How to Get Loose with Feel Tight | Photo Story

Feel Tight is a band, and they’re playing at O’Leaver’s this Friday for the release of their new EP, The Spooky Mingo. Then, they’re at Zoo Bar in Lincoln the following night.

You may be incredibly excited by their existence as a band. You may be mildly intrigued. You also may be completely unenthused by this news, possibly disappointed that “Feel Tight” is a musical group and not something more suggestive.

Whatever your feelings about the band, you’re encouraged to throw away all preconceived notions and learn a little more about these dudes. So crack open a High Life, find the nearest lighter fluid and try not to look directly into the lasers. Or do.

This is how to get loose with Feel Tight.

1) Get to know the band members.

Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015
Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photos above by Marco Meyer

Jason Meyer (first picture, left): Jason is the creative foundation of the band, creating a bulk of their visuals and sounds. You might know him from Talking Mountain and Calm Fur. He also builds installations, using his skills to create a geodesic dome in his backyard. He likes skulls. The other day, he sent me a video of an insect eating a smaller, more helpless insect.

Mike Johnson (seen in both pictures): The first thing he said to me was, “I’m not a racist, and I don’t have a lazy eye.” He manages Urban Outfitters, and he once stole a chair from his own store when he forgot his drum throne at a show. The other members say his “intuition is killer.”

Josh Soto (second picture, right): Josh is an eggplant emoji enthusiast, as well as a manager at Guitar Center. A California native, he’s listened to 311. His tattoos are quite numerous.

2) Familiarize yourself with their music.

Perhaps this video needs qualification, but perhaps it doesn’t. We’ll just say the song is featured on the new EP.


3) Get to know the band’s history.

“We started as a joke, and it just kept going,” Jason says. The group had played a one-off show under the name Weird Owl, where they attempted to cover Black Sabbath’s Masters of Reality. When they realized they couldn’t learn the whole album in time, they added their own atmospheric layers and riffs to the mix, re-evaluating their previous aversion to what they call “’70s stoner rock.”

The name “Feel Tight” comes from Stanley Kubrick, who kept a list of movie titles in search of a script. It’s a fitting origin for a band that began without a clue where it would go next.

Fortunately for the members of Feel Tight, their success is largely organic. They’ve gained publicity with only a handful of shows under their belt — including opening for The Faint last month — and feel unrestrained by any expectations. Improvisation has been key, as they test new riffs and play off of each other’s distinct musical styles. “It’s the thrill of the fact it could fall apart at any moment,” Soto says. “The thrill of the mistake.”

“But it falls apart, and we click back together,” Johnson adds.

The band is also experimenting with the physical feeling of their sound. “There’s a certain fun to seeing what the audience can handle, sonically,” Soto explains. “And it’s cool when you find a band that’s good loud.”

But there’s more to Feel Tight than its music. It’s their look, their attitudes, their concert experience. It’s what they do in their spare time that offers a glimpse into the band’s creative process.

As Soto explains, “Establishing our weirdness now gives us freedom.”

4) Grab a cloak. Dye it pink.

Add a triple spiral or two.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15Feel Tight | 1.21.15

5) Light things on fire.

Where did that sword come from? Is this legal? “We’re not a cult,” someone says.

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Photo above by Marco Meyer

6) Never edit photos of men in cloaks standing around a fire in black and white.

Bad example:

Feel Tight | 1.21.15

Good example:

Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photo above by Marco Meyer

7) Pose in front of fire, gloriously.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15 Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photo above by Marco Meyer

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8) Find your laser gong mallet. 

Don’t forget the laser machines, classroom projectors and giant skeleton hands.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15 Feel Tight | 1.21.15 Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photo above by Marco Meyer

Feel Tight | 1.21.15 Feel Tight | 1.21.15 Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photo above by Marco Meyer

9) Take many pictures of Mike smiling into the distance, holding the laser gong mallet contently.

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10) Have Feel Tight get pictures of you, the journalists, posing with the laser gong mallet.

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11) Wonder where their instruments are.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15

12) Determine that the laser gong mallet is the real point of Feel Tight.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15

13) Take sweet band photos.

Feel Tight | Jan. 21, 2015

Photo above by Marco Meyer

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14) Go to the shows Friday and/or Saturday and see their hijinks in real life.

Feel Tight | 1.21.15

Molly Misek is a Hear Nebraska contributor and former multimedia intern. Reach her at mollym@hearnebraska.org.