Simon Berckelman’s New Feelings


We have a chat to Simon Berckelman, who you may know as the frontman of Philadelphia Grand Jury, about his ace new project, Feelings:

The name Feelings makes me think of all the bands that are quite difficult to research on the interwebs. You know, where it’s hard to gain success finding anything about the artist rather than the thing that their name actually represents. For example, bands with names like Girls (mostly yields sexy ladies), Women (same deal), Lemonade (fizzy beverage not the lo-fi indie band), Cameras (cameras) etc. I think it seems quite counterproductive when most of the prospective audience would try and find out about a group in this way. I ask Berckelman why he had named his new project Feelings and his response is that he doesn’t know, he was just doing what seemed right. It seems though, that logic and reason have perhaps gotten the better of him, as well as “people being angry with him” about it, and he jokingly suggests that he might change the name, possibly to “Simon and the Feelings”.

But enough of the name, from the ashes of Philiadelpia Grand Jury grows a new project spearheaded by Berckelman. The band’s demise is detailed through video in the new song by Feelings, titled Intercourse. He goes on a tangent about his ex-band, saying things about “smelly socks in the van, girls, money, the usual,” as the catalysts for the breakup, but that they all “get along still”. He even states that there might be a second album from PGJ one day, to be released as a laugh and as a way to say thank you to everyone that dug the band and helped them along the way.

Feelings already has a few videos circulating the internet. The clip for One In A Million is pretty tongue-in-cheek, following a lonely Berckelman hanging out with a bunch of plastic female mannequins eating cornflakes. I ask him what the story was behind that vid and he tells me that, while in Germany, they had found a listing on bay kleinazeigen (basically the German gumtree) where a lady had over 70 mannequins, each with a name. “She was in some kind of relationship with them and it inspired us. I have been quite interested in the idea of loving an object for some time. It’s seems sad that someone can love something so much and it can’t even move or love them back, but for them it works. My grandpa eats corn flakes every day and I think he’s insane.” Right….

Keep an eye out for Feelings, or maybe the 70s- funk-sounding outfit, Simon and the Feelings, on the web and your radio as I think they might just take over the place in people’s hearts reserved for highly accessible, fun, indie music. The aformentioned song Intercourse will be released on January 25 on iTunes and a tour of Australia will follow in Februrary, to which I ask Berckelman if he is excited to be taking a bevvy of new songs on the road. His response is simply “Damn Yes!”

carol bowditch


Interview by Carol Bowditch.



If you’re in Aus, you can see Feelings show off his “sexpot anthem” Intercourse here:

Thursday 07 February – Lambda Lambda Lambda, Brisbane
With special guests Pool Shop & Babaganouj
Tickets available through oxtix.

Friday 08 February – Beresford Hotel, Sydney
With special guests Hayley Couper & Jordan Sly.
Free entry.

Saturday 09 February – Nite Society @ Transit Bar, Canberra
Tickets available on the door.

Friday 15 February – The Workers Club, Melbourne
With special guests Milk Teddy & Dumb Blondes.
Tickets available from Corner Box Office (57 Swan St, Richmond) or 03 9486 1677.

Saturday 16 February – Plus One @ Ed Castle, Adelaide
Tickets available on the door.
With special guests The Viennas.

UPDATE: And here’s the new video: