Kasabian Introduced…


 The band with swagger and scarves, (hailing from the less than musically notorious Leicester, England) fronted by the charismatic singer Tom Meighan, guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, guitarist Christopher Karloff and bassist Chris Edwards all possess ‘the look’ that leaves an instant impression to ensure nothing less than a self proclaimed self belief, confidence and the minds to respond to new ideas and interpret them in light of what is already known. Kasabian use old loopy beats with electro pulsing tasteful rock without sounding too arty or arrogant for their own good. While other bands are consumed in emulating eras gone by and setting limitations for progression, Kasabian take a step towards courting the new without sounding contrived. They have an instant familiarity to old rock n roll values. Kasabian evoke from a place that isn’t a trend, era or fashion. They’re a band that quite simply evoke of the relative fundamentals that make good music. Comparisons one may have heard to bands like Primal Scream and The Happy Mondays are weak and veneer in the sense that Kasabian sound like neither, nor do they draw inspiration from the two (rather the likes of DJ Shadow, Can and the attitude’s of Oasis and the grand daddies of rock n roll – The Stones). It’s only the use of mixing beats with rock n roll that make them similar. Kasabian’s brand of music has been done before – just like any other, but that’s where one can set true spirit and trend apart. Singles released last year from their debut album such as ‘Processed Beats’ and ‘LSF’ (Lost Souls Forever) took the UK on storm last year regardless if they didn’t fit into anthem rock category (Coldplay, Snow Patrol) or the favored punk chic ‘cooler than you’ scene (Libertines, Franz, Razorlite). From a farm, a computer, to RAC, to Barflys, to Glastonbury, and (gasp!) the US… Kasabian are making music for everyone to enjoy. They’re the keepers of “Keeping the trendies complexed” and being free from the “repression of cool”. They’re sincere, look good and make fantastic music, what more could one want?

Whilst Kasabain were passing through town opening for The Music, Cord had a chance (just!) to sit down with Kasabian’s ever so affable Chris Edwards and ask some burning questions about annoying comparisons, touring North America and, naturally, Cord’s Ten Questions

You’ve received lots of great press but how do you feel about people making comparisons with The Happy Mondays and Primal Scream regardless of other current bands blatantly emulating other bands from different eras and being fully esteemed? Does it annoy you?

Chris Edwards (Bass): Um, no cause we know who we are. We know we’re nothing like them bands, do you know what I mean? We might have the swagger of bands like Primal Scream and Oasis and stuff, but I think the closest one we sound like is Primal Scream because we mix, like rock n roll with electronica, do you know what I mean? That’s the closest comparison, but then there’s other tracks that sound nothing like Primal Scream. We don’t really get ‘annoyed’ with it; it’s just that it’s lazy journalism! They read one thing and they’re like “Oh yeah? That’s what they sound like.” and they’ve probably never even listened to us. You know, if you actually sat down and listened to our album from start to finish you wouldn’t say we sound like The Happy Mondays because we don’t. It’s lazy journalism.

Well I got the impression that there’s a lot of ingenuity and that you’re moving on… A lot of bands don’t want to touch electronic stuff, but at the same time it’d be nice to move on.

CE: Exactly, yeah. You’ve got to move forward or everyone’s just going to sound the same. You’ve kind-of got to embrace technology but use it in a good way. You can embrace all the new technology and sometimes it just sounds all crap, do you know what I mean?

It doesn’t have to sound tacky!

CE: That’s what I’m saying. You can use it in a good way and in a limited way, kind-of use it with drums, guitars, bass and stuff… mix it in so it sounds good. There’s a fine line!

Have you been playing many larger venues here (America)?

CE: Um, this is probably one of the largest venues we’ve played so far, but obviously it’s not our tour, it’s The Music’s tour and we just sort-of jumped on board to play some shows. Our album just came out in the States today, but it’s been out in Canada for something like five months though.

How do you feel then about moving on from, say last year playing Barflys in the UK and now you’re set to play three nights at Manchester Apollo when you return home? Do you think you’ll miss the intimacy of the smaller venues?

CE: Yeah, yeah. Playing the big venues like the arenas – it’s more like a show than a gig, if you know what I mean. Cause if you play the venues and it’s our gig, all the people there, they’re not there to see how good you are, they’re there to get into your head space and to enjoy it. Cause you’ve already won them over, they’ve already bought the ticket to come and see ya. I think in the small gigs, the small places it’s more like a dirty gig, like you say – the intimacy is massive, you win a lot of people over, but the big arena’s where you show off. (Smiling) You know what I mean? Not show off, but you know what I’m saying…it’s where you get your chance to spread your wings and just see what you can do.

What has your reception been like here in North America?

CE: North America has been fantastic. We played Montreal which was really good. And we played our own gig in Toronto which was sold out and we were like “Oh!” cause we didn’t even know the album was out in Canada last year! We didn’t know, know what I mean? And then we’re at 500 -600 capacity venue, sold out, and we’re like “who knows us?!”

So Modest…
At sound check Tom Meighan leaps on stage with a wide smile “Hello” he beams. The others are amused and engaged with their interments as if seeing them for the first time. Hearing bands play full barrel in an empty Commodore Ballroom is a fantastic serge of anticipation. Seeing them perform to a fully responsive crowd is a realization that you’re experiencing something special. So no one’s surprised the band play a great set with Meighan thanking “Vancouver” after each song. No, no – Thank you!

Some Kasabian related facts…

Other musical tastes from Leicester – Mark Morrison! You remember – Return of the Mack. Yep…Cornershop! Brimful of Asha.
(If you’ve been on Pluto these past few months and didn’t know already) Kasabian are named after Linda Kasabian, the getaway driver at the Manson Family murders.
# Of times drunks used “do you know who Kasabian are named after?” as pick-up attempt on Cord the night of show – 2. Christ, go away.
Beatlejuice – a favorite film of Chris Edwards.
There’s a fifth one – Ian Mathews, drummer, from Bristol. Very charming too.




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