The second annual All Tomorrow's Parties New York was once again held at Kutsher's…
- Posted on Apr 12th 2011 5:00PM by David Chiu
Feelies singer and guitarist Glenn Mercer tells Spinner that having a new album is a big accomplishment. The band -- Mercer, singer-guitarist Bill Million, drummer Stanley Demeski, bassist Brenda Sauter and percussionist Dave Weckerman -- reunited in 2008 to play some shows after a 17-year break, and the idea to record a new album was hatched almost immediately.
"When we first decided to do a show, we talked about not really goals so much as just what kind of focus we would have," Mercer says. "That was one of the points we touched on -- avoid being just the nostalgia thing. We wanted to be relevant as a band really, not just go out and play the old songs again, but to write again and to record."
"It's a lot more rewarding," he adds, "because basically the idea of the band and everything we've really tried to accomplish stems from the creative aspect of writing songs. We didn't really start the band to perform, we started the band to write original material and make records. [That was] our agenda from the beginning.
Despite the long break, that band's approach to songwriting hadn't changed much. "Usually in the past we wouldn't necessarily sit down together and hash out stuff," says Mercer. "We'd do a lot of it by exchanging tapes and stuff, so that was pretty similar in this respect. We'd send each other stuff on CD, work on our own and then have a little bit of a head start when we did get together far as the arrangements and stuff."
Those who are acquainted with the band's first two albums, 1980's 'Crazy Rhythms' and 1986's 'The Good Earth,' will recognize some of the musical elements on 'Here Before,' from the semi-acoustic 'Morning Comes' and 'So Far,' to energetic tracks such as 'When You Know' and 'Time Is Right.' "[The new songs] probably could have almost fit any of those records," Mercer says. "You can get a string that connects all of the albums. Maybe one theme [of 'Here Before'] that might pop up here and there is reflection, to an extent."
Since the reunion show, the band has performed 'Nobody Knows,' Time Is Right,' 'Bluer Skies,' Way Down' and 'Again Today' at various shows, and fans can expect to hear more when the Feelies kick off a short tour on May 13. Mercer says he is happy and grateful at how the Feelies reunion has been received by people. "The impetus was more like friends getting together rather than restarting our career again," he says, "just for the sheer joy of playing the music together again."
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