Feeder are a British alternative rock band based in Newport, Wales. The band was formed in 1992 under the name of "Reel" by the remaining members Grant Nicholas, Jon Lee and Simon Blight of group Raindancer, after the departure of their guitarist John Canham, although Simon Blight departed in 1992 to make way for Taka Hirose, after the band had used many session bassists from 1992-1995. Feeder's lineup after signing with The Echo Label in 1994 consisted of Grant Nicholas (guitar/vocals) and Jon Lee (drums), while still using session bassists and were heard on early demos. In January 2002, Jon Lee took his own life in his Miami home before former Skunk Anansie drummer Mark Richardson, began to record and play with the band before being made an official member. In May 2009 he parted company with Feeder to return to a reformed Skunk Anansie. Since Mark's departure, Feeder have employed drummer Karl Brazil, although for sessions and touring commitments for Renegades (2010) they employed Australian Damon Wilson and former Mexicolas drummer Tim Trotter. Feeder has released eight studio albums, three compilations, two EP's and 34 singles. As one of a few surviving members of the 1990s Britpop movement into the following two decades, they have eight UK Top 40 albums including six UK Top 10 albums and three Top five albums.
Feeder's music has been inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including The Police, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. The band's sound was radically changed from that of Rain Dancer on their debut release the Two Colours EP (1995), but has since introduced more acoustic aspects to their music, including elements of pianos and string orchestras.
Feeder garnered media attention in 2001 for their third album, Echo Park and its lead single "Buck Rogers", which later become a UK Top five single. In 2002, the band released their fourth album Comfort in Sound, being their first since the loss of their drummer Jon Lee earlier in the year. The album touched on many themes of loss and coming to terms with death, although it also explored themes of positivity. Comfort in Sound is Feeder's most successful release to date, selling over 503,706 copies in the United Kingdom between October 2002 and April 2012.
Feeder would go on to become one of the UK's most successful rock bands, with a total of 166 weeks on the charts as of 2006, which places them also amongst the 500 most successful music artists between 1952-2006. After the campaign for their singles compilation was complete, the band would later drop out of mainstream attention, while still charting three more top 20 albums with the latest being 2012's Generation Freakshow. Based on their certifications, the band have sold in excess of 1,564,000 albums in the UK alone.
Formation and early releases (1991-1996)
At the age of 14, singer and guitarist Grant Nicholas joined a band called 'Sweet Leaf', named after a Black Sabbath song, who were the first band he had seen play live. At this time Japanese bassist Taka Hirose and drummer Jon Lee were playing in different covers bands, but did not know each other. While playing in different bands on the Newport gig circuit, Grant and Jon became friends. They formed an electronic duo called 'Temper Temper' after Jon left Newport band The Darling Buds. Shortly thereafter, they formed a band called Raindancer. Both of these bands failed to win a recording contract, with the sound of the latter once being compared by Grant with that of The Waterboys. On 20 June 1991, Raindancer were invited to appear on Stage One, a late night television show on ITV Central, showcasing up and coming bands. The gig was filmed at The Town and Country Club, London without an audience present.
Going back to the drawing board, Raindancer reformed as three-piece band called 'Reel' after John Canham departed. Their bass player Simon Blight later departed from the band and the music business, before changing their name to 'Real'. During this time in 1994 they recruited Taka Hirose via an advert in Loot, which Taka placed himself. The band then changed their name to Feeder, named after Grant's pet goldfish. They won their recording contract with Echo after sending a demo tape, and then completed the deal after an employee from the label witnessed one of the band's gigs. A track called "Don't Bring Me Down", which featured on the demo appeared as a b-side on the "Day In Day Out" single, albeit a different version to the demo recording. After signing with The Echo Label in 1994, the group toured with Scarborough band B.l.o.w. who at the time, recently formed from the ashes of Little Angels. It was this tour where Feeder met Mark Richardson for the first time.
Feeder's first official release was a two-track EP entitled Two Colours, released in 1995 which was only available at the band's early gigs. It was limited to 1,500 CDs and 1,000 7" vinyls. In 1996, the band released their first commercially available release, being the EP Swim and received a 4/5 review in Kerrang! magazine (KKKK). Swim was later re-released in July 2001 with extra tracks, being a selection of b-sides from their earlier singles, alongside the videos for the Polythene singles "Crash" and "Cement". Overall unit sales for Swim stand at 40,000 as of February 2005.
