By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester Correspondent
Rock At Night managed to catch up with Grant Nicholas of Feeder as they embark on their national tour in support of their 9th Studio Album All Bright Electric.
BAND MEMBERS AND INSTRUMENTS – Grant Nicholas –guitar, vocals etc
DISCOGRAPHY – feeder
Q/ As a band Feeder have been together for 25 years, starting in the early 90’s which was a very strong and vibrant time for guitar driven bands, both in the UK and America, in that 25 years, how do you think the music industry and Guitar driven bands has changed most noticeably.
A/ I think just the lack of support at radio and CD sales are tiny in comparison to the 90’s so this has had a massive effect on the industry. There are some good bands out there still so that is encouraging but I do however think that the 90’s was a great time for guitar/rock/alt bands and we were lucky to have been a part of that.
Q/ You released your 9th studio album “All Bright Electric” recorded at Grants home studio The Tree house, which went to No 5 in the top 40 album charts, how do you think the recording and writing process has changed for you since your first album, way back when.
A/Technology makes it easier and cheaper to record so this is a major change as albums used to cost so much money to make and the pressure was on to recoup the cost. You can get some amazing results and we do so much in my little studio The Treehouse nowadays. It ‘s relaxed and great for doing overdubs and vocals etc. We still do the drums and louder stuff in bigger studios then move over to my place after.
Q/ The 90’s was a really big time for Welsh bands, The Phonics’ Super Furries, Catatonia, The Manic’s, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and many more, can you tell us a little bit about this time and what it was like to be part of that scene.
A/We were never really part of that scene that was created by the press and we had already moved to London and were doing our own thing but I think after our success we kind of became part of it in some way because of my welsh roots and history I guess. There have always been some great bands and musicians in Wales.
Q/ even though there is overtones of Grunge in your early recording, do you feel being Welsh and brought up in Wales, cutting your musical teeth in Wales has influenced your music and who you are as a band
A/I think living in a small town, playing in bands and listening to mates music collections definitely had an impact on me as a writer and this has massively influenced Feeders sound and evolution. I listened to a lot of punk, rock, indie and 80’s pop growing up and it all goes into our sound and style in some way.
Q/ is your songwriting a collaborative experience or is it a process of individual beginnings and endings?
A/I write the songs on acoustic guitar or electric and then take it to the next step from there. I sometimes write on a piano to get a different vibe but guitar is my instrument of choice. I think some of the best songs need to work in a very simple way also before the layers and band chemistry takes it to another place during the recording process. I tend to demo a lot also and these sessions often end up being used in the final recording after replacing guide bass, drums etc.
Q/ How do you find the recording process or do you enjoy going out and touring more,
A/I love recording and producing and feel most at home in the studio but we still love playing live and seeing the fans. Taka loves playing live and is great to watch also. I think we are enjoying the live experience more than ever and it’s so unpredictable as you never know how it will go each night.
Q/ whilst a lot of guitar indie bands from the 90’s have faded over time, you have kept playing and releasing records all with success, what do you put this down too.
A/I guess, some good tunes a great and loyal fan base that is still growing and a lot of hard work and belief. We also have a great crew and passionate teams who work with us.
Q/ How long do you feel you will have the drive and passion to keep touring and releasing records with Feeder?
A/I am not sure but I would say as long as we still feel inspired and are making good music. Physically it’s quite a tough set to play so I guess it depends as we would rather leave the party early that outstay our welcome.
Q/ On a lighter note what bands/muso’s are you digging and listening too at the moments, any bands you feel that are going to go on to big things.
A/There are so many it’s hard to say. I like some of our support bands, Dalia, Moses, Reigning Days are all really good and Thomas Speight if you like acoustic stuff. I am still a massive Tom Petty fan and also love the Eels, Grandaddy and Radiohead to name a few.
Q/ Who is an artist you have always wanted to see in concert but never had the opportunity?
Q/Who would you like to tour with.
A/Tom Petty, Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey, QOTSA, Foo’s, Pixies ……….etc etc
Q/ and just to lighten the mood a little more what is your ideal night out.
A/ A few drinks at home, some great Japanese food, then cocktails popcorn and ice cream before passing out watching One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest with my cat and family …