This Saturday — as in tomorrow — Uproxx is co-presenting a show at Resident in downtown Los Angeles. The band we’re stoked to help promote is a local LA rock band called Feels. Back in 2016, the band released their self-titled debut record, which was produced by Ty Segall, on Castle Face Records. A couple years later, they’re gearing up for the next phase of their career.
The four-piece is composed of vocalist and guitarist Laena Geronimo, vocalist and guitarist Shannon Lay, bassist Amy Allen, and drummer Michael Rudes and they bring a powerhouse of sound to their live performances. Prior to the show, I corresponded with Geronimo over email to get a sense of what the band has in store and how they came together in the first place. Read our conversation below.
Feels emerged from your previous project Raw Geronimo, what qualities do the two projects have in common and what are different? How did the process of transforming into Feels begin?
When I started Raw Geronimo seven years ago it was me writing the songs and organizing everything, but I really wanted it to evolve into a collective thing where everyone was contributing and equally invested. There was a lot of trial and error with band members and direction; Raw Geronimo was a six-piece band with a full-time percussionist in addition to the drums and a guitar player cuz I initially wanted to just sing and freak out. Shannon and Michael were both in the band from the beginning but Amy joined after three years, and when it locked into being the four of us it felt like a magical transformation had happened and we’d become a different thing altogether — a much more collective thing — so we changed the name.
How did you land on the name Feels for your project? I love the juxtaposition of a word that reads as softer with a sound that’s more prickly.
We were working on a lot of new material and really focusing on how the songs felt and trying to not over-intellectualize them; we kept saying stuff like, “hmm that feels weird or “yeah that feels awesome” etc. I was thinking a lot about that word and offered it up as an option for the new name and we just kept coming back to it. We really did set out from that point forward to only make music that people could really connect to viscerally, and it’s all based on being an emotional human! Sometimes super aggressive for sure, but sometimes really delicate too, and everything in between. The name felt right.
I read that you have a classical background, which you said hindered you at first in writing more pop forward music. Are there some other ways, though, that it helped?