Shortly before the release of Swim, a cassette tape titled Two Tracker was given away free with the magazines Kerrang! and Edge and contained the tracks "Sweet 16" and "Waterfall". The latter was described on the inlay card, as one of the tracks that would be on their forthcoming debut album proper, with the working title Here in the Bubble (whose name was soon changed to Polythene). The photography for the inlay of Swim was produced by Grant himself, while Chris Sheldon produced the recordings. The band released "Stereo World" as a single after appearing at the Reading festival.
After building a strong fanbase with the release of Swim, the band released their first full-length album in 1997. The result Polythene, was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 1997 with Metal Hammer and Kerrang!, placing the album at first and sixth in their respective end of year lists. Kerrang! later included the album in their 200 Albums For the Year 2000 list in the "Essential Britrock" category. Two tracks from Swim were used for the album, being "Descend" and "Stereoworld".
After the recording sessions were completed, the album's first single "Tangerine" was released and charted at #60 in the UK singles chart. This was followed by "Cement", charting at #53 and then the release of the album which charted at #65. Two more singles were released before and after their main stage debut at the Reading festival, with "Crash" making number #48, while "High" charted at number #24.
The album as of February 2005, has sold 89,000 copies. They also re-issued the album in October 1997, with "High" included and the "Stereo World" b-side "Change" replacing "Waterfall" from the original tracklist. Also included as an enhanced element was the video for "High". The album caused many critics to label the band "The UK's answer to the Smashing Pumpkins", and also draw comparisons to The Pixies and Talk Talk.
In early 1998, following the band's final 1997 tour in support of Polythene, the band travelled to the United States as a support act for Everclear. During their U.S. tour, the band released a re-worked version of "Suffocate" for UK release, which charted at #37. After their return to the UK, they played their own headline tour with Everclear this time in the supporting position. Later that year, Feeder started to play various music festivals in the United States, alongside a headline tour with "High" being released to radio stations and charting at #24 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart; it was the follow-up to "Cement" which had charted at #31, also on the same listing. During the band's first U.S. tour, Grant broke his ankle and picked up other injuries, while finding it hard to sleep at nights. This inspired him to write "Insomnia", which later appeared on their second album. They stayed in the U.S. for the majority of the year, with a trip back to the UK for their V98 appearance. Feeder later included live-only guitarist Dean Tidey; Grant once said in an interview with Kerrang!, that he was considering bringing in another guitarist for their live gigs.
Yesterday Went Too Soon (1999)
For 1999's Yesterday Went Too Soon, the band decided to self-produce the album, brought in Matt Sime for engineering duties and had the album mixed in New York by Andy Wallace. "Dry" was re-recorded as a full band version after the original acoustic version appeared on "Suffocate" as a b-side. That single's b-sides featured tracks from the sessions for that album, therefore revealing what sort of direction it would take on. The working title for the album was originally A Life Through Headphones, and was originally set to be a double album. The name change was due to former Take That singer Robbie Williams releasing his solo debut album Life Thru a Lens, with the band not wanting to be compared to him.
When the album was released, the band's reputation was on the rise and it entered the UK albums chart at number eight, which was at the time an unexpected chart position for the band. Before that, the band had released the album's first single, "Day In Day Out", in March 1999 which charted at #31 followed by "Insomnia" at #22, resulting in their first appearance on Top of the Pops. A week before the album's release, the band played the main stage of the Reading and Leeds festivals, while the title track from the album was at #20 in the singles chart. The album was then released on 30 August 1999. Only one single was lifted from the album after its release, in which a re-recorded version of "Paperfaces" charted at #41.
Some of the album's lyrical themes were derived from Grant's personal perspective of working in a menial supermarket job on a daily basis ("Day in Day Out"), his experiences after gigs on their US tour ("Insomnia" and "You're My Evergreen"), past relationships (the title track and "Dry"), the music industry ("Hole in My Head") and "fear of commitment in relationships" ("Anaesthetic") amongst others. Musically, the album employed an indie rock feel to it, which also featured extended appearances of an acoustic guitar on some of its tracks.
The album was due for release in June, but this was delayed until August to include material written after its completion which the band felt was too good to leave off. Upon its release, the UK music press immediately warmed to the album, which also received Melody Maker 's Album of the Week accolade. The year ended with the band providing support for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Wembley Arena and Manic Street Preachers at the Millennium Stadium. As of March 2003, the album has been certified gold shipping 100,000 units in the UK, with total counter sales standing at 110,000 as of February 2005. The album was Melody Maker's #24 album of 1999, while Metal Hammer placed the album in at #6 and Kerrang! ranked it at #16.
