2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo courtesy Feltworth

All-puppet band embraces rock’n’roll, releases first single

By Jason Herring, June 8, 2017 —

After a long stint of making children’s music, a Toronto band is pursuing a more mature, rock’n’roll sound to satisfy their creative urges.

Also, they’re puppets.

That’s the founding idea behind Feltworth, an all-puppet power-pop quartet. While their sound will likely ring a bell for fans of a popular East Coast college-rock band, Feltworth maintains their autonomy from any other group.  

Band members Dezi and Manny Feltworth, Cozy Balboa and Morris Katzenburd are eager to abandon the children’s music scene.

“Kids will cheer for any kind of shiny object or honking sound. You can only pull the same rabbit out of the same hat so many times, with full apologies to my rabbit bandmates,” Balboa says. “We’ve been stockpiling ideas for a while now and I think I speak for the whole band when I say that our new songs kick ass.”

Those new songs are “Forget This Feeling” and “You Turn Me On,” released June 2 as the band’s inaugural rock single. They’re available in limited run on an orange fur-coloured seven-inch vinyl record.

While some may doubt the rock inclinations of a set of puppets, Feltworth’s single is a blissful slice of power-pop. The former track is propelled by a catchy, harmony-filled chorus and a slick guitar solo, making for one of the fastest two-and-a-half minutes of three-chord rock in recent memory. The latter is a more subdued and sultry ballad. It’s also a notable departure from their previous child-friendly material.

“[We joked that] “You Turn Me On” was a line in the sand lyrically.” Dezi says. “We wouldn’t be singing that to kids, though Morris or Cozy might sing it to a few of the moms.”

The band is self-funding their releases, citing disagreements with management over their change in direction. While the band is more focused on creative freedom than commercial success, Dezi and Balboa have different expectations for the band’s future.

“Power-pop is a loaded term usually awarded to music made by Beatles fans post-Zeppelin and Sabbath who are doomed to commercial failure. The Knack and Cheap Trick were the exceptions, but people turned on the Knack,” Dezi says.

“Our first single is racing up the charts, all over the radio. I mean, I’m fielding calls all day long,” Balboa says. “Mind you, most of them are for unpaid bills at Bed, Bath & Beyond.”

One thing is certain — Feltworth rejects comparisons to musical puppet of years past. When asked how he stacks up to Animal, the frenzied and flammable drummer from The Muppets, Balboa’s response was curt.

“Next question,” Balboa said. “I think we all know who the real winner is — and by that I mean me.”


Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet