Tandem Felix are a wonderful contradiction: at times pointedly DIY (they once sold a series of records for which every single one had an individual cover), but also hopeful of making a serious international breakthrough, the quirky indie act stride down the most wonderfully surreal of lyrical roads and famously don’t particularly like the live arena.
Perhaps best styled as a kind of indie country folks band, their debut album Rom-Com came out last year, though there is already a second one on the horizon (or at least the songs are written).
I caught up with frontman David Tapley to talk it all over…
The album’s been out for a few months now. How has it gone for you?
It’s gone well! Albeit, stalled a bit early due to COVID-19. We had a few shows booked but obviously they’ve all been cancelled/ postponed now.
Have you found releasing a record makes much difference to how you’re seen in the industry? It does seem to be dying as an art…
There were definitely moments where I felt like the financial stress it would put on me would be too large but people still have a big appetite for records! It’s great. I’ve sent packages all around the world and it is very heart-warming to know that our music is reaching people on the other side of the globe.
Let’s talk a moment about a track that didn’t make the record – ‘The Assassination of President Music’ sounds like it might have quite a story behind it. Tell me a little…
We played a show in London a few years ago and saw a crime scene in a café-bar. Yellow police tape, hazmat suits and everything. At the time, we were deep in the throes of trying to get recognition from the UK side of the music industry and having little-to-no success. I took my frustrations out on this fictional President, assassinated in a London bistro.
The album itself seems to be written very much from a ‘this is my reality’ type perspective. Was it important to you to pour a lot of yourself and your life into the record?
Yes and no! I wanted to write stories as well as personal tales and sometimes intermingle the two. There’s a fair amount of fiction interspersed with autobiography. I guess there’s a fair amount of fiction in my memory too though, so yeah, that “is my reality”.