Open Eyes: The Shawn Fox Story
State College, Pa. — The year is 2016.
State College based alternative band, The New Feel has just won the THON’s Got Talent competition and are feeling validated.
The momentum is there and they are continuing to push forward, most noticeably with Movin’ On’s Battle of the Bands.
But there was just one issue.
“We signed up on a whim, not really having any solid originals down” Shawn Fox (Vocals) said.
Nonetheless the group trusted that things would fall into place.
The year is now 2018.
The New Feel didn’t win Battle of the Bands, but they won something bigger: a single they believed in.
“Open Eyes” was released on January 28th 2018, and it’s acted as the magnum opus for Fox and the rest of The New Feel’s Penn State Career.
“Especially these last four years, it’s just a great way to just look back at these four years at Penn State.”
Without Battle of the Bands, the song most likely wouldn’t have ended up the way it did.
Fox knew they had to cater to the live audience and craft something they could connect with.
“We knew that right off the bat, we had to catch the ear of the listener.”
“I told Vince you know you have the opportunity to solo in the beginning of the song and then the bridge, and he really just kind of owned those moments” Fox said.
It’s a moment they knew was right as soon as it was recorded.
“I don’t like to look at people when I’m recording and I could just kind of see him out of the corner of my eye and he was like, that’s the one,” Vince Luongo (Guitar) said.
Apart from the instrumentation, the vocal lead by Fox is another strong piece that contributed to this record.
Fox spent a great deal of time weaving together the lyrics and melody, believing in the fact that all though it’s the melody that brings people back to a song, it’s the lyrics that people connect with.
“The whole song speaks to the fact that in life there’s all these ups and downs that you’re going to go through but at the end of the day you’re a living human being and that’s why you have these quote on quote ‘Open Eyes’, you’re living through it and you’re taking it all in.”
Fox will continue to take it all in upon graduation, where life and the future of The New Feel will change dramatically.
The band, though all still on great terms, will be moving on due to their geographic complications.
Looking back, “Open Eyes” was the bookmark ending that Fox and the guys needed.
Luongo went as far as seeing Open Eyes as a metaphor for Fox and the way he lives his life.
“If you think of the one line ‘all the dreamers that keep these visions alive’, that’s kind of how I see Shawn.”
“He’s a dreamer, and he’s like making it happen in real life” Luongo said.