It is 56 seconds
into Feeder's emphatic, glorious new single 'Come Back Around'
where the world comes crashing down, 'round your ears. The staunch,
muscular, statement of intent of this melodic, soaring song is
broken apart by seven small words:
"Come back around, I miss you around."
Whether or not Grant Nicholas is in fact singing
about his friend of decades and Feeder drummer Jon Lee, who committed
suicide on 7th January 2002 in his Miami home, will no doubt become
largely irrelevant. In the modern era context is all, and the
context that Feeder find themselves operating within is one that
relatively few bands in the history of rock have had the misfortune
to experience. How do Feeder avoid being known as "The band
with the drummer who killed himself"? Writing and recording
an album as strong as Comfort In Sound will help...
2001 proved to be Feeder's finest year commercially.
Their slow-burn career took full flame as their third full-length
album 'Echo Park' and the radio-mugging single 'Buck Rogers' both
entered the UK national charts in the Top 5. Sold out tours through
the UK and Europe, major festival appearances and three singles
including December's 'Just A Day' (the band's biggest ever single)
completed a brilliant term. Real highlights included a week spent
in South Africa – Feeder are huge in South Africa –
filming a video for 'Seven Days In The Sun'. The promo clip for
'Just A Day' featured a number of the band's fans miming along
to the song in their bedrooms – becoming the stars of the
video in the process.
At the very end of 2001, Grant confessed that
despite the breakthrough success of Echo Park, he'd already
written ten songs he considered his best ever. 'Comfort In Sound'
is the result of six months' studio productivity – Grant
and bassist Taka Hirose chose to work with Gil Norton (Pixies,
Foo Fighters) for the second consecutive album, whilst old friend
Mark Richardson, ex-Skunk Anansie, has filled in on drums. The
songs are huge and Comfort In Sound is the most apposite
title for a Feeder album ever. Regardless of the year's events,
if there was ever a place where Grant Nicholas could be said to
be the most at home it would be bathed in waves of glorious guitar
noise and mercurial melody lines.
Comfort In Sound is, as Grant suggested
at the turn of the year, comprised of Feeder's best songs yet.
It is an album in which no note sounds out of place and no song
seems a second too long. The single 'Come Back Around' is a powerful
precursor for a record that is more varied than any other Feeder
album, that features more adventure in hi-fi than the band has
attempted before, and comes armed with Grant's best set of lyrics.
The interpretation of these words will no doubt
fuel discourse on the band and album for months to come. "There's
a lot of emotions on this record. There's love; there's tragedy...
Certainly on half of this record there are a lot of lyrics that
were definitely fuelled by emotions that I felt. Every song on
this record really does mean a lot in terms of both the content
and the mood of it. That's what we've always tried to do. But
in a sad way, there's more ammunition to play with on this one."
Elsewhere, bruising sleaze-rock ('Helium',
'Godzilla') rubs shoulders with gentle electronics ('Child In
You') and glorious string-laden epics ('Forget About Tomorrow').
Bona fide Feeder classics like the single Comfort In Sound
and the title track will do much to please the legions of passionate
fans for whom the continuation of Feeder, Grant owes a debt of
"We've come too far, we've got too many
fans out there, and there's too many people that have really stuck
by us over the years, it just seems tragic to give up now. We're
a good band, but we've got a lot more left in us before we call
it a day."
We miss you Jon.
Feeder, we're thrilled you came back.
Hall Or Nothing, August 2002 [all quotes taken
from Kerrang!'s cover feature, 3 August 2002]
Feeder played four live shows in 2002, which
included headlining slots on the Evening Session Stage at the
Carling Weekend. Mark Richardson, although not yet a fully-fledged
member of the band, joined the band for these August shows. The
single 'Come Back Around' was released on the Echo Label on 30th
September 2002, and was followed by the album Comfort In Sound
on October 21st.