“The Chicago house veteran talks first gigs, battling with promoters, and that time he was turned away from Berghain.”
Written by Larry Fitzmaurice
Since his humble beginnings in Chicago’s house scene nearly thirty years ago, Felix da Housecat’s career has been extensive and accomplished—but he’s still dreaming big. “I wanna be the black Giorgio Moroder,” he tells me at a Brooklyn coffee shop during a summer afternoon. “Him and John Carpenter were my cult heroes. You know when everyone finds out about your favorite band and you’re like, ‘Damn! Why did people have to find out about them now? They were just for me!’ That’s how I feel about Moroder and Carpenter.”
In their storied careers, Moroder and Carpenter have gained reputations as artistic journeymen—and the same goes for Felix, whose latest albumNarrative of Thee Blast Illusion travels far beyond club-ready sounds, exploring pop-focused and impressionistic song structures with equal enthusiasm. “My last album was rushed,” he admits, referring to 2009’s He Was King. “I said to myself, ‘This time, I’m just gonna take my time and focus on the melodies.’ It was the most stressful, hardest record to make, but I’m happy with it.”
He’s come a long way from the days of being an unknown upstart. Felix laughs as he shares a story of visiting Chicago record store Gramophone Records in 1995: “I walked in the store and they said, ‘What’s your name’ and I said, ‘Felix.’ They said, ‘Felix Da Housecat? I thought you was a white guy from England.'”
Close enough, sort of: Felix currently lives in London, and during our interview, he admits being worn out by jet lag, which will surely increase with a show booked at Brooklyn venue Verboten later that night. And yet, midway through our chat, he runs into an old friend who offers to cook him dinner at her apartment. Despite his hairy schedule, he gladly accepts the invitation. Good meals are hard to come by on the road.
Read the full interview on Live Nation TV here.