The Feelers

A momentary altercation on a Christchurch primary school football field was the catalyst for a music partnership between James Reid and Hamish Gee that has spanned almost twenty years and brought us one of our best loved bands, The Feelers.

Along the way they have amassed some remarkable statistics, a quarter of a million albums sold, five multi platinum albums, three number one albums, seven number one singles and more radio airplay than any other New Zealand artist or band since radio stats began in 1999.

The Feelers have gone from busking on street corners to becoming pioneers of the kiwi music industry, thanks largely to the song writing genius of James Reid. Now, after a six year break The Feelers are back with their new album ‘Hope Nature Forgives’ to be released on August 1st.

A lot has happened in the lives of James and Hamish since their last multi platinum offering, ‘One World.’ Hamish got married; James has welcomed his first child and ‘got arrested more times than is humanly possible for doing diddly squat’ (in his own words!). They have also welcomed two new arrivals to the band, guitarist Andy Lynch (formerly of Zed) and bass player Matt Short. “It’s great to have the four of us in the room playing together, we are having a lot of fun, it’s the way music should be made,” says James.

This new, reinvigorated unit penned more than fifty songs for the album, which were eventually whittled down to thirteen, including the spectacular first single ‘Blue Skies’. “Basically our pets and our mothers dictate if a track is going to make it onto the album, if our cat leaves the room then we just move on to the next one,” laughs James. Feline critics aside, the pair take their song writing and music making very seriously. It’s been a full time job for as long as they can remember, “we spend a third of our time in the studio, a third on the road and a third watching Star Trek,” jokes Hamish.

2011 is shaping up to be a big year for the boys from Christchurch. The second single off the album is the unofficial song for the Rugby World Cup, Jesus Jones’ ‘Right Here, Right Now’, a choice that turned out to be surprisingly controversial. “I think it’s ironic that people criticised it for not being a New Zealand song, I mean, the Rugby World Cup is an international event,” says Hamish. Any detractors won’t be keeping it off their set list, it’s already become a firm fan favourite and the boys will per- form the song during their upcoming New Zealand tour and at various events around the world cup. “The best part about it has been getting an email from Mike Edwards who wrote the song, saying it was the best version they’d ever heard, including their own,” says Hamish.

The bond between the pair and their commitment to constantly ‘bettering’ their music continues to drive The Feelers after eighteen years jamming together, “music is always going to be my art and my love, eventually I’ll write a book but until then I have music, “ says James. “My motivation is purely financial, I just can’t think of anything else I would rather do,” jokes Hamish.

‘Hope Nature Forgives’ was produced by The Feelers at their home studio then recorded at York Street and Roundhead studios, mixed by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Pearl Jam, The Cure) in Austin Texas and mastered by Justin Shturtz, Sterling Sound NY. Their nationwide tour will be launched in Auckland on 14th July at The Howick Club, before heading the length and breadth of the country. The Feelers will play 18 gigs in all, with Australian rockers ‘Thirsty Merc’ coming along for the ride.
The Feelers are promising one of their best live shows yet, “our set lists just keep getting longer and longer, we will probably play for well over two hours this time around,” says Hamish. And fans can rest assured they will be revisiting all their biggest hits with a new found enthusiasm, “I have memory problems so when we play the old stuff its like I’m playing it for the first time. Wow, what’s that track? Venus… great song dude,” laughs James.”