In the Red Records recently released the first new album from local noise-makers feedtime in over 20 years!

gas‘ finds the band sounding exactly as they always did. There is a limited pressing on Green vinyl available online [Here].

Sydney, 1978-79. Against the backdrop of the burgeoning inner city music scene, feedtime was formed. Taking notes from the incendiary live shows of X and Rose Tattoo, feedtime set about creating their own interpretation of the events unfolding before them, a blues-noise that was equal parts abstract minimalism and working class roots-rock. Post-punk, yet right in the thick of it; miles ahead of the pack and not many seemed to notice.

The classic line up of feedtime (reunited here on ‘gas’) released 4 albums in the 1980’s before their initial dissolution in 1989. All four albums were licensed in the US, UK and Europe which generated the band an international cult following, held in high regard for their unique roots-racket and often cited as influential in the US regional band explosion of the early ’90s. Fitting then, that in 2012 the band’s 4 classic albums were reissued as a box set by Sub Pop Records.

The band reformed with a new drummer in the mid 90’s for tours with The Damned and Unsane (with whom they shared a split 7”) and an album on Amphetamine Reptile. Years passed once again before the most well-known line-up of the band reformed for a performance in San Francisco for SS Records’ anniversary showcase in 2011. A rarities compilation appeared shortly after and a US tour in support of the aforementioned box-set finally gave international audiences an evening with feedtime.

gas‘ presents all the elements which make feedtime one of the great Australian pub rock bands. To find out more about the album, Rick and Al from the band answered our On The Record questions. Listen to the album and read their answers below.

LISTEN WHILE YOU READ

ON THE RECORD INTERVIEW
Tell us about the release title.
Rick – I wrote a thing about my brother-in-law driving a ute round in circles and “giving it the gas”… That led to “stomp on the gas”… Which led to “there’s no real need to stomp on the gas… especially if you’re in a fine ride”. Then the question = What is it that you don’t need to stomp on the gas… the answer (for me) was of course a 1958 Chevrolet… Anyway the song was gonna be called ‘Gas’ but we ended up calling it ‘Fifty Eight’ instead… so we kept ‘gas’ as the album name.
Al – At one stage a working title was ‘Long Long Road’. That was discarded when we decided to call it ‘gas’.

Tell us about the artwork.
Rick – Al did the artwork, always has… He uses other stuff where it’s recommended to him but otherwise it’s his call.
Al – I thought… A monoprint of a chopping board from my kitchen. Many meals have been made using this board for many years and we cook with gas – seemed appropriate.

What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
Vinyl, initially in a limited edition Emerald Green (so get in quick), as well as jewel case CD and digital download.

Who will it be released through, and when?
In The Red Records outta Los Angeles (intheredrecords.com). Cam out April 7th, 2017.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
Rick – Studio was dark, small and we trust Mikey Young’s judgement.
Al – It was a nice place to work in, out of the way and private and Mikey suggested it.

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Rick – Mikey chose to work with us again and he’s a dream to work with… He has an empathic capacity for feedtime.
Al – We recorded the Sub Pop single with Mikey and I was more than happy to work with him again.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Rick – I was pretty clear on shovelhead (that had taken me 3 years to get right)… And I borrowed back some stuff that i’d written for Useless Children (Rest My Bones) and reworked it to (hopefully) suit feedtime (hopeful blues). I had a bunch of words that I was gonna use on ‘Fifty Eight’ but when I came to yell ’em a completely different bunch of words came out. The new ones made better sense so what can ya do!
Al – Since re-activity in 2011, I have been thinking of lyrics and riffs. Then with the 3 of us together again the juices started to flow and new songs came into being.

Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Rick – no
Al – no

Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Rick – We did want to self-reference the “Get It All At Once” thing that we did on the first feedtime lp. Our earlier experience with Mikey was that he was happy to do things that way.
Al – The aim was to capture the feedtime sound as it was happening NOW… and Mikey did that.

How long did you spend in the studio recording?
Rick – About 10 hours in all. About 60 takes I think.

WATCH

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Rick – Live to tape (is it tape?) – instruments and primary vocals simultaneously – then dubs of vox femme, harmonica and rob’s slide on shovelhead.

Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Rick – We went back to the most basic recording basics.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Rick – Zephyr Larkin (assistant engineer – and Al’s son), Carmel feedtime (vox femme), Tom feedtime (harmonica) and Rob (slide on shovelhead)
Al – Great for Zephyr to work with someone of Mikey’s calibre in the real world of recording a band in the most appropriate manner for that band.

When it comes do naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
Rick – Whoever writes it picks the name – there was an occasion where Al had been yelling all this stuff and I thought it was called ‘Why Are We Waiting For George’. He’d never heard of it. When we figured out what I was asking he decided to call it ‘George’ and used the words as well. I never found out what the original was though. In the past we sometimes picked names according to where the thing started (like ‘Gee’ started on the chord g, ‘f#’ was where f# started, all down went downwards on the neck once you’d found the starting point).
Al – my approach is always to keep the song title as simple as possible.

Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Rick – No

Any memorable studio moments?
Rick – Hearing this harmonica sound coming from nowhere. It was Tom exercising his inalienable right to not tell anyone about what he was going to do, and the depth of Carmel’s yelling on stuff gave me the feeling that, to quote Murray Engleheart, “have mercy”!
Al – The ease at which Mikey and Zephyr had the space ready to go for us, and then to do what was necessary to get the sounds happening we needed to produce ‘gas’.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
Al – 3 tracks – ‘feel’, ‘somewhere’ and ‘smiles’ – to come out as a 7″ EP on Repressed Records in the next few months.

What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
Rick – The simpler ones. Since my wrists got rebuilt after I busted ’em there’s some stuff that has had to fall by the wayside (e.g. ‘loudmouth’)… and my little left finger don’t bend no more so there’s other stuff that’s had to go (e.g. ‘hd’, ‘gee’ etc)… but some of it has been transposed to suit slide (e.g. ‘hear me calling’) and i can still make a basic e chord (real lucky that).
Al – looking forward to playing any of them.

How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Rick – it has all the elements of a feedtime thing – humour, pain, space, trying completely new / unknown / unheard things (we’ve always done complete unknowns on recordings, just walk up starts, like pure religion, plymouth car is a limousine, ann et al. On this LP it’s ‘hopeful blues’) and the same sort of determination that I wrote about for inclusion on the notes for cooper s, say it and say it good, or at least the best you can.
Al – i think it builds on what we have done before and takes the feedtime sound even further.

Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Rick – No, but thank you for taking the interest to ask us about it!
Al – A big thank you to all of those people who have had a part in the feedtime story over the last 6 years without their help and support ‘gas’ would not exist.

COVER ART
feedtime
TRACK LISTING

1. Any Good Thing
2. Thought
3. Box N Burn
4. Skilled Enuf
5. Hopeful Blues-noiseGutter Roll
6. You Don’t Mind
7. Fifty Eight
8. Sister
9. Grass
10. Lies
11. Keep Goin
12. Highway cruisin
13. Shovelhead

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