The Ferenjis
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The Ferenjis

Salem, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Salem, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Jazz Neo Soul




"Gettin’ Groovy With The Ferenjis"

Salem neo-soul quartet The Ferenjis is poised to release a full-length album [July 13] at The Space Concert Club. We caught up with drummer/bassist Jason Pluemke for a Q&A before the big event.

When did the band from?
-April of 2017. Andrew, Peter and I had planned to participate in one of The Space’s decade cover nights, and we wanted to cover The Killers. We needed a fourth to fill out the roles, so Andrew recommended having one of his piano students, Trevor, play guitar for us. After that night, we wanted to continue playing together, and we loved every minute of it.

What’s the story behind the band’s name? Star Trek reference?
- We heard the name from a friend who visits Ethiopia from time to time to see family. Ferenjis (fir-en-jeez) is a slang term derived from [Frenchi], to mean “outsider,” “beyond the border,” etc. The name seemed interesting enough and didn’t have any takers for a band name, so we thought it would work out for us. Plus, we like to see ourselves as genre boundary pushers, it seemed to fit. The Ferengi name from Star Trek actually comes from the same background, but we didn’t make that connection for some reason until after we chose to go with the name.

Where did you find your inspiration for music?
-We definitely look at other musicians for inspiration when writing songs, specifically the different moods we hear and want to emulate. Lyrics though tend to be more influenced on current feelings in our lives towards our relationships (past and present) or often times addressing stresses we encounter.

Tell us more about the album.
-We’re going with a self-titled release of The Ferenjis. It’ll be around 10 tracks, mostly songs that we have in our current lineup, but we plan on sneaking a few new ones in too. With the exception of one song, everything on the album will be previously unreleased music, so no updated versions of tracks from “Live From The Space” or “The Smith Sessions” EP’s. It’ll be released, of course, online through all the popular retailers, as well as physical copies as CDs. If there’s a way we could make it work, we would love to have it pressed to vinyl too, but we’ll see how things go. First things first, we got to finish up the tracks.

The Ferenjis are heading out on a west coast tour?
-We are heading out for our first lengthy tour this summer! It’s broken up between almost every weekend after the album release and will be done around Labor Day. We are taking a long week at the beginning of August to go hit the cities farther away than a short weekend could accommodate. Cities include Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Bend, Ashland, Medford, Boise, Salt Lake City, Reno, Chico, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Portland, Hood River, Vancouver, Olympia, Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver, B.C.
This isn’t our first time out of the area though. Last summer, we hit Olympia and Seattle with Chromatic Colors for the Washington leg of their west coast tour. Definitely looking forward to playing in all these places.

Before the album release show, catch The Ferenjis perform at Salem Ale Works June 8 and on the CCTV Stage during Make Music June 21.

“Our hand-bleached T-shirts are only available at shows, so people should come pick one up and party with us one of these nights,” said Jason. Check out The Ferenjis on Youtube to watch them being made, along with some other music and non-music videos.

Find the band’s music, merch and more at

-Press Play Magazine, June/July 2019 Edition - Press Play Magazine

"Getting to Know The Ferenjis"

Welcome to BuzzMusic and thanks for joining us! This past summer you released your self-titled album, how did you find the process of creating, recording, and releasing that album? Was it how you imagined it would be?

Creating the songs for the record happened really organically. Each time we got together in our early rehearsals, one of us would bring an idea to the table and the rest of us would flesh it out. Then, we just gigged. A LOT. And took what worked and what didn’t and refined those cuts by gigging them all over the place. Once we started getting asked for CDs at each show, we knew that we needed to get a record out. The recording was kind of a different story. Initially, we’d booked time with an engineer that we really dug (Ethan Wilson), but after a couple of attempts stymied by technical snafus, we ended up DIYing the entire thing. We recorded the vocals and different instruments in a variety of places from Corban University, NW School of Music, band member's houses, and even a storage space. It’s not how we imagined it would be at all, but we are so stoked on how the record came out.

When you toured the west coast of North America, which was your favorite show to play, and why?
The West Coast tour was a cover-to-cover blast, but our favorite dates were the California shows. In San Diego, we played this little club called City Pub, and it was just a vibe the entire night. The owner was super cool, the club was sweaty and packed, and it seemed like everyone picked up what we were putting down. Sacramento had a fun rotation of patrons visiting and talking with us between sets, most of whom want to get us drinks or take shots with us. They were down to party and it felt good playing to a room of people who we excited about our tour and enjoying our set. Our last show of the tour was a house show in San Jose, which ruled. There’s actually some footage from that show at the end of the Appreciate video.

How did the collaboration with Santiam Brewing come about? Are you interested in pursuing other similar collaborations?
We decided a while ago that we really wanted to do a collaboration with a brewery. We reached out to several local breweries and we ultimately decided to go with Santiam Brewing because they hadn't ever done something like this before and were just as excited as we were. We got to be super involved in the whole process, from selecting the type of beer we wanted to make, to tasting the malts going in, to brewing the beer, and then finally releasing it. It was a very hands-on and rewarding experience, and definitely something we would love to do again. The sentence “our band has a beer” is still one of our favorite sentences. Santiam Brewing was amazing to work with and we would jump on the opportunity to work with them again, but we would also be interested in other collaborative enterprises in the future.

You recently released a music video for "Appreciate", did you enjoy the process of filming and making that video? Do you plan on releasing any more?
The Appreciate video was shot on our phones throughout the course of the tour and is really just an anthology from the tour. So, yeah, the process of filming it was fun because we were out on tour just doing the thing. We did release a second video for Neckwrecker as a sort of b-side to Appreciate, and we have a few more videos in the pipeline for 2020.

What can listeners expect to be next for you in the coming new year?
The plan for 2020 is to record another full-length album, do some smaller tours, and start getting more heavily involved in the festival circuit. If there’s somewhere you want to see us play, you can contact our manager, Katy, at - Buzz Music


Turn - April 9, 2022

#QuarantuneChallenge - April 16, 2020

The Ferenjis - June 13, 2019

The Smith Sessions EP - August 24, 2018

Live From The Space EP - May 18, 2018



A four piece from Salem, The Ferenjis are Trevor Fischer on guitar, Peter Ellis on drums/bass, Jason Pluemke on drums/bass, and Andrew Norman on keys/synths.

Peter, Jason, and Andrew have been playing together on and off together since their college years. They were planning to cover the Killers for a 2000’s show at The Space in West Salem in April, 2017, and realized that they needed a fourth. Andrew recommended that they add Trevor, who was one of his former piano students. When the 2000’s show was over, the four of them realized that they didn’t want to stop playing together. After throwing around several different band names and ideas, The Ferenjis was officially formed.

Since the bands formation, they have continued to experiment and grow together as musicians. They are continually looking for inspiration in different areas and are evolving their sound. While their sound may change through the years, they are still always going to be the same as they were at that first show: four dudes who really like playing music together.

Band Members