Kasabian – Sun Biz Sessions [Interview/Acoustic Performances]


IN 1992, two young friends from Leicester were listening to their favourite music on a cheap home stereo.

Jumping around the bedroom, they pretended to be rock ’n’ roll stars in front of an audience of plastic toys.

By the end of this summer those two lads, KASABIAN’s TOM MEIGHAN and SERGE PIZZORNO, will have performed for more than a million fans on tour with OASIS — the heroes of their teenage years.


They will have played Wembley, given BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN a hard act to follow on the main stage at Glastonbury and headlined their own homecoming gig at Leicester City’s Walkers Stadium.

And tomorrow their brilliant third album, West Ryder Lunatic Pauper Asylum, will top the charts — cementing Kasabian’s status as the best British band of their generation.

Tom said: “What shall I say to Bruce Springsteen when I walk offstage at Glastonbury as he comes on?

“Born in the UK, Bruce. I was born in the UK. That’s what I’m going to say to him. It feels like the beanstalk has been growing for us for a while and now this is our time.”

But there is no pantomime about this band.

Kasabian are consummate professionals, rehearsing and recording with a work ethic learned from their parents and from advice offered by their most famous fan, NOEL GALLAGHER.


Serge and Tom are one of the finest double acts British music has seen — the natural successors to Noel and younger brother LIAM.

Tom, the frontman, has all the stage presence of MICK JAGGER while Serge, guitarist and chief songwriter, has the soul of KEITH RICHARDS.

They are complete opposites. Serge is softly spoken, thoughtful and almost shy.

Tom behaves like a crazed dog chasing a balloon on wet lino.

Talking about Kasabian’s music appearing on the latest Sony Bravia advert, football coverage and even Top Gear, Tom barked: “TV reaches out to a bigger audience, it exposes you to more people and listeners so I’m all for that.

“I’m not up for doing a fizzy drinks advert like what’s her name on a bike, Duffy? She looks like a right gimp.”

Serge added: “Our music just seems to work with action. It’s like a soundtrack. Top Gear use it a lot, which I buzz off.

“I remember JEREMY CLARKSON and a scene where they are flying across the desert and it was just amazing.”

Serge is just beginning to get recognition for his songwriting — and the lucrative hip-hop market has noticed his flair. KANYE WEST has expressed an interest in collaborating with them and JAY-Z has been trying to sign him to a publishing deal now that Kasabian’s contract is up for renewal at EMI.

And self-confessed film fanatic Serge has designs on writing movie scores when he retires from the rock rampage.

He said: “I’ll only leave this band when I’m dead. But I definitely would like to sit down and orchestrate a movie. Anything from an arthouse film, a really small budget film, to a huge James Bond theme.

“I don’t think there’s been a good James Bond theme for a long while, and I wouldn’t mind a crack at that. We’re a British band, so let us do it.”

Tom has an interest in films too — with a big collection of memorabilia.

He owns Elliott’s BMX from ET and keeps it in his living room in his flat along with an original ET model.

And he has his heart set on buying more movie souvenirs.

He said: “I fancy the Batmobile, or the Back To The Future DeLorean. I’d love to buy the Batmobile Driving around in that? Unbelievable.”

Tom compares his bandmates and the team behind them to characters from Star Wars.

Tom is Darth Vader, Serge is Han Solo. Bass player CHRIS EDWARDS is R2-D2, cool American guitarist JAY MEHLER is Lando Calrissian and drummer IAN MATTHEWS is Chewbacca.

See the Kasabian compared with their Star Wars lookalike



Serge laughed: “I’ll take Han Solo. Tom and I have known each other since we were 12, so you get a bond that’s strong and we’ve got our own code.”

The first single from the new album was a song called Vlad The Impaler. At the time Serge was writing it, HEATH LEDGER died.

The actor had just finished playing The Joker in hit Batman movie The Dark Knight.

Serge was so shocked by the star’s untimely passing that he was moved to include a lyric in the song: “The Joker will see you on the other side.”

Shock death … Heath Ledger

Shock death ... Heath Ledger

He explained: “I was writing Vlad and heath’s death just struck a chord.

“There are so many people out there who’ve got to a point when they need a bit of help to get to sleep.

“It could have been any number of people that I know. It was really sad. He was 28, just had this huge film where he stole the show, had his career ahead and life ahead of him and I just felt, I’ll see you on the other side, mate. He seemed a sweet guy.”

The opening track on the new album is called Underdog, about a pub-fighter Serge imagined scrapping in London’s East End.

Tom explained: “Brits love an underdog. Critics sneered at us in the beginning but we did it all by ourselves.

“We toured so hard and worked our ar*es off. We got the following we deserved because of hard work. It’s not like Britain’s Got Talent. It’s a horrible show. SIMON COWELL’s all right, though — he just needs to get a better haircut!”

I met the boys in New York when they were mastering the album after a messy night out with movie star JASON STATHAM. It is an exceptional effort.

Serge now has his career-defining collection of songs — all at the age of 28.

A week before the album launched, a pal of Serge’s turned up at a gig and told him track two was his favourite.

It turned out the CD had been leaked and thousands of copies were turning up in schools and offices around the country, robbing Kasabian of cash.

The modern economics of the music industry don’t favour talented musicians.

But it hasn’t stopped Pizzorno penning an album that would grace any era in rock ’n’ roll…



Interview with Gordon Smart




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