Roger Romero comes from a long musical lineage. His grandfather is a well-known composer in the Dominican Republic, his uncle was a touring salsa trumpet player and his parents met in a band. Now, Roger and his two brothers are continuing the family tradition of artistry and musicianship. “I can’t remember one party growing up where there wasn’t loud merengue or bachata playing,” says Roger. “My generation was supposed to break the trend and get jobs that made real money, but lo and behold, we’re all musicians, too.”
Roger, who performs as Feralcat, as well as with his band Feralcat and the Wild, has created his unique sound by pulling from the many musical eras of his life. While his childhood was steeped in salsa, bachata and jazz, he spent his schooling years incubating a variety of bands and sounds. He’s used all of those styles to inform Feralcat’s music. “The music is just a direct blend of everything that goes on in my head at once,” says Roger. “The centralizing point is the heavy riffs. I’d call my genre progressive rock or progressive metal with a saxophone up front.”
Even though Feralcat blends jazz fusion elements into its sound, Roger wants the listener to focus on the entire musical landscape. “This music is almost my rebellion to jazz even though I love that music and teach it. To call it that, though, feels to me like a gap in understanding,” he says.
Feralcat and the Wild is made up of guitarists Brandon Lehman and Drew Bayura, keyboardist and synth player Caleb Lombardi, bassist Chris “Trip” Trepagnier, drummer Allen Bell and Roger, on saxophone. Initially, the band was formed as a way for Roger to put a record together, but the group decided to continue playing together after the record was completed. “Everyone in the band is their own artist and musician,” says Roger. “We just really enjoyed playing this music together.”
Feralcat and the Wild plans to record a new album as soon as they are able. Over his time in quarantine, Roger has been writing new music and working on solo demos. “I really enjoyed making these projects and I hope others will enjoy them, too,” he says.
Feralcat and the Wild will be playing Adda’s Sunday Showcase series on 8/2. Tune in to check them out!