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Kayla MorenoFeb 23, 2024

Around a year ago, Rock Insider Press sat down with Felicity before the release of their song "Levitate." At that time, they were exploring their sound and writing process, re-engaging with the scene after the effects of the pandemic. Now, we're reconnecting with Drew after several life-altering viral moments, including the release of their Point North collab "Charlie Sheen." He gives us an inside look into the band's new audience, upcoming live shows, and plans for the future.

Kayla: So it's been a year since we had our last interview. Levitate was brand new, and then we celebrated together at Emo Nite in LA just a few days later. It was also my first interview ever, so it's safe to say a lot has changed for both of us. For those who haven't been paying attention, it'd seem like everything changed overnight with the release of "Emo Trash." However, you and I know that's not the case; you just dropped a new song called "Charlie Sheen," right? How has the creative process changed for you between "Levitate" and "Charlie Sheen"?

Drew: When we did "Levitate," we were working on the first batch of songs since about 2019, right before the pandemic hit. We had recorded a full-length album at the time, and then we got the final version of that in 2020. We were like, "Yay, this is everything we've ever wanted" – and then COVID hit, so we couldn't release it. We didn't release music for nearly two years. So, we didn't get to release that album until 2021, and it felt like starting over again as a band. At that time, it was released to little to no fanfare because we didn't have a lot of momentum going until 2022, when we started posting these songs on TikTok, and we became a little TikTok band I guess (laughs). From there, we built up momentum really, really fast and we had to keep it going. After that gigantic gap, we were motivated to keep writing as much as we could. We were working on music for a long time, so by the time we went viral, it felt like a long time coming. "Charlie Sheen" was the opposite, though. It was written in one weekend with another artist, band, and producer that we were unfamiliar with – in a city across the country from our home. It was a full-circle moment coming back to LA to write and record this with Point North and John, but it was very much out of our comfort zone. We were working with a different producer, and different artists, in a new space. Plus, the time crunch that we weren't used to since we only had the weekend to get it done. Luckily, the process was seamless for us, and working with John was a dream come true. He made it super easy for us, encouraged us to do our own thing, and finished whatever he needed to so the final piece would come together. But it was just so completely different. Between "Levitate" and "Charlie Sheen," we have completely changed as songwriters.

Kayla: There's always been a balance in pop-punk of knowing when to be silly and taking yourself seriously. You guys do a great job of that. There's always a moment to kind of goof off, and "Emo Trash" was that for you. But then, in "Charlie Sheen," it's almost like reclaiming your seriousness after that. It showcases a nice boundary for you as an artist. Would you ever do something like "Emo Trash" again, especially considering how serious the themes in "Charlie Sheen" are?

Drew: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's always a part of our repertoire, we're a band that doesn't try to take ourselves too seriously. You can kind of see that in the artwork, with the caricatures. The content for the song has all been really silly, despite the song itself being rather serious. It sounds like coordinated fun.

Kayla: The production sounds legit, too. So, I think that helps audiences realize, "hey, this is a bit different from the last time we heard these guys."

Drew: Exactly! That's one of the things that we always want. We have always been a band that has a diverse influence and sound, so we love making lots of types of music. The last original song we did was a nu-metal song, which is very different and kind of serious. It had a rap-rock vibe to it, with serious topics in the lyrics. We'll return to the silliness of "Emo Trash" eventually. We have a whole backlog of songs to release that have a similar silliness factor, because we feel the most comfortable when we aren't taking ourselves too seriously.

Kayla: And then you're about to go on tour again, which is a great way to establish new audiences. Are there any places you look forward to visiting on tour?

