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Meet the Colorful Personalities Fueling FELICITY's Musical Journey: A Kaleidoscope of Genres and Influences



FELICITY

In the pulsating heart of FELICITY, there’s a concoction of personalities, each one adding a unique flavor to the band’s dynamic. From Cory’s penchant for sewing to Rashid’s unconventional choice of martinis, they’re more than just musicians - they’re a vibrant kaleidoscope of experiences and quirks that coalesce into their music. 


Meet Rashid Williams, the rhythmic heartbeat of the band, whose love for espresso martinis with a twist mirrors his eclectic drumming style. Mike Alosa, the Rubik’s Cube-aficionado bassist, brings a puzzle-solving precision to his playing, while Cory Nicholas’ dual talents in guitar and alligator wrangling add a dash of adventure to the mix. 


Damien Fagiolino, the soulful vocalist with a taekwondo background, anchors the band with his introspective lyrics and powerful stage presence. Andrew Wade, the self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady" of the group, finds inspiration in his feline companions named after New England Patriots players, a testament to his creativity and love for both music as well as sports. 


In the ever-evolving world of pop-punk tendencies, FELICITY has emerged as an upcoming trailblazer in the scene, curating an entirely new and refreshing sonic landscape for listeners of all alternative genres.


Thus, FELICITY is not a band to be confined to any one label, “We like to call ourselves ‘trash rock’ which is a sense of all these different genres. You’ll have pop punk, you’ll have nu-metal, you’ll have hard rock, and we kind of throw them into a trash can and we kind of mix it up and we pull something out because each one of us has a different background when it comes to music and things that we like to listen to,” mentions Damien. 


After the release of their debut album, Dear Universe, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, FELICITY entered a stage of experimentation, “having those songs ready to go, it really made us go ‘how are these songs performing?’ ‘What does the future of our sound kind of look like it’s going to be?’” Mike elaborates. Now, three years later, the band’s niche has become more solidified as their sound continues to flourish in new directions, “In terms of direction, we’ve done various things in the hard rock realm and pop punk realm and we keep trying to bring in other elements that we haven’t used before,” Mike continues. 


As their first track of 2024, “CHARLIE SHEEN” serves as a testament to the band’s maturing musical prowess, delving into themes of self-destructive behavior and resilience through catchy hooks that seep with resonance and stick with you like glue. Upon the first listen, the lyrics establish the ambiance of a stereotypical pop-punk song, adorned with edgy and emotional lines that feel at times exaggerated, yet even so, you’ll find yourself humming word for word unintentionally after the first verse. 


Damien touches on the tracks' overarching themes explicitly in our conversation, “Specifically this song, when we were going into the studio we wanted to think of someone who was, who had a massive downfall and was basically trying to pick themselves up and rise above the ashes, so to speak. So that’s kind of like the song's meaning. That like, don’t count yourself out when you think everything is against you, the world is against you. The world is going to keep spinning, you just have to keep pushing through and preserving. Try and be better if you can, in every single thing.” Cory commented on the band’s message as well, noting “I’m a little insane so it helps.” 


Overall, there’s a vulnerability and authenticity to FELICITY’s production that attracts them to a broad audience and infuses their sound with a sense of relatability and solace. Even though the band remains lighthearted and charismatic in front of crowds, their personalities shine through constantly as kindhearted and passionate individuals who are dedicated to the greater impact music can have. 


“I think we all suffer from some kind of self-destructive tendencies, especially when you’re going through it and we were like ‘who’s the one celebrity,’ because we wanted to have somebody to call out, ‘that kind of represents self-destructive behavior who hasn’t, know you, completely tarnished their reputation,’” Andrew relates to the track title. 


In collaboration with John Lundin of Point North, “CHARLIE SHEEN” was a transformative experience, pushing the band to explore new creative territories and refine their songwriting process, “we kind of all booked the flights, we made it happen, and we went out to LA and we were in his private studio. It was phenomenal and just having that one on one experience with him, cause we had nothing, we literally wrote everything together on the spot, so it was great just to like hear his ideas, hear my ideas, hear all the rest of the guys ideas and see how it kind of came together to be ‘CHARLIE SHEEN,’ it just felt like a really special moment,” Damien recalls. 


