Go beyond power chords and pumped fists with this six-string symposiumFeeding Back: Conversations with Alternative Guitarists from Proto-Punk to Post-Rock offers a counter-history of rock music through the lens of interviews with musicians including Richard Thompson, J Mascis, James Williamson, Bob Mould, Tom Verlaine, Lydia Lunch, Lee Ranaldo, Johnny Marr, and John Frusciante. Individually, the book’s in-depth discussions explore these subjects’ ideas and innovations; taken together, they document an alternative-guitar tradition with roots in free jazz, punk, avant-garde, folk, and garage rock styles. Of all the conversations in Feeding Back, the most compelling is the one among the guitarists themselves, the way they both influence and respond to each other while redefining the instrument and the rock genre. From the proto-punk of the Stooges to the post-punk of Sonic Youth, from the krautrock of Neu! to the post-rock of Tortoise, the book charts this alternative thread as it makes its way through rock guitar from the late ’60s to the present.
Reviews“David Todd’s Feeding Back is essential reading. And his conversations with alternative guitarists are unfailingly fascinating. His approach is not axe-ist, which is to say, he focuses on the uses of the guitar as a songwriting tool, and rarely slips into gear talk or other muso-musings. His introductions to each conversation are extremely well-written, and he comes prepared to every interview, in some cases knowing more about the artist’s back catalog than the artist him- or herself. (Refreshingly, Todd doesn’t confine his interviews to players of one gender). Feeding Back isn’t just for guitar aficionados; it’s for anyone who loves music. This is the best rock book I’ve read in many, many years.” —James Greer, musician and author of Guided by Voices: A Brief History
“This collection of guitarist stories is well worth it just for the Michio Kurihara, J Mascis, Bob Mould, and Glenn Branca spiels. Love Lee Ranaldo’s too, as well as the James Williamson and Brother Wayne Kramer ones. Great job with everybody here, David, and thank you much for giving Robert Quine the respect I think he big-time deserves. Interesting reading for a bassman!” —Mike Watt, the Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Iggy and the Stooges
Author BiographyDavid Todd teaches English at Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio. His plays have been presented in New York; Washington, DC; Portland; Chicago; and other cities around the United States. His nonfiction articles have appeared in the Villager, Downtown Express, and Chelsea Now.