It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Feral Conservatives. I reviewed a show with them a bit ago at the Belmont House of Smoke and raved. Now they’re back on my radar with a new video for the song, “Last Light” off their soon to be released full length project.
We’re excited to premiere this on AltDaily. Check it out here:
I adore this band. They’re the kind of music you listen to when you’re sad on on a sunny day, and you really shouldn’t be sad.. Cause it’s.. Well. You know..? Sunny.
Feral Conservatives warms even the most cynical heart, while at the same time whispering, “Hey.. It’s okay. We’re sad too, sometimes.”
The new music is a bit more polished than what I saw at the live show, showing signs of tipping away from a garagey, Folk Rock edge and more into territory reminiscent of something like late 80s – mid 90s Brit Alt Rockers – the Sundays, who were a staple in college dorms all throughout the US for a bit under a decade.
“We wanted the video for ‘Last Light’ to represent the track but also give a good feel for the upcoming album–a warm vibrancy and cinematic nostalgia. The video, like certain themes on the album, tackle a poisoned memory that creeps into the present consciousness. Of course, it’s also just three people in a doorway.”
– Matt Francis, Drummer
Forming up in early 2011, Feral Conservatives self-released a series of EPs before with a fuzzed up, Folk Rock sensibility before deciding to go on tour up and down the East Coast in a Ford station wagon.
In 2015, They signed with EggHunt Records’ roster for their indie label debut. They found time in between shows to get into the studio and record a follow up full-length, “Here’s To Almost.” This effort will feature eleven tracks – some new and some re-recorded from earlier releases.
In honor of the video premiere, we pulled up for a chat with with lead singer / mandolinist, Rashie Rosenfarb:
Alt Daily: What’s the background behind this video / song?
Rashie Rosenfarb: It’s about.. Kind of.. You’re in a relationship where you’re in love. But at the same time you’re going through depression in your life. And it’s not to do with them, but you have to watch them watch you deal with it. The weird balance where you’re happy but sad. And it affects them. And you know it’s affecting them but you can’t stop it.
How did Feral Conservatives become a thing? Has it always been a three piece with you on mandolin with bass, and drums?
Oh.. Let me see.. We’ve been a band, for about four years. We were actually a two-piece for a long time, and then we decided to try adding a bass. My brother, who’s actually a guitarist, stepped in for a few shows so we could get a sense for what it would feel like. He did that for about a year and then got too busy to keep it up. So we found Dan Avant. He joined around April of this past year.
How’d you guys hook up with Dan?
We.. Um.. We found him on Craigslist!
Really? Like.. the same way you’d find a new to you, slightly used couch?
Craigslist is AWESOME!
Your sound is different, in part because of the mandolin at the center. Why mandolin? What in your background pushed you towards that instrument?
Well, I actually.. When I was a kid I took violin lessons. So I have a little bit of a background in that. But, I’m a bass player. Matt and I were in another band together before this one, and I played bass for that. Around that time I picked up the mandolin, and we created a side project. And then that band broke up so.. It wasn’t really planned. But we were heading originally in a more folk direction. But when the first band dissolved, we decided to merge the rock thing we were doing there into the side project. And that became Feral Conservatives.
Are there influences on the mandolin for you?
Not really? I mean, I always wanted to play mandolin. It’s so pretty. It has such a nice, shimmering sound? So I just picked it up and learned to play it. But I wouldn’t say I have any specific influence on the instrument. In a more general sense, musically? Definitely Superchunk. Teenage Fanclub.. The Cranberries. The Replacements. Things like that.
image | Jeff Hewitt
I hear a little bit of Aimee Mann in your voice when you sing. And it feels like, a little bit of the Sundays creeping in.
Oh, yeah. Definitely the Sundays. Her voice is so.. beautiful. She’s like a huge influence for sure.
I’m not really sure what happened to them. Now that I think about it.
Oh yeah, they only put out a few records and then sorta disappeared.
You’re about to tour?
Yeah, we’re going out.. At the end of January. We’re doing the 22nd through the 24th. And then the 29th and 30th we’re doing the album release show at FM.
You’re with a label?
Yes. EggHunt Records. We’ve been working with them for about a year. When we first started we put an EP out last February. We recorded it with them. They’re based out of Richmond/DC. They’ve been really excellent to work with. We’d gone on tour before we met them, but since we’ve been with them we’ve been able to do so much more. They’re awesome! They’ve been behind us and really helped to promote the band. It’s so helpful to have someone behind you and in your corner and it just gets you out there more. We’re doing Richmond, DC, and Philly. And then Wilmington, and then back here.
You’ve done quite a few releases, how have those done for you?
Oh.. It’s.. You now, it’s been kind of small to this point. Some of those we did before we really knew how to put songs out. Just singles. A lot of those are being collected altogether. The EP with EggHunt has done well.
Is financial success really dependent on the touring schedule? What do you see Feral Conservatives looking like ten years from now?
I.. Don’t know that we want to be huge or anything like that. It’d be nice to just be able to keep touring. Have like, a nice.. Small indie following. That would be awesome.
You can catch Feral Conservatives at these upcoming shows:
Jan. 22, 2016 – Richmond, VA, Our House
Jan. 23, 2016 – Washington DC, Velvet Lounge
Jan. 24, 2016 – Philadelphia, PA, Bourbon & Branch
Jan. 29, 2016 – Wilmington, NC, Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern
Jan. 30, 2016 – Norfolk, VA, FM Restaurant (FREE album release show)
And you can click here to pre-order the new album!