“Hopefully we’re proof that if you have good tunes and work hard, you can have a career” — Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas on their new tour, raising a family and giving new bands a chance
Snow has been a prominent theme over the last two weeks for Feeder as they prepare for their UK tour, which ends at Brixton Academy on March 17.
The band found a new calling after getting absorbed in the Winter Olympics, and since then the first night of the Best Of Feeder tour in Lincoln was cancelled due to Storm Emma.
Before the country was up-ended by the weather, guitarist and lead vocalist Grant Nicolas discussed how both he and the band have inevitably changed in the 21 years since their first EP.
“We’re trying to rock out without being a cliché. The guitar and drums, that’s where the power comes from. It drives our sound, ” he said ahead of rehersals in North London.
“When we’re playing long sets like this, there’s some nights were I’ve got to slink off to bed rather than stay up all night on the tour bus.
“I’ve got two kids now so I’m playing more of a rock ’n’ roll dad – someone still has to do the school runs. There’s so many bands that have got kids that it’s kind of the norm now.
“My kids can come on the tour bus now and they love it. It wasn’t until my son saw me playing on tour that he realised I don’t just sit around, playing guitar all day!”
Grant, 50, admitted that, for the band, now is the right time to tour their greatest hits.
“Well if you look at other bands around our age that started when we did, some of them are on a third or fourth greatest hits album by this point.”
“I think we’ve done well to hold off until now!
“We’d been asked by BMG (Feeder’s current record label) if we’d consider a greatest hits album but with some new material.
“We went away, started writing, and between sorting out the track list for the album I ended up writing nine tracks.”
On how he felt touring with so many classic tracks, and whether he ever caved to crowds demanding encores, Grant said: “It’s crazy, we haven’t played some of these songs since Jon (Lee, Feeder drummer) died, songs off Polythene that I’m practically relearning.
“I’m really enjoying it but really nervous about playing live. It is a vocal workout trying to sing stuff you did when you were 20 years younger.
“They’re almost like new songs. It’s still us performing but you’ve got to look after yourself.”
Despite a four-year hiatus, Feeder have produced nine albums since they debuted the Swim EP in 1996.
Even during the break, Nicolas wrote material that appears on the new album.
He said: “I was song writing for other artists and ended up writing an album for myself!
“One of the first songs I wrote solo was ‘Veins’, but the more I looked at it the more I thought it could be a Feeder song.
“I finished it, kept it back, Taka (Hirose, bassist) re-recorded the bass, put some heavy guitars on it and here it is on the new album. It’s funny how things work out.
“I learned so much doing that solo record, it’s ended up with the new material being more vocals led.
“It’s still us, it’s still our sound and sonically I think it really captures us as a band.”
Feeder have also teamed up with Kerrang! Radio to give two new bands a slot on the bill at their Birmingham and Leeds shows.
“We hear from a lot of new and upcoming bands that want to support us. Rather than going for the convenient choice and having the same bands for the whole tour, we’re trying to give bands a chance to play for a big crowd.
“I just want to give some bands the opportunity to play, plus any die-hard fans coming to more than one night will get to see some different acts.
“There’s a lot of young bands listening to Feeder and we want to be role models.
“Hopefully we’re proof that if you have good tunes and work hard, you can have a career.”
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