Echo Park and mainstream breakthrough (2000–2001)
Feeder spent most of 2000 at Great Linford Manor studios, writing and recording for their next album. The band also continued playing festivals around the country previewing the new material they were working on, such as V2000 and Glastonbury, but would end the year promoting "Buck Rogers", their first single since November 1999 and then playing a mini-tour at the end of the year to mainly showcase the new material. The release of the single on 8 January 2001 was coupled with a signing session at London's now defunct Tower Records store and then a TV appearance on Top of The Pops before the single charted. The single charted at number five, becoming the band's first top 10 entry in the singles chart before appearing on Top of the Pops again. "Buck Rogers" then spent a second week in the top 10.
Grant wrote "Buck Rogers" with The Pixies as an influence, but "on a comic book level". He had originally written the track for another band Echo Park producer Gil Norton was working with, but decided not to give it away, as he felt Feeder could have a hit with it themselves. "Buck Rogers" still receives regular airplay on alternative radio stations in the United Kingdom. Kerrang!'s writers have also approved of the track as one of their "666 Songs You Must Own", when it appeared at #5 in their rock songs list in November 2004.
After a sell-out tour of two legs ending at the London Astoria, the album Echo Park entered at number five in the UK album charts, shortly after "Seven Days in the Sun", the album's second single charted at #14. Shortly before the single's release, the band's rise up to the mainstream was recognised by the now defunct Scottish Television live music show Boxed Set, where a half-hour long live-set with a studio audience was played. A third single, "Turn" reached #27 in July before festival season. "Just a Day", a b-side from "Seven Days in the Sun", later reached #12 in December. The response the album received on a critical level was mixed, with Dan Genroe of Q magazine claiming that the listener will still be "feeling hungry half an hour later", alongside suggesting that the album is "hard to love". Ben Myers of Kerrang! gave the album 4/5 (KKKK) which indicates "blinding", while citing that the band "hit their stride" on the album, alongside suggesting that the album is "fat free and stripped to the bone".
The album saw the band take on much more of a commercially influenced sound, and also the appearance of Moog synthesizers, while being lyrically focused on a comedic approach, as with "Seven Days in the Sun", but also dark emotions, such as those shown on "Turn", "Oxygen", and "Satellite News". It was during the campaign for Echo Park that the band played another slot on the main stage at the Reading and Leeds festival, including T in the Park. As of August 2003, the album has shipped 300,000 units in the UK going platinum, with counter sales standing at 293,000 as of February 2005. Grant said in a Melody Maker interview that if the album did not sell well enough the band would probably split up; he said at the time that "Its the same with any band. That's just the way the music business is. There is only a certain amount of money a label will put into a band. I'm just being realistic. We've been around for seven or eight years and I am not planning on giving up, but we're putting everything into this record and I'm just hoping that people like it". The album campaign helped the band in August 2001 win the "Best British Live Act" accolade at the Kerrang! awards, before ending the year supporting the Stereophonics, and then releasing the "Just a Day" single in December. As of June 2008, both "Just a Day" and "Buck Rogers" individually sold over 100,000 physical copies and digital downloads combined. In 2007 "Just a Day" became the first-ever song to be played on Afan FM.
Jon Lee's death and Comfort in Sound (2002–2003)
In January 2002, Jon Lee committed suicide in his Miami home, resulting in the band keeping out of the public eye for most of the year. It was during this time that lead-singer Grant Nicholas wrote a series of songs relating to their emotions and reactions to Jon's death, which formed their fourth album Comfort in Sound. The band brought in former Skunk Anansie and Little Angels member Mark Richardson for drumming duties. The album focused mainly on themes such as loss, depression, grievance and positivity, while dedicating "Quickfade" to Jon. The album was released in October of the same year to widespread critical acclaim in the British music press, with Kerrang! alongside the heavy rock magazine Metal Hammer giving the album their respective Album of the Week accolades. The band were invited to the Reading and Leeds festivals that year, headlining the second stage at Reading on the first day which took place on 23 August, before heading off to Leeds the next. Grant also mentioned that at the time their fourth album already had a series of backing tracks recorded, with a total of 15 when recording is completed with then 10 chosen for the final album, when the final tracklisting was revealed, this was increased to 12. The album is currently Feeder's best-seller with an estimated 503,706 units sold as of April 2012. The album charted at #98 in Japan and #28 in Ireland, beating the peak position of #57 that Echo Park managed during the previous year. In Japan, it would be the first time Feeder ever charted there. The album charted at number six in the UK.
