mikey have been playing together for a while now but its hasn’t always been Raw Feels. Tell me a little about your previous bands and how you might say they differentiate from the music you’re putting out now.
BW: After Carlos I’m Pregnant broke up there was a big change to the music I was listening to. It was a big gap of time in between the two. Raw Feels stemmed from more of me in my room than a group. So it’s different in that way; it started off as a solo project. I think it was more a solo project until the point where everyone playing with me understood where I was coming from in my writing. But it has definitely changed since then.
Mikey Blackburn: Carlos was a lot younger sounding. Definitely reflective of our age at the time.
BW: We have met a lot of great and inspiring musicians from just being in this area and surrounded by these cities. John and Paul from Skywave, and later Ceremony had a huge influence on us as far as guitar sounds and recording techniques.
CC: Being able to see bands in D.C. was really cool, too. What’s cool about living in the D.C. area is the venues available for younger musicians.
So how’s your schedule been lately? Playing many shows? Where ya been? And how about some upcoming shows for 2014 you could let us know about?
BW: Well we’ve definitely been playing a lot more regularly, at least once to twice a month. After the Black Cat, we’re heading to Brooklyn to play at the Shea Stadium with Bad Friend Records. Then we have a house show in Richmond with New York-based band Infinity Girl.
KZ: We’re taking most of February off to focus on our record and plan for the summer. We have some shows in the process for early March with Palehound.
I know I’m stoked for the Bad Friends Records 2nd anniversary show; you guys excited to play at Black Cat? Have you played there before?
BW: We played the Backstage, when we were Carlos, I’m Pregnant! But never the main stage so that is really exciting for us. Kind of a dream come true.
CC: We get to play on the same stage that we got to see some of our favorite bands!
If I was a raging Raw Feels fan dying to get my hands on some tunes, where might I be able to purchase your music?