Interview with Enter Shikari about “The Spark”!

At the Mini-Rock-Festival on 05.08.2017 we met Rou Reynolds (vocals) and Rob Rolfe (Drummer) composed by Enter Shikari and chatted about her musical changes on the new album “The Spark”, which will be released on September 22. We’re here today Mini Rock Festival with Rob and Rou by Enter Shikari. Thanks for taking the time for us!

Rob & Rou: Gladly! This week you have yours new single “Live Outside” released, which sounds quite different from your previous releases. How nervous were you about the reactions?

Rob: Very! Well, personally, I was a lot more nervous than with our previous releases, simply because I like this kind of music a lot better than any other music we’ve released so far. I mean, I do not get me wrong, I also like our other music, but I was so excited about it that I felt like the other people’s reaction would affect me more. There was such a long build up to this release that it somehow felt like a cauldron with more and more pressure building up and now it’s finally out and you can relax. The music video for “Live Outside” is a bit reminiscent of the Netflix series Black Mirror or the 1984 novel by George Orwell. Was this intentional?

Rou: Well, director Bob (editor’s note: Bob Gallagher) came up with this idea – it’s his baby’s way. We were very impressed with his previous works – he made some really cool videos! And … we just felt it. It fitted in well with the meaning of the song, and also the aesthetics, this sterile, Kubrick-like look (Editor’s note: Stanley Kubricks, director of “Clockwork Orange”) – we just knew that’s it! For the promotion to “Live Outside” you have deleted all your Instagram content. Was there a deeper message or did you just want to confuse your fans?

Rou: That was a clear cut! Now a new era begins for us and more than ever we feel like a new band. Well, no new band, but …

Rob: … a new chapter!

Rou: Yes! It feels like a big leap forward than our other sections and albums so far.

Rob: We wanted to make a fresh start. Besides, it’s always good to raise the expectation a bit before releasing a new single. That worked really well too! Are the old photos gone forever?

Rob: No

Rou: (at the same time) Maybe.

Both laugh. In September, your new album “The Spark” will be released. So far, you have always dealt with very political and ecological topics in your songs – is that what we can expect from the new songs?

Rou: Yes, yes, pretty much! There is a greater connection between the psychological and the sociological side. Overall, the lyrics are more revealing and open. But there are also typical themes that we address. So “The Spark” becomes a very personal album?

Rou : Yes, definitely the most personal yet. It was the first time David Kosten had produced an Enter Shikari album with Rou. How did that happen?

Rob: We’ve done two really fantastic albums with Dan Weller. Working with him worked well and we really like him very much as a human, but we felt we should take a step aside and change everything a bit. We knew that the sound of this album would be more advanced than our previous jumps. That changed our way of thinking and how to approach things, so during the recording process we thought we should try someone new. We looked at different producers before we started the recording process. With David, we felt directly connected and could achieve the best balance between something creative and artistic. On the one hand, we were able to experiment but at the same time work professionally and adhere to our deadline. We just knew we ended up getting a finished album with him and it worked really well – David is a great guy and we’re very happy to have him chosen to Some fans fear that Enter Shikari will become a mainstream radio band with their new sound. Your opinion?

Rou: We try! Very! (laughs) But I do not think that will be possible. I honestly do not know what that means anymore. We have been played on the radio so often. Even Juggernauts from the Common Dreads album has been played by major radio stations. If on the one hand the underground is on the one hand and the mainstream on the other, then we have always been somewhere on the border and I think we will always stay there. I am very interested in melodies and structure and pop music and I am inspired by the past as well as the present and the musical power of the future. I think we will always try to make more people listen to our music. I do not know, but if you create some kind of art, you want people to see you or, in our case, listen.

Rob: I do not think so either. that there is a single band annoyed by more people listening to their music.

Rou: There used to be this punk band in the late 70’s / early 80’s who have denied cover pages of the NME magazine and such. This is a version of what punk can look like, but honestly … I can not remember her name. Do you understand what I mean? I think that probably proves my point. I want people to know who we are. That’s no secret: I want to connect with as many people as possible.

Rob: I think what concerns many people’s concerns about mainstreaming, they fear that we lose our integrity and our “authenticity”. All this “selling oneself” – I do not think that for us as a band it would be possible to write music that we do not really believe in or that we could lose the integrity of our music. No matter how many times we play on the radio! But can fans expect harder songs than “live outside” on the new album?

Rou: Yes.

Rob: It’s definitely a very versatile album, just like all our albums. You just have to wait and find out! (laughs)

Rou: (laughs) There are softer things, there is more calm, there is louder, there is faster – it is an Enter Shikari album! Where we are with fans: For “The Spark” you can order different pre-order packages in your shop. One thing – the vinyl in mint green – is already sold out and there are more pre-orders every day. How happy are you to sign all the stuff?

They both laugh.

Rob: We have days when we enter the world Office must and build a kind of … chain.

Rou: Pretty much like in the “Live Outside” video! (laughs)

Rob: (laughs) Yeah, just like in the video! We sign, pass it on, sign it, pass it on! And that can really go on like that for hours! One pile at a time! When we get into a good flow, we start a bit of music and somehow get into a certain rhythm. But as soon as there is a weak point in the chain, it jams and we get a problem! (laughs) But otherwise we usually have a well-functioning assembly line system and it works. We’ve already turned it into a fun game.

Rou: When you go to sleep on such days, you’re dreaming about the assembly line work and wake up in a hurry! (laughs)

Rob: Sometimes we also add small details – for example, every 200 albums paint a smile on one or two copies or write “Thank you for purc
hasing the album have! “on it. (laughs) Looking back on your career, what was your most proud moment so far?

Rob: Most Proud … (considering) Being a headliner at the Slam Dunk Festival in the UK this year was pretty big! That was a very proud moment for me, it felt really good. (think again) The first time we were allowed to play on the main stage at the Reading Festival. (keep thinking)

Rou: There were those big, defining moments …

Rob: Career Defining Moments.

Rou: Yes, that’s right. But then there are other moments as well, such as talking to a person who tells you how much your music helped them through a bad time in their lives or something. How our music has given it power. That’s a really nice moment when you realize that you had an impact on someone’s life. This winter, you’re back on tour in the UK and Europe. The locations are much bigger this time. Was it just small club shows?

Rob: We just played a little club show in front of about 300+ people. That was even our last gig up to date! Therefore probably not. But the best thing about the bigger rooms is that we can put more in and do more with it. This gives us the financial resources to create a much larger production than just the band and their music. We can thereby address all the senses and create a connection … a thing – I just can not think of the right word for it. I think we also enjoy the big stages because there is more room to run around. So … not that I’m going to run around a lot – I’m behind my drumkit all the time – but I know how frustrated the other three get when they’re confined on a small stage and can not really release their energy because of the Space is missing. But there are always reasons to play smaller shows sometimes to see the whites in the eye of the people again. (laughs) You will also bring some special sound equipment on the tour that you have used before. Could you tell us more about that?

Rou: We’re not quite sure yet, but a few cities in Europe will get surround sound, which is better than the last time. However, we do not yet know exactly which halls are capable of using it. But we hope it will be a few!

Rob: For those who have not been to our Arena Show this past year, surround sound means two Columns are front of the stage quite normal, from which the sound comes. But we also put two pillars in the back of the hall, so that the sound comes from virtually all sides and buzzes around your entire head. It’s like a surround sound stereo for the TV, with which you suddenly hear shots behind you and hiss bullets past your head. I mean, this is just one example from the movie “The Private James Ryan” but depending on which movie you are watching …! (laughs) That’s what I meant by adding more to the show and the whole package in the larger halls. The whole … whatever-the-word-that’s not me-think! … experience !! I think that’s it. The whole experience! (laughs) Rou, many people are also big fans of your cat Freya. May we look forward to her being on tour as a background dancer?

Rou: (laughs) Background dancer … I did not teach her how to dance. I am also not sure how this would work. But of course she could come and give paws or just trudge around on stage.

Rob: She could clean herself! … cleaning? Is that even a word? Wow, I’m really bad with words today.

Rou: Clean yourself.

Rob: Clean up? Or something like that. (laughs) Next question! (laughs)

Rou: But Freya gets herself paid for Meet & Greets, so … She’s not really punk.

Rob: I bet people would pay to meet her! (laughs)

Rou: (laughs) Yeah! Your ego no longer needs to be fed. She’s a real diva! (laughs) Okay, that’s it from our side – is there anything else you’d like to get rid of?

Rob: Thanks for all your support!

Rou: Yes!

Rob: We’re very happy to release the album and hope to see you all on tour later this year! It’s going to be a big year for us – we’re very excited. Thanks!

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