Musically, the album was much more mellow, with the use of a string orchestra on "Forget About Tomorrow", while other tracks on the album also used an accordion, trumpet, and a piano played by their manager Matt Page, with "Godzilla" being one of two tracks on the album to use loud guitars. The album was their first release to be certified platinum, (with Echo Park going platinum later on). It also spawned their second top 10 single, with "Just the Way I'm Feeling" in January 2003. In December of the same year they took on their only arena tour, after the album's first nationwide tour was a sell out with 50,000 tickets sold, and visited 21 different towns and cities in the United Kingdom over 23 different dates. In reaction to this, the band were invited to the Glastonbury Festival being placed third on the last day, playing the "Pyramid Stage". Shortly after the release of the single, the band were invited to support Coldplay on their UK and European tour, due to their frontman Chris Martin often saying how much he liked the Comfort in Sound album and their live shows. Their show at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena was reviewed by Kerrang!, which seen Steve Beebee give the band 4/5 (KKKK) for their performance.
The album's final single, being the title track, was only available to buy as a limited edition of 3,000 CDs on their 2003 arena tour. Four singles were released commercially, with those being "Come Back Around" (#14), "Just the Way I'm Feeling" (#10), "Forget About Tomorrow" (#12), and "Find the Colour" (#24), which was released following their V2003 appearance and Kerrang! award win for "Best British Band", beating competition from Muse and the Stereophonics, which Grant dedicated to Jon saying it was the award he had always wanted the band to win. The band later went on to win an Internet Music Award for their "Just The Way I'm Feeling" video, while the album became their first to appear on the end of year top 75 album charts, appearing at #66. The albums commercial reception, helped Echo experience their most successful financial year. Feeder then received their only nomination to date at The BRIT Awards, in which they appeared in the "Best British Rock" category at the 2004 event, before making their only appearance in the charts that year as part of Bob Geldof's Band Aid 20 charity ensemble. The single was the Christmas number one, and became the year's biggest-selling UK single. Alongside only making one chart appearance in 2004, Feeder also only made one live appearance during the year as part of the Carling Live 24 event, playing their show at the Hammersmith Apollo on 1 May.
Pushing the Senses (2004–2005)
Feeder returned to the studio to record their fifth album Pushing the Senses. The album was seen by Grant as more of an extension to Comfort in Sound, as it focused on the same lyrical themes and musical styles, and also said that it had more of an organic sound, with more upbeat tracks added into the mix. It also seen a number of piano driven tracks, with "Frequency" being an example. "Frequency" was produced by Coldplay producer Ken Nelson, while for the rest of the album, Gil Norton was on production duties. Grant told Kerrang! in May 2004, "I've done some recording on my own in a little studio up by where I live in North London. I demo the album in its full form before the rest of the band play on it. Its difficult to know at this stage what it will turn out like, but so far its slightly more mature sounding". Grant later added "Each album is a journey and a reflection of the past, there is some stuff that touches on what has happened, but there are songs about love, songs of loss and songs about the future. I don't want to give too much away but there's one track called "Bitter Glass". Its quite dark but uplifting too. Its about pulling yourself out of a big hole".
The album was Feeder's highest charting release, at number two on the UK album chart selling 42,951 units in its first week, while receiving a gold certification, and becoming a top 100 album in six other countries. Press response to the album was mixed. Kerrang! were brutal towards the band for all of their review, with Ben Meyers referring to them as a "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", including comparisons to a "Pastel box". Grant later said in a documentary with Kerrang! Radio that he was "Pissed off" with the review their magazine counterpart gave them, while citing "It was a very unfair review and reviewed by the wrong person".
The album helped them win their only major headline slot to date, being at 2005's Download Festival, shortly before supporting U2 for a brief period on their Vertigo Tour, which was followed by an appearance at the Live 8 concert in Edinburgh (the second charity event the band played that year after Tsunami Relief Cardiff). The campaign in total spawned four UK top 40 singles, which included "Shatter", a reworked version of the "Tumble and Fall" b-side that became a double A-side with "Tender" (#11). Other singles included "Tumble and Fall" (top five), "Feeling A Moment" (#13), and "Pushing the Senses" (#30). A fan-petition had been launched to see "Shatter" released as a single in its own right. The album was after ten weeks on sales of 111,214 units, 22 percent ahead of Comfort in Sound at that stage. However, the album did not keep up this momentum while also not going platinum. The last reported sales were that of 160,183 in October of the same year, which fell below Echo's expectations. It is however the bands most successful record based on peak chart positions in each country of release, while also being their only album so far to spawn a charting single outside of the UK and Ireland when "Feeling a Moment" peaked at #32 in Australia. Feeder already at the time charted four top 50 singles in Ireland, with "Tumble and Fall" being their first and only top 40 to date reaching a peak position of #26. The album itself made the Irish top 20 artist album chart at #16, one week before its UK release.
