Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
MP3: The Feed, "Vegas"
On the Feed's first, self-titled EP
Dave Grelle, keyboards and vocals: "I think off the bat we wanted to hang with some of these power-rock guitar bands, as far as volume and the element of power and energy. Maybe with the first record we tried a little too hard. I still love the songs, but we filled up a lot of space. There wasn't a ton a breathing and it was a lot of music going on. It was like, 'We're three dudes, we don't have a guitar, and we don't have a bassist on every song, but we can be loud and in your face.' And since then, we've got that shtick. But since Kevin joined the band, we started writing a broader spectrum of songs, which is great. Playing with these two guys -- both of them are great guitarists as well, plus they play flute, clarinet, sax, vibes, whatever -- the songwriting just became a lot more appealing to what we wanted to do. It was less of trying to make a statement and more, this feels good. At first , I was trying to fit into something, and now it is what it is."
On becoming a singer and lyricist
Grelle: "I definitely look back on the first record -- and it's what you're going through. When that stuff was going on, when we did the first record. Some of the lyrics, I look back and say 'Goddamn, I should have maybe toned this down.' In terms of bluntness. It was just, I thought of something and here it is. I think I kinda over-metaphored everything back then too: 'Oh cool, metaphors. Rain and sadness and cold!' I think it's all more real. I'm not overthinking stuff.
As a a singer, I'm really self-conscious about it. I don't like the way my voice sounds, I don't like hearing it. I feel like I do it because I need to get some shit out. I think I have a good sense of melody and I like where that's going. It's like when you hear yourself on the answering machine. I've also, in that time, come to listen to a lot of people where their vocal skills technically aren't the best in the world, but it appeals to me and it's heartfelt and strong."
MP3: The Feed, "Peace and Love"
On what it means these days to "make it" as a musician:
Kevin Bowers, drums: "I probably speak for you guys too, to make money playing music. At least for me, I would love to compose and collaborate and constantly be working on avenues of music."
Grelle: "Just to be able to afford to not stress and get out your music. Because in your head music doesn't take a back seat, but in the real world, you gotta fucking survive. You could whore out and just do all covers and shit. I know a lot of musicians like that and I respect them and they might be great players, but you see where they all end up. You see that they say, 'Oh, I can just make money just doing this.'"
Ben Reece, saxophone and bass: "Jimmy [Griffin, Incurables leader and guitarist-about-town] is one of the few guys that's out there and been through the whole gamut and is still passionate about his own stuff and continues to put original stuff out there. There are so many talented guys in St. Louis who have settled for the easy-cake gig and are competent enough on their instruments to play in these bands that make a lot of money and their creativity level just sinks. I think it has a lot to do with our town, too. If (Griffin) was in Nashville or New York, he might be more motivated to really pursue the Incurables and take it far."
-- Christian Schaeffer