After almost a year of being away, and shortly before they tore the Boston Music Rooms in London to shreds, we sent someone to go and talk to Lee Tobin, vocalist of the newly-reformed-and-ready-to-slay Feed The Rhino, to talk to him about their comeback tour and what we can expect from Feed The Rhino in the future…
MOSH: When Feed The Rhino took a break we heard it was for reasons relating to personal commitments, have all of these been resolved now?
Lee Tobin: Yeah yeah, I mean there wasn’t anything problematic to our commitments or anything like that, it was more commitments to our lives outside of the band. It was more to do with us showing a bit more commitment on the other sides than to what we’ve been committing to since 2009. It got to the point where we were just touring so much and playing so much, and maybe not as much as some other bands, but to a point where we thought: “Well, we’ve done a lot, we’re always active, we’re always trying to do something and go on another tour and play more shows.” It just got to a point where we just needed a break, a bit of a breather. We didn’t know if we were going to come back from that, but there was a point where we needed to just do this and then see where we’re at.
MOSH: So was there a chance that FTR might not have come back?
LT: Yeah there was every chance I think. It was something that we were leaving up to time to decide, and I think that’s the best way to describe it really. It’s not like we were sick and tired of being around each other, cos we’re all best mates. We can be apart for five or six months and not speak, but we could talk the day after and everything will be fine and it’ll be like we were never apart at all.
MOSH: Was it hard coming back to FTR after nearly a year out?
LT: Nah it was really easy! I said it before in an interview a couple of weeks ago, we did have some cobwebs y’know, it was weird at first – getting back into it, turning the volume up, trying to get back into what we were doing before. But once we started going, we were going! We were off. It felt like we hadn’t really been gone anywhere.
MOSH: Before you guys broke we heard that you were aiming to continue growing and growing the band, is that notion still there or has being away made you reconsider how far you can take FTR?
LT: We’ve always been a band to aspire to move forward and play the best shows that we can play. But I mean we’ve played Brixton Academy, we’ve played Camden Roundhouse, we’ve done Reading and Leeds main stage, we’ve down Download Festival, Sonisphere, we’ve been fortunate enough as a band to tour with great bands, play in great venues, play awesome festivals. We really felt at that point that we had done enough to be able to turn round and say: “Ok let’s call it a day for a little while.”
We’ve never really been a band to say like: “We don’t want to play that venue cos it’s too small.” or “We don’t want to play that venue because it’s huge, it’s too big for us.” We’ll play anything. That’s what Feed The Rhino is about. We’re just a bunch of dudes that love playing music and love playing all over the place and love playing different venues. Look at us today, I think we’re in an old ballroom [speaking about The Boston Music Rooms].
I think we do still have that aspiration to support bigger bands or go out and do bigger things headlining. There’s always a long road isn’t there really, there’s no end to where you can go.
MOSH: Would you say this tour is a big deal for you guys? Both personally and as a unit?
LT: Both things equally I think, yeah. For the band we had no expectation, we had no idea of selling out venues or anything, this was literally a case of us going: “Wanna play some shows” and the rest of us saying: “Yeah let’s go play some shows.” So we spoke to our management and our agent and told them we just want to play some shows, get us back out there.
MOSH: Only doing five dates on the tour, was that a conscious decision that you didn’t want to do a massive long tour to come back with?
LT: No not really, we felt like we didn’t really need to do that much more. We’ve not got a new album out, we’ve not even released anything in over a year, ‘Featherweight’ was our last thing and that was around the beginning of August last year.
We just wanted to get back out for us, for the personal side of it, but we also wanted to see if we still had that connection with all the guys that have always come to watch us and that have bought tickets and are coming to watch us. By the looks of it from last night we were like: “Wow!
MOSH: And how was it?
LT: Bristol was amazing! The crowd was amazing, it completely swept the box and it took us back a long way, we felt great.
MOSH: Did you consider releasing an album before coming back and doing a tour, or was it a case of “we need to get back on the road ASAP?”
LT: Nah dude we didn’t even look into it. This was the most relaxed thing that we have ever gone into! It was just a case of us texting each other and getting in the practice room and having a little bit of a jam, and we enjoyed it and thought: “Shall we go play some shows? Yeah fuck it let’s go play some shows.
MOSH: Can we expect new music from FTR?
LT: Yes. Definitely. 100%.
MOSH: You’ve got Counting Days as support, obviously you’ve played with Heights and TRC before, was it good being back out on the road with people you’ve played with before?
LT: Yeah man, I mean Charlie [Wilson, guitars] and Lasselle [Lewis, drums] we toured with them a lot around 2009 so we know them really well and it’s really good to see them in Counting Days, and again with Thom [Debaere, vocals] and the Heights connection, it feels really good.
It’s almost semi-nostalgic. We’ve always bumped into each other along the way so everyone will know what everyone is up to, so it wasn’t a case of: “Let’s go grab them dudes cos we used to play with them” we just thought Counting Days would be really good for this tour and we asked them to do it.