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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I couldn’t escape music growing up, so my fate was pretty much predetermined. My dad was a musician himself and played his whole life, and everything we did there was always life with a soundtrack – car rides, house cleaning, dinners, we always had something on the stereo playing. Eventually I started attempting to play whatever instruments I could find by signing up for orchestra and jazz band and choir – he was supportive beyond belief and encouraged me to pursue it as far as I could.
BUT if I hadn’t gotten into music, I think I would’ve either became a fisherman and live life on the sea or became a boat captain and live out on the sea.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When we’re not performing, some of us are avid gamers and film junkies, others are into athletics and fitness, some are spending time with family and enjoying the Florida sights. It’s awesome to see how music brought us together, but also how unique each of us are during our free time outside of the band and the hobbies we all have.
As far as influencing our creativity, I think just life itself is what influences us – our extra curricular hobbies are therapeutic, but living life’s experiences is what keeps the creative spark alive.
How long has your band been around?
So, FELICITY originated around 2014 and had a few different lineup changes, but this iteration of FELICITY you see today has been going strong for its 6th year now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re from the sunny ‘city beautiful’, Orlando, FL! We used to joke about how we’re probably one of the few bands in our genre who actually love their hometown – so much to the point we wrote an entire song about how great Orlando and Florida are.
And the love we have for where we’re from definitely can be heard in our music as so many influences we have are from bands who are from Florida – A Day to Remember, UnderOATH, Anberlin, Less Than Jake, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, We The Kings, Yellowcard, New Found Glory, and the list goes on.
Even our producer, Andrew Wade, is from Florida, and he’s the godfather of producing so many of the greats in our scene over the years such as A Day to Remember, Neck Deep, The Ghost Inside, Wage War.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Believe it or not, but we actually didn’t take the name from the TV show (shocker, right?)
So the story goes that one rehearsal years ago during a rehearsal when everyone was sitting around, they were trying to think of a name to call this newly formed band. After referencing tons of iconic bands and searching Google for ideas, Damien looked up synonyms for ‘Nirvana’ and found ‘Felicity’, which means “intense happiness” – and being as music is the thing that brings us the most joy (and the fact that no one hated the word) it just kind of stuck and has became a part of who we are today.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I’m sure this one will be different depending on who you ask, but two that we can all collectively agree on was the first time we got to perform with Dan Marsala from ‘Story of the Year’ on the Vans Warped Rewind at Sea a few years ago, and then the most recent one where we got to perform with Dan AGAIN at a festival here in Orlando called Kraken Fest where he came on to sing his part for one of the songs he featured on for our newest album, Dear Universe – we used this opportunity wisely and were able to make a new music video from the show for our song ‘Ignite’!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Honestly, some of the greatest shows we’ve had were here in Orlando at the House of Blues by Disney. Every time we’ve had the fortunate opportunity to perform there, the atmosphere has been unlike any other – the crowd’s voice echoes the entire room, the smell of the wood from the stage and the walls, it’s all just such a surreal experience.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Looks like it’s just me putting together this show! Assuming it could be any lineup with bands recent or decades ago, I would book…
Tom Segura (nice comedic break)
The Black Dahlia Murder
Taking Back Sunday
FELICITY (gotta shamelessly self promote)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Communicate. Patience. Kindness. Be Respectful. Be Grateful & Thankful. Give 110% To Everything You Do. And Don’t Be Afraid To Take Chances And Have Fun!
A band is not only a business, it’s also a relationship. You’re going to be with the same group of people multiple times a week, sometimes even every day once you start touring, so having healthy communication and dialogue is crucial to avoid tensions and prevent differences from conflicting.
Being patient and understanding. Nothing happens over night and success isn’t achieved by giving up when it gets tough or if you experience a failure. Making a career in music takes time, a whole lot of luck, but as long as you’re happy and having fun, then you’re doing the damn thing!
ALWAYS being polite and respectful to everyone – no exceptions. You’re going to come across people who may not share this philosophy, but we control only what we can control. You never know who you could meet or are watching your show or messaging your social media pages, so ensuring that you give every person you interact with the highest level of respect will go a long way.
And one of the best pieces, we believe is… Have fun! What’s the point of investing so much time, effort, and money into something if you’re not enjoying it? If you’re happy with what you’re doing then you’re never truly working.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Literally everything stated above. We had to go through a lot of trial and error before learning the ropes. If I had someone share even ⅓ of that with me, I’m sure I would’ve saved a lot of time and made substantially more progress in life than where I am today – but that’s the beauty of knowledge and experience; you can pass it down and share.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The one that means the most to me would be C’est La Vie.
Without going too much into detail and writing a whole essay, the song was written about my father who passed away. The verses recount some of the most cherished memories I have of our time together from when I was a child up until his last day and the choruses are sharing the internal battle I fight with myself daily on trying to cope with his absence in an attempt to accept that which I can’t.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We don’t play this one anymore, but I LOVED playing ‘Reflections’ more than anything else – now it’s shifted to The Weather, which is super fun to play, don’t get me wrong!
The most requested, oof. It used to be ‘Hang On’ for a looong time but recently people have been asking for ‘Lonely Nights’ or ‘The Weather’ consistently.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Sometimes it’ll be a rough idea Damien has on an acoustic that we’ll piece together and layered up with all members, or sometimes it’s as little as a 6-10 second guitar part that sparks an idea for a chorus.
We usually like to get song ideas written out as much as we can to the point where we can play them all together with minimal mistakes. Then we’ll demo them out and start editing parts, changing verses and adding layers to choruses.
The hardest part of it surprisingly isn’t the actual music, but the lyrics themselves – trying to find creative, catchy, and easy-to-remember ways to tell a story without it getting confusing or not making sense is a lot harder than most people think.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Anything that at least one person out there can listen to and say, “I can relate to this – this speaks to ME”.
We really don’t try to go short with our messages in our songs. We share everything from death in personal lives, hard breakups, struggles with adulting and trying to find our way, happiness of our friendships; pretty much anything we’ve experienced in life, we share it all.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yes we do, and we take each other to civil court.
In all seriousness, every band is going to have disagreements. But it goes back to the advice we shared where communication, patience, and respect come into play. Not any one person is the same, so where there are disagreements, it’s important to listen to each other and create an environment where everyone feels secure enough to address those hard topics, trusting each other to be respectful to listen and work together to get past them.
Regardless of the level of severity of the problem at hand, it’s best to not assume and to listen and work together. Because what may be hurtful or difficult for one person may not be the same for the other, but it’s not a matter of validating how they feel but rather finding the root of it and coming to a resolution.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Well, we’re definitely going to be continuing to write and record in the near future, so we’ll be sharing more later on about that.
In the meantime, we’re getting ready to perform at the Emo Nite here in Orlando on May 19th and then heading out to Texas to play the So What!? Fest on Friday, May 27th!