The 10 songs that inspired Feeder, by Grant Nicholas

A press shot of feeder
(Image credit: Steve Gullick)

When you consider that their 20-odd year career has seen them produce 20 top 40 singles and seven top 10 albums in the UK Singles Chart alone, you can see why Welsh rockers Feeder might feel like it’s a career worth documenting. With that in mind, founding members Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose have spent the best part of this year getting together an exhaustive collection of their greatest hits, and most underrated buried treasures, to celebrate 21 years of recorded releases.

“I remember sitting in a classroom at school aged 11 drawing pictures of flying V guitars and dreaming of being in a band, a band that could fill arenas and stadiums,” says Nicholas when reflecting on the band’s career. “The dream came true and here I am 25 years later with Feeder and still riding the rock and roll train. It’s hard to believe that Swim, [our] first mini album, was released 21 years ago. It feels like yesterday.”

To celebrate the release of their 21st anniversary Best Of compilation, frontman Grant Nicholas joins us to talk us through the songs which helped mould them into the band they are today.

The Police - Can’t Stand Losing You (Outlandos d’Amour, 1978)

“The Police were always an influence on us as we felt a connection with the three piece chemistry. We covered this track and it was sadly the last song we recorded with our drummer Jon Lee. I remember playing it on Jools Holland and later at Reading festival. Apparently Sting liked our version.”

Black Sabbath - War Pigs (Paranoid, 1970)

“We all liked Sabbath a lot, especially myself, and this for me is one of their finest moments.”

Led Zeppelin - Kashmir (Physical Graffiti, 1975)

“Led Zeppelin were an incredible band and this has to be one of the best songs they ever recorded. The riffs and drums on this are immense and timeless.”

The Eels - Novocaine For The Soul (Beautiful Freak, 1996)

“The Eels are still one of my favourite bands and I remember we listened to this while recording Polythene.”

The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm (Siamese Dream, 1993)

“The Smashing Pumpkins were a band we definitely felt were on the same page as us. They had great dynamics and range in their sound, and Jon loved to play this when we hooked up at his flat in Cricklewood over a few beers and bagels from the local bakery.”

Public Image - PiL (Public Image: First Issue, 1978)

“PiL had a great attitude in their delivery and we often used to listen to this while on the road. Classic bassline and vocal style, and some very cool guitar parts.”

The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever (single, 1967)

One of my all time favourites and still love the production that they achieved. The Beatles must have inspired so many bands over the years. ‘Living is easy with eyes closed’, what a lyric.

The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen (Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, 1977)

“Love the Pistols and this is a tune. Jon used to jump around with a bass pretending to be Sid Vicious. Good times.”

Neil Young - A Man Needs A Maid (Harvest, 1972)

“Neil Young is a legend in my book and this is such a beautiful track. He still blows me away and is always an influence to me as a writer.”

Tom Petty - Don’t Come Around Here No More (Southern Accents, 1985)

“We all love Petty and this is such a good song. Written by Dave Stewart, it still sounds great today and is a reminder [of] what an amazing artist and band the Heartbreakers are. I went to see him recently at Hyde Park and he blew me away. So many great tunes and one of my all time favourite artists and band. RESPECT.”

The Best Of Feeder will be released on September 29th via BMG.

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