“This was one of our first times working with another producer who just has different processes and songwriting techniques and I think we learned a lot from John that just we can take into the studio, when we go back in, with any producer,” Andrew adds. From drawing mind maps to crafting lyrics, the collaboration opened doors to fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to music-making, “John definitely brought so much to the table with helping us write that song.” 


And FELICITY’s growth does not go unheard in the track either as the production and engineering quality showcases their professionalism and improvement unequivocally. Every component of the mix is mastered eloquently, offering no room to pinpoint flaws. The vocals soar over the punchy instrumentals, offering clean and pristine highs and lows. 


“The song writing itself has improved a lot. Over the years we’ve focused a lot on writing a lot of riffs and crazy bridges like different breakdowns and beatdowns and stuff,” noted Cory right off the bat, “melody is the primary factor in this compared to everything, just making sure the vocals are able to be a message that is sing along but is also a message that is not too disillusioned from what the general public wants to hear.”


As they complete their recent tour Between You & Me, FELICITY anticipates electrifying live shows that showcase their energy and passion all throughout the summer. “I’m a very honest and realistic guy,” Rashid jabs, “I think what fans can expect is FELICITY to be the best band of the night. I think we are gonna be the most energetic band of the night. I think we have the most to gain and the most to lose so it gives us an edge nobody else has. I think they should get there early so they could get the full experience.” From Orlando to Atlanta, each city holds the promise of new connections and memorable performances, marking milestones in their journey as a band and securing FELICITY’s crucial spot in the industry. 


Reflecting on their achievements thus far, FELICITY recalls the surreal moment of opening for The Used in LA - a testament to their dedication and resilience as artists. Influenced by bands like Papa Roach and Avenged Sevenfold with hints of every other genre woven into the fabrics of their music, FELICITY aspires to leave a lasting impact on the music scene. 


With the sights set on future endeavors touring and releasing new music, FELICITY invites fans to join them on their musical odyssey, promising an exhilarating ride filled with passion, creativity, and unforgettable moments. As they continue to evolve and innovate, one thing remains certain - FELICITY is a band on the rise, destined for greatness in the ever-changing landscape of pop-punk music.



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TRANSCRIPT:

 

Sabrina: Before we kick things off lets start by introducing yourselves, your role in the band, and a fun fact. 


Rashed: I’m Rashed, I’m the drummer, fun fact about me, 


Everyone: so many!


Rashed: A fun fact about me is that I like to drink espresso martinis with hennessy instead of vodka. 


Mike: I’m Mike, I play bass, and a fun fact about me, I can solve the rubix cube 


Sabrina: How fast? 


Mike: two minutes or less, which isn’t, we’re not competing for any world champions or anything but 


Sabrina: Hey!


Mike: Are you able to solve the rubix cube? 


Sabrina: No, I’m not so I reward you. Beat me there 


Damien: We’ll see if that’s true, we have a rubix cube 


Sabrina: Do we actually have a rubix cube? 


Damien: No we gotta buy one, start carrying it around 


Cory: Okay, I’m Cory, I play guitar, fun fact, I did sewing classes for a long time when I was in high school. Yeah, dude it was fun. And I caught an alligator 


Sabrina: Okay


Cory: 3 foot, in highschool 


Sabrina: in the U.S.?


Cory: Yeah in Tampa 


Sabrina: Did you eat? 


Cory: No, no 


Sabrina: That’s interesting 


Cory: It’s just a fun fact I don’t know 


Sabrina: No, that’s fun


Damien: I didn’t know that he ever did that 


Mike: Yeah that was a fun one, I never knew that 


Damien: My name is Damien, oh I’m sorry


Mike: No you’re good 


Damien: No keep talking 


Mike: No I’m done 


Damien: Oh, my name is Damien, I’m the singer and a fun fact about me is, I took taekwondo for like ten years. That’s it 


Mike: Dude knows how to fight 


Andrew: I’ll challenge you 


Andrew: My name is Drew, I play guitar, my fun fact is I have three cats all named after New England Patriot Players


Sabrina: Okay, would you call yourself crazy cat lady? 


