They are one of the biggest rock band in the world, no matter what they say or no matter what they do, success is always there. Enter Shikari are becoming the real true her of a band like Muse and they’re not afraid to become bigger and bigger. So when we can have a chat with Rob and Chris, we do know it’ll be a very good time.
How do you guys going?
Rob Rolfe (drums): Very good actually! We were hoping to make this interview in the little corner of grass next to the venue because the weather is lovely. But instead we have this big windows but it’s cool, though.
You guys are lucky, it’s not always like that in Paris.
Chris Batten (bass): Yeah we know what it’s like, we’re from England you know. (laughs)
How’s this tour going? It’s kind of a middle cycle tour.
Rob: Today it’s the first night of this leg of the tour but, actually this tour started in December. We’re doing short legs and we’re taking a few weeks off. We don’t want that to be too rusher.
Chris: Last summer we took almost three months to build up this new setup. Our show is progressing every day actually. We’re using technology so it might takes a long time to set up the show. And then we’re working on the lights and the sound so yeah, it’s a long process.
Are you trying to use new and better technologies at every new tours you’re planning?
Rob: Yeah, we often put a lot into production. Which make it difficult to keep it better and better. So, instead of improving this all the time, we’re trying different angles. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to afford bigger bigger production.
But I think our stage presence has change since our beginnings. 10 years ago, when we were a younger band, we were a lot more childish on the stage. I remember one time we had this little trampoline on stage. Now we are, maybe, a little bit more mature. So our stage presence is slightly more mature I guess. It’s all about progressing ourselves, and growing and moving on forward. And it goes with the music we’re doing right now which very different from the music we did back then. And we are very different people.
Are you writing music for the same reasons, the same will that you were writing at your beginnings?
Rob: Yes I think. When we started, we were just kids. Music was a fun thing that we were doing after school or on week ends. Now, we can’t ignore the fact that it is what we do for living. There is a business side to it now. We have to make money to pay our wages and feed our children. But it’s the most fun job we can imagine doing. We are very creative people and we have a lot fun doing it. We still have a very strong passion for music and constantly listen to new, or old, music. We have a lot of enjoyment of writing new music, and playing for an audience. And having this connection with the audience all around the world, exchanging this energy between the band and the audience has been the same since we started. Even if it was just our parents back then. (laughs)
Is it always easy to consider yourselves as a professional band?
Chris: We have to keep it fresh. The music industry is changing, the music tastes are changing. But as long as we keep writing music that we found exciting we’ll not stop.
Your music has changed a lot through years. We’re pretty sure you’re already working on the next chapter of your career so what can we expect from you guys?
Chris: Actually we are only at the very beginning of this… cycle, this procedure. It’s a lot of excitement, we are focusing on new ideas currently. Gathering all things together. We are writing some things on the road but I think that once the tour will be over, we will gather all of our ideas together and try to make a picture of the direction we want to go.
On the setlist, “Common Dreads” is taking huge place. Is that a way to celebrate the ten years’s anniversary of the record?
Rob: Yeah absolutely. For “Take To The Skies” (2007) we did a full Ten Years Anniversary Tour but now we’re still in the album cycle for “The Spark” (2017) so we wanted to have still a strong focus on that but we wanted to celebrate our second record too. We wanted to play more songs from it and play songs we haven’t played for many years now. It has been a lot of fun.
For a sophomore album, “Common Dreads” is a weird record. What did you had in mind after the success of “Take To The Skies”?
Chris: It was ten years ago. (laughs) I think it was the first that we had a real writing period as a band. Before that we were playing music after school in our basement and we released some songs, then a first album, we did a tour but it wasn’t something calculated. It was the first for “Common Dreads” that we all sit in a room to write songs because, in a way, we had to do it.
It was also the first record where you talked about political and society. Was that something in your mind from the beginning of the band or you started to put some of these subjects during “Common Dreads”‘s recording?
Rob: When we have recorded “Take To The Skies”, it was songs that was written for so long so we hit up the studio and put some lyrics without really thinking about it. It was really after our first record that we took time to think about what we wanted to say in our sons. We had more confidence on what we were thinking and we wanted to say those things.
Chris: “Take To The Skies” opened a lot of doors for us. We had the possibility to play on biggest stages and when you realize that the people are listening to our lyrics and it became more important to us to tell things we were more passionate about.
People aren’t considering your band, or bands like While She Sleeps for example, as political bands, but more like social bands. Is that something you prefer?
Rob: Yeah definitely, we prefer socially conscious music as opposed to political. I don’t hate the word “political”, everything is political. Some much of our lives is political. Our lives are governed by politics so it’s kind of difficult to not write music about it.
Are you still assuming everything you said through your music, even years after?
Chris: We don’t really look back to our lyrics but I don’t think there is things that I don’t assume anymore. At least I don’t have obvious examples for the moment. Obviously musically, we have changed a lot. And there is some things in our songs that we wouldn’t do that way now. But it’s not really about the lyrics.
Rob: It’s a snapshot of who we were at that times when we were recording and released this or that album. It’ll always be something of that time. I don’t think we disagree with anything that we said. I know that Rou has an issue with some of his lyrics but it’s more about the wording of them, not necessarily the content or what he was saying. He has developed a lot as lyricist from where we started. But you can’t go back and rewrite what you have written ten years ago.
To finish, as our website is called “RockUrLife”, what rocks your life guys?
Rob: It will sound so dumb but my wife and my dog rock my life. And looking after my garden. I love it!
Chris: As much as I love performing on every tour we do, especially this one I enjoyed a lot, home is what rocks my life.