INTERVIEW: The Phoenix Within Talk New Single and More

Photo credit: Jim Narlis

The Phoenix Within is a rock project based out of Queens, NY. The band has release raw guitar driven new track, "South Ozone."

We got the chance to speak with, lead vocalist, Omar Feliciano about the new song, musical influences and more

How are you hoping people react to “South Ozone?”

Music appreciation is subjective A.F. but I have to say that deep down I am hoping that the people who do take the time to listen to South Ozone are receptive to it and will think the song was worthwhile downloading or streaming. I am also hoping that they are able to enjoy it, share it and perhaps even see a little bit of themselves in the song.

How has the music scene in the city of Queens helped you grow as a group?

Personally it has helped me tremendously. As a teen before I picked up the guitar for myself I spent a lot of time at local shows. Queens taught me the beauty in discovering new music and giving the artist a chance and a platform to express themselves. The music scene in Queens has taught us that by supporting local music the music community grows. This is especially important to me nowadays when schools are shutting down music programs left and right. By helping our own music scene, we are potentially showing our school systems that music education matters and is valued.

What was the creative process behind the creation of “South Ozone?”

It started with a drive of my old neighborhood and was followed up with a pencil a marble notebook, a guitar and some lyrics describing some events of my own life and old neighborhood. It became clear to me rather quickly that the two were intertwined. "South Ozone," more specifically South Ozone Park is the neighborhood where I was raised. As the song progressed my my intent was to release a song that would give the listener a walk-through of my own personal life, its past and the environment I was cultured in. I am very proud of where I’ve come from, the ordeals I lived through and the friends I’ve made along the way. This song in a way is a highlight and celebration of all that.

What musical influences have played a part in your individual sound as a band?

The three Narlis brothers that I have the honor of writing and performing with thank bands like: Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Mötley Crüe, Tool, Alice in Chains, Audioslave, Nirvana, Karnivool, Gojira, Lamb of God, Creed, Stone Temple Pilots and Ozzy Osborn. I have many, many acts, bands and artist that I’ve listened to throughout the years who have influenced my music and my writing. So I want to thank bands and artist like Outta Luck, Third Eye Blind, The Killers, Linkin Park, The Eagles, Bryan Adams, Nas, Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Eminem, Marc Anthony, Daniel Santos, Blink-182 and Dashboard Confessional.

If you could bring any musician on tour with you, who would it be?

I would bring three people (shout-out to) guitarist-singer-songwriter Rich Fuchs from Threeve, guitarist/singer songwriter/producer, David Dones (Gainsboro) and guitarist/singer songwriter, Ezequiel Medrano from All in Due Time.

What was it that got you involved in music in the first place?

I have always loved music and a good story. I think my love for reading and writing stories and my need to write down my thoughts and feelings mixed. When I learned to play the guitar it all just came together. To me there is no longer a separation between the two. I feel like they are supposed to go together. I find happiness in being able to embrace words with melodies and rhythms and a true joy in combining them to convey a message.

Currently, what is your favorite album?

Currently John's (guitarist) favorite album is The Way of All Flesh by Gojira. Nick's (bassist) favorite album is Ænima by Tool and my favorite album currently is Being Human In Public by Jessie Reyez.

What is the hardest part of being a musician?

This is a hard question because I feel it has many factors and can be multi-layered. One of the challenges I’ve faced personally over the years is being able to find other musicians who are committed and responsible about working on their skill and the music while understanding the need for marketing and other financial aspects that come with taking your music to that next level.

How do your musical backgrounds differ?

John started learning guitar when he was 12 taking lessons for a couple of years then teaching himself more via videos and YouTube. Nick started playing bass when he was 7 had lessons once a week for a couple of years where he would learn classic rock songs. The rest of what he learned came from his older brother John and the internet. James started playing drums when he was 11 with and took lessons for a couple of years. He played for his high school band as well as College jazz band. I took a handful of lessons from “Dan the man” at Alberto’s music store in the old neighborhood and I had a friend who taught me what he knew. I couldn’t afford many lessons at that time so I didn’t have a chance to learn how to read music or go in depth into music theory until 2018 when I took an undergraduate class at CUNY’s York College in Queens, NY.

What plans for the future are there for The Phoenix Within?

Future plans for TPW involve the release of two more singles and a new album. This will be followed up tours and live performances which are currently being booked in support of these releases. The first performance to support the release of South Ozone will be in at this years RockFest at the Forest Park Bandshell on Saturday July 27, 2019 at midday.

Keep up with The Phoenix Within on Facebook and Twitter.