After more than 20 years and selling more than three million albums as the frontman of Feeder, Grant Nicholas has recently released his debut solo album, Yorktown Heights.
The album features a more acoustic and ‘70s influenced sound than his fans might be used to, but Nicholas is relishing the chance to prove himself.
When he spoke to The Guide, Nicholas had recently returned to the stage, playing a pair of sold out shows at the Sebright Arms and the Slaughtered Lamb in London.
‘I haven’t played live for a long time, so I was a bit nervous, but once I got back into it, it felt great,’ he says.
‘It’s all new songs – I’m not playing any of the Feeder stuff at the moment because I want it to be about this project.
‘And it’s been good, I haven’t had anyone shouting out for Just a Day, or anything like that – I’m hoping that’s because they’re liking the music.’
The album came about at a time when Feeder had been put on hold.
He explains: ‘After 22 years of Feeder I wanted a bit of time out, I had never had a break and done other things. I’d been offered things and turned them down because I was putting all my energies into Feeder.
‘I just started writing songs at home, and this group of songs came together – they were more acoustic sounding, mixed with a bit of band and electronics.
‘The songs came to me very naturally both lyrically and musically – I was writing in a different headspace. I could write about things a bit closer to my heart – I would write those songs with Feeder, but this was perhaps more than I usually would.’
Grant was able to draw on different influences and he cites Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood, Mac, and John Lennon.
‘I think people assume I go home and listen to the Foo Fighters all day and that really isn’t the case,’ he adds. ‘I don’t actually listen to much hard rock music at home. My taste is more to bands like Flaming Lips and Eels.’
And for those hankering for more Feeder, fret not, they will return.
‘When I get back to Feeder,’ says Grant. ‘I want to do it properly. We turned down a few shows, which I don’t think our manager was too happy about, but I felt it would dilute this.
‘If this record does well it will only be a good thing for Feeder, but if people aren’t interested, then we can just get on with the new Feeder record – it’s a bit of a no-brainer for me.’
Grant plays the Wedgewood Rooms on Wednesday, October 1, doors at 8pm. Tickets cost £15. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk