Feeding Frenzy

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AFTER 20 years, three platinum albums, and hundreds of shows around the world, Feeder were due to make their Manx debut at the Villa tomorrow (Saturday).

However, the show has been cancelled at the last minute after lead singer Grant Nicholas was hospitalised with acute tonsilitis.

It is understood he is now out of hospital. Discussions are underway to try to reschedule the concert. Earlier in the week Lee Brooks spoke via email to the suffering singer:

The local music scene in the Isle of Man is fairly varied and vibrant, but obviously somewhat contained. How was the live music scene in Newport as Feeder were starting out? 

When we started, the live scene in South Wales was not great, to be honest. There were a few decent venues, some good bands but it was hard to get noticed. This is why I moved to London, as there was definitely more opportunity there at the time. I think it’s changed now, especially with the internet. As for our sound, I guess small town life may have had some influence on my writing and it still does, but I have lived in London a long time now and that has definitely given me more to write about now.

How is the new album progressing?

It’s going really well and we have recorded around 25 songs now, which is probably the biggest list we have had since the Yesterday Went Too Soon album. It’s very melodic, but we haven’t chosen the final track listing yet as we are still finishing of some songs.

Feeder have played at plenty of festivals, and play more this summer. In the Isle of Man we’ve had mixed recent attempts to establish a sustainable annual event. What do you think makes for a good/successful festival?

I think the key, obviously, is a good line-up of acts, but also a great location. The best festivals tend to be relaxed in mood but very well organised. Camping and facilities are a must.

You tried something interesting last year, touring low-key venues under the name ‘Renegades’ playing exclusively new songs to test crowd reaction. Does this reflect that you guys miss the more anonymous/underground early days?

Sometimes, but we have worked hard to build our fan base over the years. This has enabled us to play bigger venues, which is an achievement in itself. I think smaller venues are ideal to road test new material however.

In 2005, you suffered ‘bleeds’ on your vocal cords. How do you manage the strain of touring these days?

It’s always hard to look after yourself on tour and the singer definitely gets the short straw. I just warm up my voice now and watch what I drink on a long tour. I still enjoy a drink, though, and touring has to be fun. I’ve been lucky that I’ve not had many problems over the years but the bleed was caused by shouting off mike at the crowd to get them going. I have stopped doing that now. In some way having the bleed has made me look after myself a bit more on tour, especially with all the travelling and late crazy nights.

The band’s long-time record label Echo ceased releasing new music in 2008. How does the current squeeze on the music industry affect Feeder?

It’s a tough time as we still have to record and release our music, which costs money. The live scene is still very healthy, though, which is good for a band like ourselves. There is the team around us also which all have to be paid. I think people have so much choice of music nowadays, as well as free downloading. I still love the process of making an album and I hope that doesn’t go away totally. The business is in a mess at the moment, but it will eventually stabilise.

What kind of set might we expect in the island concert?

It’ll be a mix of the 2010 Renegades album plus some back catalogue and greatest hits. We’ll save the new songs for the next tour once the album is out.

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