Kasabian Exclusive Fan Interview

Thanks to Kasabian’s Paradise for this!

2009_mai_news_interview

Exclusive Interview with Tom and Serge: “These four years have been crazy, it’s surely why we made a crazy album.

At the Paris promo of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, we met Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno at their hotel. An air of soft jazz in the background, relaxed atmosphere.

Kasabian’s Paradise – Like any traditional rock band, you have a specific role on stage. But how are you working in the studio?

Tom – As beasts …
Serge – Yeah, very hard … it does not stop recording.

Does everyone have a role, as on stage?

T. – In fact, we are not lazy in the studio, we do not déconne, it is really our job. It is very critical of ourselves, and I am very professional, Serge sorry we are. I can ask if the song is worth at least fifty times. I want to be sure that it suits him. we want to be the best possible.
S. – We work as partners. You see, Tom fate yet still party as if he had gone to war but returned enriched.

There seems to be a real chemistry between you on stage, including Jay (Mehler, guitarist), who worked with you since 2006. but its role in the group is not really defined … is he a member of Kasabian or not?

S. – No. He is only additional musician. He played on two songs on West Ryder.

So he just plays with you on tour and from his side …

S. – Well, he makes his own stuff … Reverend. * (Laughs).

You spent four years on the road, how does this experience inspire this album?

S. – I cannot remember anything in particular … there are always changes in your life, unless you’re really in, so it had to influence in some way, but I cannot say exactly what it has. I think it is always a part of me that keeps in mind the songs we played in concert. Maybe it’s also counted. These four years have been crazy, it’s surely why we made a crazy album.

Tom, do you also write or give ideas?

T. – Yes I do. I have some songs but they will be useful when I have nearly forty years for an album of love songs, so they are not very relevant for now … (laughs)
S. – (Laughter) … album of love songs …

He spent three years between the release of Empire, your previous album, and West Ryder. You first produced yourself, then asked the producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, to work on it. What are the differences between the first version of the album and one that goes out?

S. – Nothing important musically. I think Dan is more direct, it’s quicker to the essentials. I think that’s the main difference. He somehow cleared the album …
T. – It is more energetic, the song is more powerful, there is no unnecessary white.
S. – He is really provocative and sure of himself,  and gets straight to the point. He is really great. It was great to work with him to go to San Francisco in his studio. It was first recorded in Leicester and then a few in San Francisco. Where he has really helped,  is with the Tom’s vocals.  His performance is remarkable. I think its calm and how to work a lot. It is very good.
T. – I have not really pushed to the end … I think we really worked very calm and asked. That is surely what I need in the future.
S. – I think his way of being in general, especially his calm, he keeps his cool throughout, he has no highs and lows, he remains stable (yes? No?), I think that it helps. Sometimes someone says “oh, it’s fantastic! “But he never mentioned. So one wonders whether it is not that great because he never says anything. And it helps somehow …
T. – Yes, it helped me to keep on course, but with tact.

About the new album, one of the most original compositions certainly Ladies and Gentlemen. The music resembles that of a romantic ballad, but the lyrics seem to have a hidden meaning. Is this the case and, if so, what is it?

S. – In fact, it’s about the last man left the bar and reflects on life without doing anything, can be drunk and enjoying a moment out of time … it’s a bit of a …
T. – … A kind of tirade is not it?
S. – Yes, in fact the idea is to not take life too seriously, even if last night was a nightmare, it was still great. That is the meaning.

In general, you quote groups of 60 and 70 years as influences on this album. But on Happiness, you can also hear gospel choirs. Is gospel a major influence for you?

S. – Yes, (look Tom) especially for you!
T. – Especially for me yes, because I grew up listening to black American music and all … but this song, Happiness, for me, looks like Lou Reed in the way Serge sings, at once serious, dark and many in the faith, such as A Perfect Day …
S. – It’s just a song from church, I can see playing in a church.
T. – Yes, it is our Perfect Day is the same size.
S. – I understand, it’s just the beauty of voice mixed instrument is filled with emotions.

I read that you had written very young, around 20 years?

S. – Yes, very young, something like 20 years, was very different back then. Illumination, a night of drunkenness: I just took my guitar and it came out of nowhere. I thought “this is pretty good actually, I made several versions that were not good, then we found this kind of gospel … yes, like a prayer … well, no, not prayer but imagine the song played in a church or elsewhere … Mississippi at Tulsa, south of the Georgia …
T. – It’s like a big hug, as someone who makes you a hug, that supports you. As a mother and her child (Serge laughs a little), conscientious, a mother and her baby, it’s very warm, poignant.

The Fire single released on June 1st and will be accompanied by a B side still unknown. Can you elaborate on that?

S. – There will be a B side called Road Kill Café. There will also be a version of Runaway, an old song by Del Shannon, a beautiful song, recorded at the Union Chapel. This is quite different from what we do, but there is a real freshness in this version. Road Kill Café, we just record, looks like Cream,  could appear on the White Album (Editor’s note: the Beatles, if necessary to clarify;)).
T. – Yeah, it’s been a Cream, and Serge is really sexy top. It could have been included on the album, it fits well in the middle of other songs.

Your b sides are inventive and original. How are you working on? Are you trying to do something different?

S. – Yes, always. This thing is really the opportunity to experiment, try different things, and I think we did enough on the b sides. I think this is the opportunity to be even more crazy, insane.

