When Does It Offend You, Yeah? announced they were on an ‘indefinite hiatus’ back in April 2012 a void was left in my dance/rock heart, fortunately for me not long after I discovered The Feud who are more than capable of filling the space left by DIOFYY.
The band have been around for a couple of years now, releasing their debut single, Between The Lines, back in June 2010 and playing out around the UK and Europe. More live dates followed in 2011 before the band were picked up by BBC Radio 1, in May 2012, as Huw Stephens pick of the week with It Ain’t Right receiving daytime airplay. That was followed by the Electric Fix EP released in August 2012.
What first got me about the band was the energy in their music along with the sheer scale of the tunes, you can see yourself in a field at a festival with 20,000 other people jumping around to The Feud! You could be quick to judge in comparing them to say Enter Shikari but they’ve a lot more in their armoury than that, in fact you’d be hard pushed to tie them down to one particular genre with pop, heavy rock, dance, indie, electro and the odd ballad incorporated in the mix.
Luke and Stephen from The Feud were kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
How did lads from the peaceful Lake District end up in Manchester making loud energetic dance rock tunes?
LUKE: Good question – you’d expect us to be playing lovely country/folk music, singing about farms. But no! The Feud was born when Jamie and I moved to Manchester about 5 years ago with another band we were in at the time. Then in 2010 we wanted to form another band playing a heavier dance style of music and that’s when Stephen joined us and it really gelled well as a unit.
STEPHEN: Our mutual love for a good groove and great melodies is where this band started really. I suppose the loud energetic dance rock element comes from us all liking high energy music really. When we make music we always think…will this connect with an audience at a show? We always put ourselves in the audiences shoes and think, will it make me want to jump about and go crazy. So that’s our aim, obviously not with the softer ballads we write, but if people want to mosh to them they can!
Your music covers a wide range of styles and genres how would you describe your sound?
LUKE: Yeah I think the reason for that is our varied music tastes. As a band we like such a wide selection of music and we like to bring all our influences to the table. If I was going to describe our sound I would say it is Dance/Electro/Rock/Pop. Although we have some heavy riffs in places and the instruments are very energetic and full on, the melodies and arrangements are very rooted in Pop. Then we have the softer side to us with the slightly more ballad sounding songs, which is what I think makes our shows interesting the fact that people can go from jumping around like crazy to standing and listening to a much more intermit song.
STEPHEN: Like anyone, we all grew up on a variety of music. My parents used to listen to a lot of rock – you know, Status Quo, Whitesnake and all that – and that eventually lead to bands like Metallica and other heavier ones. But of course when we all met up again after years of not seeing each other, we shared our likes and dislikes as friends do. We often get asked what we sound like, which I often hmm and arr to. But as Luke said, our melodies and songs are very much rooted in Pop but imagine that with a Dance/Rock/Electro feel which sometimes can be rather spacious.
You played the famous Viper Rooms in LA a couple of years ago, how was that and did you meet any Hollywood stars?!?
LUKE: Yeah it was awesome to get the chance to play such an iconic venue and the show was good, it was our first show in America and we went down well so we were pleased. We didn’t meet any Hollywood stars, Ewan McGregor walked in as we were setting up but we didn’t speak to him.
STEPHEN:… at least we think it was Ewan McGregor. He had a pretty big beard and was hard to tell but he did have those ‘Trainspotting’ eyes. It was either him or the guy from the Hairy Bikers!
You recently did a cracking cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, are you fans of slightly quirky 80’s pop and have you had any feedback from Kate?
LUKE: We like slightly dark 80’s pop, some of the electro from that time, especially the early 80’s is something we’ve always liked. We watched the closing ceremony of the Olympics back in the summer and Running Up That Hill came on. Me and Jamie both messaged each other at the same time saying we should cover the song, which was kinda crazy. As it was the first cover we’d ever done as The Feud, we were just hoping we could do the song justice, but we’ve had some very positive comments since we released and some radio play which is always nice. But we haven’t had any feedback from Kate, it would be nice to see what she thinks, maybe Jamie and her could do a duet?
STEPHEN: She’s an incredible performer. We were all born in the 80s so naturally we didn’t grow up on that music, but as we got older and the internet became readily available, we ventured through the 80s. You just can’t beat a bit of Duran Duran, can you?
You’ve played quite a few festivals both at home and across Europe, what would be your dream festival line-up?
LUKE: For me personally I would go for: Soulwax, Justice, Simon and Garfunkel, The Police, Rod Stewart, Oasis and Terry Wogan!
STEPHEN: I’d like to see us headline a festival at my Dad’s favourite football team’s stadium! We’re life-long Woking FC fans and I’m sure it would be brilliant to do that. I’m thinking Bowie, Lady Gaga, Metallica, John Farnham and Foo Fighters to support. Maybe Bon Iver just before us to get everyone relaxed and chilled.
You received support from BBC Radio last year that must have exposed you to a much wider audience?
LUKE: Yeah it was great that BBC Radio got behind us and exposed us to a wider audience, we gained more new fans from it which was nice. It will be great if they continue to support us when our album comes out.
STEPHEN: We owe a lot of thanks to the BBC Introducing team at BBC Lancashire for their support. If it wasn’t for them, Radio 1 might not have heard our noise and wouldn’t therefore have become Huw Stephens’ Tip of the Week. Radio 1 has thousands upon thousands of listeners, and hearing Fearne Cotton and Greg James saying such lovely things about our song and introducing it on their daytime shows was just surreal. Fabulous, but surreal.
For anyone coming to see you guys live for the first time what can they expect from The Feud?
LUKE: People can expect a high energy show with lots of crowd interaction.
STEPHEN: We believe in a good, down-to-earth show. A gig where people come, we play, have a good time with everyone, perform to the best of our abilities and just share the energy. We want people to leave thinking they’ve been to a rock and a dance show. Mosh or dance.. mosh or dance… that is the question.. I’d say.. BOTH!
Can we expect your debut album in 2013 and what other plans have you got?
LUKE: Yeah our debut album is going to be released this year. We’re recording it in February, so expect to hear a lot more from us this year. Once the album is released we’ll be hitting the road and touring the hell out of it. So expect to see us performing somewhere near you this year!
STEPHEN: We’ve been working towards our debut LP for the past two and half years, so as you can imagine we’re eager to record it and get it out to people’s ears. After its release (which will be this year), who knows. Touring is the main thing for us. We’re hard giggers – founded by our own DIY attitude many moons ago, so we’re keen to get back out there. We’re off to sunny Los Angeles at the end of Jan to start the recording process with Tim Anderson – someone who we instantly connected with when we co-wrote a couple of songs. He’s going to steer the production ship while Luke (with Jamie and I behind him being the annoying people shouting “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY… TURN LEFT”) will be alongside him in a production role.
Check out the lovely recently revamped website www.thefeud.net
Like them on Facebook
Buy the Electric Fix EP