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[AltWire Interview] Enter Shikari: “I Would Expect We’ll Be Busting Out One New Song”

What would definitely rock the entire alternative community right now? A new album from Enter Shikari! Their previous album, “A Flash Flood of Colour”, was extremely well received by both critics and fans alike. To the same token, their “Rat Race EP” has been one of the biggest teasers in the history of rock. The EP boasted three outstanding singles and then soon after the band took a break from the public eye to work on some new music. Sounds great, right? It would be great if they just wouldn’t take so long.

There hasn’t been a band as bold, “anti-political”, authentic, and unpredictable as Enter Shikari since the Spice Girls. And Altwire has great news for you: they are fucking back and we have a brand new interview for you!

Read what lead singer Rou had to say below!

AltWire [Melissa]: The festival season has begun in Europe and you’ve already played at a ton of festivals all over the world during your career. Was there one outstanding moment during your touring that you will never forget?

Enter Shikari [Rou]: It’s impossible to pick just one moment really. The band has achieved far more than we ever expected when we were starting out. I guess if i had to pick one moment it would be our set at Download Festival 2013, when we headlined the second stage. It was an incredible experience being able to headline the stage and be able to put on a proper show with a full on lights show and all the trimmings. Definitely up there as one of our favourite ever shows.

Enter Shikari recording new music | Photo: Enter Shikari
Enter Shikari recording new music | Photo: Enter Shikari

“We recorded this latest album at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire.”

AW: You’ve recently announced via Twitter that the recording of your new album is now complete. Will you be performing one or more of the new tracks during your upcoming shows? Have you prepared a special set for your hometown show at Hatfield Forum Hertfordshire?

ES: We’re undecided about that right now. Something we’re actually getting together to talk about soon. I would expect we’ll be busting out one new song though, which song it will be will be decided through brawling.

AW: You’ve recorded A Flash Flood of Colours in the middle of a jungle in Thailand, for Common Dreads you went to the Isle of Wright. Was there a certain reason you decided to create and record your fourth album in your hometown instead?

ES: Well, we’ve always done the majority of writing at home. We give ourselves a few months to write and record demos, we then have the horrible job of going through them all and figuring out which songs to focus on for the album. So when the time comes to go into the studio to record them, the songs are already well structured and we have a strong idea of where the tracks are heading. We recorded this latest album at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. We recorded three tracks there previously and had such an amazing stay that we thought it would be the perfect place to get our heads down and record the album. It’s out of the way, surrounded with nature, and a really comfortable studio where we could lock ourselves away and get creative.

Enter Shikari in Kuala Lumpur 2013
Enter Shikari in Kuala Lumpur 2013 | Photo: Enter Shikari

“It’s a slippery slope when you try to cater for everybody’s tastes.”

AW: The last two years have been extremely successful for you. A Flash Flood of Colour and the following Rat Race EP got outstanding reviews and your fan base has grown significantly. Your career definitely climbed to another level. Did this affect your song writing because you felt more pressure than usual?

ES: No not really, no more than usual anyway. We as a band have always had the most success when we’ve done what felt right and tried not to focus on what we think people want to hear. It’s a slippery slope when you try to cater for everybody’s tastes. We’re confident in our writing and we always aim to push ourselves musically and always develop the sound of our music.

AW: You’ve worked again with producer Dan Weller. Why did you choose him again and how does he influence the recording?

ES: Yeah, Dan’s great. It’s just one of those situations again that always felt right. From the first time we recorded with him when we recorded “Destabilize”, there was just a great balance. We’ve known Dan a long time now, he’s a very talented musician so he often throws in ideas which is important. Once you’ve been working on the songs for a few months it’s good to have someone come in with fresh ears as we’re so close to the songs it often becomes hard to tell if we’re on the right track or if we’ve gone a bit bonkers, Dan helps find that balance.

AW: Several artists and critics have complained that there is a crisis in rock music at the moment. They are saying that rock music has become too soft, happy and mainstream. Do you agree with this statement?

ES: I think it depends where you’re looking. If you’re talking about a lot of rock music that we hear on the radio then i’d say yeh, that’s true in a lot of cases. I certainly think there’s a lack of bands willing to say something important and worth singing about. There’s so much going on around the world which requires attention, rather than just churning out mind numbing lyrics.

Enter Shikari on the set of their latest single "Rat Race" | Photo: Enter Shikari
Enter Shikari on the set of their latest video “Rat Race” | Photo: Enter Shikari

“We’ve always enjoyed interaction with our fans. It gives you a real sense of what’s important to people which does impact on our writing.”

AW: Enter Shikari has always been a band that doesn’t allow genrefication or boundaries. Your style is pretty much undescribable. Which artists have influenced your music the most? Have any recent albums inspired you during the work on your upcoming record?

ES: Well, between the four of us we listen to such a large range of music, so all of it has an impact. We were listening to quite a lot of Jon Hopkins, the new Coldplay album was released while we were in the studio also which we all sat down and listened to. Maybe that had an impact in some ways.

AW: After your shows in Russia, you’re going to embark on the big Vans Warped Tour in the US. Are you looking forward to get out and tour again after the writing and recording process? Do you prefer the creative work on new music, or its performance in front of your fans?

ES: Yeah we’re really excited! To be honest we love both. Usually we tend to crave whatever we’re not doing. So if we’ve been touring for ages we’re excited about writing new stuff. Once we’ve been in the studio and written new songs we’re desperate to get out on the road and see what people think of them. There’s no greater feeling that after all the work of making a record, walking out on stage and seeing peoples reactions.

AW: You are known for being really down to earth, authentic and close to the fans. Many bands nowadays only offer paid meet and greets. You’ve criticized that in the past, so we know your opinion about this approach, but how important is the interaction with your fans for your music, live performance and self-image?

ES: Well we’ve always enjoyed interaction with our fans. It gives you a real sense of what’s important to people which does impact on our writing. For example when we get people coming up to us telling us our lyrics mean a lot to them, or have made them think about things in a new way, that gives us a sense of accomplishment and it’s invaluable to our courage to keep writing songs and lyrics focused on issues we think deserve more attention. Live performance wise it helps as people often tell us what they want to hear.

AW: Are there any new bands you want to recommend to our readers?

King Capella, Fatherson. Couple there for you.

Thanks for the great interview!

If you want to get an even closer look at the recording process of Enter Shikari Album #4, check out the #ShikariAlbum4 diaries on YouTube!

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