Andrew: Yeah, I am definitely the crazy cat lady of the band, for sure 


Everyone: Yeah, I agree, I would agree


Damien: my clothes are filled with hair. 


Mike: I didn’t know they were all named after New England Patriots though.


Cory: They’re cute too 


Sabrina: So can you tell us a little about the inspiration and meaning behind “CHARLIE SHEEN?” You mentioned it addresses self destructive behavior, mental health struggles, how do these themes resonate with the band personally and why was it important to address them in your music? 

Damien: Incredible question. I think Charlie Sheen, specifically this song when we were going into the studio we wanted to think of someone who was, who had a massive downfall and was basically trying to pick themselves up and rise above the ashes, so to speak. So that’s kind of like the song meaning, that like don’t count yourself out when you think everything is against you, the world is against you, the world is going to keep spinning, you just have to keep pushing through and persevering, like try and be better if you can, in every single thing, I think that’s pretty much it. 


Andrew: You got that down, you killed it 


Cory: Yeah that was great. 


Sabrina: Does it personally resonate with any of you, any stories you’d like to share about it? 


Cory: I’m a little insane so it helps 


Mike: I think we’re all a bit screwed up 


Andrew: Yeah, I think we all suffer from some kind of self-destructive tendencies, especially when you’re going through it and we were like who’s the one celebrity because we wanted to have somebody to call out that kind of represents self-destructive behavior who hasn’t, know you, completely tarnished their reputation, like we all just kept going back to Charlie Sheen, it fit the rhythm scheme, so uhm, so yeah it just made sense and so far the song’s been doing really well. 


Sabrina: I love it personally, I think it’s very nu-metal type of sound. So FELICITY is known for blending different genres and styles, with CHARLIE SHEEN exploring new sonic territories, how would you describe the overall musical direction you’re heading in with your recent releases? 


Cory: That’s a great question. 


Damien: I think the overall direction is like, we like to call ourselves “trash rock” which is a sense of all these different genres, you’ll have pop punk, you’ll have nu-metal, you’ll have hard rock, and we kind of throw them into a trash can and we kind of mix it up and we pull something out because each one of us has a different background when it comes to music and things that we like to listen to so we come together and we’re like I’m inspired by a song like this let’s try to recreate it, let’s not copy it, but let’s try to be inspired by it and do it, and so that can be in any genre, pop punk, pop, anything honestly. I think that’s basically the best way to put it. 


Mike: In terms of the direction, we’ve done various things in the hard rock realm and pop punk realm and we keep trying to bring in other elements that we haven’t used before and we actually have other singles that are ready to go and we’re just seeing how does CHARLIE SHEEN do? It’s gonna guide what the next single is going to be and it’s sort of this swinging back and forth between the pop punk lighter side and the hardcore rock side, and we’re going to eventually trend towards something we’re still figuring out right now. CHARLIE SHEEN is a huge step in that direction of bringing the some harder elements with some pop elements and just fusing them together.


Sabrina: And that’s how you find your sound, it’s all about trial and error. 


Everyone: Exactly 


Sabrina: To follow up on that, how would you describe your evolution as a band since your debut album, Dear Universe? 


Mike: Releasing something like that during the pandemic, or just kind of after the pandemic, and those songs ready to go it really made us go how these songs performing? What does the future of our sound kind of look like it’s going to be? And since it came out, it was received so well, we just wanted to get on tour for it a little bit and that really just made it harder to get everything truly going. 


Andrew: Yeah, I think you hit that spot on, that’s correct. 


