Enter Shikari: When we started this band, it was a hobby
By Ed Cooper
Thursday, 12 January 2012 at 10:36 am
Originally a band that played music as a hobby, St.Albans’ Enter Shikari are now headlining shows all around the globe. I gave frontman Rou a ring to talk about Zeigeist, the struggle of Warped Tour and electronica.
How you doing?
Yeah, good. We’re just working hard – we just starting practicing the new tracks we haven’t played yet from our new album together for the first time yesterday…We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Bands like LetLive, Your Demise and King Blues have made 2011 their own – they’re good mates of yours, right?
Yeah! They’re all wicked bands; we’ve had the pleasure of touring with all of them.
Is 2012 the big year for them?
I would of thought so, LetLive have been getting stronger and stronger – they seem to be finding their sound. King Blues keep producing the goods with each release they do.
What’s 2012 got in store for Enter Shikari?
We’ve got Australia first – Soundwave festival. Which is amazing. It always makes me laugh that we’re going to the other side of the world. The furthest place I’ve been to in the world before we started this band is Guernsey! So, yeah it always kinds of drills in the reality of everything when we go over there. Then we’re touring America again, then the UK and Europe. Can’t wait.
You guys promote the Zeitgeist movement quite a lot. Tell us about it.
For us, we try and sing about things that – you know – we can be honest and passionate about. If I’m running around the stage like a headless chicken all night, it sort of has to be something sincere. Otherwise, I’d come off stage hating myself. The zeitgeist movement is one of the biggest lyrical influences for us. This album really takes on the ways of thinking that they promote; thinking with scientific method and thinking outside of normality. The sheer possibility that we have with human ingenuity and how much capitalism and the current system is holding us back, really.
Is ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ a metaphor?
It’s supposed to describe the album both musically and lyrically. When people listen to it, it’ll be an injection of positivity and empowerment. We’ve been getting more and more people – especially in America – say they feel some sort of confidence when bands say something they believe in. When people see camaraderie with bands it’s really encouraging and keeps us going.
So the microphone acts as a platform to get something across?
When we started this band, it was a hobby. Just music. But the more it came out of hand and the bigger we got the more we felt like we had some responsibility. Especially when we’re surrounded by most mainstream music, which is repetitive and soul-less. It just felt like the right thing to do.
You experiment a lot with Electronica and Dance sounds. Was it a big influence for you guys?
Yeah, the first time we were introduced into Drum and Bass was through Rory’s brother, who was a D&B DJ. Even the early stages of Jungle were rammed down our throats. We had that, and obviously living outside of London, we saw dubstep grow from a very early stage and it’s now completely taken over the world. We can remember doing warped tour a few years ago no one had heard of the word. Then we did Warped Tour again and it just took over as a fashion – even in the word itself. It’s let a lot more other types of aggressive music come to the forefront, it seems a lot more acceptable now. It’s amazing.
You guys do everything your own way. Is DIY the only way?
It’s difficult because we can only speak from our personal experience, but yeah, just the thought of creating songs and then giving away copyright on a fundamental basis just seemed wrong. We couldn’t deal with it. For us, we didn’t see any other possibility. Starting out, no one had any interest in us so the only option was to do it ourselves! There’s a lot more freedom and a lot less chance of getting fucked over by a label that wants to just make profit. Made sense in every way.
How would you describe the transition from Take To The Skies to A Flash Flood of Colour?
For us, it feels natural. Every stage in this band has been pigeon steps forward. I think as individuals and as a band we never really aspired to be anything massive, we never had any big ambitions. It was just a hobby, but that’s let us take things one step at a time and think everything through. I guess that’s why we’re still here. It’s been amazing; we’re still so humbled by the shows and everyone who screams the lyrics back at our faces.
What’s next for you guys?
Touring! It’s hard to see past the horizon that’s full of shows and festivals. We’re doing a lot of festivals this summer, rather than Warped Tour, which is good.
So have you got Warped Tour down to a T?
It’s not ideal in any form. It’s not just the sleeping in a tiny van and driving every night and waking up in heat. It puts you to the limit! The really tough thing is just the bands that strive to be middle of the road and fit in to be cool and current. You can walk around Warped Tour and have your soul withered. We’re lucky to have a few bands that we look up to both times we did it.