Screamfeeder have been playing indie rock in bars for over 20 years, and are back with their first new album in a decade, Pop Guilt. CHRIS HAVERCROFT spoke to founding member Kellie Lloyd about Pop Guilt and the associated tour. Screemfeeder play Badlands Bar on Friday May 19 as part of the all star Hot Freaks line up.
Screamfeeder have remained a tight knit group of friends over many decades, which has allowed them to spend plenty of time in rehearsal rooms and touring in vans together. Lloyd is clear to point out that the thing that has kept them together as a band is that they continue to enjoy making music together and have similar tastes. It is a relationship that has seen them even develop their own shorthand language amongst band members. This comes in handy when they are stealing time from other commitments to write a new record.
“Tim (Stewart – vocals, guitar) and I would get together and spend an hour or so each week writing songs,” offers Lloyd about the creative process. “It is different to how it used to be. We used to be able to spend bigger chunks of time and more regularly. Now we are working jobs and have lives. We get together when we have the time until the songs are finished. That is how we wrote this album. We continually strived to get things done when we had small pockets of time. There are no rules or hard and fast ways that we make a record.”
A decade has gone pretty quickly for the band, and it wasn’t until they played shows to promote the re-release of their previous albums on Poison City Records that they decided it might be time to add to the bands legacy. When Lloyd looked back at how long it had been between albums, it didn’t feel that long to her, but she was aware that ‘people have raised families in that time’.
“With Screamfeeder, we run a tight ship,” she says. “We are well edited and I won’t let Tim bring in more than five verses. We have always been a pop band and I think that is what plays into the title. We have always tried to hide the pop under the layers of guitars and ‘grunge’ back in the early days. This may be one of our poppiest records. It is not meant to be a big proclamation about us feeling guilty about the pop music, it was just a name that worked well with the songs and the art.”
Once the songs were written, Screamfeeder were on a time limit to record Pop Guilt as their rehearsal space and studio The Shed (owned by newest member Darek Mudge) was scheduled to be knocked down. The iconic and down low creative space is located in a semi industrial area and was the land was to become a business park. Luckily the sale of the property fell through and The Shed lives on for a few more years.
“We had a very limited time and deadline for us to get it finished and mixed and for Darek to move out and find a new place to live,” shares Lloyd on the making of Pop Guilt. “Darek was selling stuff off while we were in there and getting stuff picked up. Then the reprieve came that The Shed wasn’t going to get closed down as the development contract fell through and everything relaxed a little bit.
“I don’t think we were as organised as we usually would be when we go into a recording session. We usually would have played the songs live and had a feeling of which ones were working and maybe edited some things. It was a different beast this time. Because we didn’t get six months of playing and changing the songs, it meant that the songs are pretty close to the original burst of energy.”