Local piano-driven rock trio the Feed has been coming out of a long hibernation over the past few months. But if you were among the sold-out Off Broadway crowd that saw them rip up "Obviously 5 Believers" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" at the KDHX's tribute to Bob Dylan in late May, you know that the Feed hasn't lost a step in the time away from stage. In fact, band members Dave Grelle (vocals/piano), Kevin Bowers (drums) and new recruit Jordan Heimburger (guitar) stay busy in a host of other projects, but music fans should delight in the Feed's return to local stages. The band will headline at Off Broadway on Friday night alongside the Incurables and Ocean Rivals, and we caught up with Grelle over eimail to ask about the Feed's plans for 2011 and beyond. Plus, the band shared a couple of its unreleased tracks -- listen below.
"Stella" by the Feed Christian Schaeffer: The Feed has been relatively quiet over the past year. What have you been working on, and what brings you back to the stage? Dave Grelle: We parted ways with our sax/bassist and great friend, Ben Reece, due to primarily the touring grind and other commitments. So Kevin and I were touring as a duo for quite a while ending with a New York trip last summer. After that trip we just chilled out for a bit and played with some different projects (Throw Pillows, Hip Grease, Incurables, Celebration Day, etc.). Kevin got into film and I started studying jazz at SIUE and taking some film scoring classes through Berklee. It wasn't a conscious break or hiatus, or whatever, but it just happened and it was a good thing.
We then decided, after missing playing together, and also realizing what we had, that we needed to get the Feed -- or some project -- back together. A lot of different ideas were talked about. Ideas of a bigger band, bigger sound, horns, etc., so we just started writing again, and the first thing we decided to add was Jordan.
We just recorded three new tracks with Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Studio, and we've still got a lot of material from the sessions we did with Ben. We'll be heading back in the studio shortly to lay down five or six more tracks for an upcoming record.
For a long time, the Feed stood as proof that a band could play hard, fast rock & roll without a guitar. What made you decide to abandon that formula and bring in guitarist Jordan Heimburger?
Well, originally the idea wasn't to have a sans-guitar group, it was just that I didn't really know any guitarists in town that could cover the material. After a couple rehearsals, I started pushing Ben towards experimenting with pedals and amplification and that, coupled with my overdriven Rhodes, really filled any guitar void.
Then, when Kevin and I decided to just go duo, it was a lot of fun and full of energy, but it was also incredibly exhausting. Kevin and I started talking about forming a bigger group. Ironically enough, Kevin and I met Jordan while playing in guitar extraordinaire, Jimmy Griffin's band the Incurables. We both thought he would be a perfect fit. Jordan is a perfect blend of technical skill and raw soul -- we all spoke the same language. I guess in the process of debating on who else to ask to join the band, and writing songs, we fell into our comfort zone...the trio.
When we last talked in December of 2008, you spoke of the possibility of a record coming out in mid-2009. We're still waiting for that fabled album to come out. What is the current state of recording for the Feed?
Like I mentioned, we've got some brand new tracks recorded and we're looking to get back in the studio ASAP to finish up the record.
We've still got some great material from our last sessions at Sawhorse. Some of the sound is so far removed from what we're doing now that it might just die in the tape closet, but we'd like to release most of everything we cut from 2009. It was a weird time, with a lot of change going on in the group, and it never made sense to release those songs as a representation of where we were and who we were. Now the fire is back and I'm really happy with the new tunes. What's really exciting is that we haven't even tracked our best stuff yet.
You both keep busy with other bands and projects. What else has been exciting for you to be a part of around town?
Besides those bands and projects, there's not a whole lot of time for much else. We're always looking for new exciting experiences. But our days and nights are pretty much booked.
The three of us all teach lessons and survive on teaching, studio work and gigs. I know we've been seeing more live music than in recent memory, but the focus lately has been primarily on writing and learning songs for the Feed.
"My Blues" by the Feed