domingo, 13 de março de 2011

Interview with Glenn Mercer ( The Feelies )

It was difficult to get The Feelies reunited ?
Since everyone wanted to play together again, it wasn't difficult to reunite in any way except for the timing. We had discussed various offers for a few years leading up to our reunion, but we always had something in the way that prevented it. We wanted to make sure that we we would be able to devout our full attention to the band rather than to do it half-hearted just for the money. We also wanted to have enough time to pursue writing and recording again, to make it more relevant than simply nostalgic. In the end, I think the waiting worked out o.k. because I was able to stay busy by putting my studio together to record a solo record, and working on that, with some of the other ex-feelies, was like a warm-up that helped me to get prepared and energized, and the success of that gave me encouragement.

How did you felt when you were recording another lp after so many years ?
Recording the new record was a lot of hard work, but it was also enjoyable and very rewarding. We had spent the better part of six months prior to starting the record working on demos at home, so that helped to carry the momentum through the entire process. Basically, we had a clear picture of what we wanted to achieve sonically, and a strong sense of how to accomplish that. Things progressed rather smoothly throughout the project. I was also able to record some things at my home studio, so that helped keep the comfort level high.

And the chemistry with the other band members, it´s like it used to be ?
Each of us has a particular way that we approach our instrument and we all bring our own style of playing to the band. In combination, those styles react in a sympathetic way to create the 'band chemistry'. Since we're still playing in the same relative style, I think that chemistry remains with us. I also think that we've each refined, rather than evolved in our style of playing, so we continue to think along the same lines as we had previously.

You´re about to drop "Here Before". What can we expect from the new album ?
I think our fans can expect a little bit of everything on the new record. We have a few fast songs that recall our early punk roots, some softer acoustic based songs, and we touch on many bases in between. We included thirteen songs, so the range is more expansive than on previous records. We tried to make sure that we expressed a variety of moods and put some effort into incorporating different textures into the mix. We used a large selection of guitars, basses, snare drums and percussion to cover a wide spread of tonalities. The songs also reflect all of the familiar things that contribute to our sound and in certain ways recall the essence of each of our previous albums. I think the record has a nice clarity of sound, while still being organic.

I listen "Should be gone" a few days ago. The sound is a little bit different from the old records. Do you agree ?
Since our previous records each have their own particular sound, it's not unusual for the new one to sound different as well. We weren't interested in recreating something from the past. Another factor is that technology has changed a lot since our last record in 1991 and, in general, recorded sound has been increasing in clarity over time.

I bought "Crazy Rhythms" lp reissue last year and many people did the same. How do you feel about knowing that new people are still discovering your band ?
We all think it's great to be getting new fans. That's another factor that keeps the band relevant, rather than being pure nostalgia. It's always encouraging to meet fans, especially the newer ones, and it contributes to our awareness of the level of success we have achieved.

I read somewhere that "playing every night for three months didn´t appeal to you at all". Do you still thinking the same way ?
I think what I meant was related to the actual traveling involved with touring. I don't dislike performing, and I almost always love to play music, but the 'rigors of the road', (sleeping in a strange environment, eating restaurant food, being separated from loved ones, etc.) can be very hard on the mind and body. So, yes I guess I do feel the same way.

What do you know about Portugal ?
I don't really know all that much about Portugal, except a little it about the geography, weather, and food, but I also don't know all that much about a lot of places - even in the U.S.A.

Any plans to play here in the near future ?
We don't have any plans for touring at this time. We have a few shows lined up for the late spring/summer, but beyond that, we're not scheduled for any major traveling. Even when we play shows near New Jersey, it requires a bit of effort on our part. Bill and Brenda live in other states (Florida and Pennsylvania, respectively), so our band time is somewhat limited. But that's just as well since we almost all have families and live full lives outside of the group.

Do you want to leave a final message for your Portuguese fans ?
Thanks for all the support you've given to the Feelies throughout the years. Peace and Love.

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