What does the cover of the album and that has made it?

S. – It’s beautiful
T. – It’s iconic.
S. – Wiz made it. He already made the clips Club Foot and Empire. And we dress: one is dressed as if we were going to fancy dress ball at the West Ryder Asylum, so we are preparing to go to this evening.

Serge, you said in an interview about the release of West Ryder: “Now it is time to destroy the system from within”, and you also often refer to the hippie culture. Does the group has a particular interest in the against-culture and what is your opinion on that?

S. – I think for most, it is just part of the against-culture because it is the only type of group that sells discs that have the courage to change …
T. – … Which is part …
S. – … And to be different. The third album is where it begins to take seriously, to write music for radio and it becomes …
T. – U2 and Coldplay, is on these groups there and the thing is that was never a commercial group, there is a bit underground for that, it does not look the Pretty Things or the Rolling Stones, I see us more like the Who, I do not think that the Who have never written for radio. But in any case, it is this mixture there, which means … I do not know what that means, it was this thing with people, may be that the way people carry on with our songs. I think that is because we invaded, that is what we like, on the student and they are left exhausted after the concert. I do not know many groups that do that nowadays, not with the same urgency that we have, it is in our music too. I think that’s why it works.
S. – I think that is what we are, where we come from.
T. – It is very underground.
S. – All the bands we love, they are all 60 years, all the best groups, large groups have had it in them too, they also gave the urge to go wild.
T. – It is not an underground group, I mean, how did our first album … the album was underground …
S. – It has been approached in this way.
T. – Yes, it has been approached in this way … as I said, maybe it has paid …
S. – We took into account …
T. – Yeah, we did, it is completely unlike the others. We’re underground, it’s true, we always approach it. We can not help it if people love it because it is challenging. With this album, we wanted to make a modern record of the twenty-first century, taking into account these influences, you are coming from: the world of music from dub to rock and roll to hip hop and drum and bass. I think it’s just a hard modern but with references and iconic of England today, and the music around us is in a sort of nursery, it’s not an album for the nursery, it’s just like that and I think we hit in the head.

At the beginning of your career, you were already a bunch of fans called The Movement. They have even helped to promote the group. Is this Movement is still meaningful to you today?

S. – The name has been given to us, as we have just resumed, but it was just a fan, a fan who loved us enough to help us spread the message, and it was great, it’s really super d ‘ have ca …
T. – Wow, the Movement, was …
S. – It was really exciting, it behaved like a little punk …
T. – Yeah, it was like “there is an evening in one place tonight, the best bands will play” …
S. – And they relayed the message was great, it is always …

It’s quite rare to see a group that considers all its fans …

S. – It is not great, it is not really available on the net, it does not speak much, but what we try to do it our way is to make the concert and to go to the most cities, large and small, and it continues to try to make music that inspires and that is different is what we do is how we transmit our message. This is because we are not that kind of person that tries to do something exciting to move forward.

You’ve already made some “warm up” (ie: pre-concert tour) before the English tour, you will make one in Paris on 25 May and this will be the only warm up in Europe. Is this your choice or your manager?

Tom laugh.
S. – It seems to me that our records have been received in France. All interviews that we have done have been positive and we had very good reviews …
T. – Not like in Germany where it was quite different …
S. – … So for us it is a good place to start. Paris has always succeeded.

Tom, who plays for you the perfect showman of the previous generation, and why?

T. – Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, was terrible, I like Kurt Cobain … also, I love Liam Gallagher because he was an icon for us on stage, he is fantastic in this area. These three Showmen are those with which I grew up and they probably had an influence on me … I do not know, I grew up listening to funk, hip hop … So yes, I am the synthesis of these three Showmen.

You will begin the tour of West English Ryder next month, until mid-July. Where will you run after? Will you directly in Europe or the United States?

S. – I think we should go to Japan and Australia after, then America and finally Europe in October … But I think everything can change. But for now, it is a big European tour in autumn, from October, which is planned. We are really looking forward to touring with this album, I think it will be a great experience, with three albums to play, it will be madness.
T. – We worked hard on this record, we went on, it was the disc that has always wanted to do. Since the first album, it has steadily improved and it is our version of the best album we could do. I think it is iconic and it’s a classic (it is a super … good album … and the beauty in itself too) and I think it will especially panic people, this sort of attitude lad-rock (?), things are set up now, it is a serious group. This is the celebrity, and that’s all I wanted to add. And tell your site that every fan should be ready for that.

* The Reverend is obviously a nickname to Jay, a private joke. In an interview with the Japanese edition of the Times, Serge explained: “Jay is a top man, he’s the American reverend, he’s insane. He’s a certified reverend, a religious man. It’s nice having a portable reverend on tour ’cause he can take confession and bless you. “

As a bonus here is a dedication of Tom and Serge for the readers of Kasabian’s Paradise. Click on images to enlarge:

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2 Responses to “Kasabian Exclusive Fan Interview”

  1. Thanks Jennifer, this answers a lot of questions I had! It’s not the best translation (no offense to whoever did it), but it’s fine. Road Kill Cafe sounds interesting, I can’t wait to hear it. I agree about Happiness, it’s such a pure sounding song- I love the gospel element.

  2. It was translated by google translator. If any genuine speakers of the French language are able to furnish us with a pure translation, I’d love to hear from you… 🙂

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