Interview – Felix Tandem

I recently reviewed the track Shoplifter by Felix Tandem, thinking it a worthy addition to our site. If you checked the track out and wanted to find out more, read on below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Shoplifter, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

The idea to write a song about shoplifting came to me when someone really close to me was arrested for petty theft. It was initially meant to be a gentle prod against capitalism. It’s always bothered me how a grocery store makes the most money in a supply chain, while doing the least work. But after writing it, Shoplifter took on a different meaning for me. It felt like I was making fun of myself for thinking I’m fighting the system by inputting organic bananas as regular bananas at self-checkout. The song is goofy and rebellious and macho-hot-shit-masculine confidence in spite of itself. I think it’s super fun. You can listen to it on all the usual streaming suspects.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

We started recording this project in February 2020. Our last day in the studio was supposed to be March 13th, but New York went into lock-down on March 12th. So I’d been sitting on a full, near-finished record for a year and half. In that time, I moved to Nashville and made a decision to start taking this project seriously. I assembled a new band, and we finished 4 songs that we’re so excited to release! The full album is coming soon, but we’ve got a ways to go on that.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

My writing process is extremely fragmented. I try to write something every day, whether it be a lyric or a melody or a guitar idea or a little rhyming couplet. Then I revisit things when inspiration strikes and try to match up some disjointed ideas into something cohesive. It’s kind of like cooking a meal with a random smattering of ingredients. You end up creating unique combos that your logical self wouldn’t make otherwise.

For recording, I’m really hands-off and try to keep an open mind. Everyone I’ve worked with for this project is so good at what they do, so I really let the other musicians and engineers take the wheel. More often than not, cool creative decisions I would’ve never thought of myself get thrown into the mix.

We also spend a lot of time adding overdubs. The studio is absolutely an instrument and adding sound effects, weird harmonies or extra melodic lines adds a ton to a song.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

We do! Our next single, Broadcast, comes out May 27th. Mark your calendars!

Are there any plans to release an EP or an album anytime soon?

You bet your butt there is. We’re releasing our debut EP on July 1st. It’s called Okey Dokey and has 4 tracks on it, including Shoplifter. I hope you like it.

What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

Three of my biggest influences are Beck, Kanye, and the Beastie Boys. I know that’s sort of a weird pairing, but I love the way all three of them genre-hop and use their music as almost a collage. That’s incredibly inspiring to me. I also want my music to be fun and energizing, so for that I turn to a lot of funk, disco, and EDM. I love me some Bee Gees, love me some Parliament, love me some Daft Punk.

As far as listening, recently I’ve been loving Buffalo Nichols’ debut album. Also Lizzo, The Beths and The Linda Lindas. Those kids are CRUSHING it. Oh and Khruangbin’s Con Todo El Mundo is my go to summer album, so that’s in the queue.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

We’re based in Music City, USA! Nashville, Tennessee baby! I love it here. I’ve heard the country scene can be a little cutthroat, but everyone in the rock scene has been incredible. People have been so supportive, sharing press contacts, cross-promoting each other, sharing shows, it’s been great. Nashville’s not just country! We’ve got some amazing bands down here too, so come say hi.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

We do! Our next and first out-of-state show is going to be in Birmingham, AL on May 27. We’re going on a bigger tour this fall up the east coast, so keep your eyes peeled for a date near you!

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

I think our live shows are the reason people like our music. We have a lot of fun live. Dancing, screaming, improvising, we do some weird covers, we get some audience interaction going, and you get to see our lovely faces, so why would you wanna miss that?

Any last words for the fans?

Thank you, I love you. Go stream our songs and say hi to us on tour or on the internet. Also drink water.