Songlines Across New Zealand
  The Feelers 18.08.2011
 
 
 
SANZ: How did the name for The Feelers come about?
James: No no
Hamish: That's an 18 year old question we cant remember 18 years ago I don't like this game, no I don't like this game hahaha.
SANZ: Whats the best thing that has happened to The Feelers so far?
Hamish: Musically or just life in general
SANZ: Musically pretty much.
Hamish: Musically
James: Getting signed I guess is a start.
Hamish: 
Basically having a degree of success that we can live on comfortably and have music as our full time job you know it's kind of like the old days when you'd watch the All Blacks you know and it's David Kirk and Dr so n so Bildo
it would be a bummer if you were in a band and had to be like that we'd be all like the All Blacks and have to train all the time you know.
SANZ: What has been the most memorable moment in your music career
James: I kind of liked supporting Velvet Revolver in Switzerland that time that was kind of fun 
Hamish: that was nice
James: Touring with Matchbox20
Hamish: Touring with Matchbox20 was alot of fun I suppose the highlights have been touring and basically playing infront of the more people the better and you can cheat the system by going on tour with bands that are much more famous then you are like Matchbox20 or Velvet Revolver and look at their sea of tens of thousands of people and just for that hour and a half that you're playing pretend they're just there to see you
SANZ: If someone had told you 17 years ago that you guys would become a big name in the music industry what would you have told them
James: I would have said we haven't quite achieved that yet we're still working towards that.
SANZ: You're a pretty big name from what i've seen on facebook
Hamish: Yeah but we're not relaxing we're still setting goals we do make a point of going overseas as often as we can touring around Europe and what not.We do reasonably well we get radio play in Switzerland, Austria Cztech Republic, Germany we go over and do all that we still haven't cracked the United States yet
SANZ: Im guessing thats one of the goals
Hamish: Thats always been a goal but we're realists you know there's ten thousand other bands living there on the ground in Los Angeles you know that are going up to the offices at Capitol and bringing them Chinese takeout and greasing up to them but we do go over and we try
SANZ: What do you prefer to do work and record in a studio or perform live
James: Ahh 50% of both
Hamish: It's a multi faceted occupation being in a band so once the cabin fever of being in a studio which is obviously a really creative environment which is nice having a creative outlet cabin fever starts to kick in the most opposite thing you can think of is going on the road  
James: Then you get cabin fever in a van then you go back into the studio
Hamish: Yeap. Then you just all travel around the world and write songs that's the holiday thats the third facet very different facets and they all compliment eachother
SANZ: what would you say is the best thing about performing live
James: well I spose the enjoyment of sharing our music with people and getting the energy back. (JOKING: I like it when chicks pull their tops up I think that's very cool
Hamish:(JOKING: that's depending on the chick and depending on whether my wife caught me)
Photographer: How about if a guy does it
James: Not so much
Hamish: It's just as cool if a guy does it's funny I suppose the really nice part of playing live is somthing you've been working on in the studio it's brand new cos on this tour we've been playing alot of the brand new material cos we've just released an album  so we're showcasing quite a few of those new songs it's a nice warm fuzzy feeling when you see people kind of trying to sing along even though they've never heard it before getting into it to the point where they're watching your lips and theyre trying to anticipate what you're about to sing it's just nice to get that level of appreciation.
SANZ: When you hear one of your songs on the radio while driving do you sing along or do you switch stations.
James: Depends what song exactly if its a new song woo hoo thats great dont sing along but get excited about the fact that its on air
Hamish: I normally turn it up because its the only opportunity I get to hear us play testing on speakers because my stereo at home is rubbish and my car stereo is awsome but that was my old car and now I got a Japanese import that doesnt have the band expander so I dont think they're going to  be playing much feelers on talkback with Danny Watson that doesnt occur
SANZ: What do you miss most about nz when you’re on tour overseas
Hamish: ummm I got nothing  we really like going on tour overseas.
Photographer: Wife
Hamish:
Um wife. I've never been on an overseas tour without my wife cos we only got married last year and we haven't gone on an overseas tour since then actually last time we went overseas she came with us we'd make her do stuff married now it comes with the territory haha she has to work for us um I suppose we dont ever go away from home long enough to get terribly homesick
James: My couch and sky
Hamish: Yeah miss the sky
James: Babies
Hamish: And Babies that once again depends on the tour if it's a tour where we might be getting big crowds and making money we'll be staying in subsequently awsome hotels if its us putting our ass on the line in the part of the world where no one knows us and we're playing in horrible places where people want us to shut up and we're sleeping on floors and in vans thats really when I miss my bed and everything about home roof walls you know
James:
Thats very true if it's all going well and we're comfy and it's all going well thats good and everything  if it  sucks ass and all going down hill and its really horrible
Photographer: Could I ask a quick question has anyone ever thrown anything at you guys like random stuff
Hamish:
We throw enough shit at ouselves on stage to cover that
James: Hamish throws his drumsticks around
Hamish: I don't anymore
James: You got me in the back of the head a bit
Hamish: That broken one really caused trouble
James:
We've had people throw bottles but we've avoided them
Photographer:
That doesn't sound nice
Hamish: It was Lovingly
James: In Australia at one of the festivals we got them to throw all their candy on stage
Hamish: Snake lollies they had those lollie snakes it just seemed funny one person threw one and then one of us said come on everyone throw your snakes and somehow ten thousand people had these bloody snake lollies its just a random thing
James: They were giveing them out at the door as you came in
Hamish: Yeah right
James:
So basically it looked like somthing out of Raiders of the lost ark
Hamish: It totally did. Gellatine snakes coming at us
James:
Just a writhing sea of snakes on The stage
Hamish: There's  Another thing thats good to be thrown at you on stage when we play in places like Rewaka (James interrupts: Knickers Bras)
No. where canabis is currency  alot of joints get thrown at you
SANZ:  This is going to be a hard question out of the five albums which one are you most proud of?
Hamish: At the moment this one the latest one to be quite honest we're not just saying that to try and sell it but we're very happy. We self produced it
James:
Prior to this I was happy with One World because we self produced that one aswell. 
Hamish: Prior to this I was proud of Communicate we had to be that one cost about a bloody fortune this one we produced it ourselves we were very much in control of the way this went because  we are our own record company for all intents and purposes.
we're an indie band. we sent it off to a guy  to get mixed overseas who has mixed everyone that we wanted to sound like when we were young you know david bowie u2 pearl jam the cure so we got a good mix come back from him but other then that it's completly our baby really
James: Very pleased with it. I'd like to get an award for this record as producer
SANZ: Now over the previous 6 years you released a best of aswell as other tracks in drips and drabs why has this new album been so long in coming

