Natalie Felker

Natalie Felker

For me, the special ingredient behind what makes indie rock band The Fervor great is the powerful voice belonging to Natalie Felker. Her vocals featured on their 2011 record Arise, Great Warrior are gritty and beautiful with a no-nonsense attitude behind them. At times she comes at you like a pissed off Nico, and holy shit it sounds awesome. If you haven’t heard AGW, do yourself a favor and listen to it here (thank me later).

More recently (sort of) The Fervor has reissued a record I previously didn’t know existed called Bleeder. It was quietly released originally back in 2007, but the fine folks at Karate Body Records have taken it upon themselves to bring it back to life. Listen to the first song from the record called “Moment of Truth” below. Much like the music heard on AGW, it’s pretty straight forward rock that hugely benefits from Felker’s badass voice:

The reissue of Bleeder is now available as a 13-song CD and also as a digital download; buy the album here. To get a little more information on this re-issue we reached out to Natalie, and she was kind enough answer a few questions about the current state of The Fervor, the re-release of Bleeder, and more…

Never Nervous: Talk about the re-release of Bleeder. What was the motivation behind the reissue?

Natalie Felker: The album wasn’t available anymore. Mat approached us about reissuing it through KBR, and we were excited about it. We added three songs previously only available as singles, mastered by our friend Shelley Anderson at Black Lab Mastering.

NN: How would you describe The Fervor to someone that has never heard of you?

NF: Southern moody folk rock with pop sensibilities and a dark sense of humor.

NN: If you had to recommend one song from The Fervor to someone that has never heard you, what would it be, and why?

NF: “Yellowwood.” It’s one of my favorite recordings we’ve done.

NN: As a vocalist and lyricist, are there any direct inspirations you draw from, whether they be music-related or not?

NF: As a vocalist, I shoot for Aretha Franklin and hit somewhere closer to Neil Young. I like voices that are honest, not just technically good, that serve the voice of the singer. As a lyricist, nothing is quite as inspiring to me as a quiet morning and hot cup of coffee. That might sound boring, but it’s the best time for me to gather my thoughts and write.

As a vocalist, I shoot for Aretha Franklin and hit somewhere closer to Neil Young.

NN: Moving forward, what does the future hold for The Fervor? Are there plans for a new record?

NF: Yes, we’ve been writing and recording over the last year. We hope to release something by summer or fall of next year.

NN: What was it like playing SXSW? Did anything interesting happen?

NF: We went in 2011. It was a lot of fun. We played early in the week, then we were able to enjoy the rest of the festival. We also played a PRF party that was a good time.

NN: Does it ever get awkward being in a band with your husband?

NF: Sure, doesn’t being in a band with anyone get awkward at some point? The Fervor started ten years ago this January, but Ben and I played in other bands together for years before that. It seems to work alright for us.

NN: As a lady, what’s it like being in a band with all dudes?

NF: I haven’t always been the only woman in the band. Meredith Noel was the bassist on the original Bleeder album and played with us from 2006-2007. We also did a bunch of shows with Cheyenne Mize on violin and backing vocals from 2007-2008. Last year, we gained MaryLiz Guillemi on guitar, vocals and the occasional percussion and keys. It’s been awesome having that extra layer of sound, and now on the occasion when we practice without her we feel a little naked. But yeah, for several years I was the only woman. It wasn’t really an issue. I’m not all that lady-like, and I grew up with brothers and lots of boy cousins, so I’m pretty used to it.

NN: Talk about the last show you went to in Louisville. How’d it go? Did it start on time? Did the bands sound good? Was it a good experience?

NF: I went to the Louisville Outskirts Festival at The New Vintage Showcase last weekend. It was really well-organized and the stage was backlined, so everything ran smoothly. I remember how years ago, everything started late. Doors at 8? Opener goes on at 10:30. These days it seems like the people putting on shows in town are running things a lot better. Anyway, the bands at the festival were pretty diverse and sounded great. I really enjoyed Shannon Wright, who was backed by Louisvillian rhythm powerhouse Kyle Crabtree and Todd Cook.

I remember how years ago, everything started late. Doors at 8? Opener goes on at 10:30. These days it seems like the people putting on shows in town are running things a lot better.

NN: If you had to recommend a record store to an out-of-towner friend, which one would it be, and why?

NF: We have a variety of cool record stores to choose from, depending on the neighborhood they’re visiting. There’s Astro Black or Greenhaus in Germantown, Please and Thank You in Nulu, Matt Anthony’s Record Shop and Guestroom Records in Clifton, Better Days in the Highlands. You can’t lose.

NN: Talk about one or two of your favorite horror movies. It is October, after all.

NF: I watch the original Halloween from 1978 with Jamie Lee Curtis almost every October. The 1983 classic Sleepaway Camp is also an old favorite. I tend to prefer the horror movies of my youth, prior to today’s special effects and glamour.

NN: Before you go, talk about your favorite record of 2014 so far.

NF: Wussy – Attica. They’re one of my favorite contemporary bands ever. We’ve had the pleasure of playing many shows with these guys over the years, and it’s been inspiring to see them grow and change and continue to put out powerful records. I think this is one of the best things they’ve done yet.

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