UTG INTERVIEW: The Feed Discuss New Record

St Louis’ The Feed are preparing to drop one of the year’s most infectious records. Outsider, the band’s first studio effort in three years, is a full throttle dose of rock ‘n’ roll. Mixing the right concoction of alternative grit with contagious pop hooks, the band have created a formula unique enough to turn heads and memorable enough to keep you coming back for more. It’s lo-fi and truly in your face from beginning to finish.

Under The Gun Review had the chance to sit down with Dave Grelle from The Feed to discuss Outsider, which is due out August 5. Click the “Read More” button to check out the interview and jam the title track now. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

UTG: For those who don’t know, tell me about The Feed.

Dave: What characterizes the band is our live performance — it’s our identity a lot of the time. We all play in different groups as well and we all come from musical backgrounds. We take a lot of pride in hailing from St. Louis. Some by choice and some not so much [laughs]. We’re all really big fans of just raw, innocent music. I think you can hear that in a lot of our music. We stick to a raw, swingin’ vibe with a lot of our tunes. When we were growing up our parents were checkin’ out Donny Hathaway, The Isley Brothers, Chuck Berry, Miles Davis — growing up with that stuff in the house really made an impression on all of us. It’s cool because we take that element of groove with a lot of our music. I think our identity is really the fun we have playing the live music, the way we interact with our live audience, and really we try to capture that on a recording. We try to get everything in one take. Half of the stuff on the new record, instrumentally, is in one take. We basically did a full record in three days.

So tell me about the new record, Outsider.

The new record is a collection of songs, we weren’t going for anything conceptual. We had more tunes but we felt this was the best collection of tunes that all made sense together. Each song stands well on its own but also cohesively worked well with the flow of the record, if people are even listening to records anymore. Some of the tunes were inspired a while ago, when we were just a duo. It was just the drummer and myself. We did a lot of touring and wrote those songs while we were out on the road. With the addition of two buddies of mine we wrote a handful of new tunes as well. We pull from all genres, especially with this one. You can hear a little Trent in there, you can hear a little Tom Waits in there. We wear our ears on our sleeves. Our drummer is a huge Police fan. I think you can hear that with the frantic, upbeat punk vibe from some of the tunes. There’s still some element of soul and control, which is pretty cool.

You made an offhanded comment there about people still listening to records. Why’d you decide to do a full-length for this release?

A lot of it was just the amount of material we had. And the quality of that material. We knew we were going to press it on vinyl and we were yet to do that. We wanted a tangible product we could put in people’s hands. Back in our hometown, St. Louis, we are kind of almost a musician’s band to some people. People come out and love to dance and party but at the same time a lot of our fans are just hardcore music lovers and collectors of vinyl. We like to think that if we work hard enough on stage everyone in the crowd who has a record player is going to want to pick one up. It’s such a cool process — putting together a record with the artwork and everything. It’s such a different experience when you’re putting out a physical record. I contradict myself completely, but I think we are getting back to listening to albums in their entirety, versus just singles. More than anything, I thought we had a strong collection of tunes and wanted to make them work on a record.

If you could describe the record in six words or less, how would you describe it?

Let’s say: soul, punk, urgent, [laughs] swingin’, and sick.

How has reception been for the tracks you’ve released thus far?

Way beyond our expectations. We had no idea that the likes of some really cool blogs we’re fans of (Filter, Alternative Press, Earmilk) would take to it like they did. We were stoked about the hype the first single (“Rexy”) got and then “Outsider” as well. It’s just an in-your-face two-minute rocker. Which is a different thing for me because we’ve always been a keyboard-led band. Our drummer wrote the tune “Outsider” and honestly I didn’t even hear any keys on it until three quarters of the way through the song and it’s just a rippin’, over-driven, Jon Lord-esque organ solo.

Was the record tracked live?

Yeah, three of us were in the same room tracking everything live. That was keys, bass, and drums. Our guitarist, because he has the most ripping ’60s Vox AC 30 you’ve ever heard, to get that at the right ripping point, to get that classic tone, we couldn’t have him in the same room. We pretty much tracked it all live. We tracked two songs previously as a trio that we thought about leaving out because our guitarist hadn’t joined the band yet, but we talked about it and it all made sense and it all flowed so well together that we had to leave those on. I’ll be curious to know if people can tell which tunes are cut on 2-inch tape and which aren’t.

Where did you track it?

We did it at Sawhorse Studios which is in South City, St. Louis with Jason McIntyre. We’ve recorded a lot of records there with a number of projects and it’s as homey and as comfortable of a vibe as you can get. I love working with Jason because he knows when to chime in. He knows when to step in and when to step out, which is really cool. I consider him a big part of the recording process.

Cool. What’s the rest of the year look like for you guys?

Throughout the summer we’re not doing as much touring in the van, more quick little jaunts throughout the Midwest. We’ll do some flights to Nashville, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and I’m sure we’ll get out to California at some point, too. We’re super excited about our hometown release. It’s a double release show with some good friends of ours called The Sun and The Sea. We’re really excited about it.

Interview written and conducted by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Stay up to date with The Feed by connecting with the band on Facebook and Twitter.

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