Kasabian Interview

Mel Bampton | 25 August 2011

Renowned for large tunes and even larger living, the lads from Kasabian have quite the reputation. They count two of the world’s most famous Noels as their friends – Gallagher and Fielding – and look strangely like a perfect fusion of the two. But with the release of their latest album, Velociraptor, the guys remind us that they’re more than just the embodiment of old-school, rock star living. They are, in fact, a group of very talented and hard-working dudes who couldn’t take a holiday – even if they wanted to.

“I was supposed to have some time off,” laughs the band’s chief songwriter and purveyor of good times, Sergio Pizzorno, on the subject of Kasabian’s fourth record. “I just started writing and kinda couldn’t stop.” Serge says you’ve just got you’ve just got to embrace creativity when it strikes, otherwise you might miss the ride. “No one knows the secret of how to do it. When you’ve got ideas and songs you just put ‘em down as quick as you can. Within a few months we had an album and we just thought, ‘sweet, let’s just go and make it and get back on the road’.”

Since Kasabian released their self-titled debut back in 2004, which included the massive tipping-point single ‘Club Foot’, they’ve lived as if hedonism were a religion. Unlike Oasis, who went so completely sideways after ‘Wonderwall’ that their performances became fabulous trainwrecks, Kasabian have remained consummate professionals. Even at last year’s Big Day Out when temperatures soared to 40 degrees, the five translucent Englishmen went out in the full afternoon glare and preformed one of the festival’s most memorable shows.

As far as Velociraptor goes, there are still those recognisably huge Kasabian moments. But the way the record opens is so unexpected, you simply have no idea what to expect. “Yeah that was the idea. I think it’s such a great way to start because you’re instantly thrown and your mind has to sit back in the chair and just wait for what’s to come next,” says Serge. “Like a great movie where the first scene is immediately unexpected. From that point on, your framework of expectation is put aside. You just have to wait.”

After making the last album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (a concept album about madness), they wanted to create something simpler. There is a wisdom and richness to Velocipraptor that wouldn’t have been there 10 years ago. “I think that’s definitely the case. I had no worries in my mind when I sat down to write this album,” says Serge. “I didn’t feel any boundaries, I could be in a place where I simply thought, ‘if you like this album then that’s great. But if not well… I’m not ambitious to sell 500 million records or to sell ring tones, I’m ambitious to not be shit. I’m ambitious that every night we play, people go away having had one of the best nights they’ve had ever. I’m a Kasabian fan you know. I’ve got to like what we do, I’ve got to be proud.’ Amen.

Velociraptor is out September, 2011.

And just coz we haven’t seen his retro mullet in a while, here’s Noel Fielding and an epic mo’ starring in ‘Vlad The Impaler’…

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