Feick's Device: A memo to our audience

Feick's Device are Gavin Stocker, Carolyn Nowaczyk, Savage Tim and Michael Aiken.
Feick's Device are Gavin Stocker, Carolyn Nowaczyk, Savage Tim and Michael Aiken.



Viva La Gong Festival, MacCabe Park, Wollongong

Free entry

Sing, scream, shriek or shout, independent four-piece Feick's Device have their values and their messages, and they want you to hear it all.

Vocalist and lead guitarist, Michael Aiken, says the band's music comes from rage at the complacency of modern life.

"Life can seem so overwhelming. We're confronted on a daily basis with the mundanity of life and the sinister things that go on behind that all over the world," he says.

"You want a better world, but where do you start?

"As a band, we're aware of that ... and we want others to be."

This kind of "memo to the audience" just scratches the surface.

Their social conscious runs deep and their band ethic and intent reflects that, with every aspect of their music holding caveats of thought-out meaning and purpose.

The group is not afraid to tackle big ideas, discussing and debating thoughts on life and deeper issues from the world around them, while channelling the musical stylings and sensibilities of artists such as Nick Cave, Violent Femmes, and The Dead Kennedys.

"Our music is influenced by a broad mix of '80s and '90s, a combination of interesting, powerful music," he says.

"It's that music that's with you way beyond the two minutes that you hear, and lyrics that are also really engaging and make you think - that's what we want.

"We're keen to offer music that really grabs people and captures their attention, even if that isn't immediately pleasurable, and then also make it meaningful."

Aiken describes his music as artcore - bringing art, eclecticism and diverse influences to a song, then re-combining the influences in a creative and intelligent way.

"But it's all about maintaining the intensity and energy as well," he says.

"We're acoustic-based but quite heavy and percussive. We aren't afraid to be abrasive in our sound."

The deliberate feel of rawness and DIY to the songs and video clips Aiken says is a wariness of trying to be too slick, and a rejection of being too set-up or heavily produced.

Their debut single, Get over cute, exemplifies this. Aiken says he enjoys the feelings that the group's musical abrasiveness in the track evoke in listeners and audiences.

"Part of what fuels the experience of our songs is a sense of the band being an avatar, or a proxy for the audience." he says.

"When I'm playing the song I'm really feeling it, and the audience become compelled to go where the song goes too, making them feel the same rage, and express their own feelings of rage from the song."

Aiken says the band are mindful not to waste resources when they print their CDs, and opt to not facilitate the sale of alcohol by playing at grassroots and collective venues as opposed to pubs and clubs - and communicating their messages through the songs.

"People need to stand up and recognise they have responsibility and power to change perceptions and act differently," he says.

"This is not just my art, it's how I live my life. Being a parent, I want to set a good example for my kids, and live life the way I hope they will.

"We're trying to start discussions, speak out, pose questions, and find answers - that's what our music is about."


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