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Feelers Celebrate 10 Years With Best-Of Album

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Feelers Celebrate 10 Years With Best-Of Album

With 10 music industry years under their belts, The Feelers thought it was about time to release a greatest hits album. Drummer Hamish Gee talks to LAURA MCQUILLAN of NZPA about their new release, The Feelers: The Best 1998-2008.

Wellington, Nov 27 NZPA - The Feelers want to reassure fans that releasing a best-of album doesn't mean they're breaking up.

Drummer Hamish Gee says some people get the impression that a greatest hits album means the end of a band, but that's "absolutely not the case" with The Feelers.

"We've actually put a couple of new songs on as well just to point that fact out."

Gee says The Feelers: The Best 1998-2008 is a celebration of the past 10 years, and the band -- James Reid (vocals and guitar), Andy Lynch (guitar), Matt Short (bass) and Gee -- is looking forward to at least 10 more.

"It's 10 years since the release of our debut album, Supersystem, so we figured what better time to release a best-of album than to celebrate 10 years.

"After four records and the amount of songs that have gone to radio, we thought that would be a reasonable amount to fit on the disc."

The two new songs on the album are a teaser for what may become the band's fifth album, for which six songs have been "tentatively recorded".

The band's recording process has become increasingly relaxed over the past decade, and now involves a lot of "pottering around", says Gee.

"We've all got studios at home so what we do is get together in the morning and play cricket or petanque on the lawn, have a couple of beers and play some guitars and before you know it you're in the home studio pottering away and wake up the next day and you've somehow managed to churn out a song.

"I don't think we've ever consciously sat down and said `we have to write a song and we want it to go to radio and we want to target this demographic here...'

"We've just [done it], depending on our mood at the time, in between mucking about and cricket on the lawn and somehow something sorta comes together in the midst of all the fun."

Their best-of album features 16 of their hit radio singles, and, just like their previous albums, went straight to number one on the New Zealand album chart -- showing that local audiences are still enjoying the band after a decade.

Gee says: "We wanted to highlight that it's the best of 10 years of being on radio and being in the studio basically. The band's been together for 15 years -- James and myself have had a musical partnership since we were schoolboys in Christchurch.

"But it's been exactly 10 years since we got signed to Warner and moved up to Auckland and started releasing songs that actually made it to radio, instead of student radio in Christchurch with demos done in James' mum's wine cellar."

Gee says the band have had two main goals since they started, and have learnt many important lessons -- including that US audiences don't "get" New Zealand music.

"It sounds like we just dag about and have fun, which we do, to a degree, but also since word go we've always set seemingly unattainable goals for ourselves, and naively expected that we could reach them and tried our best to reach them and we've reached a few.

"The first goal 10 years ago when we moved up to Auckland and we were recording the first album was that we could at some point have somewhere to live and not have to sleep in the back of our cars.

"The second goal was world domination. That one we're still working on."

The Feelers kick off their summer tour on Boxing Day, and are hoping to get around a lot of small towns which won't have previously seen the band.

"It would be hard to stop us wanting to do a summer tour regardless of whether we had anything to promote. It's like our annual summer holiday -- we go and play in all our favourite beach resorts, we try and cover all the places that all four of us have ever holidayed in when we were children."

And while they're soaking up the sun, the band will be looking ahead to making more music in the future -- and possibly another best-of album in another 10 years' time.

"We'll see how it goes. It'd have to be a double disc set, wouldn't it?"

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