Straight out of Glasglow, Scotland, The Naked Feedback is an epic rock group formed by four brothers. The brothers, Dean, Callum, Jack, and Derek, specialize in storytelling through their music and videos. Their music videos bring their songs to life with their quirky personas, intense scenes, and controversial content. The Naked Feedback have been preforming all around the U.K. for several years, which has quickly gained them some traction. Frank Carter from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes picked up their talent and featured them in a large promotional event for Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum.
“Smoke Without Fire” is the latest release from The Naked Feedback. It’s an alternative rock track that perfectly intertwines mellow drum and guitar samples. The song contains substance and a significant message pertaining to issues prevalent in todays society. Dean, the lead singer in the band sings:
“I’m not much of a story teller, Yet I’d bleed for the views Cut me up call me a liar, But the ravens flew
Just Blowing smoke without fire, Don’t need to be true”
The message that they’re trying to get across with “Smoke Without Fire” is that many people in today’s culture over exaggerate/create situations resulting in the creation of fake news, spreading hate and negativity. The reason that people do this is to gain attention and to be put in the spotlight for a few seconds of fame, which creates dangerous misconceptions amongst many. “Smoke Without Fire” brings awareness to the reality that we live in today in such an impactful way, differentiating the band from others. This makes it a great track to check out and share with friends this summer!
Listen to "Smoke Without Fire" here!
Smoke Without Fire” is pretty deep and it has a lot of meaningful references in it. What influenced you to write the lyrics?
Everyone is surrounded by the news and media from when they wake to the moment to go to sleep. Bombarded with notifications of news and events whether they actually care or not. Last year we fell victim to careless media which in the end worked out quite well for us but it could have went either way. We shot a music video for our track Something Wicked This Way Comes: a song about illusion and that something sometimes isn't what it seems. The video was centred around a cult leader commanding his followers, throwing people around, stuffing words into their mouth and just generally being a bit insane. One of the followers doesn't act as everyone else does and tries to flee. so to set an example the leader kills the follower violently in front of everyone. In the end the followers realise something is not quite right and at the very end they turn on the cult leaders.
Because of the nature of the video and the fact it was recorded in an old church in the north of Scotland we wanted a big space. Out of 12 locations a local church accepted our offer and gave us the space free of charge. After the video had been up for 1 week the church actually got in touch with to say they were not happy with the video and wanted it offline. We explained that we couldn't do that as it was already shared in many places. In the end we came to an agreement that we would not name the church in any articles or go to the media(this was something we had no plan of doing anyway).
A few days later a journalist reached out to us saying they had a quote from the church about a blasphemous video and if we wished to have our say (the church had gone to thepapers). We responded with the meaning of the video and left it at that. The story then grew bigger and by the end of the week we were on the front cover of 7 national Scottish newspapers. For ourselves the exposure was enormous and we increased our fans and listener base overnight. It created country wide debates on: what is modern art? Should religion get involved with creative projects? Is it hypocritical for the Church of Scotland to condemn a video when they have a questionable history of brutality and prejudice against minorities?
It was the spark to a lot of discussion and a number of personal attacks on ourselves. What we found was that people who criticized us had never seen the video nor heard our music: they had simply read an article online and made their opinion. We are actually from religious families so "God-bashing" is really not in our interest.
The church actually had to host a service to bring God back into the space and cleanse the building of sins. We found this quite bizarre since no one actually died or was murdered. Acting and drama does allow people to pretend and we think this was a factor that the church did not take into account.
After about 3 weeks the heat came off us, the debates stopped, but we did keep the nickname 'Devil boys' as we still think it's quite funny.
It showed us that people nowadays are very quick to jump to a conclusion with only 50% of the story and sometimes that 50% isn't even true.
What was the writing process like for “Smoke Without Fire”?
The song started out as just the guitar riff, really catchy but we didn't really know where to go from there. We usually start with a melody to compliment the music and from there the subject comes through in the end. This song was slightly different where we wanted to chose the subject before the melody and write about something current and that people can relate to. From there we picked out phrases from the media and key words that would grab attention.
Derek: At the time I was listening to a lot of hip hop (Eminem/G-Eazy/Joyner Lucas) which lent itself to the hip hop vibe during the verses and overall flow of the song.
We are of course a rock band so kept the chorus big with the gritty guitars and high harmonies. We also experimented with this song where we brought together a sample pad to reinforce the hip hop kind of feel. Even trying some oversaturated auto-tune over the "give me your soul and you'll be fine" at the start of the song makes it sound like a program or machine saying it which gives the idea that technology is taking up your life.
The end section of the song is where we have the most fun playing live. Very inspired by Queens of the Stone Age, we put the tight beat and riff to the side and messed it up by bringing in jungle like drums, faster tempos, fuzzed up guitars and let the song ring out to the end. We think it's a very fitting end to quite a quiet and slow song and hopefully the listener gets into the bouncing feel from the bridge onwards.
We had a good feeling about this song as we played in a place in the North of England called Newcastle at the end of 2018. It wasn't the best of shows and we were actually ready to pack up and leave. Before we left we decided to just have a jam of what we had written for Smoke Without Fire, about 70% of the finished product. When we started playing a small crowd appeared saying they could hear us play outside and wanted to come and hear more. They loved it so much and asked us to keep playing so we started playing the song again from the start, they then called their friends from outside and within about 15 minutes the place was packed. We played about 4 encores as they wouldn't let us leave and we performed about an hour over our schedule. What was just another show actually turned out to be one of our favourite nights of playing.
Does being siblings impact the music you make? How so?
Dean: Sometimes having your brother in the band can be strange and can make for a strained relationship, however I'd rather experience being in a band with my brother rather than being in one without him. Callum came into the band last and really was the missing peice to the puzzle. Sometimes we can disagree on the most silliest of things, but I really do believe it's just in search of achieving absolute perfection in music. A lot of the time Callum writes a killer riff and then I add words and a melody and I think we're starting to really master that. Every-time we write something together I believe it's getting better and better and we're learning more about one another through songwriting. But in saying that, the 4 of us have known each other for so long that we're all just like brothers as cliché as it sounds.
We love how original and different your music videos are! What inspires you to create the videos?
For all of our videos we have used Stuart Breadner of Shootback to Direct and shoot the productions. A very very creative guy with tonnes of experience and a great imagination which is where the video ideas come from. We let Stuart listen to the track and talk about the meaning. Stuart will then hit us with some initial ideas and thoughts and we'll discuss it over a week and put a plan into motion. The most challenging but enjoyable video was for our most recent single The Goodbye back in January where it was all shot in 1 take in this beautiful home. The story follows a group of home invaders to break into a house and force the family into a birthday party. Very inspired by a Clockwork Orange with our own flair, the video is very attention grabbing as the camera never stops for the whole 3 minutes 22 seconds and there is always something happening. About 10 hours it took for the set up, rehearsals, fight choreography, and 20 odd takes but we eventually got a video that we were very proud of and have had some amazing feedback since then.
I think in general with a music video it does need to be very eye catching and enjoyable to watch. A small artist like ourselves doesn't have a huge budget or unlimited time to create something so we need a great idea, that no one has seen before, and the more shocking the better. We are in the business of attention seeking after all.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2019?
Off the back of Smoke Without Fire we do have another single which we are planning but keeping it very under wraps as it's like nothing we have ever written before. We're not even 100% sure which genre it would fall into.
Jack: Expect things to get Funky
Connect with The Naked Feedback on social media: