Background and Recording Edit
Following the departure of both Nick Cheater and Daniel Suarez in May 2018, founding members Jacob Keplinger and Justin Siegel were left to scramble for new musicians to add to their ever-changing lineup. After Keplinger posted an ad on Facebook in search of a guitarist, he met Jake Burdock, a Detroit native who was eager to add his influence to the band's image and sound. Keplinger and Burdock hit it off immediately, and he was brought in for an audition. Along with him that day, he brought his roommate, bassist and videographer Eric Chalifour. Chalifour was also a Detroit native who lived with Burdock in a house in Nashville.
They played a single show together before being added to the band officially, with longtime photographer Trevor Wright taking promo shots for the band's busy summer. This was the last they saw of Trevor, as he was unheard from for months following the shoot.
In the meantime, Keplinger and Siegel wrote and recorded the long-awaited sequel to Seymour Butts, titled Infinity War. The album featured 10 songs and was released on May 25, 2018. Among the tracklist to this album were two gems that deserved attention- "The Bread" and "Alone, Leave Me." Eager to work these songs into the next batch of New Threads music, Keplinger and Siegel reworked "Alone, Leave Me" as a standalone single to be released in July. However, Burdock suggested a double-single with two songs on it, and the three wrote "Monuments" shortly after. They tracked the two songs in under a week and prepared to release their new double single on July 13, 2018.
The songs were released exclusively to YouTube and the band's Bandcamp page for the first week, before becoming available everywhere else on July 20. The band was taken by surprise that morning, as "Alone, Leave Me" was featured on Spotify's New Music Friday playlist, among others. This level of exposure was unheard of for the band thus far, and they were dazzled as their Spotify stream counts went into the tens of thousands overnight. Before they knew it, the song had made it to some major Nashville radio stations and was heard by some important music industry executives.
After many meetings, the band had heard the same thing from everyone- they needed an album to push these songs. So, in a single week in late August 2018, the band got together at the new Pink Hat Studios in Nashville to track six more songs, taken from all parts of the band's back catalog and redesigned for their new album. The album was completed in full- mixed and mastered- by early September.
On September 21, the band released the album's next single- "House Show." Disguised as a love letter to DIY and Murfreesboro, the song was actually a diss track- something that took the scene a few months to figure out. The track name-dropped a local band known as The Schwa, and the song's artwork was a Google Maps screengrab of a house in Murfreesboro that the band played at in 2017. In the song's lyric video, ex-bassist Daniel Suarez' old band Daydream Mayhem can be spotted as well. "House Show" was a fan-favorite, and while it did not replicate the success of "Alone, Leave Me," it did become a staple of their live shows for the months to come.
In October, the band embarked on their first tour to Texas. During this time, they debuted many new songs from the upcoming and unannounced third album, including "I Don't Care About My Neighbors Anymore" and "America." The latter was released on November 9, 2018, and a week later, was accompanied by a music video, starring none other than ex-bassist Daniel Suarez.
Suarez was actually hired by Eric Chalifour to be an actor for the video, along with Suarez' friend and coworker Andrew Lane. The "America" music video became one of the band's top-performing videos to date and was the first that was truly directed by Chalifour. Soon after, the band fell silent for a few weeks before playing one final stretch of shows in early December.
Following these shows, the band took a short break to visit with family and prepare for one of the riskiest moves in their entire career. They released the album's fifth track on December 31, called "I Don't Care About My Neighbors Anymore." The song was released, but the band made no posts, no announcements, or even acknowledged the new track. It was a jarring time to be a fan, but everything made sense when they surprise-released their new album Felonious Wilma the following day, on January 1, 2019.
Release and Reception Edit
With the new album out in the world, the band played a release show on January 11 at a favorite venue of the band's called The Kitchen in Murfreesboro. The show was packed from wall to wall, and while nobody knew it at the time, it would be Eric Chalifour's final appearance with the band. Chalifour had a falling out with the band just days after the show, and he was swiftly replaced by none other than Daniel Suarez.
Suarez played a plethora of shows with the band between January and March 2019 promoting the new album. Along with the album's release, music videos were released for "Neighbors," "House Show," "Alone, Leave Me," "Strawberry Shake," "The Bread," and "Monuments." Most of the videos were directed by the band themselves, but they met videographer Miguel Najera on the set of "Alone, Leave Me" and it led to his directing of "Strawberry Shake."
Overall, Felonious Wilma was released to great reception and the album's long list of successful singles definitely helped in the album's delivery. But now, everybody wanted to know the same thing: what were New Threads going to do next?
- I Don't Care About My Neighbors Anymore - Keplinger, Siegel
- America - Keplinger, Siegel
- House Show - Keplinger, Siegel
- The Bread - Keplinger, Siegel
- Alone, Leave Me - Keplinger, Siegel
- Bubble - Keplinger, Siegel
- Monuments - Keplinger, Siegel, Burdock
- Strawberry Shake - Keplinger, Siegel
- The Camping Song [Hidden Track] - Keplinger, Siegel
Alone, Leave Me / Monuments Edit
- Released on July 13, 2018
House Show Edit
- Released on September 21, 2018
- Released on November 9, 2018
I Don't Care About My Neighbors Anymore Edit
- Released on December 31, 2018
Strawberry Shake Edit
- Released on April 14, 2018
- The album's title, Felonious Wilma, is named after lead guitarist Jake Burdock's 1993 Chevy Van 20, which appears in both the "America" and "I Don't Care About My Neighbors Anymore" music videos. The band toured for the majority of 2018 in this van.
- In the music video for "Neighbors", the band plays in a laundry room. In this shot, one of their first t-shirts is seen hanging behind them on a laundry rack. Keplinger also wears the shirt in other shots of the video. The shirt featured the Black Flag logo, but with New Threads' name instead. It was limited to a run of 40.
- In the same video, Keplinger can be seen wearing a tank top that reads "If You're Reading This, Thank The Phoenicians!" This is a shirt from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, referencing the EPCOT ride Spaceship Earth. He is also seen wearing the shirt in the "Alone, Leave Me" and "Monuments" live-in-studio videos.
- At the beginning of "America", ex-guitarist Will Suarez is heard saying "this is as groovy as it gets". Suarez has since stated that Keplinger asked him over Facebook Messenger for a recording of him saying exactly that, and that he didn't know what it would be used for until the song was released.
- The song was released on November 9, 2018, which is also Will Suarez's birthday. He turned 23 when the song was released.
- "The Bread" is actually a cover of Seymour Butts' song of the same name. While the album version of this track was heavily re-arranged for Felonious Wilma, the band still plays the Seymour Butts version of the track live.
- The solo at the end of the song was taken directly from Keplinger's track "Friends" from his album The Russ Anderson Mixtape, released in 2017 under Mesa Dog Records. This is the same album that featured an earlier version of "Body" and "The Camping Song".
- The album's cover photo depicts the four band members standing in a bathtub at Poplar Village apartments in Murfreesboro, where Keplinger and Siegel lived for the remainder of their time in Tennessee.
- Jacob Keplinger - vocals, guitar, bass, keys, mixing, mastering, art direction and design, photography, videography
- Justin Siegel - vocals, drums, percussion, videography, photography
- Jake Burdock - vocals, guitar, harmonica, engineering
- Eric Chalifour - bass, videography, photography
- Miguel Najera - videography
- Nick Cheater - vocals on "Strawberry Shake"
- Will Suarez - vocals on "America"
- Robby Angelotti - vocals and mixing on "The Camping Song"