Three’s Company – An interview with Steve Williams from The Feel Goods
It’s a cold, blustery night and Steve Williams, drummer for Melbourne blues rockers “The Feel Goods”, is rugged up and curled on the couch – a far cry from the manic, sweaty live performances that his band has built their reputation on. The Feel Goods, founded in 2007 by Williams and guitarist/vocalist Evan Grant in the eastern suburbs, have been busy of late. There is a new EP on the way and in January a third member was added to the group in the form of bassist Jordan van Keulen. Both have been a long time coming.
‘People have been telling us for fucking ages to get a bassist,’ says Williams, 22, ‘but we were a bit stubborn. (But) we were kind of stuck in a bit of a rut. We kept progressing as a two piece, doing everything we could, until we got to a point where we weren’t satisfied. So, we thought the logical step was a three-piece. We finally caved in.’
Steve has nothing but praise for the new addition, who was a close friend of the band before joining. ‘People were saying all the time, ‘Oh, I could play bass for your band’ but we really wanted Jordo to play bass. He’s a wicked guitarist.’ Van Keulen’s inclusion really seemed to be the kick the band needed, Jordan almost immediately digging the band out of their song writing rut with his four-string shovel. ‘As soon as he came in we started writing heaps of new songs, we just wrote half a new repertoire of songs. They’re a bit more dynamic, we all pitched in, instead of just me and Ev.’
It’s not just the writing process that has benefited from the expanded set-up: ‘I’ve got the rhythm section now. I’ve got the bass to keep up with instead of me and Evan doing whatever we want when we want. I’ve got that stability of just sticking in the back with Jordan. All three of us work together to get a big sound. ‘
The Feel Goods’ new EP, the follow up to 2010’s Big Muff and Percussion, is in the process of being mastered and is due to be released in the coming weeks. It couldn’t be finished soon enough for Steve: ‘we’ve been sitting on this for fucking ages. We started over two years ago recording cover songs, we had recorded six, scrapped one. That was just what me and Evan had done. We still play them live but Jordan didn’t have a part in them. When this one is done we just want to move onto the next one as soon as possible.’
Taking influences from rock stalwarts such as Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack White and new bands like eclectic rockers White Denim, The Feel Goods’ new EP will be available on the internet as soon it is finished. Digital music outlets such as iTunes, Australian music portal Triple J Unearthed, and social media websites such as Facebook and Myspace have provided invaluable support for countless bands these days and The Feel Goods are no exception. ‘With our first EP, we had bands trying to get us gigs who wouldn’t have heard of us unless they heard us on Myspace, Facebook or Unearthed. We got played on the radio a few times, too. I’ve never heard us, because they (the station) never tell you, but I’ve had mates call up and say ‘I heard the song.’
With a new CD hitting a website near you and more shows around Melbourne lined up, it’s the beginning of a long, exiting road for phase two of The Feel Goods.