James: Because we were at war with the record company, we were at war with the manager who stole our funding
Hamish:
I've been waiting to talk about this and it's about time  he's bankrupt now so he cant take us to court for defamation of character we had a manager that stole all our money and disappeared
James:
And wouldn't allow us to record because he had stolen our budget
Hamish: Only because he spent the recording budget on drugs
James:
And to the point where we had to actually get another grant in order to complete the thing fired him got another manager and everything is going swiminigly but that process took about three years two years atleast of basically twiddling our thumbs dangling carrots. We were still working all the way through but we had to do it ourselves at home because we had no way of actually doing it professionally or releasing it
Hamish: The upshot of that hiatus that did last a few years is that we amassed a large body of material to record and when we finally got to record so there was no sort of throw away there was alot of stuff to choose from so there was no filler on the album.
SANZ: you could use it for the next album
Hamish: That could be the next album absolutely. There was like eighty songs after that five year period and we only needed thirteen so we really got to pick our favourite shit  basically I mean favoourite stuff.  
SANZ:Now can I ask whats the story/inspiration behind your biggest song Venus
James: Ahh just a nice love story I guess thats about it really I was young at the time
Hamish: 
which one
James: Venus. Which one?
Hamish:
which one who is she what girl (asks jokingly)
James:
(jokingly ohh it was a heap of them what are you talking about
Hamish: how could you not ascertain the difference
James:
um thats what I say its just a love story
Hamish: A love story in a general kind of a way
James:
and I wasn't specifically saying anything about her screaming in silence hehehe
Hamish oh wow ok im going to give you the max gold (hands James an almost empty glass of beer)
SANZ:
And the track Narrow Lanes (from Hope Nature Forgives)
James: Narrow lanes is a nice wee journey it's an emotional journey written with the misses
SANZ:
I really liked that track it got the most plays out of the album
Hamish: Really. Its interesting who's to drawn to what we love that song
SANZ: I also like sweet tempest and the one after right here right now open up the ground
Hamish: We should probably play one of those ones tonight. Narrow lanes
SANZ: When it comes to song writing what do you find inspires you

Hamish: Well he writes most of it
James: um
anything can inspire me I have a very vivid imagination
SANZ:
Now with the Helen young session you recorded in 2000 will there any chance of a release on itunes or cd  as im sure the fans would love this
Hamish: Oh well
SANZ:
because the video for World Away has appeared on youtube
Hamish: Yeah Yeah I noticed it the other day if we can find those sessions then we would absolutely put them on. I think that in this day and age the more the better we can put out there we would. We've amassed so much stuff we were talking about it today we've recorded most of our shows over the years. We're thinking about doing a live cd we've filmed alot aswell we're thinking about doing a live cd
James:
We just need now a film school and an audio engineering school to go through ten years of audio visual and do it for free as part of the curriculum
That can be their years project and give them all this stuff and they can put together a dvd

Hamish:
congradulations yours is the winner yay woo
SANZ: you guys have recorded a lot of great songs that never made it to albums but have become B sides for example deeper everyday, get in get out to name a couple is there any on that list that you really pushed to get on an album but it didnt happen

James:We've got heaps of stuff sitting there that hasn't gone on records thing about B sides is unfortunate because I used to loved doing B sides for singles
Hamish:  you don't do them anymore because there is no physical product to release to retail

