Rashie Rosenfarb & Matt Francis aka Feral Conservatives seem like your typical two-piece indie rock band, except that their style does not quite fit in with your White Stripes/Black Keys garage-blues-rock cliches. In fact, Rosenfarb plays a mandolin (!) and there is a pleasing alt-country direction that the duo quite excel in. Their four-track cassette/digital release The Feeling Noise Becomes is a refreshing roots-pop take on modern rock that deserves closer attention. Rosenfarb shared with us the thinking behind the Feral Conservatives sound.
Is contrast an important element in your music making?
Yeah, we like to create a balance between noisy/chaotic and soft and delicate. I think it’s become a big part of who we are starting with my voice and the shimmery tones in the mandolin vs. Matt’s powerful drumming style and it’s just progressed from there.
How did the mandolin become part of your sound?
The two off us started off playing together in another band that was more garage rock back when we first became friends and I was just playing mandolin for fun (I played bass in the other band.) Matt and I started a folky side project with the mandolin not too much later and eventually the band we were in broke up so we just decided to transition everything we were creating into our side project. That’s how FC’s came to be and then it just morphed into more of a rock band while maintaining the folky elements and the mandolin to the fore.
If you had to, how would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard of you?
Indie rock that brings a balance between noisy post-punk and folk.
Who are your songwriting influences? There seems to be a diverse, eclectic bunch of references in your work.
We both draw a lot of influence from 80’s bands such as The Replacements, REM and The Pixies. But we also have a love for 90’s indie rock like Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub, and The Cranberries.
What is your life philosophy and how is it expressed in your music, if at all?
Through hard work and rock and roll as a saving grace.
What do you hope to achieve with your music?
We want to move people in some way. Whether it’s a song lyric that someone connects to or the beat makes you move your feet. We want to connect with people through our music. And we’ll keep playing shows and putting out music and reaching as many people as we can.
What are you prepared to do in order to touch people with your music?
Not sure. We work really hard at promoting ourselves and traveling around playing shows locally and out of town.
Why do you believe that music lovers should give your EP a chance?
It’s fun music to listen to. And I believe that there are a lot of different parts that are quieter or more punky that people with different tastes in music can connect with, so it covers a lot of ground stylistically. And I feel that you can really see our hearts on our sleeves through our songs.
The Feeling Noise Becomes is out now on cassette and digital formats via EggHunt Records.