The Feral
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The Feral

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States | SELF

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Rock Metal

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The best kept secret in music

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I had a chance to talk with one of my favorite local acts, The Feral, a band I feel has brought a different sound to the Charlotte scene. The band lives out in the country, and I went to their practice space to catch up with them and ask questions concerning the band and the music community of Charlotte.

Shutter 16 Presents: An Interview With The Feral

Shutter 16: As a band, The Feral represents more of a small town upbringing rather than a major city such as Charlotte. What do you guys feel gives you the advantage being a small town band?

Jon Inman (vocals): No distractions.
Tyler Lowry (drums): We can keep close quarters with each other; we’re really good friends to where we hang out with each other personally.
Casey Williams (bass): Since we practice at night, we don’t have to worry about anyone saying to turn it down, it helps a lot being out in the country.
Jon: The “sticks” is where it’s at. Live out in the wilderness—that is a true place for artists. (laughs)

Shutter 16: When did The Feral come to be?

Cory Lowry (guitar): We use to be in a band called Sunspell that included me, Casey, and Tyler. We jammed together for a couple of years, but things were going south with our current vocal. I met Jon at a party that Mark Smith from Deadstar Blues was holding. We talked a while about coming to jam with us.

Shutter 16: So when you guys actually did get together with Jon for the first time, what did you think working with him?

Casey: It was awesome, it was like going back into it and we had a singer that was interested in making a go as much as we were. In the first month we had four songs back to back.
Tyler: We also had that backup creativity and songs we didn’t get done from the previous band that we practiced. We actually had all this material still out there and got to do it when we brought Jon in.
Casey: We revamped a lot of those songs to where it wasn’t a Sunspell song and became a Feral type of song instead.

Shutter 16: What are your thoughts on what your music has brought to the Charlotte and surrounding scenes?

Cory: Nobody really sounds like us.
Casey: I think it’s different.
Jon: It’s finally different. I’ve heard so much of the same music, and for these guys to play what was in my head, it was amazing. There’s some bands out there locally like Deadstar Blues, who are playing great inspired music. Music that is passionate, music that is not packaged like a McDonald’s cheeseburger. It’s like fine dining instead.
Cory: It’s accessible but it does not sound the same. It’s not something everybody has heard.
Casey: A lot of bands go out there and they want to be this kind of sound or that kind of sound. We play what we listen to and we listen to literally everything. Whatever you’re hearing is what we are feeling. […] If I’m not playing music, I’m listening to music. We have our favorite bands, but that doesn’t mean that’s all we listen to.
Tyler: I’m actually tired of my favorite bands. (laughs)
Jon: It changes so often, anyone that really is into music, your favorite bands will change over the years. There’s always the constant of what’s passionate. What music comes across as heart-felt, passionate art. Just reflections of life that invoke emotion.
Casey: I don’t want to be like Nickelback. (laughs) I want to be like Pink Floyd or The Doors, I don’t give a damn about being like Nickelback.

Shutter 16: What are some of the bands you guys are like “Eh, I don’t know about that?”

Cory: Turn on 106.5 The End right now. I’ll listen on Sunday nights for the local bands.
Casey: Cage the Elephant is one of the few bands on the radio that I genuinely like.
Cory: I think popular music is going to start getting better because people are getting tired of hearing the same sounding bands over and over.

Shutter 16: What do you think of bands like Hollywood Undead who have put in rap type of style with rock?

Cory: I was never a fan. I love a lot of rap as a music genre. It’s the same problem with rock to where you’re going to have to dig for it. The best right now I think in mainstream rap is Lupe Fiasco.
Tyler: I like Kid Cudi.
Cory: I never had problems with anyone mixing rock and rap as long as it works. I haven’t heard though any band doing it better than Rage Against the Machine.
Casey: You can mix anything if you do it right. I feel like spoken word is better when the instruments are going together as this mechanical feel, but you have Rage Against the Machine pulling it off and it’s amazing.

Shutter 16: Coming together as The Feral on-stage has to be a great experience, does the performance seem to click on instantly, or build up off-stage?

