Rising band Feverslip plays Manchester
If having headliner acts checking out their sets is a harbinger of greater things, Feverslip is a band on the rise. At last year’s Great American Ribfest, Great White’s then-lead singer Andrew Freeman not only watched them perform; he also hopped on stage and helped them finish a song.
A few months later, ex-Saving Abel front man Scotty Austin was so impressed seeing them open for him at Wally’s Pub in Hampton Beach that he connected them with his producer, Malcolm Springer. Soon after that night, Feverslip was in Nashville, working with Springer.
The first fruits of the project arrived in April, when they released the rollicking single “Aces.” Another track from the album in progress will drop in early July. The new song is representative of the band’s no-nonsense rock ’n’ roll, which evokes Aerosmith, AC/DC and classic acts like the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones.
It’s music that’s punchy, powerful, and especially good when played live.
They went to Music City looking to translate that energy to the studio. “Where we’re most at home is just playing on stage, and that’s something that was cool about the recording process,” lead singer Sam Vlasich said in a recent phone interview. “I really hope that people can take away that vibe from the new material.”
Feverslip is a regional supergroup that includes Maine guitarists Liv Lorusso and Jordon Brilliant, who met at a Portland open mic and have performed for several years as a duo, Liv ‘n Brilliant. The two found Vlasich after his band Red Sky Mary split. Vlasich knew drummer Harrison Foti and bass player Brad Hartwick from sharing the bill with their previous band Victim of Circumstance.
The quintet began the new project with heavy preparation, a novel move for them.
“We did three weeks or so of the pre-recording process,” Vlasich said. “It was cool because I’ve never really had an experience where we got to just focus on writing songs and getting them tight, so when we go into the studio we can make them sound good with some live takes.”
Working with Springer was “just amazing,” Vlasich continued. “He totally got what the band was about, and what we want to do. He allowed us to dig our feet in and say, ‘OK, we’re just going to do it; we wanna be a badass rock band.’”
Songwriting is a collaborative process involving all band members.
“We’ll try everything, no matter where it takes us,” Vlasich said. “The best songs always seem to come about when somebody has some sort of riff, whether it’s Jordan or Liv or Brad, some sort of lick idea. Then we just kind of go, ‘OK, that sounds good.’ … Once we have a verse and chorus down, then I’m kind of able to scream on top of it until I find a melody that suits it.”
As a vocalist, Vlasich is inspired by Bon Scott, Brian Johnson and Robert Plant. “That’s just the stuff I was raised on,” he said. “As a kid singing in my hairbrush, peeking out the window making sure nobody rolled up to catch me making noise upstairs in my room alone, that’s kind of the stuff I was singing.”
The rest of the group has similar roots, he said.
“Liv loves Aerosmith and Jordan is Guns N’ Roses, and Brad loves The Who and Iron Maiden. Who I also love — the older ’80s metal stuff is great. We share similar influences but in different regards; they mesh well together.”
A June 30 appearance at Shaskeen Pub will be Feverslip’s third at the Manchester venue, though Vlasich noted that he did a lot of shows with his former band there. They have several bookings in the area over the summer months, including a return to Ribfest on July 23, and Manchester’s Strange Brew Tavern on July 28. They’ll play Portsmouth’s Press Room in early August.
Vlasich has his sights on wider horizons.
“I would love to get on the road [and] hit a lot more places than Red Sky Mary, playing these songs. Because I think they’re just good rock songs, and they need an audience to sing along to the choruses. And if AC/DC or Aerosmith needs an opening band, that would also make my life…. Getting to watch your favorite band play every night after opening up for them, that’s the dream right there.”
When: Friday, June 30, 9 p.m.
Where: Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester
Featured photo: Feverslip. Courtesy photo.