Cory: Yeah, I mean the songwriting itself has improved a lot, cause like over the years we’ve focused a lot on writing a lot of riffs and crazy bridges like different breakdowns and beatdowns and stuff and from Dear Universe to even now, a lot of these songs are getting shorter, we’re cutting bridges out we’re not doing like focusing so much on highlight guitar parts or anything … anything other than just lyrics and message, singability of the song so to speak, melody is the primary factor in this compared to everything, just making sure the vocals are able to be a message that is sing along but is also a message that is not too disillusioned from what the general public wants to hear, so, yeah, just more mature I’d say 


Mike: Yeah, for sure 


Sabrina: So what was the experience like collaborating with John of Point North on this track? How did the collaboration come about? 


Damien: Uhm, that experience was pretty phenomenal. We’ll we’ve always been a big, big fan of that band so when we asked our manager if it was possible that could happen she reached out and we found out that we could do so we kind of all booked the flights, we made it happen, and we went out to LA and we were in his private studio, it was phenomenal, and just having that one on one experience with him, cause we had nothing, we literally wrote everything together on the spot, so it was great just to like hear his ideas, hear my ideas, hear all the rest of the guys ideas and see how it kind of came together to be CHARLIE SHEEN, it just felt like a really special moment, for me particularly.


Drew: It was really cool too, we record a lot of our music with our producer, Andrew Wade, who lives in Orlando, but this was one of our first times working with another producer who just has different processes and songwriting techniques and I think we learned a lot from John that just we can take into the studio, when we go back in, with any producer and a lot of unique stuff. Anytime we go to record, we’re trying to work with producers or other artists or other collaborators who can teach us something and just make us better, John definitely brought so much to the table with helping us write that song. 


Sabrina: To kind of build further on that, how did his involvement push you creatively or challenge the songwriting process? 


Mike: He just had a way of thinking about how you come up with a song and what the chorus is going to say as opposed to what the verse is going to say, and just really sitting down to say ‘what’s our message?’ and now can we say it in instead of five words, four words, then three words, and how do you really hone in on what that new lyric is going to be and then the song can start to evolve from there, rather than maybe coming up with instrumentation and fitting lyrics into it. We put so much thought into making what is it like a mind map we drew? 


Damien: It was like a venn-diagram we drew


Mike: Yeah, yeah


Damien: It was like circles and bubbles all over with like little ideas, like little stems and ideas all around 


Mike: And it was just to get ideas flowing in a way that more bands haven’t traditionally done and I just remember he plops down paper is like “alright we’re going to do this right now.” And then he’s just drawing some things, connecting some lines, and then we see how the song kind of flows from the verse to the chorus and then rests and it's just all one cohesive thing. 


Sabrina: It’s fantastic to work with someone like that when you’re first starting out, and this is one of your guys first collaborations right? 


Damien: We’ve had a few but I think Point North would be one of the more, probably one of the larger ones 


Andrew: And definitely one where it was really like, another one where it was really like, in depth, sometimes it might just be “oh hey we’re going to send you the song, do you wanna write a verse or do you just want to perform the verse we wrote?” is one of the other of those, this was like writing a song from absolute scratch and flying across country with nothing, not a riff, not a lyric, and doing everything from the ground up so it was like a true collaboration where like we were all like songwriting, all writing guitar parts, all writing bass parts, all coming up with ideas for it, so that was really cool


Damien: It could be kinda scary sometimes because you’re like ‘we’re not going in with any ideas’ are we going to vibe? Are we going to jam well? Because plenty of times there’s artists that don’t make it happen in the allotted time that they have, and then there like ‘oh you guys have to fly back and try to do this again” so the fact that we made something happen that we’re proud of is incredible, in the time that we had, because John is very efficient and I feel like FELICITY has always been very efficient, when we go in and we wanna do something, we make it happen


Sabrina: I was going to say, it is lucky you guys flew all the way out there and actually worked with someone you connected with 


Damien: Exactly, because you don’t know. Is this going to be good or is this going to be bad? You don’t know. 


