WILMINGTON — When four musicians left their band and began a new one, they knew it was because they wanted to do something different from what they had been doing.
Those four musicians — Haley Norris, David Walker, Tyler Stadler and Chandler Ritter — formed their own band that plays rock, funk and blues, but not without the additions of Wyatt Thomas and Jeff Gover.
In the right place at the right time
Feebs has Norris as the lead singer; Stadler as the electric guitarist; Ritter as the drummer; Thomas as the bassist; Gover as the guitarist; and Walker as the saxophonist, keyboardist and guitarist.
Feebs’ first show was in August at Good Hops Brewing in Carolina Beach, where the band played for a benefit concert. That first show got them in contact with someone who booked bands for the Seawitch Café and Tiki Bar, also in Carolina Beach. When a band dropped out at Seawitch, Feebs was referred to them as a replacement, and Feebs was able to play.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” Gover said.
Since their first few shows, Feebs has also been gaining popularity in downtown Wilmington, where Walker said they have played at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and, frequently, at Bourbon Street.
It’s different every time
With Feebs’ mix of blues, funk and rock, Norris said she thinks Feebs has a show for everyone because of the band’s “appeal to literally every generation.” She said Feebs has songs for grandparents, songs for parents and current songs for the younger generations. One of their hits is a Funk Medley with “Play that Funky Music,” “Superstition” and “Billie Jean.”
“We play everything from Childish Gambino to Elvis,” Thomas said.
Everyone has a role in what sounds come to the band, too. Walker brings jazz, Thomas and Ritter bring funk, Norris brings blues, and Stadler and Gover bring rock.
But what one may hear at one show can change at the next show. These changes are in both the set lists and the performance of each song.
“We at least try to give people what they want, and I think that’s the difference,” Gover said. “A lot of people just stick to a straight thing.”
Another reason for the different performances is because Stadler said they “try to tailor [their] sound to the audience and venue.”
The songs might be different every time because of eye contact and communication while they are on stage. Ritter said the song can change by someone whispering an idea, and then the rest of the band catches on.
But the ease in changing the show each night doesn’t come from practice alone; it also comes from the chemistry within the band.
What makes them work
To the members, Feebs is more than just a band; in fact, Norris would call it a brotherhood.
“We honestly just feel like we’re really tight. We all want the same things. We have ambition,” she said.
But what stands out about Feebs is the friendship the bandmates have all gained while doing something they all love.
“There’s never a day when it’s like, ‘I have to go to band practice,’” Norris said. “It’s, ‘I get to go to band practice.’ I’m so glad I get to share what I love doing with the people that I love and care about.”
“The only difference between when we’re on stage and when we’re hanging out is we have guitars and drumsticks in our hands,” Thomas said.
In addition to a brotherhood and sense of ambition, members of the group also discussed how talented everyone is and how each person’s talent adds to the band as a whole.
“I feel like we’re all very talented in different ways, and when we come together and bring all that individual talent together, it creates a different picture we couldn’t do on our own,” Norris said.
Gover said everyone has “an admiration” for each member’s talent, which Ritter said allows each member to become the best they can be.
After leaving his previous band, Ritter said he wanted to make sure each person was valued in Feebs. He said he feels members of Feebs are upholding the “culture of valuing each person and letting them be the best they can be and not being about one individual person.”
Where will they go next?
In the future, Stadler said the band would like to begin writing their own music.
“The long-term goal within a year is write music, get it out there and see where we can take it,” he said.
Feebs hopes to have an album out by the spring so they can have the summer to play from their album. They are planning on writing music with their blues, funk and rock blend.
Thomas said they hope in one year, Feebs will be “well known outside of North Carolina.”
But for now, Feebs will be in the Port City, playing and singing while having the time of their lives.
For more information on Feebs or to see where they are playing next, find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and their official website thefeebsofficial.com. Those interested can also contact them at email@example.com.