Badass Band 51- The Open Feel

 

 

This week’s band leans a bit more toward the chill, soothing side. So if you are looking for a band to calm you down, and has a pleasing, dreamy quality then The Open Feel is the band for you.

The Open Feel was brought to my attention via their lead singer and guitarist, Katie Harris. She sent me an email; I took a listen, and dug what I heard, so now it’s time for you to do the same! The Open Feel, as you will read later, was the title of a song that never made it to their album, but stuck as the band’s name and I think it really is the perfect descriptor of their tunes. Each song on their 4 song self-titled EP, feels kind of like an unbarred jam session, which is why it is so appealing. Katie’s vocals are the perfect mix of serene and silvery. As for the instrumentals, Katie (whom also plays guitar), is backed by band mates Tom Brayton and Shawn Gatlin on drums and bass. The tunes themselves are crisp and calm; the great thing about them is you can really hear all of the instruments and what each is adding to a song. It helps you really appreciate the song as a whole.

The interesting thing about The Open Feel’s EP is that one song is titled ‘Transition’ and after listening to this album many times, it seems as though the whole EP is a smooth transition from one song to the next. Each song is not radically different from the last, yet is unique in its own right and this contributes to the natural flow of the album. It’s just kickass, relaxing, beautiful music.

Katie, Shawn, and Tom were kind enough to take some time to talk to BBB, and below you will find out about some of the epic concerts they have been to,  who wanted to grow up to spit blood and fire, and how they came together as a band.

When and why did each of you start playing?

Katie:

Both my parents were entertainers so I grew up putting on shows and producing late night lip sync’s to Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.

Tom:

I was the little kid who was always banging on things.  I would set up cans and anything with a lid on it and pretend it was a drum set.  I graduated from cans and lids and got a snare drum for Xmas when I was 6 (which I still have) and when I proved this wasn’t just a passing fad with me, I finally got a drum set at age 9 and that was that.  Drumming has saved my life over and over again ever since.

Shawn:

I saw KISS when I was a kid and I wanted to spit blood and fire and play bass after that.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?

Katie:

A variety really – The Beatles, The Cure, Michael Jackson.  Now I listen to a lot of jazz and swing – Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong.

Tom:

The first record I ever bought for myself was Van Halen’s 1984.  I listened to a lot of hard rock and metal as a kid.  Then it was punk and hardcore and bands like Fear and Fugazi.  Then it was funk, soul and jazz – James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Miles Davis.  Now it’s all of the above.

Shawn:

Lots of punk, new wave and death rock growing up.  Pretty much the same nowadays.

Which musicians do you admire? Why?

Shawn:

I admire any musician who can continue to produce good music over the years.

Tom:

That’s an awesome answer.  For me, artists like Miles Davis or The Beatles or even modern examples like Radiohead or The Flaming Lips – bands or artists who always pushed themselves creatively and never made the same record twice.

Katie:

Yeah all of the above – I would add that I admire the artists that are constantly in the process of becoming the best they can be… Even Ella Fitzgerald was always trying to grow as a singer.  She would sing to herself during the other musicians’ solo’s and try to make her voice an instrument by mimicking them.  It’s like she had no limits.  She also had the incredible ability to really sing the lyrics as if they were her words… she was truly feeling the emotion.  To me she is the best there ever was.


Katie, how did you and Tom meet and where does Shawn factor into the equation?

Katie:

Tom and I met in Venice Beach.  Our first date was at the Santa Monica pier.  We ate corn dogs and rode the ferris wheel – it was very romantic!  We both played in other bands and it wasn’t until 10 years later that we would start making music together.  After we released The Open Feel EP we didn’t have a band really, and I knew Shawn from work.  He was one of the first people to hear our band and he liked it.  I knew he played bass and guitar but we’d never heard him play.  He came down to rehearsal just to see what would happen.  He nailed everything and it was amazing.  Tom and I looked at each other after the first song and were like, well that was way too easy!  We knew we had our bass player. Now we can’t imagine the band without him.

Why the name The Open Feel?

Katie:

It was actually the name of a song that ended up on the cutting room floor but it stuck as the band name.  I sometimes think I am the “Open” and Tom is the “Feel.”  I guess that makes Shawn the “The”!

Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.

Katie:

Dreamy, heavy and sweaty.

Shawn:

Yeah it’s like My Bloody Valentine meets Motorhead!

Tom:

Visually, we still don’t have the stage space for the spaceship or the super lasers.  It’s basically the 3 of us playing music.  Someday that will change and we WILL have the spaceship and super lasers. Musically, we’ve been compared to U2, Silversun Pickups, Metric, The Cocteau Twins.

How does your creative process typically work?

