With this interview started an autumn marathon of interviews and concerts. I also met great people from Play It Again Sam, letting me near all the amazing bands, pushing me to get to know their history and discography. So, there you have it, first of the series, starring Enter Shikari.
It’s been a really hard day, wasn’t it? You squeezed a lot of interviews in one day.
Rou: Yes, it’s been a long day, but we’ve met really good people asking good questions.
Let’s kick it off with a question “how would you describe The Spark in three words”?
Rou: Honest, diverse, aqua (laughter), very aqua.
This album is in a different style from you previous work.
Rou: It feels like a new era. It’s very fresh.
What differentiates your new album from your previous work? Tell me about your inspirations.
Rou: It is very different, a lot has happened in a few years leading up to this album, there’s a lot to process. I think we wanted to make things more lucid. Looking on our previous work, one Shikari song sounds like 5 different songs. There’s just so much going on. We wanted to make this one a more focused album. As well as making it a lot more honest and very open, not being afraid of showing human vulnerability and all sides of human experiences. It’s very different for us, we also worked with new producer, David Kosten.
What about the music videos? Live Outside and Rabble Rouser show a specific pattern, giving viewers strong Westworlds vibe.
Rory: You know, it wasn’t necessarily intentional, to make a specific music video. We’ve just sent the track out there, to different directors, they came back with their ideas. We just liked Bob Gallagher, the director and his idea for Live outside video, and how it turned out, so we went to him again for Rabble Rouser. He’s really nice to work with. In a way, it fits with the retro futuristicky kind of vibe. We are not really premeditated. One thing happens, then something else happens, then something else happens and before you know it, things get into one, really. But I am not sure, how the rest of the videos is going to be.
A song Take my country back caught my eye instantly. It has a very controversial title. Without lyrical background, I was not sure, which way will it go. It seems though, it’s your response to everything, that has happened in the world lately.
Rou: Yes, exactly that. I think there’s a worrying vibe in the mindset and philosophy of nationalism and the far-right position of just kind of cowarding back and shutting up your own country in this little cage, without foreigners. It’s really sort of fearful, cowardly position. It doesn’t help us progress as a society, as a species. It’s getting a lot of traction, Europe, UK, America, it’s something anyone could have predicted like 10 years ago, if you said nationalism will become very dangerous again, people wouldn’t believe it. But here we are, in the epicenter or it and it’s really frustrating. This song’s all about that, Brexit and Trump, the two biggest influences.
Yes, I can relate, Poland is going back to Medieval Times.
Rou: Yes, I’ve heard.
I’ve put my hands on your album just yesterday, but the song Airfield got me instantly. What about you? Is there any song you like the most?
Rou: Not really, because we’ve just made it. It’s just all so fresh and I love it all.
So, there is no favorite child?
Rou: At the moment, I’m particularly liking Undercover Agents.
Rory: Yeah! Me too actually.
Rou: But it will change every day.
Rory: Also Rabble Rouser, but it literally just came out.
And which one will be the hardest to play live?
Rou: Oh, few of them.
Rory: I don’t know, I mean, technically guitar line is boring. (Laughter) There’s nothing like really complicated. But Rob made this mental drum part in Shinrin-yoku. The beat lasts like 8 verses, but it’s mental, it’s just wrong, he made it purely on logic. When he played it, I was like “What is wrong with you?”. (Laughter) But it just sounds like Rob. I can’t wait to see him play. I imagine he would have to grow another arm or something.
Let’s talk about the cover for The Spark. I don’t even know how to describe it, really.
Rou: It’s influenced by minimalism, retro-futurism and kind of brutalism as well, the architecture of it. What you see on the cover, the instrument, that’s the keyboard I’m going to be playing on tour, it’s being 3D printed, so I can’t wait to play it. We just call it The Machine, kind of ominous. You know how music can often be sort of guiding light, it can help people through various things and that’s why there’s a radar there. Also, the dots creating a triangle, which is our logo. It has a lot of layers. And aqua, of course aqua! Freshness!
Like water and a new life.
Thank you for your time, I am really looking forward to seeing you again in Warsaw.
Rou: We can’t wait to be back as well. We love it here. Poland has always been amazing for us.
Rory: There’s something about Polish and Russian fans, they just go the extra mile to show you, you really are appreciated.