Feeder would end the year seeing their then latest album appear at #39 on Q's end of year list, with "Feeling a Moment" voted the 98th best song of the year by its readers. However, on 3 December 2005, they were forced to postpone a winter tour, after Grant picked up bleeds on his vocal cords the night before during a gig in Brighton, causing the show to be abandoned and later rescheduled along with the rest of the outstanding dates. During the year, Feeder's domestic studio album sales passed the one million units mark.
The Singles and Silent Cry (2006-2008)
In late 2005, Feeder already returned to the studio, with Stephen Street working as the band's producer to record three new tracks to appear on their then forthcoming singles collection. "Lost and Found" (which Grant described as "an urban love song") became the first single to promote the collection, and would reach #12 in the UK singles chart in May 2006, after completing their delayed winter tour, which ended at the LG Arena in Birmingham in front of 8,000 fans. The Singles, released in the same month as "Lost and Found", was the first Feeder album to have involvement from a major label, with EMI taking part in a one-off collaboration with Echo as the album's distributor. The album reached number two on the UK albums chart with first week sales of 50,003 entering at number three, and was certified platinum in under three months, with a total of 497,700 units sold as of April 2012, including a gold certification in Ireland after charting at #13. The album also made the top ten in Europe with a debut top 40 peak in Japan at #37, while "Save Us" was its second and final single in the UK, charting at #34 in late July. A version of the album included a DVD of all their videos filmed up to that point, along with extensive sleevenotes by Ben Johncock. The album became only their second to appear on the end of year top 75 this time at #48, while becoming their first album to spend more than one week on the top 10. Sales of The Singles, alongside a series of changes at Echo making them into an "Incubator label", enabled the company to report a "modest profit" for 2006. Feeder returned to the Reading and Leeds festivals after a four-year break, having a late slot on the main stage, before ending the year with a small tour of London, playing The Roundhouse, and The Coronet. These were in aid of War Child who the band are patrons of, having earlier in the year visited The Congo as part of their work for the charity.
In 2007 Feeder returned to the studio to record their sixth album. Most of the year was spent on the recording, and in 2006 the band announced in an interview with XFM that the album would be reminiscent of their earlier material. The resulting album Silent Cry was released on 16 June 2008. The album overally received moderate reviews. While some like Guardian were negative towards the album. others like Rock Louder were more positive. On its release week the album charted at number eight with sales of 16,029. In its second week the album then fell to number 30, with a third week drop to number 60 before leaving the top 75 albums listing. In Japan it peaked at #53 which is currently higher than all their studio albums, but lower than the peak of The Singles. Before the release of the album, "We Are the People" charted at #25 in the singles chart, making it their lowest chart position for a lead single since 1999's "Day in Day Out". "Miss You" from the album was given away by the bands official website as a free download in April, and gained over 8,000 downloads on its first day of release. As of December 2008, sales of Silent Cry stand at less than 50,000 units, less than was what hoped for by their label. Shortly after album release, the band recorded a cover of Public Image Ltd's 1978 self-titled single "Public Image", for a compilation album to celebrate Independents Day which celebrated independently released music. The second single from Silent Cry was Feeder's first download-only single, consisting of "Tracing Lines" and the album's title track which failed to make the charts.
In May 2008, the band played a small eight date tour to promote the album to the fanbase, which sold out in six hours. This was followed by a one-off gig on 12 June at the Proud Galleries in Camden, which sold out in six minutes. The band then went on to play at the iTunes festival in July, which saw a live six-track EP release of their performance, before playing the 2008 Reading and Leeds festivals in August, on the main stage. In July the band played at T in the Park, with an appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival the month previous. In 2008, the band also introduced live keyboard player Dean Deavall, of the band Casino. During the same year, on October 25 at 06:00 GMT after playing the Glasgow Barrowlands as part of their 29 date UK tour, the band's crew bus caught fire on the M62 motorway whilst travelling between Glasgow and Lincoln, destroying it and the crew's personal items. It was also announced by Chrysalis later on in the year, that Echo have been restructured into a copyright exploitation company, in which its main duty is maintaining the copyright on existing releases while no longer releasing any new records or signing any more artists. As a result, Feeder were until 2010 no longer on a record contract in their own country, while still being signed to their Japanese label Victor and Play it Again Sam (PIAS), their European label. Their 2008 UK tour, seen their first ever gig in Loughbrough, and their last ever show at the London Astoria on 18 November 2008. The venue was later torn down in early 2009 and was also their last ever show as an Echo Label artist.
