| It must have been a painstaking process recruiting a new drummer, where did you find him? |
I knew Mark a long time ago, even before he was in Skunk Anansie! He knew Jon too but I didn’t know him that well! It was weird obviously, he’s got a different personality to Jon and it took time to get to know him!
So he’s settled in well?
Yeah we get on really well, we obviously have our ups and downs…he’s fit in as well as anyone could’ve done! He’s a full time member now so it’s not as though he’s just mucking in, he’s a part of us! He’s a really powerful drummer, he’s brilliant when you see him he just rocks out!
What was it like working with Gil Norton on the new album?
This is the first time I’ve worked with Gil, this time it was a co production, he doesn’t really do that but this time he tried it. It was good, I really enjoyed working with him! every album has been different when we’ve worked with Gil, in terms of approach! We used a different producer.
Was there any pressure on you to succeed with this album in comparison to previous ones?
Yeah there’s always pressure. “Comforting Sound” did sell well for us, you always want to follow in that success but it’s not always easy! There are so many bands around but at least they’re good. I mean there was so much crap around before!
“Buck Rogers” is one of my favourite songs and it’s the one you’re best known for, how do you sit down and write a hit song?
I originally wrote that song for another artist which is how I met Gil Norton, that’s how that whole relationship started! It was an American band he was working with. I played them a demo of the track and they said don’t lose out on this one – they obviously saw a hit! The song is quite surreal and sunny but kind of serious at the same time! There was a lot of humor in that song that a lot of people didn’t get. The whole point meant that it should be simple. People seem to love the chorus; I don’t really want to play it anymore! But when I see the reaction from a crowd of all ages it’s really hard not to! I think it has almost become our cult song.
Ok, so is it about you? A lot of press to make the comparison?
No Comment! It’s about a relationship, it’s positive though, People like that, I’m not someone that doesn’t really write optimistic songs – it’s important to have some occasionally like that, it helps connect with people and it’s quirky!
You once said that you never really wanted to be a singer, does that mean you prefer and focus more on song writing?
Yes I do focus more on writing, I do really enjoy singing but there is a lot of pressure on tour. If I just played guitar I don’t think I’d miss singing or not enjoy myself just as much as I do being a front man. I love it but it’s a very critical thing. You never know how it’s going to be. You can’t control it, you can have good night and bad nights with singing. Actually I only started singing by accident. When I was younger I was in a band and I sang backing vocals, people encouraged me to carry on. It’s taken me a long time to actually realise that im a singer! I think i have improved with time.
What can we expect from your shows throughout Europe?
We’re doing a lot of songs from the new album, at the minute we’re actually still working on a set list! We’ve got some songs that are being featured in a few films, plus we’ll be releasing another single, I think 3 singles off the album is enough, sometimes you can release too much material off one record. Something more fresh is what we want & aim for.
War Child is a charity you hold close to your heart, how did your work with them come about?
War Child had a real affect on me. I started reading stuff on the website because the guy who used to do out press used to follow the charity very closely, in fact he now works for them. He sent me some information over and ever since then we have done support gigs for them and we give them money. The children always are affected in war situations and having a kid on my own it made me want to do something. I’m not a martyr, I just felt strongly about the cause. I want everyone involved, we got involved with band aid and we’re doing Live 8 in Scotland. We want to introduce war child to our fan base. We did a cover of REMs Everybody Hurts, War Child loved it. They’re going to use it on their future messages.
Do you support any others?
Yeah, mainly ones that involve children. We’ve raised money for events and things and we’re involved with Cystic Fibrosis – it really is a horrible thing. We did the Tsunami gig in Cardiff too. I don’t want people thinking we get involved for just publicity reasons, we most definitely don’t. It’s amazing how many people listen.
I went to see you guys back in 1997 when My Vitriol was supporting you at The Lomax in Liverpool. Do you know what’s happened to them?
I remember that place! It’s a tiny venue! It was a really good gig. My vitriol had problems. They’re apparently still together but haven’t got a deal at the minute. They took quite a while making their album and there making a new one at the minute. So you might see them again very soon! They’re a good band, I really like them. We got on very well.
Do you often make good friends with bands that you go on tour with?
Yeah, some! Obviously we don’t get best mates with every band. I know a lot of people, you just meet them and festivals and things. The bands you see more often do tend to become good friends.
Finally, what’s next in store for Feeder?
We have the new album and we’re also going over to Japan to do the festivals. We will then probably release the next single. I’m going to start writing soon, then it’s just a case of getting the band together for practice.
I guess you will have your work cut out for you with the little one to look after too?
Oh yeah! I’ll have to make sure I can look after her!