Duo-turned-trio debuts bigger, fuller sound on new album 'Hazy Sun'

Noble Vices singer/guitarist Mark Ferritto took piano lessons as a kid and later played guitar in the high school jazz band. But given his father’s rock ’n’ roll resume, he seemed destined to play loud music on sweaty stages. 

“My dad is actually a doctor, but the summer before he decided to go to medical school he actually was a roadie for Led Zeppelin,” Ferritto said. “He got to re-string Jimmy Page's Les Paul and everything.” 

After high school, Ferritto headed to Ohio State, where he joined up with drummer Chris Price in the band Versicolor. When that band fizzled post-graduation, Ferritto and Price formed Noble Vices as a duo, eventually releasing 2015 EP Ondes. About two years ago, the pair added bassist Chris Carter, and recently Noble Vices entered the studio for the first time as a trio.

Writing songs has always served as a form of therapy for Ferritto, but for the songs on new album Hazy Sun, which the band will celebrate with a release show at Ace of Cups on Friday, Feb. 1, Ferritto delved into the idea of not just musical therapy but the role professional therapy can play in one’s mental health.

“I started taking therapy more seriously and going to therapy and really thinking about mental health more critically,” Ferritto said. “Eventually you just get to a point where it's like, ‘I don't want to feel like that anymore.’ A lot of the songs have to do with that: ‘Why am I feeling like this?’”

On “Nostalgia is Dangerous,” which, like all eight Hazy Sun tracks, hits with a force that feels fuller than a trio, Ferritto explores the way nostalgia can cloud a person’s judgment. “Everyone is like, ‘Oh, the good old days!’ Especially in the country right now with ‘Make America Great Again.’ It’s just like, ‘I don't think you're really thinking critically about this,’” said Ferritto, who admitted to his own nostalgic temptations. “You can also apply it yourself. I am the worst victim of my own nostalgia. It's easy to do. It's like a warm blanket.”

When Ferritto listens to Hazy Sun now, he hears how Noble Vices has settled into its bigger sound, as well as his own internal growth. “Some of these songs are a couple of years old, so I just think about how much I’ve grown in two years. I'm definitely not as hard on myself anymore,” Ferritto said. “A lot of times on the record it's me going, ‘Why do I do this thing that obviously hurts me?’ Now, I can just be like, ‘Oh, I'm getting better.’ It's crazy how important it's been to just write and put it out there and let people know about it.”