Thursday, January 25, 2007

Interviews:: Simon from Kaiser Chiefs

It must be interview day here on herohill. On opposite ends of the spectrum too - first Lou, now Simon from the Kaiser Chiefs.

HH:: How’s it going today?
S:: New York … is fucking freezing.

HH:: Well what a great way to keep warm. Spending hours talking to media!
S:: It’s not so bad. Kind of mix the moments of greatness with the pain of 6 hours. But it easily could be worse.

HH:: Very true. So let’s get down to it. You guys are back with a new record – Yours truly, Angry Mob – which is out in about a month. What was the focus of the band this time around, after the success of the first record?
S:: Well, our ambitions are very high. I mean we spent the last two years playing as much as possible. We had stadium shows in England, plus touring around in support of the Foo Fighters and U2. It’s been amazing, and we just want to keep it going. By the end of last year, we had been to America, all over England, but we want to keep getting better. We want to be playing stadium shows in England, America, Australia.

HH:: Interesting you mention those big bands, because you just got added to the Coachella line-up, so you are playing with bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Crowded House.. then you throw in U2 and Foo Fighters. Do you ever step back and just say, “holy shit. We are playing with some of the biggest bands in the world after one album?”
S:: It’s amazing, but we were also very jealous. I mean, you play these huge venues in England, and we only have the one record. I mean, we get along really well, but you look at U2. They have 20 years of material. Foo Fighters have like 10. They can play some of the hits, pick and choose. We play the record, and some b-sides. We want to leap forward so we can be doing that too. I mean, I’ve heard from a lot of people that were are amazing live, so we want to keep that going. That’s what it’s all about really.

HH:: I’ve heard the single – Ruby – and if it’s any indication, you guys are developing a more mature sound. It’s still got the big chorus, but seems less reliant on a single hook and more focused on structure. Was this a conscious direction of the band to make sure the record had a different sound or just a natural evolution as song writers?
S:: That’s a great way of putting it. Natural evolution. When we started thinking about the new album, we went back to this spot in Leeds we started at like 10 years ago. We wanted to keep some of the parts people liked, like the big choruses, but we wanted to make it different. The stuff that came easy, we wanted to change. So it was still the style we liked and so did our fans, but still different enough to keep it interesting.
After doing all the gigs, and being a couple of years older. And musically we’ve all improved, so it really feels natural what we did, so that’s great. We don’t want to be a back that backs on what they’ve done. We wanted to mature, develop, but not be boring. We didn’t want to lose the energy and kept lots of interesting stuff going on in there.

HH:: You’ve obviously had a lot of support in the UK and NME, but unlike a lot of UK acts, you seem to have escaped the inevitable hype to quick backlash that happens so often in North America. Overall, everyone is totally stoked for your new album. Is there any pressure for you trying to grab and maintain a North American fan base?
S:: It’s very important, not just for the money which is obvious. We want to get as many people as possible to like us. That’s the goal of a good band. People should like you. Like your songs. I mean, normal guys, easy to get along with, and have some good songs that carry us through. It wasn’t as big in England. We grew slowly, so it wasn’t hype over there. It was when we first came to the US that we were hyped. So we just tried to slog - tried to play as many places. It was that simple. If it’s a good record, and we aren’t hyped so much that people hate us, that hype disappears and only the music is left.

HH:: OK. Just one last question for you here. When you come over to North America, you are playing some smaller venues – like the Commodore here in Vancouver. Do you guys prefer the huge crowds, or the more intimate ones?
S:: Both are good, but the best are the festivals. For normal shows, staium or clubs, the people that are there already bought the ticket, so they at least like you enough. At a festival it’s really a chance to win people over, so we love it. But for this tour, with new material it’s great to play at more intimate places. Make everyone feel special and get to know the new songs. As they get to know it, and hopefully the album sells, we can go back out and play bigger shows before doing it all again. Well then we will add all the lasers and fires of course.

Posted at 7:27 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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