Will you still love a band out of time? The Feeling are one of the biggest bands in the UK at the moment, which is even more impressive when you consider that their unique blend of Supertramp and Queen is straight outta 1978. Bullz-Eye got the chance to slip a few questions to bassist Richard Jones about their fab record Twelve Stops and Home, what’s in his iPod, and the band’s unexpected love of Los Angeles’ angriest band.
Bullz-Eye: In the last couple years, the UK has exported Arctic Monkeys, the View, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Editors -- and The Feeling. Is there a time portal somewhere in Sussex that the world doesn't yet know about?
Richard Jones: Probably, yes. I grew up in a village that was the centre of cults and alternative religions in the UK. There all kinds of portals there.
BE: Was the decision to play the music you play an organic thing, or a deliberate attempt to stand apart from the other bands on the scene?
RJ: It was completely organic. I think the surprising thing is that we got a record deal with a major label. It took a lot of guts for our A&R guy to offer us a deal as we weren't like anything around at the time. A couple of weeks ago I heard a couple of major labels have signed bands that they describe as "the next The Feeling," which is hilarious given that lack of support we had in the beginning.
BE: Have you heard from Huey Lewis' lawyer regarding "Love It When You Call"? He has been known to get litigious, you know. (Note: The opening four chords are frighteningly similar to "The Power of Love.")
RJ: I don't think you can copyright a cowbell pattern, can you? I think the sound of the song is reminiscent of the Huey track, which wasn't intentional, we were thinking more Queen/Supertramp. Anyway, the actual song, as in the melody and lyrics, are completely different.
BE: Finish this sentence: You wouldn't know it from listening to us, but The Feeling are big fans of the band:
RJ: Rage Against the Machine
BE: Put your iPod/iTunes on shuffle, and tell me the first five songs that play.
RJ: "Absolute Beginners," David Bowie
"Peaches en Regalia," Frank Zappa
"Sad But True," Metallica
"Senses Working Overtime," XTC
"She Said She Said," The Beatles
BE: You have been commissioned to write 10 songs for a project, and you have the option of picking Ray Davies, Damon Albarn, Bob Geldof or David Bowie as a collaborator. Which one do you choose, and why?
RJ: David Bowie. He has constantly re-invented himself and created some brilliant and sophisticated pop music. Although, the same could be said for all the others, except perhaps Bob.
BE: Name three songs that you wish you had written.
RJ: "God Only Knows," The Beach Boys
"Walk on By," Burt Bacharach and Hal David
"Up the Junction," Squeeze
BE: You have a Number Two album while your wife (Sophie Ellis-Bextor) has two Number Two singles. Who will be the first to reach Number One?
RJ: Is that a riddle? Er, it depends which way the wind blows. Actually, my wife has already had a number one single back in 2001, it was called "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" and was the most played son swig in Europe that year. (Note: The song is credited to Italian DJ Spiller, featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor.)
BE: Name one band that you'd like to see reunite, and one band that should break up.
RJ: I would like to see Squeeze reunite and Status Quo break up, only on grounds of false advertising; they've been going out on their farewell "last ever" tour for the last 25 years. (Note: Clearly, Jones has not yet heard that one of his wishes is about to come true.
BE: The band seems to enjoy making music videos (our personal favorite is "Sewn"). What is your favorite video of all time?
RJ: Got to be "Thriller" by MJ. It's obvious, but amazing.
BE: Lastly, who's the best damn bass player ever?
RJ: Jaco Pastorius for Insane rock n' roll virtuosity and Paul McCartney for using the instrument in a perfect arrangement-conscious, melodic manner