Tyler: We do have our pre-show rituals.
Jon: I definitely like to get alone before a show for some reason. Whatever nervous energy is coming up I try to center it and focus it towards the music, I feel I have to do this by myself.
Tyler: We like to have fun on-stage, it is all about the music but we aren’t really concerned if we fuck up. We kind of laugh about it, we understand.
Casey: It can’t sound like a recording all the time. I like the energy for live shows than the recordings.
Cory: The rocking world is never flawless.
Tyler: We put so much energy into our practices; our shows reflect that. I’ve broke so many cymbals.
Casey: I can’t keep a pedal for more than three days, and I throw up almost every time before we go up on stage.

Shutter 16: Right now what would be an idea of success for the band?

Jon: People to listen.
Cory: Have a following to where we can go somewhere far off and people come to listen. We don’t have to bring anyone along to the shows to have an audience.
Casey: I want enough of a following to tour. I’ve always dreamed of touring and playing every single day, basically ever since I was around three years old, rocking a broom while other kids went to play tag. (laughs)

Shutter 16: The Feral has played enough shows by now, what was your most memorable show?

Cory: I enjoyed playing Tremont Music Hall for the M.P.A. Live Festival.
Jon: That was the best sound.
Cory: Yeah the best sound, the best crowd response, as well as Rotten Records, they personally came up and felt were the best band of the show.
Casey: I feel like every show is my favorite show. I personally thought Loco Music Festival was a favorite. It felt more like a practice session with a bunch of people having not much of a stage

Shutter 16: As far as Charlotte goes and the community like NoDa, plaza midwood, Uptown, etc. Where do you think the areas are going as far as the scene?

Cory: I think NoDa has a lot of potential.
Tyler: I like NoDa where it’s at, like The Chop Shop and all the things around.
Casey: The area has a lot of potential, but the scene isn’t where it should be right now in terms of music.

Shutter 16: Where do you think the scene will be in a few years, and how do you feel about the noise ordinance bill that is trying to be passed against NoDa?

Jon: There is a level of respect for the city ordinance level but to kill art because I’m sure it’s not keeping them awake. We didn’t play that late at The Chop Shop the other night. (Read Shutter 16's review for that show.)
Cory: Places that have outdoor stages I can understand having to turn it down for neighborhood areas. For other venues it shouldn’t be a problem.
Casey: It’s okay for turning down at a certain time but that’s about it.
Jon: Long story short, we’re loud. Jon Norris was an excellent artist from Charlotte who will paint pieces in NoDa while music is being played. I think things like that are beautiful, if they are trying to shut that down then I’m not for it.

Shutter 16: Where do you see the scene going in a few years?

Jon: If the noise ordinance doesn’t come through, it can bloom.
Cory: There’s always going to be bands and if Charlotte becomes a place where it’s hard to find somewhere to play, there’s always other places like Harrisburg, Greensboro, etc. - Shutter 16 Magazine


The Chop Shop, a brand new music venue that has hit the Charlotte area, might not be such an easy spot to find, but when you do finally cross the train tracks on E. 35th St. in NoDa and walk in those doors, you’ll find a unique and rather large stage. Unique is not enough of a word to describe how awesome this was to me. Two huge projection screens on the left and right hand of the stage showing movies not only before the show but during the bands’ performances as well. If you’re asking yourself, “How would that be a good thing during the show to have a movie running, won’t that be distracting?” The answer is: no, not at all. You might glance at it, but that only helps with the mood of the music. Some parts of the bands’ music fit perfectly like a mini music video. Cymbals and toms crash when guns go off, guitar riffs follow action scenes like they were meant to be there, screams from vocals seem to sync rightfully during screams of a character on screen.

