Feeder have announced details of a new ‘best of’ greatest hits album, as well as unveiling new track ‘Figure You Out’ and announcing a huge homecoming show. Read our interview with frontman Grant Nicholas below.
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On September 29, the band will mark 21 years since their first release ‘Swim’ with a career-spanning 42-track greatest hits package and a mini album ‘Arrow’ of nine new songs – featuring the song ‘Figure You Out’.
“It’s very old-school,” frontman Grant Nicholas told NME about the track. “I love Americana artist. I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t influenced by what I listened to growing up. Obviously Tom Petty is a name that I’ve always dropped in interviews and I’ve been proud to mention. I wanted something that had the simplicity of a Tom Petty song.
He continued: “Lyrically it’s a love song, but it’s written in a very simple way, almost a story-like way. It still feels like Feeder but in a more, what’s the word…there’s a bit more maturity in it compared to some of our earlier stuff because it’s heavy. Not in a “I’m not trying to kid anyone” and prove that we’re this heavy grunge band because Feeder isn’t about that.
“You have to find different ways of doing that as you mature as a band. It’s a really classic song and I really think it’s one of my favourite on ‘Arrow’.”
The play a homecoming show at Chepstow Racecourse on August 25. Check out ‘Figure You Out’ below along with our Q&A with Nicholas.
The full tracklist for ‘The Best Of Feeder’ is:
THE BEST OF – CD1
1. Feeling A Moment
2. Come Back Around
4. Just The Way I’m Feeling
5. Forget About Tomorrow
6. Just A Day
8. Comfort In Sound
10. Buck Rogers
11. Pushing The Senses
14. Lost & Found
16. Yesterday Went Too Soon
19. Seven Days In The Sun
20. Piece By Piece
21. Another Day On Earth
THE BEST OF – CD 2
1. We Are The People
2. Universe Of Life
4. Tumble And Fall
6. Silent Cry
7. Find The Colour
8. Day In Day Out
9. Down By The River
14. Side By Side
15. Stereo World
17. Save Us
18. Tracing Lines
19. Miss You
20. Children Of The Sun
21. We Are The People
ARROW – CD 3
1. Figure You Out
2. Walk Away
5. Sound Of Birds
So it must feel pretty emotional to celebrate being a band for 21 years?
“It’s probably more like 25 years or so, but it’s 21 years since we released our first official release which was ‘Swim’. That came out before our first record, ‘Polythene’. Because we were quite a new band, we were testing the water really, so rather than put out the first album too soon we decided to put out a mini album and it did really well for us. That kind of set the foundations really for the first record and then it went to the States and it all went really well. So yeah, it’s kind of amazing to think that it’s been that long really. Time has flown by. Just to sort of look at all the songs I’ve actually written, it’s like, “Oh my god’, it’s quite a list.”
And 21 is the sort of age when a teenager becomes a man. do you feel that way about Feeder or do you feel like an institution?
“I don’t know really. I think as people who’ve never been there at the height of any given trend, that that’s the secret to our longevity. It’s always really been about the songs for me. The whole frontman thing just sort of happened completely by accident. I just wanted to write songs and sing a bit, and then I ended up becoming the singer in a band, and ended up being the frontman for Feeder. The whole thing just came together.
“Certain bands have songs that you’re gonna hear in ten years time and people still remember them, and I think we’ve always worked towards being that kind of band and that’s always been our goal, really, not to follow what was cool at the time because things move on so quickly, you know? But if people with real songs, whether it’s bands like Radiohead, or some older artists like Tom Petty and Neil Young, that really stand the test of time, and people wanna hear some of those old songs and think ‘they sound great’. So to answer your question, no I don’t feel old but I think some of the songs, as your moving forward can almost be like the fountain of youth.”
And can you tell us about ‘Arrow’, the additional CD of new songs?
“It’s a nine track album, so its kind of a full album, really. It’s like a body of work. We’ve obviously named it ‘Arrow’ because we felt like it needed to have some sort of identity and be different to everything else on there. It’s all new songs. I felt it was really important for us and also, I’m always writing, so we didn’t wanna do a typical thing, you know, a “best of”, throw a few demos and a few B-sides on there, one or two bonus tracks. I wanted it to be something a bit more special than that and for there to be something fresh on there for the fans, as well. Obviously it’s more interesting for us and there’s more songs to play. It kind of just grew from there really, I think it’s quite unusual to have a best of that’s got a stand alone album as part of it.”
Would you say this is a signpost for where you might go on the next album?
“What, musically? No, I guess this was written in a very good headspace compared to a standard album. When you write a standard album, there’s not a concept that grows, but there’s a plan in your head or there is when I start working on albums. I think that the whole ‘Arrow’ was put out form “okay, we’re doing a best of” so I kind of veered towards writing some slightly more commercial songs and songs that felt a bit more like ‘classic Feeder’, and that’s quite a hard thing to do. When you try and do something like that it doesn’t always come out that way. I think we achieved it. But musically yeah I think there’s a good mix of stuff on there. It’s definitely not got the heavier side of Feeder, although the heavier track on there is pretty heavy – but that’s sort of one for the old-school fans. I just think it’s a good mix of songs, really. I think ‘best of’s are all about the tunes and I felt that this, the ‘Arrow’ album, had to have that kind of element also.”
And do you have any ideas about where you want to take your sound next?
“I’m not quite sure actually. We were thinking about maybe going away somewhere and not doing it the way we’ve done the last few records. For the last few albums, I’ve done probably half of it sitting in my home studio and it’s great, as a band it’s a nice way of working, but I wouldn’t mind going back to how we did the first album. Maybe going out and having a studio in the desert somewhere in the states and having a bit more of a band environment, I’m not quite sure yet, it’s hard to say. We’ve already started writing some stuff so, I’m not quite sure how it’ll pan out or who we’ll end up working with but definitely it’d be nice to do something different, or at least do it somewhere different and work with somebody different.”
Feeder will play a homecoming show at Chepstow Racecourse on August 25, before ‘The Best Of Feeder’ will be released on September 29.