INTERVIEW: Indie Rockers The Thing With Feathers Talk New Single ‘Don’t Break My Heart’, Upcoming EP

“[Our music] is an invitation. It’s empowerment- a call to something greater, a belief in something more, but most of all it is hope.”

Nashville-based indie pop rockers The Thing With Feathers have been delivering their electric buzzsaw of sound and building their loyal fanbase (Featherheads?) for several years now.

The group released their first single, “Song of the Nighttime,” in early 2019, and their sophomore single, “Figure it Out”, in the spring of 2019, which has since become a fan favorite, accumulating more than a million streams on Spotify. 

After cranking out a number of follow-up singles, the band dropped their debut EP, Sundays in the South, earlier this year. Their latest conquest comes in the form of the powerhouse pop-rocker that is “Don’t Break My Heart”, which officially dropped on all streaming platforms August 12th, along with a fun junkyard-filmed music video. It is the lead single off of their upcoming sophomore EP, Waste My Revenge. 

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Momentum has been surging for the young band, which is made up of David Welcsh (vocals), Alex Hendricks (lead guitar), Sean Carroll (bass), and Chris Rousell (drums).

Before the guys hit the road in their new Sprinter van, we got to hop on a Zoom call with Welcsh and Hendricks to discuss the new single, the funniest band member, top Nashville eats, and much more.

So how’s summer been for TTWF? Anything worth noting? 

David Welcsh: We were out on the road earlier and did a run of dates in June, and we’ve just been writing a bunch, and trying to record at some point this fall to work on a long form project. We’ve been playing as much as we can, and trying to get our personal lives in order before we start doing all this stuff in the fall.

I was hoping you could talk about your new single, “Don’t Break My Heart.” Is this an autobiographical song? What’s the inspiration behind it?

David: We were basically just trying out different jams before we would start rehearsing, and this was last year. Our first EP we spent a lot of time and effort in making a concept record. When it came time to start writing for this, I really just wanted to be intentional and present. To me this song is kind of about the juxtaposition of accepting good things in your life, and the fear and insecurity that goes with that. It’s that feeling of ‘This is going really, good, I don’t deserve it, what’s happening here.’ It’s about fun, your identity, and being who you are and being present with it.

What made you choose this track to be the lead single off of your upcoming sophomore EP?

David: It rocks.

Alex Hendricks: We chose it because it’s kind of a more poppy little number. It’s more positive and major sounding than our other stuff. And our next release is going to be way darker – not to shed any light on it – but we thought it would be nice to have something poppy and summery before we release a dark song and all the leaves start dying.

So tell us more about the music video for the single.

David: Well, there was a lot of eyeliner. And a lot of dust. We shot it in an old junkyard and we were dancing on top of cars and running around- it was a lot of fun.

Alex: It was great. We filmed the junkyard scenes right at sundown. Our videographer just went in and asked if we could film there, and they said the only thing they wanted was like a signed poster or something.

And what might you be able to tell us about your upcoming sophomore EP, Waste My Revenge?

Alex: It is less conceptual and more just like, ‘shut up and play the hits.’ It’s a pretty balanced EP. Some of it’s dark, some of it’s light.

David: I kind of got burnt out on the idea of writing a concept record again, which was really fun on the first EP. The season we were all in while we were writing these songs was us going out and the world just waking up again. We were seeing our friends again, and we were living this debaucherous life of being in a band in our 20s in Nashville. It was just a fun summer, and so the songs are about that presence and the youthfulness of it. It’s a timestamp.

How might this album compare or contrast to your previous EP,  Sundays in the South?

Alex: It is definitely brighter, but I mean it has its dark moments. But overall it is positive. It also ends on a way different note. Sundays in the South ended on more of a bookend, and this one ends more with a sign of things to come I feel like. It’s an interesting ending song to pitch, and an interesting ending in general.

David: We have also gotten better at the true pop structure of writing songs- not that there are all pop songs on the record by any means. I would say it is the best writing we have done. This time around it is more organically us. The balance and juxtaposition is more honestly us and kind of a good signal of what’s to come.

What does a day in the life of TTWF’s songwriting process look like?

David: Uhh moody. [Laughs] Nah it’s a lot of Alex and I, but we try to do it as authentically as the band format is. We try to bring ideas and hop in the rehearsal studio and work it out, then I’ll work on it a little more and come back with more ideas. Kind of like the old fashioned band set up. It’s great because it has a handful of different perspectives.

What does a dream gig look like for TTWF?

Alex: A backyard concert at my house. A green profit margin…

David: Bonnaroo is a big goal. That’s hopefully in the near future. I would also love to do a show at Ascend. Maybe not headlining initially, but definitely opening. I just love outdoor venues. All the Nashville kind of staples.

If you were to play an opening gig at Ascend, who would you want to open for?

Alex: ABBA. But honestly whoever the fuck will have us.

David: There would be some Nashville bands that I think would be really awesome to open for, maybe Kings of Leon. I think I could walk into the green room with a bottle of tequila and get it rolling.

Who’s the funniest member of the band?

David: Chris, right?

Alex: Nah it’s me. Chris is more watchable funny, but I think I’m more organically funny.

Who’s the worst driver in the band?

David: Chris.

Alex: Chris.

Who’s the loudest in the band, whether that be playing or just in general?

David: Me. I am slightly obnoxious.

Well if you’re the front man you’ve got to be loud.

David: That’s what I tell them. They appreciate it when it’s on a stage, not so much day to day life.

If you have a friend or family member come visit you in Nashville, and they ask you the best place to eat, where do you send them?

David: [After both take a pondering pause] Oh shit. Depends on your mood, but pizza I’d go Five Points, barbecue I’d go Martin’s. Mitchell’s deli fuckin’ rocks. Prince’s is also great for hot chicken.

Alex: I feel like you kind of got to send them to Dinos. I’m not saying it’s the best ever, but it’s a staple.

Any other exciting plans for the rest of the year? 

David: Definitely the EP and tour mainly. And the next single should be out sometime in September. We are also supposed to start recording again, which will ideally be for our first record. That’s the way we’re approaching it at the moment.

Note* Morgan Brady contributed to this article.

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