We spoke to Don’t Panic! A quartet from The Poconos, PA. Their members consist of;
- Ted Felicetti – Vocals / Guitar
- AJ Larsen – Guitar
- Keith Slader – Bass
- Anthony Paesano – Drums
*All answered by Ted Felicetti.
Hope you’re well! You released ‘Why The Fifty’s Were Better’ in 2010, and have now put out 7 singles this year. Why was there a decade long break in between?
I am well thanks! So to start, I had spent 2000-2009 in another band touring and releasing albums. When that band broke up I went right into forming Don’t Panic. We released ‘Why the Fifties were Better’ fresh off of an almost entire year of touring the US in 2010. When we got home we were all kind of broke and went to work on our own jobs. I started a booking agency and got super focused on that, Keith was working as manager of a restaurant and Anthony started working at a Casino. Our guitarist at the time was also playing in Patent Pending and went right back to touring with them. So life as well as fatigue kind of got in the way. I decided to spend most of my focus building up my company and then time just seemed to get away from us. Before I knew it, it was 2019 and we hadn’t played together in almost 8 years. That was depressing and it was something we had to fix.
What song (that you have written) means the most to you and why?
‘Sheep in Wolves Clothing’ for sure. It’s about this nagging feeling I have had ever since I was young that I don’t belong anywhere. Anytime I find myself in some sort of social situation I feel like I’m wearing a costume just in order to fit in and feel like I belong there. I’ve just always been the guy on the outside looking in. Ya know, typically issues with self worth.
We know you’re releasing an LP November 27th, the name. Can you give us some more info on this?
Sure! There are 11 songs on the album. The record is the seven singles we released already throughout this year, plus we re-recorded and updated both songs on ‘why the fifties were better’ EP and also updated and recorded two older songs we never released.
Are you happy with how your singles have been Received?
Super happy! People have been so supportive of our band and honestly we’ve all been treating it as a new band. 2010 was just our practice run haha. But we’ve made more new fans in the last 10 months of just releasing singles online than we did with over a year of touring the US. But to be fair, the songs are a lot better now!
Do you have any tour plans for 2021?
Absolutely. As long as we are able to (god willing) we plan to tour and play a lot of shows. We miss it so much and it was so hard to finally decide to write a full length record and plan to release it only to be told we have to stay home all year. The plan at the moment is to play concert dates in the northeast US in the summer and then hit Florida-Texas in the fall. Then ideally around next winter do dates over in the UK.
What is the scene like out East Pennsylvania? What’s the craziest thing that happened at a show of yours?
Well we are actually from the Poconos in northeast, PA. The scene in the Poconos used to be literally one of the best around about ten plus years ago or so. It seems however unfortunately to have mostly died out in the past decade. Hopefully once we can start playing shows again we can take a part in helping it get back on its feet.
As for the craziest thing that happened at a show; I’d have to say the time in McAllen, Texas when I got punched in the face. We were loading out and I was sitting in the driver seat. This super super drunk dude stumbled over to the van and was talking/slurring to me through the open window about how he liked our band and played bass. I turned away for a split second and out of nowhere he was reaching in through the van window punching me in the jaw! for literally no reason at all!
Pizza or Tacos ?
Jeez, I didn’t know there would be really hard questions. I’m going to have to say Tacos I guess. Being from the northeast we have AMAZING pizza but that also means we get it all the time. Tacos are much more of a treat to get now. But.. Why not just Taco Pizza?
Not including your band. What is your favorite album so far in 2020?
Hmmm. I feel like not a lot of albums of bands I listen to have come out in 2020 but maybe because I live in a bubble sometimes. I actually found a TON of records I love that came out at the end of 2019. So I’m going to cop-out and answer three from the end of last year. White Reaper ‘You Deserve Love’, Bayside ‘Interrobang’, and the Menzingers ‘Hello Exile’.
One final question! If you could choose any 2 bands to open for, who would you pick, and why?
Number one Foo Fighters and it’s not particularly close. They are my all time favorite band and the show would be huge haha. Dave Grohl’s songwriting has influenced mine on almost every level since I started writing music. The other would probably be Lit. Yea that band from the late 90s who did ‘My Own Worst Enemy.’ I learned how to play guitar to their ‘A Place in the Sun’ album when I was 15 and It would just be cool to be able to have it all kind of come full circle.
Interview conducted by Cory Wery.