After ending their tour at the Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, a six track EP titled Seven Sleepers was released in Japan, the same time they toured there in March. It included a collection of B-sides from the Silent Cry album, plus two new songs.
Mark's departure and Renegades (2009-2010)
After starting 2009 with two warm-up shows for their tour of Japan in Scarborough and Crewe, the band later on in May announced that Feeder "ended their partnership" with drummer Mark Richardson, before returning to his original band Skunk Anansie. Mark was replaced by session drummer Karl Brazil who had just come off tour with James Blunt, and had also played drums for British band Ben's Brother. Karl's first live appearances with the band, after a series of university events were at the UK leg of the Sonisphere Festival, stating that this would be their only UK festival appearance of 2009, as they would be working on their seventh studio album. It was then later announced that they would be appearing at the Hevy Music Festival in Folkestone. Here they previewed a new track titled "Sentimental", with the announcement that they have been in a recording studio in South Wales.
At first, Tim Trotter then of Mexicolas was filling in on drum duties in the studio also as a session drummer, before Karl stepped in. With Karl playing drums for Robbie Williams, Natalie Imbruglia and Ben's Brother, Tim once again took over drum duties in the studio. On 2 December, the band's official webpage was changed to display the word "RENEGADES" and the names of each of the band members by their surname, with "BRAZIL" mentioned amongst these. On 17 December a sample of a new song "Sentimental" was added to their website, which was later replaced with a 20 second clip of another song called "Renegades". Later on that month the website announced a six date tour and the release of a tour-only EP which was released on "Big Teeth Music", also their own record label. After the tour was completed, another six date tour was shortly announced with the band this time playing bigger venues. Another EP was released to coincide with the tour, which included a further four new songs with one of these being titled "Home"; one of the new songs the band performed on their first tour under this alias. The side-project was used as a method to promote the seventh Feeder studio album titled Renegades at live shows where they would mainly play the new songs, thus avoiding having to play any of their hits if they played as Feeder. The side-project would cease in 2010 after playing their final gig as Renegades at that year's Sonisphere Festival.
In an April 2010 interview with South Yorkshire newspaper The Star, Grant expressed his disappointment with the side-project band's sudden increase in success and awareness, in which he claimed that he wanted the band to continue playing in clubs with a slower ascendency to the bigger venues. The tour promoter however suggested that Renegades should play slightly bigger venues for the second tour than of those seen on their debut. Looking back on this version of the band, Grant Nicholas explained in an interview with Culture Deluxe, that the project was not a big marketing plan, but announced it without saying exactly what was happening. Some people thought it was a name change, Grant recording a solo album, while others got the idea from the start. He described problems with promoters printing "Feeder" on the tickets, leading to a misunderstanding that a more mainsteam set was expected.
After completing their second and final tour as Renegades, the band then announced their new single "Call Out" under the name of Feeder before shortly revealing the name of their seventh album as Renegades. All of the new songs performed live as Renegades were listed on the album with the free download track "Fallen" being a b-side on "Call Out" and was released as a download and vinyl single, with the album released on 5 July. Renegades peaked at #16 in the UK album charts, giving them their seventh top 20 album with sales of 8,729, before being followed-up by the single release of the title track, also only on vinyl and download. In Japan, the album charted at #93, making it their least successful since Comfort in Sound. Dean Deavall then departed from Casino to concentrate more on his time with Feeder, including his own band The High Hurts. The album received mostly favourable reviews, although some critics as Will Dean of BBC Online did not praise the album giving it a mixed response
After a tour of Japan which saw Luna Sea guitarist Inoran join them on stage at the Daikanyama Unit for a performance of "Breed" (originally recorded by Nirvana), Feeder returned to the UK for a sell-out tour in late October which started at the Leeds Metropolitan University, before ending at Southampton University. This was followed by a small tour of Europe, South Africa and Australia, before a brief return to the UK ended their year. "Down to the River / This Town" also became the final single from the album, released only as a download and vinyl on 6 December.
