Don’t Panic has been around for almost a decade, but it’s taken until 2020 for the Stroudsburg/Hazleton group to release a full-length debut album, “Through It All,” which came out Nov. 27.
Recorded last year at Soundmine Recording Studios in Stroudsburg, the release follows the 2009 EP “My FairWeather Friend,” a supporting tour, two more singles, then a nine-year hiatus.
Singer and guitarist Ted Felicetti recently chatted with us over email about how he, Keith Slader (bass), AJ Larsen (guitar) and Anthony Paesano (drums) have been keeping the band going during the pandemic., the concept behind their two new music videos and what he misses most about playing live.
Tell me about the concept behind the videos for “Fall of ’99” and “Regret is a Terrible Roommate.”
For “Fall of ’99” the inspiration was kind of two-fold. One of my favorite movies is “Back to the Future.” In the beginning of the movie, Marty’s band is auditioning for a battle of the bands/talent show and is told (by Huey Lewis) that the band was too loud. I always loved that scene and thought it would be fun to recreate but then also extend on that concept. So we would show a whole talent show with a bunch of awful acts in which our band was participating as well. My favorite band is the Foo Fighters and I especially love their music video for “Learn to Fly.” I love how the band plays all of the characters in the video in fun costumes. So, I combined those concepts and for our video we would play all of the characters as well, including the other talent show acts and the judges.
As for “Regret is a Terrible Roommate,” we had to make it during the lockdown this summer. Lots of bands were doing those “at home” music videos. While I understand that, I wanted to add a little more of a fun angle so that it looked like we were doing that but with a purpose. So we made it look like home video from the ’60s and parodied the intro to the TV show “The Wonder Years.” We had the team from Ionic Development handling both videos for us and they really killed it.
With live shows not happening for the foreseeable future, what will you be doing to promote the LP release?
It’s def unfortunate. We want more than anything to be able to tour and play shows. But in all honesty the majority of promo on a release for a band our size would be done online anyway. So we’ve been doing a handful livestreaming full band concerts online as well as some acoustic stuff. We also do band hangouts that we stream which are always really fun. Plus just lots of promo on Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, and all those social media channels as well as trying to get fine publications like yourselves to feature or review our new release!
You’ve done some live streams during the pandemic. How were those set up? Where did you do them?
So far we have done 3 full band live streams. All three were done with the help from the wonderful crew at Ionic Development based out of Scranton, PA. The first one we did was from Soundmine Recording studios in Stroudsburg, PA and was a benefit fundraiser for MusicCares which is an organization that helps out of work people in the music industry. The second was at the Vspot in Scranton as part of the JuiceBox Sessions weekly concerts they were holding online. And the most recent one we did was on Nov 3rd as a part of the iVoted Music Festival along with a ton of other great bands like Taking Back Sunday, Rise Against, Saves the Day, and others as a way to raise awareness for people to register and vote in the US election. Luckily for all three shows we had top tier sound and video production so they look and sounded great.
What do you miss the most about playing live for an audience?
The energy you get from the people in the room. They are as excited to be there as you are and the band and the crowd really feed off each other in that respect. I miss meeting new people and getting to really connect with the new fan we make each night. I miss having some beers with my band and spending some time with my best friends before, during and after each show and especially the aftershow meals. I miss all of it honestly.
What are some venues you’ve played at in the area?
If by area you mean in Northeast, PA we’ve played at (as Don’t Panic), The Sherman Theater, The VSpot, Croc Rock, Eleanor Rigbys, Mount Airy Casino, and Tinks (I think its called Levels now). We only got to play 3-4 shows before the Pandemic hit and back in 09′-10′ we did much more touring than we did local stuff.
Who are some bands or artists you’ve played shows with?
In our admitted short tenure of touring we’ve had the pleasure to tour with and/or played with a lot of cool bands including Bowling for Soup, The Ataris, Motionless in White, Bigwig, LA Guns, TRUST Company, Catch 22, Patent Pending, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Gasoline Heart as well as several dates on the Vans Warped Tour.
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