“Champagne, vodka and a nice bottle of red”: Feeder’s Grant Nicholas on his rider staples

The Feeder frontman and Jazzmaster fanatic tells us about the guitars he’s loved and lost, the band’s most embarrassing onstage moments, and his vintage gear obsessions.

feeder grant nicholas
Image: Mike Lewis Photography / Redferns

The moment it all started…

“I got my first guitar – a black Les Paul copy by Avon – at the age of 10 or 11 after doing well at school. I remember being inspired by the 6th form band and also my brother’s early record collection. I used to gaze at the musical instrument section in my mum’s catalogues for hours!”

I couldn’t live without my…

One of my vintage Jazzmasters and a nice old Gibson J-45, or my J-200 or Guild M-20 acoustics.”

The one that got away…

“I sold a great hardtail Fender Strat after recording Polythene. I had a bad refret done and it killed the feel and sound of the guitar for me. I decided to trade it in against a vintage ’64 Fender Jazzmaster. I also recently had a lovely Gretsch Country Gent stolen from the Feeder lockup, which has never shown up.”

My dream signature guitar…

“It would just be a Jazzmaster with a few GN-specific mods.”

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The first thing I play when I pick up a guitar…

“It depends, but usually a few nice open chords or an old-school riff. If it’s an acoustic then maybe a bit of fingerpicking.”

The best advice I’ve ever been given…

“It’s all about the tunes!”

My Spinal Tap moment…

“There’s a few, but I remember us all getting lost on the way to the stage as we could hear the intro music playing! Also our live guitarist at the time, Dean, falling over the monitors but continuing to play on his back. I think it was Reading or possibly, Glastonbury. I was crying with laughter as his guitar tech tried to pick him but Dean just wanted to stay there till the song had finished and make a graceful return – classic Tap moment!”

My guilty pleasure…

“Vintage guitars and gear. I also enjoy a bit of classic 80s rock and pop cranked up after a few beers.”

I wish I’d been in…

“The Beatles were immense as far as writing talent, but I also think Led Zeppelin would have been a great ride…”

I wish I was there…

“Hendrix at the Isle Of Wight and Woodstock festivals must’ve been mind-blowing!”

The most important thing on my rider…

“Champagne, vodka and a nice bottle of red. Also an avocado and shitloads of water. I drink a lot of water to keep the voice happy.”

I wish I could play…

“Flamenco would be interesting and maybe a bit of classical and old-school jazz.”

Feeder’s new album Tallulah is out now on Believe Music.

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