Generation Freakshow (2011-present)
In 2010, during the Renegades sessions, a number of tracks were left off the album before then being considered for inclusion for the follow-up to that album. As there were not enough to fit on the album, more were recorded during the closing stages of the year, with the band taking a break from recording on 19 December, before resuming recording on 10 January 2011. Between 16 January and 24 January a production session began in New York City, this included overdubs, guitars and keyboards with Grant also flying over to record vocals, while some of the album was already recorded in London. On 19 January 2011 a photo of song lyrics written on a sheet of paper was posted on their official Facebook page. The first of these songs to enter public knowledge, with different working titles was "Borders", with other working titles being "Jessie" and "White City Rock". In an interview with Heineken Music, on 27 January 2011 Grant revealed that 19 or 20 songs are so far in the recording stages, while the album is planned to be released after their tour of the United Kingdom and Europe ends in March, and like Renegades, looks likely to be released domestically on their own Big Teeth Music imprint.
"Side By Side", which was a chart-eligible paid download in aid of the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, charted at #91, before it ultimately did not appear on the UK version of the album, although did appear on the Japanese release. Grant Nicholas cited on the band's Facebook page, that the single was released purely for the Japanese Tsunami disaster with the chart position not being as important. During their 2011 touring, Feeder introduced drummer Damon Wilson as a live regular and session musician. In September 2011, the band revealed on their Facebook page that the recording of their yet-untitled eighth studio album is complete with only mixing on the final song to be finalised, before mastering then began on 30 September in New York. Feeder hosted a trailer on YouTube titled "Coming Soon" on 2 December 2011 and had a message written in Morse code as "-... --- .-. -.. . .-. ...", which translates to "Borders". On 6 December 2011 another trailer was released, announcing "Borders" as the first single from the new album, including a four-date tour. On 19 January 2012 the official music video for "Borders" was uploaded on YouTube. "Borders" was released on CD, cassette and 7" on 30 January 2012, with the parent album Generation Freakshow originally scheduled with a release date of 26 March 2012 but later delayed until 23 April 2012. This was the first time Feeder released a cassette single since 2001's "Just a Day". In February 2012 after Feeder had completed a mini-tour, which ended in Inverness and started in Exeter, "Borders" charted at #52 giving the band their 25th top 75 single and their first official chart visit since 2008's "We Are the People".
Critical response to the album kept itself to the same level as with recent Feeder albums, although on a lower level BBC Music praised the album, while Drowned in Sound, despite negative reviews in the past, credited Feeder for creating another strong addition to their back catalogue. The album which was released to coincide with a week-long tour, however improved upon the respectable commercial response of Renegades by charting at #13, which increased the band's UK album charts span to fifteen years, while selling 7,338 units in the same week. In Japan, Generation Freakshow improved upon the relatively disappointing chart position of Renegades, when it entered at #57 and became their most successful studio album in almost four years. The only track from the sessions of the Renegades album to end up on Generation Freakshow, was that of "Tiny Minds". The week following the album's release, "Children of the Sun" was released as the album's second single and saw the band revert to the vinyl and download formats. Because of this, the single failed to chart while not attracting the same radio attention as "Borders". The title track was due to be a single, but was later pulled despite promotional CDs already being pressed and sent to radio. "Idaho" became the third single from the album, released on 27 August 2012. Like "Children of the Sun", this also failed to chart.
The band continued their year with a main stage appearance at the Isle of Wright Festival, opening the event. This was then followed by a first appearance in four years at the Reading Festival, although in their lowest position since their 1996 debut, headlining the fourth stage. Their appearance at the T in the Park festival that year was later cancelled, due to a band illness. It was announced in July that "Idaho" will be the third single from Generation Freakshow, and will be released on August 27. The band played at Hyde Park in August as part of a series of concerts to celebrate the 2012 Summer Olympics, which was preceded by an appearance at Lusty Glaze in Newquay, alongside performances in Wales and Ireland, with the video shoot for "Idaho" in between.
Later on in 2012, Feeder took on one last tour for the year. The tour lasted for five dates starting at the O2 Academy Glasgow, before ending at the Brixton Academy in November. At the Brixton show, Grant Nicholas announced that the band would be going away for a while, before deciding what to do next. Earlier on before the tour began, Nicholas was interviewed by website Mancunian Matters in which he told them that the band would take a break next year with no shows planned, although a follow-up album was mentioned alongside possible side-projects.
