Feeder Ride 'High' Into New Album Plans

British pop trio's singer says he's already written 27 new songs and is looking to record next month.

Another musician might think of it as a career boost, but not Grant Nicholas.

Already at work on tunes for the next album, the lead singer and songwriter for the British

pop trio Feeder seems ambivalent about the placement of his band's current

modern-rock radio hit

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Feeder/High.ram">"High" (RealAudio

excerpt) on the soundtrack to the summer teen flick "Can't Hardly Wait."

"I think [the filmmakers] thought the song suited the spirit of the film," Nicholas said of the

narcotic pop ballad. "They thought it would work in that [party] scene in the film." But he

wondered whether the inclusion of "High" on the movie's soundtrack LP would cut into

sales of Feeder's first full-length album, Polythene.

"I don't really know if it's made that much of a difference," Nicholas said, although he

added that consumers might prefer getting Feeder's song alongside tracks by Third Eye

Blind, Smash Mouth, Busta Rhymes and Matthew Sweet on the Can't Hardly Wait

album. A look at the sales figures for both albums seems to back up Nicholas' hunch, with SoundScan reporting U.S. sales of 16,000 for Feeder's album since its February release and 300,000 for the Can't Hardly Wait soundtrack since May.

The inclusion of the infectious "High" in "Can't Hardly Wait" seems especially appropriate

given the escapist nature of the song's lyrics. "I'm going out for a while/ so I can get high

with my friends," Nicholas croons in a keening falsetto over acoustic guitar and

marching-band drums.

"It's about gardening," the 30-year-old singer joked about the tune's party-friendly theme.

"I wasn't trying to be a rebel or anything, or encourage people to take drugs, because

'high' can be anything. If your idea of having a good time is smoking pot, fine. It's up to

the individual. I'm not trying to preach anything."

Nicholas sees the accessible, melodic side of Feeder, found in such songs as the

power-popping "Polythene Girl" and the psychedelicized "Radiation," as the key element

in the band's sound. Their music thrives on juxtapositions, mixing heavy, grunge-like

guitar dynamics and Nicholas' saccharine lyrics -- rife with nature imagery -- in the same

song.

Although American audiences are just getting their first taste of Feeder, Nicholas said he

has already written music for 27 new songs that he hopes to record next month in

London. "I was quite lucky to have a writing spree before we went on tour with

Everclear," he said. "Which is great, because it takes the pressure off me, so I don't have

to go home and start from scratch."

While Feeder have been touring the U.S. over the past seven months, "High" has clearly caught

the ears of an American audience. The song, a follow-up to the group's first single,

"Cement"

(RealAudio excerpt), has been on the top 10 of Boston alternative station WFNX's (101.7

FM) playlist since June.

"It's just a really good summertime song," WFNX music director Laurie Gail said. "And

even aside from being a good summer song, it's just a good, straightforward rock song

that's sort-of ballad-y too." Ironically, according to Nicholas, "High" almost didn't make it

onto Polythene because the song wasn't completed in time for inclusion on the

U.K. version of the album.

Formed more than five years ago in London, Feeder are comprised of Nicholas,

drummer Jon Lee and bassist Taka Hirose. The band, which has released two EPs prior

to Polythene, is a reflection of Nicholas' musical youth. According to the singer, he

embraced everything from ABBA to Black Sabbath, the Beatles, the Human League and

the Pixies.

At least one industry expert thinks that this is just the right time for a band such as Feeder

to be hitting American airwaves. "I saw them early on and I thought, here's a band that's

real aggro, melodic rock being introduced at a time when we were way outside of the

hard-rock thing, where anything that had any grunge residue was being tagged," said

Sky Daniels, general manager of radio industry trade magazine Radio And

Records. "I have a gut belief that good, hard, melodic rock stuff never goes out of

fashion."

"I'd be happy with being called a good pop band," Nicholas said. "My preferred term is

'heavy pop.' I just love heavy guitar, but I also love pop songs and melodies, so I try to do

both in our songs."