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Interview

Feeder 

Grant Nicholas, Mark Richardson

added: 7 Jun 2008
interviewed by: Marco Gandolfi

Feeder - Grant Nicholas, Mark Richardson - Printable version
Formed in Newport in 1992 Feeder have released five unique and inspiring albums. The band were originally comprised of Grant Nicholas (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Taka Hirose (bass), and Jon Lee (drums). Following Jon's suicide in 2002, former Skunk Anansie and Little Angels drummer Mark Richardson joined in August 2002. We went over to a central London studio to find out about their new offering 'Silent Cryí.


Do you like doing interview process?

Grant: Every time we do an album we go through it, we want people to hear the record so we cant complain.

Mark: There are so many upsides to what we do that this is fine.

What can we expect from the album Silent Cry?

Grant: A lot rockier and heavier, melody based, but definitely Feeder. More anthemic than previous albums.

Mark: Bigger than ever [changes to his film voiceover mode] bigger, stronger, better! [laughs]

Grant: There are songs that have more of a radio friendly sound too. I was writing songs that were a bit more guitar led, we have not done anything so guitar heavy since the first album. A few tracks that have a real pop influence too. We had no plans to write a rock album, but it the end thatís what we turned out.

Who choses the myspace tracks?

Grant: Record company really. Whatís on there?

Thereís We Are The People, 818, Guided By A Voice, and Miss You. Are these your favourites?

Grant: Miss You was a previous free download. Itís a nice mixture, a good cross section which covers the Sonics of the album.

Who decides on the singles / album tracks to be released?

Mark: I think the record company like to think they tell us what to put out but fundamentally Grant asks us and we talk to the manager and come to a joint decision.

Why a bird on the front cover?

Grant: I met this guy as our kids go to the same nursery, he is more into advertising design but said if I could give him a go at doing the cover and two weeks later he came up with this.

The bird design came because we had a working title for the album of 'songs for the cryptí as we recorded the album in a church in the crypt but it sounded too much like a def metal album.

Mark: I quite liked it actually.

Grant: It got changed eventually as there was another album with the same title but he had the idea of a black crow in church yard. There are two different sleeves as he wanted an iconic Japanese type gold leaf image also. So its his interpretation of the crypt really.

Why choose We Are The People single for the first single?

Grant: There are more immediate singles that we could have gone with but we didnít want to do what everyone expected. Itís a track that gets better with plays, not only musically but lyrically, itís a grower. Itís a lot to digest in one go. Itís a good call for the album.

Mark: Itís a great live opener also. Really powerful.

What bands you listen to at the moment?

Mark: I love the Ting Tingís album at the moment, elbow is amazing, I love the tings tings but there are more levels and life in elbow album when compared.

Grant: The mgmts is the album I wanted to hate because of all the hype but heard the single on XFM thatís the last single I bought that and Santogold. Thereís one particular track she played on Jools Holland that was brilliant so I bought the album.

So where do you get your inspiration?

Grant: Inspiration comes from punk rock, Neil Young still influences me, Radiohead have done some amazing stuff.

Thereís a flavour of 80 in our new album too. A little twist which hopefully makes it more interesting, weíre a rock band but we wanted another edge. Like the Killers that experiment with keyboards itís all been done before but then we soak up all influences. Itís making them your own thatís the hard bit.

Mark: Iím into more contemporary styles Chad Smith and Dave Grohl are huge influences on me.

Grant: Foo Fighters are a similar band to us although they sell a few more records [laughs]. Nircana were one of the biggest bands on the planet and itís nice to see a similar band do well. They donít mess around with 80s keyboards as we do but itís nice to see them so successful as it shows people like that kind of music.

How important is the live element?

Mark: When I was 14 the little kids that used to smack me round the head looked up to me and that sent me a big message. I can turn my life around doing this. Itsí what Iíve always done, I canít imagine being in a band that didnít tour like that.

Grant: Iím into studio than Mark, I used to work in a studio too. The reason that I love it is because its creative, you can do what you want and itís your space, everybodyís different.

How did your War Child involvement come about?

Grant: We did a few things before but the person that used to do our press went off to work for War Child, heís now a teacher, but to cut a long story short he introduced us to the whole War Child thing. I always associated War Child with music. Maybe because of Brian Eno and Radiohead were involved and we all though it was a great charity to get involved with.

We wanted our involvement to mean something more to us so we went over to the Congo to see it first hand and it left an impression on us all.

Mark: The scary part was the airport, our fixer wasnít there, and they all had guns, at the time we didnít realise that they couldnít afford bullets. It was a really great trip but I cant help feeling that if more people could see how the Africans live it would definitely change their outlook on life and realise how lucky we are.

Grant: It was a very tense start to a three day trip, we were all ill when we came back. Weíre not trying to say that weíre some big saviours or anything but we thought if we are going to raise some money for this charity we might as well find out some more about it, which is what we did. We played the Roundhouse and got the Sugababes and Jamelia to play some songs with us. We raised a lot of money and helped build a kitchen and roof while we were out there. Weíll do more too, weíre still involved. We raised 80.000 with the concert.

Mark: When your 17 and youíve just signed your first deal you have other priorities and couldnít give a monkeys whatís going on but as you get older we like to give a bit more back.

What about the intimate Proud Galleries gig in Camden?

Grant: Yeah, looking forward to it. The gig sold out in 6 minutes, 400 people, thought that was pretty cool. We will do the main album tour in October as we have just come back from a little club tour which we all really enjoyed.

Whatís your best festival?

Grant: Fugi Rock in Japan is a brilliant festival, great audience, great food.

Mark: IOW is a classic, glad its back, Glastonbury too.

Grant: I still like Reading, maybe because Iíve been there as a punter and itís the right size. I hate festivals that are too big, Glastonbury is a bit too big, you can get lost. Well I do anyway [laughs]. Iíd advise anyone to go to Reading first if they havenít been to a festival.

What would we find on a typical Feeder ryder?

Grant: Festival ryder? If we could have anything we want? Japanese food.

Mark: Sushi every day.

Grant: Champagne.

Mark: Smoothies.

Grant: Vodka, loads of good wine Ė red, white and rose, new socks and underwear! [laughs]

Mark: That would be a real luxury, if we could just chuck them every day [laughs]

Grant: A monkey [laughs] a cat to keep us chilled out backstage. We have asked for all that and a helicopter but we never get it.

Well hereís hoping.

Feeder release their new single, 'We Are The People', on June 8 while the new album, 'Silent Cry', appears one week later on June 16.

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