New line-up, new album, new Feud

Luke Paget, Jamie Walker and Oli Kane
Luke Paget, Jamie Walker and Oli Kane

The long awaited debut album from Lancaster electro-rock trio The Feud is due for release later this year.

Four years in the making, the LP has been something of an enigma for the band, who decided to scrap a version recorded in Los Angeles two years ago in favour of a “self produced, un-polished and raw” edit that, according to frontman Jamie Walker, is true to the soul of The Feud.

Last year, drummer Luke Paget broke his arm, and long term bassist and backing vocalist Stephen Mildwater left the band earlier this month, signalling turbulent times for an outfit that has been making serious waves on the underground music scene, particularly in the US and Eastern Europe.

But Luke has pretty much made a full recovery, and the band has found a replacement for Stephen in Brighton based multi-instrumentalist and long term friend Oli Kane, resulting in a return to form and an exciting year ahead.

Jamie said: “At the moment we’re staying in the UK, at least for the next year, but if someone offers us a decent record deal then who knows...

“The album we recorded in LA, we analysed it when we got home, and it just wasn’t right. It had lost its soul a little bit.

The artwork for Johnny's on the Rooftop

The artwork for Johnny's on the Rooftop

“Luke especially spent a lot of time listening to it and decided we had to do it ourselves.

“We’re really proud to be honest that we’ve made the final decision to make the record at home. We’ve been as frustrated as anyone about the album, and we’re absolutely desperate to get it out.”

Jamie said the album, due out in the summer, had 10-12 tracks, and was currently untitled.

“When we started out as a band we were pretty rocky, then we became more electronic, especially in The States, and now it’s pretty much bang in the middle. It’s a pretty varied album with slow stuff to heavier tracks.

“We tend to stay away from topics others might choose, for example ‘dancing in the club’ and try and keep it real life. A lot of the vocals reference books and films. I watch a lot of gritty British films, Shane Meadows type stuff.

“In terms of the single Johnny’s on the Rooftop (out in April), our mission was to write a pretty grim song with pop sensibilities.

Grim-pop would be one way of describing it yes!”

Synthesised sound also plays a part in The Feud’s musical make-up, due in part to Luke’s experiments with old synths.

Jamie said: “We found an old Casio keyboard in a cupboard, and that’s responsible for three or four of the tracks on the album.

“With the song Cosmos, we tried recording the vocals in a new mic, but we just couldn’t get it right.

“Luke was given a mic which was found in the back of someone’s car, and we recorded it raw, and got the take within an hour.

“So we’ve let go of the idea of having to have a really good mic. This way things have a lot more character, but there’s a fine line between something sounding raw, and sounding crap.”

The band head out on tour again next month, taking in The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and The Czech Republic, but it’s doubtful there’ll be any broken hotel furniture on the final bill.

“On tour we’re pretty pro,” Jamie said.

“We’re just busy all the time. We don’t have a tour manager so we sort a lot of it out ourselves, driving to the next show and dealing with the promoters, so we have to keep our heads pretty level.

“However, when we’ve got a day off we like to have a few beers and see the sights.”

As a final word on the album, which was recorded in Lancaster and Manchester, Jamie added: “I’m just proud that we’re doing something that is truthful. It’s what we want it to sound like, and we’re going to be happy with it.”