Andrew: And he was 100% one of the guys from the moment we walked in we felt completely comfortable and we immediately got to work and it was so easy and natural, and you’re right, you don’t know. And I’ve heard the words, for us it’s always been pretty easy, we’ve gotten pretty lucky but we’ve heard horror stories with producers and artists having clashing and difficult times together, but with John it was as easy as it was working with the same producer that we’ve worked with for ten years as far as stepping in and feeling comfortable. 


Sabrina: So your upcoming tour with Between You & Me is highly anticipated, what can fans expect from your live shows and are there any particular city or venues you’re especially looking forward to playing? 


Damien: Rashid what do you think?


Rashid: I’m going to be honest because I’m a very honest and realistic guy, I think what fans can expect is FELICITY to be the best band of the night. I think we are gonna be the most energetic band of the night. I think we have the most to gain and the most to lose so it gives us an edge nobody else has. I think they should get there early so that they could get the full experience, uhm, and I think in like terms of the venue selection, Orlando is a massive show because it’s pretty much the hometown, you know what I’m saying, so I mean of course we are looking forward to going there but honestly, I feel like, with this situation, this is from what I understand because I’m the newest member of the band so there was a Between You & Me collab on the road before 


Damien: Yeah 


Andrew: Yeah, we opened for them our final show before the lockdown so it was like us opening for them as like a local band in Orlando, like local support, and then for our first tour, after COVID, to be supporting with them is really unbelievable.  


Rashid: Yeah, it’s cool. 


Sabrina: Especially, it’s a full circle moment. 

Rashid: But I mean, we’re gonna crush it that night, I’m just telling you now 


Sabrina: Okay, I mean that’s a bold statement. Fans are going to have to buy tickets and tell us. 


Everyone: Yep, Yeah. 


Rashid: Please buy a ticket and tell me I’m wrong to my face. You’re probably going to say, “man, you really said it and it happened just like that,” 


Sabrina: What about everyone else? Are we all excited for Orlando? 


Everyone: Yeah 


Andrew: I’m excited for Atlanta too 


Cory: Yeah, I think Atlanta is going to be great. 


Andrew: We.. The Masquerade is one of the coolest venues we’ve ever played, and we played a show random in Atlanta back in November and just the turnout for us was beyond what we really expected and we had people sing along and a packed house, so we really think Atlanta is going to be another fun one. That’s a city that’s always treated us really well.  


Mike: Who knows? This is our first time in Richmond, first time even in Charlotte, 


Damien: Yeah, we’re playing Richmond for the first time 


Mike: So we might be surprised 


Sabrina: A lot of fists


Damien: Our opinions might completely change, we’ll find out 


Sabrina: I’m excited for you guys, I mean awesome trip anyways


Damien: Exactly, and all these opportunities we’re very excited for and humbled that we got this opportunity cause we’ve been grinding for a while and like the fact that they asked us to come on the road this time is pretty cool. 


Sabrina: Yeah, definitely. I’m excited for you guys, it’s going to awesome no matter what. Always an experience. 


Damien: Exactly 


Sabrina: You guys have achieved a lot of success and reached many milestones in just a few years as a band what has been the most surreal or proudest moment for FELICITY so far and what are your goals looking ahead for the rest of 2024? 


Andrew: I’d say, we got to open for The Used in LA, that was pretty cool because that was… I’d we were really proud of it because we had never flown anywhere and plaid a show without driving there, so we had to figure out how to fly with our guitars, our equipment, and how to put on a show that we can say was of FELICITY standard with any of our normal shit and we did it with like very short notice and all flying from different parts of the country, and we showed up and we made it happen and we got to pretty much be direct support to one of our most influential, favorite bands and just, we played a sold-out show at the Troubadour for our first time in LA which is pretty insane, so, I'd say that was definitely surreal and it never still has sunken in fully ‘holy shit we did that’ but now we 


Rashid: LA loved it 


Andrew: Now we have fanbase


Rashid: They loved that show  


Damien: An LA fanbase. And we, just to uh, piggy-back on that we flew back two weeks later to do LA Emo Nite as well and that was also sold-out I think, so it was just cool to have that moment to be able to say we did it one time with The Used, we were able to fly out with none of our gear, like put on a great show, and then we did it two weeks later and again had such a successful show. So, it’s like, that was definitely a proud moment I think for me, I remember. Across the states too. 