Tom:

So far, it’s been the same for everything we’ve written.  Katie and I sit down with her on a guitar and me on a bass and we open up a session in Pro Tools and just start recording.  There is never a preconceived idea.

Katie:

We just play whatever we feel and it hopefully turns from “Jazz Odyssey” into a song!

What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?

Katie:

This interview with BadassBands!!!

Tom:

I think the biggest thing is realizing how much you can accomplish running a band on your own.  The way we’ve been able to reach out to radio or blogs (like this one!), or to other bands, and get to know people ourselves and slowly build an alliance.  Every time we play a show, every time we meet someone new who is cool and digs what we’re doing, every time we get a little love from radio of any kind or a zine or blog, or someone who comes to a show, all those things are little victories that really help to keep us going.

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Katie:

There are so many challenges when you are a new band and you’re doing it all by yourself.  Getting your music heard through all the noise is challenging.  There are so many bands out there trying to “make it” and they spend all day on social networks “social networking.”  The music becomes secondary and that sucks because there are a lot of great musicians, songwriters and bands out there that still play from the heart and it seems harder to find them.  Having said that, you need to be more creative than ever to get your music out there but you can get it out there, that’s the beauty of the times.

Tom:

The other great challenge was just finding a sound that we really loved.  That took time.  We wrote for a couple of years not even knowing it would end up being a band.  Then the songs started to gel and a few of them came together and we decided to go for it and record and eventually play live.  I don’t think any of us thought we would enjoy being in a band as much as we love this one.  If all else fails, we succeeded in making music that makes us feel something powerful and that really is the first challenge of any artist.

What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?

Tom:

We are planning on going into the studio in October to record a digital single and a b-side.  We hope to have something out by late fall.  If all goes to plan, we will continue recording until we have at least an EP and possibly a full length album depending on how many worthy songs we end up with.

Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan, what would it be?

Katie:

We write and perform with the intention to just be ourselves – that is really the motivation behind this band.  It’s purely us – no preconceived ideas or emotion.  That’s what I think everyone should strive for – to be the most complete and uninhibited “you” there is.

Tom:

I believe everyone is unique if you are expressing your true self.  If you can find who you really are and then be creative from that place of honesty, you will experience an alternate universe that is just pure beautiful energy.  I think in this context our name is our slogan: The Open Feel.

If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Shawn:

Make it more about the music and less about the industry.

Tom:

That pretty much sums it up!


Random Portion

One song you never get tired of.

Katie:

Pure Imagination.

Tom:

Bernard Herrmann’s soundtrack to the original The Day The Earth Stood Still.  Not just one song, but I always listen to the whole thing when I’m having a weird day, which is often.

Shawn:

David Bowie:   Life on Mars?

What is the best live show you have ever gone to?

Katie:

None because I wasn’t a teenager in the 60’s or 70’s. But I did see Pearl Jam with Nirvana and that was awesome!

Tom:

AC/DC.  That was the most complete rock show I’ve ever seen – 2 ½ hours worth of hit songs, cannons, explosions, a giant hells bell, Angus Young doing his thing and 20,000 really happy fans screaming along to every word!

Shawn:

Seeing KISS when I was a little kid and then seeing them reunited was kinda cool.

Favorite things to do NOT musically related.

Katie:

Disneyland

Tom:

Escape to where I can hear the ocean and let my mind slow down.

Shawn:

I make art and give it away.

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

Katie:

Probably any character from Lord of the Rings, except for Gimli.

Tom:

Poor Gimli!  I feel like a fictional character most of the time anyway, so I’d probably say me.
Katie: Okay I take it back – Gimli’s in.

Shawn:

Wow, I Dunno. . .  The person answering these questions?

What kind of jobs did you have before (or currently) you were in the music industry?

Tom:

I’ve always had jobs that left flexibility for me to leave to go do music.  That’s the only thing I ever cared about when it came to day jobs.  The music has to come first.

Shawn:

I’m the art director for a fashion designer.

Katie:

Our jobs are our music and art – it’s what we work on all day long. . .  shhh, don’t tell our bosses. . .

If you ran Badass Bands Blog, what is one band you would feature? (Exempting yourselves of course.)

Katie:

Tic Tic Boom! and Untoward Children

Tom:

The Carlones

Shawn:

Naked Aggression, Normandie and Scarling.

 

FIND THE OPEN FEEL HERE:

Twitter: @TheOpenFeel

Facebook: facebook.com/theopenfeel

Web: theopenfeel.com

Advertisements

  8 comments for “Badass Band 51- The Open Feel

  1. Pingback: sound recording
  2. Pingback: porn
  3. Pingback: uppfödare
  4. Pingback: Beats Selling Team
  5. Pingback: biuro rachunkowe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: