In October 2014, between performances at LA venue The Wiltern and on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, members of British rock band Kasabian sat down with KX FM 104.7 Go Deep host Bruce Rave in their hotel bar for an interview about their latest album, live shows & vinyl records.
Formed in 1997 in Leicester, Kasabian has put out five studio albums, most recently the June 2014-released 48:13, on which all the song title’s are interestingly lowercased. Bruce began his chat with lead singer Tom Meighan and “creative force/co-frontman/producer” Serge Pizzorno by asking about Serge’s first official foray into production on the album. On this role, Serge says, “It kind of naturally happened, you know, I’ve always done [production] as it went along anyway…to pretty much have a vision of how it should sound by the end…” and Tom comments that “It’s pretty much how it always has been, really. With Serge, once he starts something, he really gets into it and wants to finish it so it was just a natural thing…” Over the years, Serge has been building up his productive prowess, learning all the technical hardware and software involved in attaining the sound he envisions and Tom feels the band’s at a place now where that production is crucial.
Having won several awards for Best Live Band, Kasabian are known for their energetic live performances, and Serge tells Bruce that they’ve been getting a lot of love lately when they play the new album’s lead single, “eez-eh” at shows. “It’s really a lot of fun to play. We played it in Mexico and it was absolutely mad, one of the biggest tunes of the night… for a song to be out for less than two months, the reception it got is quite incredible…it seems to have hit a note with the people, which is great”. Coming from a heavier rock style, the overall character of the new album has been criticized by longtime fans as being “too electronic”, but Tom and Serge argue that these elements have always been a part of Kasabian’s sound: “It’s always been there, I suppose there’s a bit more concentration on the electronic side of things. But then you think of ‘bumblebee’ or ‘stevie’, they’re just rock tunes—they’re heavy, and there are electronic elements, but it sounds like Kasabian to me”.
Bruce pointed out that “stevie“, track 3 on 48:13, has “almost a classical beginning” and Tom says, “It’s motivating music, it makes you want to get up and fight, and it’s passion…It’s a bit like ‘Baba O’Riley‘”.
Regarding the album’s second single, “bumblebee“, Serge comments, “It’s a mosh pit song. We wanted to imagine if The Beastie Boys and Black Sabbath came together and they messed around in the studio. It’s got that hip-hop backbeat but then its got that big sort of metal drop. And, again, that’s so incredible to play live because it just rips through you”.
During the interview, Serge and Tom reveal their first vinyl record purchases: George Harrison’s I Got My Eyes Set On You and Michael Jackson’s Bad, respectively. “I remember having records was so much more fun back in the day,” Serge reflects, “A record was such a beautiful thing”. Recalling a conversation with Jack White about the sound of vinyl records versus mp3 files, he continues, “It’s like when you watch a movie in a theatre. To watch it properly you have to go to the cinema…You can watch it at home, it’s fine, but to have the proper experience you go to the cinema. To listen to music, the proper experience, and everyone knows this, is to buy it on vinyl, which I think is a great way of looking at it”.
Finally, Bruce asked what advice the guys give to young British bands about getting their start in the States, to which Tom replies, “If I’m being honest, don’t bother coming unless you’re on the radio”.
For the full audio from the interview, listen to the podcast below. Check out kxfmradio.org/podcasts for other exclusive interviews, live in-studio performances & more!