Feeder are a Welsh rock band formed in Newport, Wales. They have released nine studio albums, three compilations, two EPs, and 34 singles. They have spent a total of 181 weeks on the singles and albums charts combined with their own releases as of 2016, and have accumulated 25 top 75 singles between 1997 and 2012. The band have also had two chart appearances as featured or guest performers, with their appearance on the Band Aid 20 single in 2004 being their only number one single if regarded.
Feeder’s music has been inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including The Police, Nirvana, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Their early material showcased a heavy rock sound reminiscent of grunge, but the band would later introduce more acoustic aspects into their music, including elements of pianos and string orchestras.
The band was formed in 1992 under the name of “Reel” by vocalist and guitarist Grant Nicholas, drummer Jon Lee and bassist Simon Blight, three of the four members of Raindancer, after the departure of that band’s other member, guitarist John Canham. However, Blight left Reel later in 1992, and the band played with many session bassists before hiring Taka Hirose in 1995, a year after the band signed with The Echo Label.
Feeder garnered media attention in 2001 for their third album, Echo Park, and its lead single, “Buck Rogers”, which later become a UK Top 5 single. In January 2002, Jon Lee committed suicide in his Miami home, after which the remaining members began to record and play with former Skunk Anansie drummer Mark Richardson. They released their fourth album, Comfort in Sound later that year, which touched on themes such as loss and coming to terms with death, while also exploring themes of positivity. Richardson was ultimately made an official member, remaining so until May 2009 when he returned to a reformed Skunk Anansie. Feeder employed Australian Damon Wilson and former Mexicolas drummer Tim Trotter for sessions and touring commitments for Renegades (2010), and they have since employed drummer Karl Brazil. Between 2010-2016, the band charted three more top 20 albums, with the latest of these being 2016’s All Bright Electric returning them to the top 10.
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 British Isles (and worldwide) total to nine. In 2015, “Buck Rogers” received a Silver award for 200,000 UK sales, 14 years after release.
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. In addition, much of their music has been featured in the Gran Turismo racing video game series, which is developed by the Japanese video game development studio Polyphony Digital.
Feeder are also one of Wales’ 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.In February 2017, Comfort in Sound was inducted into Virgin Radio’s “Classic Albums Vault”.
Although the band’s record sales are not of major totals, Feeder have however accumulated 25 top 75 singles between 1997-2012, a run which started with 1997’s “Tangerine” charting at #60, before ending in 2012 with “Borders” at #52. Their top 75 singles tally, ties with artists such as Coldplay. Feeder have also headlined many of the United Kingdom’s major venues, such as Wembley Arena, Birmingham National Indoor Arena, Birmingham 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”.
Biography text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.