“Are we wasting our time, or should we really keep playing?” Rock band Feels Like Home made a move to find out.
The challenge: leaving behind family, friends, and security in their hometown of Haverhill, Mass. and starting from scratch in Austin, Texas, widely known for its live music. The band, made up of four friends Matt DiPietro (vocals/guitar), Mike DeMellia (guitar), Dave Belmont (drums), and Andy Talbot (bass), lives under one roof and recorded their self-titled EP in their home studio.
One of the main reasons the band wanted to come down to Austin was to test themselves.
“Being back home, you have so many things you can fall back on,” says DeMellia. “Down here, there are so many uncertainties, and that was the scary part.
“When we first got down here, we were begging for shows…going to different venues,” he says. “The first show we played was like at 1 o’clock in the morning at Headhunter’s, which was cool, but it was like a Wednesday night.”
Feels Like Home eventually discovered others in the music community.
“I love punk bands, and looking up all these other bands,” says DeMellia. “Bands like Carridale that roll through town frequently, and, you know, Thieves are really big down here. And then you’ve got Suckerpunch in San Antonio.
“You listen to these guys–these are kids your age–and you love their music. And you look up to them as musicians.”
Making friends with bands you admire and playing shows with them was an appealing part of the music scene down in Texas, he says. Too many great moments.
“We’re meeting tons of cool bands,” DeMellia says. “They’re hitting us up to play shows with them, and that’s what we really wanted. So it was a challenge in the beginning, and now it’s just…it’s fun.
“It’s been awesome that we’ve been here [in Austin] for almost a year, now, and we know…we’re OK. You know, we’re an OK band. That was the cool part, and we were really worried about it…but that’s why we came down here.”
Hear more of their story in our video interview, which includes footage from a recent, live performance in Austin:
–Image and text by Stephanie Meza