2013 saw very little activity from the band, although they played one show that year at Reading University as a private event, no other shows were planned, nor did any of the band take part in any interviews. However, their back catalog which was initially issued on The Echo Label, was later re-issued by Sony Music Entertainment, thus allowing the distribution of this material to continue.
In a 2008 interview with Kerrang! on a selection of the bands singles, Grant expressed his annoyance with the Coldplay comparisons, in which he said they were only made because he played a piano on many of the tracks that were on the album. In a 2011 interview with Cambridge based webzine The Tab, Grant elaborated on these criticisms by saying "Feeder have a much broader music dynamic musically, and we are a much heavier band, both live and on record. I have a lot of respect for Coldplay and we have toured with them, but we are two totally different bands, both dynamically and musically. I just think it's lazy journalism".
Sales and legacy
Over the course of their career, Feeder has come to domestically accumulate a total of eight gold and platinum records, with a gold record in Ireland for The Singles, bringing their worldwide total to nine.
Despite having completely dropped out of the mainstream for six years after the platinum-selling singles compilation, (which peaked at #2 on the UK Top 75 albums chart) and the band being relegated almost solely to alternative rock stations in the United Kingdom, Silent Cry reached #8 on the albums chart in its first week of release in 2008 with 16,000 units sold. It has sold less than 50,000 units to date according to Chrysalis, the owners of the now defunct Echo Label. The subsequent Silent Cry tour was Feeder's longest playing up to 29 different dates, with many selling out. Nevertheless, Silent Cry remains their first album since 1997's Polythene not to achieve at least gold status. The 2010 follow-up Renegades, was less successful only spending two weeks in the chart after entering at #16, while also being their first since the aforementioned Polythene not to chart within the Top 10.
However, the charting of Rengades, marked the third decade in which a Feeder album had been released and charted at least in the Top 20. This marked their 6th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 9th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Official UK Rock Albums chart. Still, Renegades has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse any of their other studio albums before this. 2012 follow-up Generation Freakshow, charted higher at #13 although on lower debut week sales. 2002's Comfort in Sound is the band's best selling release, shifting over 503,706 units in the United Kingdom alone with The Singles taking second spot with 497,700 units. At the end of 2006, when the campaign for The Singles was drawing to a close, Feeder ranked as one of the UK's most successful chart acts pre-2007, with a total of 166 weeks without reaching the number one spot.
In Japan, Feeder have also gained a cult following, in which their last five studio albums have all charted in the top 100 between 2002 and 2012. Their most successful of these is 2008's Silent Cry charting at #53, although their most successful and only top 40 entry to date is their 2006 singles compilation, meaning the band have charted six albums regardless of format.
Feeder are also one of Wales's most popular rock bands, highlighted in October 2003, by the display of Taka's bass guitar from the "Seven Days in the Sun" video at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff and Grant's attendance at the branch's opening the same year. The Cardiff branch later closed in late 2010, one day shy of its seventh anniversary of opening. Feeder have also headlined many of the United Kingdom's major events venues, such as Wembley Arena, Birmingham National Indoor Arena, Brimingham LG Arena, Bournemouth International Centre and the Cardiff International Arena. Alongside this, Feeder also headlined a major festival for the first (and currently only) time in their career, which was at the 2005 Download festival.
In an April 2012 interview with British rock monthly Total Guitar, the band were praised by Rob Laing citing "All the way from their very first release, the Two Colours EP in 1995, through tragedy and triumph, he's [Grant] gone the distance with Feeder while other British alternative rock bands of the 90s crashed or faded".
- Polythene (1997)
- Yesterday Went Too Soon (1999)
- Echo Park (2001)
- Comfort in Sound (2002)
- Pushing the Senses (2005)
- Silent Cry (2008)
- Renegades (2010)
- Generation Freakshow (2012)
- Grant Nicholas - lead guitars & lead vocals (1992–present)
- Taka Hirose - bass guitars (1995–present)
- Karl Brazil - drums (2009–present)
- Jon Lee - drums (1992–2002; deceased)
- Simon Blight - bass (1992)
- Mark Richardson - drums (2002–2009)
- Dean Tidey - guitars (1999–2000, 2002–2009)
- Matt Sime - keyboards (2000-2001)
- Dean Deavall - keyboards (2008–present)
- Tim Trotter - drums (2009–present)
- Damon Wilson - drums (2011–present)
Gold and platinum records
- Feeder's official website
- Feeder biography from BBC Wales
- Feeder "Miss You", free download
- "Renegades" free MP3 download
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Image from Discogs