Sabrina: You touched on it a little bit at the end there, but who are your guys most influential artists? 


Mike: There’s a different answer for all of us 


Sabrina: Yeah, I want to hear all of your answers individually. 


Andrew: I think, we always say one of the biggest ones for FELICITY that at least most of us all really grew up with and all really connect on is probably Papa Roach, is a band that just puts on amazing rock show, has had the longevity, always is never afraid to reinvent themself, always stays in the public eye, isn’t like the front of the scene but a very positive manner 


Cory: Kills it live. 


Andrew: Kills it live, puts on an amazing live show, if you’ve never seen Papa Roach live you’re doing yourself a disservice. Also, they just always seem to be innovating, they’ve been to collab, they’re collaborating with artists and changing their genres and doing whatever they felt was right for the brand and right the band and I think that’s why they’re still beloved in the rock community like universally everyone loves them and no one really has anything bad ever to say about them so for us, we’ve gotten to see them several times and we got to meet them one time, when we played a festival and they were the nicest dudes in the world. So genuine, so down to earth, super kind, 


Damien: So excited too, still


Andrew: They were so genuinely so excited to go play a show and it was like man I hope after like 30 years as a band and you’re playing the same songs you’ve been playing for probably twenty-five of those thirty years uhm you still have that same energy and excitement and it was truly, truly, inspirational. 


Damien: I think that’s a great thing, I think that like everything he said about Papa Roach, I think me, I just listen to so many different genres. Like in the pop world, in the R&B world, in the rock world, in the hard rock, metal world so it’s hard to narrow down on something but I’m like all over the place right now when it comes to like influences for me 


Cory: Like same. I mean we were talking about the question today: Who could we hang out with earlier? And everyone said rock people and I said Biggie Smalls. I wanna go back to the ‘90s, be in one of those small little rooms where everyone’s just jumping and yeah, dude, it was sick. So uhm, you said it great, yeah, there’s just too many influences to 


Damien: it’s hard to narrow down, what about you Mike? 


Mike: I guess just, I agree with everything being said, for me, I grew up on 90s rock as well: Red Hot Chile Peppers, Incubus, Rage Against The Machine. And just bringing those grooves into this project has allowed like our commonality with Papa Roach to really sort of shine through because they also have a sick bass player. So yeah, it works out 


Rashid: Yeah, I’m, I’m probably the the most weird one of the bunch because like Papa Roach was the first song the guys brought up and I was like “I know that one! Let’s do it!” But we have also talked about Avenged Sevenfold because I’m an extreme Avenged Sevenfold fan, like I love those guys. I actually met them once and didn’t know it was them and I feel really crazy about that, like literally had a full conversation and then my friend told me that it was them and I was like “are you joking?” But they were that cool. Like nobody was super diva, everybody was cool. But all the time, Phil Collins is going to be like, as a drummer, you know, he’s the strongest drummer. He took drumming to a whole new level and I think Dave Grohl followed in his footsteps and I don’t know maybe one day we’ll be saying that FELICITY and drummer Rashid Williams was the same deal that would be really cool.


Sabrina: Never know. Keep saying it and it might happen!


Rashid: Ehh, I got a good feeling 

Sabrina: Well, that’s all for today. Thank you guys so much, before we end things here do you guys have any final words for our audience? 


Damien: Andrew this is your department 


Andrew: Hey! Follow us at everyone on social media @wearefelicity and come check out any of these shows with Between You & Me if this is out before those if not we will be at So What Fest, So What music fest in Dallas, Texas on June 2nd, we’ll be in Chicago on May 18 for our first headline show in Chicago. So if you’re in any of those markets, you can come see us then if you don’t make it to any of these shows with Between You & Me. 


Rashid: And don’t do drugs 


Andrew: and don’t drink


Damien: You heard it!


Rashid: Drive safe!


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