On the cover of Feeding People's debut LP, a lifeless pink lady with blue nipples is sprawled out over a three-eyed rainbow-colored lion and a blue devil with blood spilling out of its mouth over a row of tiny jagged teeth.
Heavily psychedelic and incredibly strange, there's something about this painting that's just not of this world, which also describes the music produced by these kids from Orange County, who play this Saturday at the Eagle Rock Music Festival.
Feeding People founders Jessie Jones and Nic Rachman met at the Cornerstone Church in Anaheim — “Christian, evangelical, and evil!” as they describe it — where they played in the Sunday School band before Rachman got kicked out of his grandparents' house for getting a pot ticket and having a bad attitude.
Six years later, they linked up again and hit the OC coffee house circuit with bassist Louis Filliger, organist Jane Riech, and drummer/artist Mike Reinhart, whom Rachman met chasing wild chickens all over Yorba Linda. Now they play hard and dark psychedelia — informed by a deep love of Black Sabbath, acid revelations, and brushes with the devil — for Highland Parks' Innovative Leisure label, home to Nick Waterhouse, Hanni El Khatib, and Freddie Gibbs.
The band's first recordings were produced by Chris Alfaro of Free the Robots, and earned Feeding People a rare opportunity to perform at Low End Theory with Thom Yorke. They were written for acoustic, but recorded on electric by Reinhart in a single take in his parents' tiny walk-in closet. “It was really hot, and we could barely fit the band in there,” Reinhart said. “We pretty much duct taped everything where it needed to be.” Ten gritty tracks from this session made it onto their first LP, released two weeks ago on Burger Records.
On album opener “Native,” nineteen-year-old lead singer Jones channels Grace Slick at her most primal. She growls, “When I sing my native tongue it sounds like the Devil is dancing over me.” But it's bassist Filliger who's got the most experience with demons. He describes one particularly haunting encounter to me after Feeding People's record release show at the Continental Room a few weeks ago.
“I hear the door … someone is knocking … and the knocking turns into the most demonic noise I have ever heard,” he says, “like the wood is breaking and that the door is coming off its hinges and then the door keeps going for about three minutes like chains rattling. Then the noise stops and I hear foots steps. The door opens slowly and there is something in the doorway as tall as Frankenstein, and he lets out the gnarliest growl I have ever heard, a total guttural, low-pitched belly growl. But when I looked at him, it was just a shadow–but a shadow that was in the door way, not on the walls.”
“You should know by now that I don't lie,” Filliger said. “Life is too strange for me to have to make up shit.”
Feeding People play this Saturday on the Emerging Stage at Eagle Rock Music Festival, with Boom Bip, Health, and the Allah Las.