Drew: We love it every time we get to go back to Nashville. We have friends in that city, who are a part of the Felicity family at this point, so it's great because we always have places to stay, and it's like a sleepover every time we play there. And the city itself is just awesome. We love going out to Broadway and exploring things we have and have not seen before, plus the food is great in Nashville. We've never played Cleveland, Ohio before, so I'm excited to go there and see the Rock Hall of Fame. But we do love going places where our Spotify stats are the best. Cleveland is one of those places, so we know some people might be excited to see us there, which always makes a show better. We get to play NYC for the first time in 5 years. We did an Emo Nite in Atlanta this past November, so we're excited to go back to play our show there. We haven't done a really big tour like this since before COVID, so it was a long time coming. We did two shows in LA, including when we hung out with you at Emo Nite LA, but this is a full tour and we're excited about it.

Kayla: I'm sure you can feel it in the room when your fans are already there and you don't have to convert anybody over.

Drew: Oh absolutely. We got invited to play Emo Nite LA in Atlanta, thinking it'd just be a fun show to play since it had been a while. We were loading in, getting food, and we got a DM from one of our fans on Instagram saying, "Hey, you guys have a huge line at your merch table." And I was like, "for real? The doors just opened!" They weren't kidding, there were like 100 people at our merch table. Usually, people come out to Emo Nite LA just to buy a ticket to go – but people came specifically to see us. So that was awesome, and it got us pumped up to play shows on tour, not just one-offs like we'd been doing. We're paying some of these cities for the first time; so, people are comping at the bit to see us, since they'd only been able to see us on TikTok before this.

Kayla: You're also gearing up to play So What! Music Festival. How do you pick a setlist for a festival, compared to when you are on tour? Is there a balance between playing deep cuts your fans want to hear and greatest hits?

Drew: It's tough! We just try to go by what songs are the most popular on Spotify. The first time I ever saw Magnolia Park, I was in the crowd, and I remember being excited when I knew the song they were playing. So, we'll say like, this is viral on TikTok. We'll play "Emo Trash" or "The Weather." We also play recent releases, depending on when the show is. Then, we try to match the energy of the show. With the shows we're playing with Between You & Me, we'll try to play big pop-punk shows that match the vibe. If people have no idea who we are, they might at least like how we sound, you know? It's really difficult with some of these sets when we're on a time crunch. Sometimes we only have 25 minutes, we can't talk or anything between songs.

Kayla: No stage banter! But at least it's not something like When We Were Young when you're trying to play your biggest album in 30 minutes while the next band loads in.

Drew: Also, we've gotten hip to how everyone's writing shorter songs. No one writes anything over 3 minutes, which is great for these kinds of sets. Back in the day, there'd be 4-minute songs, but now there's nothing over 3 minutes.

Kayla: No one writes a good bridge anymore. Alright, here's my last question for you. This time last year, you told me the future of Felicity included releasing a new song every month – and you guys have done a pretty good job at upholding that goal. So, now, one year later – what is the future of Felicity?

Drew: We've done pretty well, despite a few delays here and there. We've also had some short windows where we released two songs, within a few weeks of each other. Then, we took a short break, and "Charlie Sheen" came out today. Now, our goal is to release a song every 6 weeks until further notice, consistently releasing music to keep our momentum going. We have another album's worth of music that's unreleased and so, so awesome. Half of them are done, and half of them are almost done. We also want to collaborate with as many artists as possible, playing more shows like the Between You & Me tour. We never thought we'd get to play LA, but we did that twice last year, which was pretty mind-blowing for us. Hopefully, more opportunities like this keep coming our way this year. 

Kayla: That's so awesome. Also, congrats on getting actual Charlie Sheen to hear the song.

Drew: Thank you! And the quote from him was better than anything we could have imagined. Maybe we can get him to do a music video cameo in the future so people believe that it was real because, you know, everything you see on TikTok is fake.

Kayla: Pics or it didn't happen! Seriously congrats on all the success. It was great catching up with you.

Drew: For sure! Hopefully, we'll be back in LA soon for a show and we can hang out again there.

"Charlie Sheen" is officially Charlie Sheen-approved. And it's RIP-approved, too. Be sure to add it to your summer pop-punk playlists if you haven't already. It sounds like there's a lot more Felicity to head our way, and these collaborations promise an optimistic future for the band.

Stream "Charlie Sheen" on all streaming platforms here, and keep up with Felicity here.