Wow. After talking about the venue’s awesomeness, we’re ready to begin the show with The Feral. Still, just in case anyone is wondering, the movie list was Evil Dead 2, Natural Born Killers, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Spawn: The Animated Series. Anyway, The Feral has easily become one of my favorite acts around the area. This show definitely was a testament to the group, being that they’re in the early stages of branching out in Charlotte. I had no doubt about their talent, and they literally put on one of the most perfect sets for a local level. I say local because the vocal mix could have been a little bit better but that is more of a venue issue than a performer. Cory Lowry, the band’s lead guitar, shows so much technique in his playing but does not forget his instinct to listen and play what feels good while doing solos. Meanwhile, Casey Williams on bass is clear in his style and sound to where the bass is significant. Tyler Lowry—Cory’s brother—on drums has amazing technique behind the kit, and finally Jon Inman is prime in his screams and has a decent voice to match the music.

If anyone remembers what I wrote on the last review, clearly I underestimated how much the The Jupiter Tide can put on a hell of a show. There was no room for error in Jupiter Tide’s set on this night. The continuing mix of the vocal did come into play but it didn’t really faze lead vocalist Adam Nelson and backing vocal/guitarist Monte Anderson. Adam even took time to run off the stage twice to try to motivate the crowd with fast energy. Fans will be able to “Ride the Tide” even more so because the group will be heading into the studio to cut their first full-length around August of this year.

The main attraction Deadstar Blues took the stage next with confidence, and it’s easy to see why. Releasing their new album “Until the Black Sails Burn,” commanding the headlining spot, and having enough fans for motivation were the supreme influences on a great performance by Deadstar. For some reason there were more lights being used during their set and not for The Feral or The Jupiter Tide. Again another edition of the vocal mix was a problem for Deadstar. Vocalist Gil Shaw was minding his technique on the mic to where if he had a stronger note, he would pull the mic back a little. That lack of volume hurt the listeners’ ability to fully immerse in the lyrics because we were unable to hear them. As the set drew on, thankfully Gil was coming closer to the mic and finished strongly. Fans did cheer on Deadstar Blues to play an encore and I think I personally saw the members faces light up with smiles. So, like any good band, they gave us just one more that had a great melodic opening and heavy ending.
Overall, it was one of the best local shows that I have ever seen. Venue mixing on vocals was the only major problem especially for Deadstar Blues’ set, but this reviewer is accustomed to seeing a lot worse happen at a show. I hope to see these three acts back together again and I look forward to visiting this new venue more often. I’m Julian Safrit, please for the sake of music lovers around the Queen City, keep rockin’.
- Shutter 16 Magazine


Discography

The Feral EP:
1.Sleepwalkers (As heard on Charlotte's 106.5FM "90 Minutes")
2.Vanity (As heard on Charlotte's 106.5FM "90 Minutes")
3.Time for Change
4.Silvershade
5.Stream
6.Left Outside

Photos

Bio

The Feral is a hard/alternative rock band hailing from Albemarle, NC. By blending styles of alternative, metal, ambiance, and other contemporary styles, the band has delivered a sound that while accessible, refuses to sound contrived or clichéd.
With influences ranging from Neurosis to Radiohead, from Deftones to Jeff Buckley, it becomes obvious that listeners will receive an assorted sonic palate, yet no note will sound out of place. Every sound heard is composed to accent the most important aspect of the music, the song. Each member of the band is equipped with a unique style; when converged, these styles create dynamic song structures full of movement and character. Each song as strong as the last and each with it’s own identity. The textures will lull listeners into a state of tranquility before seamlessly breaking into heavy grooves that send them spiraling back to reality.
While all members of the band have years of experience in the music scene, The Feral has been writing, performing, and recording for just over a year. In this short time, the band has performed shows and festivals sponsored by companies such as California’s Rotten Records and Ohio’s DJQ Management. These outings gained the attention of new fans as well as the sponsoring companies; Rotten Records requested the band’s soon to be released debut EP be submitted to them upon completion. The label claimed that The Feral were “the best band we’ve seen all weekend”. The Feral have also gained frequent airplay on Charlotte FM radio station 106.5’s local show “90 Minutes” and have become a staple on Myrtle Beach’s Internet station 101.9 the Fox.
This is only the beginning for a band with a sound this unique and songs this strong. Keep an eye and ear out for The Feral, because this band will not be kept a secret for long.