James: we may release a B sides album  and just do it digitally maybe and stick it on itunes
SANZ: Alot of fans have spoken about tracks they've got and others dont have and we have been emailing them to each other I have the chicken demo
James & Hamish Whoa haha
SANZ:
yes I have the chicken demo
Hamish:
really how many songs has that got on it
SANZ:
I only have just the track I think its the red tape or the blue tape that it came off
Hamish:
ohh yeah yeah it did
SANZ: And Crawk
James & Hamish: Crawk my poultry friend
Hamish: Crawk was the tennis ball or burger rings. One has tennis balls one has burger rings. Holy heck that was in 1993 
James:
what was crawk
Hamish: I dont know  
SANZ:
I don't actually have it I've just heard it being talked about
Hamish: Crawk was the name of the ep that had time and cut loose a whole lot of songs we did in somones garage
James: Thats right was just the name of the five track thing
Hamish:
Did it in some guys studio shed that was beside the train tracks in Christchurch you can actually hear the train going past in the recordings
James:
Great take nah the train went past during that we might have to do it again
Hamish: Nope thats the best wya we're going to do it brilliant
James: you can hear Nakita screaming through our demos
Hamish: James little girl stomping around upstairs can you scream in tune and stomp in time please
SANZ: still on the topic of B sides I had heard stories around the time the As good as it gets world away ep that there was not going to be another album but then communicate came out do you have any idea what started those rumours
James: Probably our stupid manager again at the time
Hamish: It was that same bastard. Um no we were just getting started we that sort of story would come from I think  rumours get started obviously it took three years
James: we never said any of  that. I was dead at one point apparantly
Hamish: yeah it was in the media you were dead

Photographer: From What
Hamish: i dont know just dead we were going to have to go on stage and do a weekend at bernies kind of scenario
James: I was out of the country at the time so you couldn't get hold of me
Hamish: Yeah we couldn't get hold of you it's funny some of the rumours that get started

SANZ:
Now a couple of websites have stated that the new album has two more singles to be released from it Any chance you know what they will possibly be
Hamish: You would hope so no not at this stage but I think we have an idea but we wont go into it 

James: No no no it's all bloody up in the air
Hamish: Oh dear I'm worried now we've all got different ideas we've all been yeah yeah thats the one but we've all got different ideas and thinking about different songs.
James:Yeah Yeah Yeah nah
Hamish: They're all to be confirmed we'll just see how the crowd reactions go for each song
James: Well they're all possible singles so we'll just throw them in a hat and pull them out only problem is if Snakes or Didn't want to fall in love is pulled out
Hamish: we'd have to release them again oh bloody hell Atleast we got a video for it.
SANZ: Talking about videos out of all the videos you've done which would have been your most favourites to film
Hamish: Larger then life woohoo
SANZ: which would have been your least favourite to shoot
James: There was another night shoot we didd all those night shoots on that record
SANZ: you did weapons of war at night
Hamish: I wasn't a big fan of space cadet because I got shot in the face
James: That was quite good. I liked that one.
Hamish: Actually we all got shot in the face eventually
James: That was a nice video. What was the most whack video
SANZ: What was the one with that silver suit you were wearing
Hamish: Oh thats great pressure man. As good as it gets, it had a big budget it was in Australia we do look at that and realise now we should not listen to everything that homosexual stylists  there's nothing wrong with homosexuals but don't listen to homosexual stylists see we wouldn't normally wear danglers and with our shirts open and I guess we didn't really take it seriously this actually going to be a real video and when we saw it we thought hell that's forever
James: we're way too clean cut and thats not what we are
SANZ: This questions been bugging me for eight years since I saw the video Is the supernova video a one shot video
Hamish: It is
James: We had to get a new camerman because the first camera man couldn't actually do it anymore so we had to go get one of the guys who was doing lord of the rings and he was a little bit stocky and a  bit  meaty and he managed.
Hamish: Had a good centre of gravity. It's a steady cam and they're bloody heavy and he managed the steady cam.
James: The first guy he was sitting on the back of a truck on the back of a van or ute
Hamish: His muscles gave out he fell off with fifty thousand dollars worth and smashed the camera
James: So he got fired and we got a new guy that day and he managed to do it. It was literally running out of light of at the end of the day thats for sure
Hamish: To answer your question yes it is one shot but it took all bloody day 
SANZ:Can you tell us the story behind the title of the new album Hope Nature Forgives
James: I think it's pretty self explanatory
SANZ: The whole Christchurch events
James: No no we had the title before Christchurch it was just a general sort of look at the way we are treating the earth and what we're doing to ourselves and mother nature
Hamish: Christchurch was a hapless coincendence really
James: She's just getting really pissed off basically.
SANZ: Last question what are your plans for the rest of 2011 and 2012
James: We're going to finish up this tour and doing a bunch of stuff for the Rugby World Cup also be looking at going over to the UK and Europe and booking all the festivals for next year is what the plan is
Hamish: And hopefully a few shows around Christmas and New Year aswell the beachy sort of spots
SANZ: Tauranga on that list
Hamish: Possibly so to be confirmed when we do the summery sort of tour we quite often hit the Mount at Brewers. You can find out more information about us on the tour and what we're up to and stuff will be on our facebook and our website
http://www.facebook.com/thefeelers and http://www.thefeelers.co.nz/


 
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