Simone Felice (of The Felice Brothers and The Duke & the King) recently released a solo record, which has been festering inside him for the better part of his life.  And next Friday, June 1st, he will be performing this life’s work (likely among others) at the hyper-cozy chapel of the First Unitarian Church and we at Philthy would like to give you the chance to share that cozy evening with Simone.  So we are giving away one  free pair of tickets to the performance.  If you’re interested, please send an E-mail to [email protected] and make sure “Simone Felice” is in the title line.  If we receive your submission by noon, EST, on Thursday, May 31st, you will have the chance to win that pair of tickets.

Although Felice’s self-titled solo debut has been a long time in the making, its construction began after he recovered from open-heart surgery in the summer of 2010 (the result of a childhood congenital defect) and after the birth of his daughter.  While the album, starkly minimalistic, certainly tends toward the melancholy, it is those melancholic characters (often real-life figures of our history, such as Courtney Love and Sharon Tate) that he glorifies in such a mystically whimsical manner.  I recently got the chance to chat with Simone about his recent work and what fans can expect of his upcoming shows.

Izzy Cihak: For people who may not yet be familiar, how would you characterize your solo record, compared to your work with the Felice Brothers and The Duke & the King?

Simone Felice: I’ve tried to make the purest thing I knew how, to tell my story, warts and all.

IC: You recorded the album in the Catskill Mountains.  What impact do you feel this hyper-solitary setting had on the album?

SF: The Catskills are home, I was born here and will die here, there is something comforting and something horrifying about this thought, but I’ve always felt loneliness makes for good art.

IC: In addition to your music, you’ve written a handful of books.  Do you feel like you have any especially prominent literary influences and how do you feel as though your literary work reflects your musical work and vice versa?  Is there any crossover?

SF: Charles Dickens. Faulkner. Melville. And yes indeed the lines bleed.

IC: What can fans expect of your current tour?  Your Philadelphia show is in an especially intimate setting.

SF: I’m traveling with two dear friends, Simi on violin and Tommy on percussion, and we’re all singing, telling the stories the best we know how, and the chapel is one of my favorite rooms in the states.

IC: What are your plans for the rest of 2012, beyond this tour

SF: Swim in creek with my little daughter Pearl, write, work, but try and have some fun and unplug from the world.

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