Feeder biography

Feeder

Last updated: 17 November 2008

Despite the death of founder member Jon Lee, Feeder carried on to great pop success.

The roots of the band can be traced back to Newport, Gwent in the early 90s, where Nicholas and Lee played together in short-lived local grunge band Temper Temper. Frustrated by small-town life, the pair changed their name to Reel and relocated to London in early 1995, recruiting Tokyo-born bassist Taka Hirose on the way.

A demo tape of the group's hooky, alternative metal caught the attention of the Echo label, who signed the group - newly rechristened Feeder - in mid 1995.

Members

  • Grant Nicholas: vocals, guitar
  • Taka Hirose: bass
  • Jon Lee (1968-2002): drums
  • Mark Richardson: drums

Feeder's debut EP, Two Colours, won them prestigious support slots with Reef and Terrorvision. Genuine hype would always elude Feeder - but criss-crossing the country, playing show upon show to provincial rock kids, they gradually began to build a strident fanbase.

1996 saw the release of the group's debut six-track mini album, Swim. It was a moderate success: a single from it, Crash, scraped the top 40 in August 1997. Feeder were swiftly moving into a new commercial realm, as defined by High - a bravely mainstream rock anthem recorded for the film Can't Hardly Wait, which crashed into the UK charts at number 24 in October.

High would later replace the ill-fated single Waterfall on reissued copies of the band's debut album proper, 1997's Polythene - but even without the chart hit, it was strong enough to be voted Album Of The Year 1997 by Metal Hammer magazine.

1999's Yesterday Went Too Soon drew a mixed response from fans, some of whom felt that Feeder's steps towards the pop mainstream were a little too eager and pronounced. But tracks like Tinsel Town and So Well saw Nicholas' songwriting progressing in leaps and bounds, inviting a subtlety and depth into the rocky Feeder sound.

The band's new commercial dawn came with Buck Rogers - a brash, technicolour pop song that hit the Top 5 in early 2001. It was the calling card for Echo Park, Feeder's accessible third album.

Feeder supported the Manics on their European tour and Stereophonics in the UK, and ended their most successful year to date with a re-recorded version of the absurdly catchy Just A Day. Its selling point was a video featuring Feeder's teenage fanbase air-guitaring their way through the track in bedrooms across the nation, and it saw the band wind up 2001 on a optimistic footing.

Sadly, the positive mood wasn't to last. Drummer Jon Lee was found dead in his Miami home on 7 January, 2002, following depression caused by marital problems. He had hanged himself using a dog chain. A thousand mourners showed up to Lee's open funeral at Newport's St Mary's Church in South Wales.

The future of the band was thrown into doubt, but Nicholas and Hirose resolved to carry on under the Feeder name after pleas from fans and Lee's family. "We've come too far, we've got too many fans out there, and too many people have really stuck by us over the years," said Nicholas. "It just seems tragic to give up now."

Feeder's fourth album, Comfort In Sound, was recorded with former Skunk Anansie drummer Mark Richardson. The band made an emotional live return at a secret show in Portsmouth, where they debuted a number of songs from the new record. The first single from it, Come Back Around, was released in September, with the with the full-length release following in October 2002.

On 29 September 2003 Comfort In Sound was re-released with a bonus DVD containing exclusive Feeder footage. Denying that it was a cynical marketing ploy to get fans to buy the album again, Grant told us: "We felt we should finish the year on a high, and this is a nice way to round off a good year. I was initially against it when the record company suggested it, because it looks like we are cashing in and milking it for the Christmas market - but you know it's got a few DVD extras and I think it is a good chance for fans to buy it if they haven't already. Plus the packaging is pretty nice."

The fifth Feeder album, Pushing The Senses, was released in January 2005 and was followed by a fantastic performance at the Tsunami gig, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

On 19 March 2007 they released Picture Of Perfect Youth, a 36 track b-sides and rarities album and since then have reportedly been making progress on their new album.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.