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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Feb-18 > DAY IN DAY OUT


For a quarter of a century, Feeder have endured as one of the UK’s most consistent rock bands, outlasting many of their peers and still going strong with a new best-of and mini-album released at the end of 2017. JOSH GARDNER sits down with frontman Grant Nicholas and bassist Taka Hirose to talk through the instruments that have shaped their musical journey. Prepare for offsets…


Photography Eleanor Jane

It’s been 21 years since Feeder released their first album, Swim, and over 25 since Newport friends Grant Nicholas and Jon Lee met Japanese bassist Taka Hirose in London, and set themselves on a path that would lead to top five hit singles, platinum-selling albums and major festival headline slots. “It’s a long time isn’t it? I never expected us to last this long!” jokes Taka. “Probably not!” adds Grant. “It seems like a long time. But from the start, Jon and myself were very driven, and we were into it for a career – we didn’t want to just make one album and then disappear. We’ve always been more about the songs – that’s always been our goal. To be a band where it doesn’t really matter what people think at the time, it’s about having songs that are timeless, and maybe 10, 20 years after they were recorded they still stand up. That was always the plan and we’ve stuck to that – and that’s probably why we’re still here, I suppose!”

Despite the highs, however, the pair have also had to deal with great tragedy. Lee’s suicide in 2002 is the kind of devastating moment that many of us would struggle to get past, but Grant and Taka have been galvanised by their shared loss, “It being two of us has made us stronger, and feel more strongly about what we do,” Taka affirms. “Grant is always the driving force. If he’s not talking about a guitar, he’s talking about a song – and that hasn’t changed!”

Comfort In Sound

Talking guitar is what we’re here for, and it’s a subject that the pair both know very well indeed. Grant has a love affair with Jazzmasters that borders on the obsessive – and he came to Fender’s quirky offset at a time when not a lot of people in the UK music scene were playing them.

“No there weren’t really,” Grant confirms. “I just liked the shape. I was playing Telecasters, I had an SG… but the Jazzmaster appealed to me because they weren’t so popular then. My first Jazzmaster, I swapped it for like £200 and a Whammy pedal, and I just fell in love with the shape of it. I liked the fact that even though I’m not a big-framed person, I like guitars that have a little bit of weight to them, and also it being the longer scale. I love the Jag and the Mustangs, but the Jazzmaster just suited my playing more and suited my style. I mess around with them quite a bit – I change pickups and bridges and that stuff.”

Grant’s refinished ‘64 has been heavily modded like most of his Jazzmasters
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About Guitar Magazine

The February 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now and it comes packed with guitars, stars, pro tips and sure-fire ways to make you a better player. Inside we salute the rhythm guitar genius of the late AC/DC star Malcolm Young, catch up with bona fide legends David Crosby and Joe Satriani, go on the road with Weezer and take a close look at the guitars and basses with which Feeder’s Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose built a 25 year career in rock. In the most in-depth gear reviews section in the business, we put a raft of hot new products to the test from PRS, Gretsch, Blackstar, Manson Guitar Works and more, and get the inside track on LA’s hottest new boutique amp brand, Black Volt Amplification. Elsewhere, Huw Price continues his conversion project in DIY Workshop as his old Greco takes a step closer to becoming a ’54 style Goldtop and in Vintage Bench Test, we find out what Marc Bolan and Jimi Hendrix loved so much about Gibson’s late 1960s reboot of the Flying V. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also find out how to win a one-off custom-built electric from Brit brand Haynes Guitars worth a massive £2,995, which also features House Of Tone pickups and a wiring harness from James’ Home Of Tone. For all that and much more, get your print or digital copy of the February 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine now.