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10 Quick Ones with FELIX HAGAN of FELIX HAGAN & THE FAMILY – August 2017

According to a recent press release: Theatrical punks Felix Hagan & The Family have today announced the release of their debut album Attention Seeker, due for release on November 20th. To mark the announcement, the band have released the brand new single “Hey I Want You”. The new song is a huge celebration of extravagant rock ‘n’ roll and plays as if Queen starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Regarding the single Felix says, “This is a noisy hymn to the people we love, a fast-paced, growling, glittery beast to brighten your eyes and grab you by the throat. Take a hold of that person you adore, and let’s dance.”.” We get Felix himself to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This new song is called “Hey I Want You,” and it’s a massive musical explosion to grab people by the soul and make them dance. I’ve gotta be honest with you, folks. This is the least layered song we’ve ever done. The release prior to this, our song Delirium Tremendous, was a dark-as-hell disco track rammed with poetic descriptions of alcohol withdrawal, with plenty there to delve into lyrically and musically. This song is far more straightforward, and is a big fucking rock song about being completely infatuated with someone. It’s mainly three chords, a riff, a catchy melody and a shouty bit, and then the best guitar solo in the world from our amazing Tom Webber. It’s a song to turn up loud as you can stand, and just dance your arse off with a huge grin on your face. It’s awesome.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I wanted to do nothing but play music since the first time I ever performed, tooting my tiny little adolescent trumpet in a school concert. That hot rush of nerves, sweat and euphoria (albeit in a primary school in the New Forest) was the most electric feeling I’ve ever experienced. And I wanted THAT, forever. Then when I got older, started playing much louder instruments, writing songs and doing gigs, the idea of ever doing anything else dissolved into nothingness. I just wanted to perform, and I’ve spent all the years since then trying to hammer that into something like a career.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Oh god, they change all the time. My defining influence is the world of musical theatre, the idea that songs should be BIG and never ever boring. I am completely of the opinion that musicians are entertainers, and should never forget that every noise they make needs to be for the audience’s pleasure. So I always set out when writing songs to cram every second with something to hold the attention. Cole Porter is the greatest lyricist who ever lived. His dexterity with words, and his ability to create hugely complex and multi-layered rhyme schemes whilst simultaneously remaining funny and coherent is the greatest thing. Musically, at the moment I’m descending down a jazz harmony rabbit-hole, and I’m listening to a lot of Jacob Collier and Cory Henry, salivating at their astonishing skill and harmonic prowess. I’ve also suddenly got into John Mayer (as I never thought I would) having fallen in love with his live guitar work. I’ll also eternally rank Queen as the best band who ever existed, and if I could live with nothing but ABBA Gold for the rest of my life I’d be a happy man.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

I would say either Amanda Palmer (who was a tremendous musical comfort to me in my early twenties), Lin-Manuel Miranda (who just seems to puke brilliance in everything he does) or Quincy Jones (just because… it’s Quincy fucking Jones).

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Glam pop, glitter punk, loud sweaty disco madness. Like ABBA and Queen screaming on the set of Rocky Horror.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The never ending, fantastic amounts of money. I mean, I don’t want to brag. But I’ve got a Renault Clio.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We generally sing songs from Les Mis, play board games and cover each other in glitter. It’s just such fun being with my marvelous band. That’s the great thing about surrounding oneself with glorious, kind, funny show-offs. Ellie makes miraculous cakes so we eat a lot of those. Booze-wise, we’re more into doing escape rooms and eating delicious burgers than getting hammered and trashing dressing rooms. And I go around the country doing house concerts all the time, so singalongs are my domain.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Gymnast. Imagine being able to do a back flip. How fucking cool would that be? I would also accept film star, or something involving sword fighting. I basically want to be Arya Stark.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Oh god, where do I start. Like every single person who does a creative thing for a living, I’m finding my way in the dark without a map. And there have been innumerable silly things. The time we drove up to the Edinburgh festival with no gigs, nowhere to stay, but completely convinced we were going to be a smash hit. We ended up playing in cafes and churches and sleeping on people’s floors that we’d met at 2am in bars. That was interesting. I’ve also blundered into professional relationships with people who turned out to be completely wrong for us, and that took a lot of work to rectify. But these things all serve to bounce you onto the right path, and if you’re determined as all hell, and willing to keep going no matter how hard it can be, then you can find things starting to go right. There are also songs I’ve written in the past that I now don’t fully agree with, as my personal outlook on the world has changed. But I like to think it’s important to keep moving forward always as an artist, and that to recognize and strive for change in oneself is a good thing.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Imagine being there when they recorded “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Maybe chucking in a little ‘mamma mia’ in the vocal overdubs. Now that would be cool. So much of Queen stuff is special to me. Can you fathom the nerve it takes to release songs like that? Or hearing “We Will Rock You” for the first time? It would blow your damn mind.

FELIX HAGAN & THE FAMILY LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

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10 Quick Ones with FELIX HAGAN of FELIX HAGAN & THE FAMILY - August 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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