Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Interview with Kasabian (Chris Edwards) - Noize Makes Enemies

After a whirlwind year for one of Britain’s most effortlessly cool rock acts and an incredible live tour, Noize caught up with Kasabian bassist, Chris Edwards to find out what 2009 has been like for the four-piece and what is next for the band who’ve taken the country by storm.

In terms of going from strength to strength, there doesn’t seem to be a band that can do it much better than Kasabian. Yet, the band have appeared quietly underrated and heaped with other mainstream acts in a way that subtly undermined just quite how good they are at what they do and quite how unique they are. But these latter factors have been entirely forced to the musical forefront with their current tour off the back of the band’s third studio album, leaving us in no disillusion just how ready for this Kasabian are.

The latest record ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Album’ propelled Kasabian to a level of success that was previously unthinkable as it sat smugly at number 1 in the Top 40 for a number of weeks. The album seemed to appeal to a larger demographic than its predecessors as it fought for a much bigger sound, whilst still maintaining all the characteristic swagger that has always made the four-piece so intoxicating.

But in spite of such great achievements, talking with bassist Chris, his natural humility is something that pours over his dulcet northern tones as he describes their hectic tour schedule so far in a way that effortlessly plays it down. “It’s going really well. We’re right in the middle, which seems a little weird as we’ve already done the London ones and they normally come at the end as a sort of a climax and a pinnacle.

“But since about May we’ve been non-stop. When we started off, we were doing little shows and then we supported Oasis in the Summer. The thing is with this tour, we’ve had this whole concept of the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum so we’ve took that concept and put it on stage for these arena tours and really gone to town with ideas.”

With the new concept on board, it seems Kasabian have kicked their live shows up a notch to truly demonstrate their progression from small band who are seen to have a few similarities to Oasis, to a band that can cut it in a whole new league of their own. “There’s a gig, and then there’s a show. Anyone can buy a laser or loads of screens and put lots of concept on them but we’ve actually really thought about our concept. We’ve got props, we’ve got giant screens and we’ve painted all the floors. It all links to the album cover.”

The thing that is most clear about Kasabian and what, along with their musical prowess, seems to be the secret to their unmistakable longevity is there ability to reinvent. They're a band who know how to move forward and evolve, without alienating the fans who have loved them since the beginning. This is reiterated not only by their success with the third album, but according to Chris, by the industry’s reaction. “When our first album came out, Q Magazine voted us as one of the top 50 most overrated band of all time, so winning Q Best Album of the Year 2009 from them was an award in itself, you know what I mean!

But editors change, it’s not the magazine that hated us . You know, you release a new album, they get to like you a bit more and then this album has just been really widely accepted by everyone to be honest. Our families, friends, fans. It’s got to a much wider spectrum of people as well, a lot more people seem to like us.”

With this year seeming like a hurricane of success for the band, who haven’t seemed to have been able to stop and admire the hysteria they’ve stirred up among fans all over the country, things don’t look set to slow down as we see in the New Year. “It’s been quite a busy year for us and next year’s just as busy. We’ll be out the country for the first few months touring in Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Then we’ll come back and build up to the festivals.”

In some ways, the grip that Kasabian have taken on 2009 has come as a pleasant surprise to many people. But you can’t help but feel that the band’s convinced strut and quiet confidence from the beginning eluded to the knowledge that even if we hadn’t realised, they were always going to become huge. And deservedly so.

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