Here among the masses as part of the already underway Soundwave Festival, Enter Shikari this week head up a couple of Sidewaves before the festival resumes in Melbourne on Friday. You can catch them tonight at Billboard The Venue in Melbourne and The Metro in Sydney tomorrow night. They are currently supporting their latest release ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour‘ which is out now. Deborah Konopnicki caught up with Rou from the band prior to their arrival in the country. Expand this post to check it out.
Hey Rou! How are you going?
Not too bad thanks.
I have to gush for a second, “A Flash Flood Of Colour” is one of my favorite releases in a little while. It took me a few spins to get into the intensity but I’m fully obsessed right about now. How are you feeling about it a month on from release?
Oh thank you so much. Yeah, it’s seemed to have create this massive buzz so much bigger that our first or second album. The amount of hype has been insane. This is definitely the album that we’ve worked hardest for so we’re so proud of it. We can wait to get out there and tour for it. We love playing it live.
The buzz online was unlike anything I’ve seen. Your Facebook page was imploding with the amount of praise that was going on there every second. It was amazing to see the support and enthusiasm. Was that something that you might have anticipated considering how your star continues to rise?
I don’t know. Generally we don’t think too much about reactions and how things will go. We’re not a massively ambitious band really. We just take each day as it comes. We just create whatever will make us happy and hope that it makes others happy too. We just knew that we put a lot of work into this one and we knew that we had a lot more time to spend on this album so we were just kind of itching to get it out. It took a really long time because we recorded it in August last year, so to we had to hold onto it for quite a while before we released it.
It was really nice – being a fan of the band – to see the mainstream recognition that you received as well in the form of the record charting at number four in the UK which is such an amazing thing for an independent band. It’s obviously not something that you guys would have gone out there to aim for but surly it’ a nice thing to have happen?
Yeah, obviously when we’re writing the record it’s not in our minds in any capacity and even when we were building up to releasing it, it wasn’t something that we were thinking about. It was only once we’d released it and was in the mid week charts at number one, which was quite surreal and quite ridiculous for a band like us to be anywhere near the charts in any level! A guitar driven/alternative/whatever you want to label it band… it’s quite strange to be up there in the charts. As you said we’re independent as well so there’s that. I’m sure that it’s pretty much the same over there as well, you don’t really see many records with a social message up there.
What does the title “A Flash Flood Of Colour” mean to you? Was there something that you wanted to signify with that?
Yeah, it was meant to be a summary of the album as a whole really. Musically and lyrics, “A Flash Flood Of Colour” is meant to be an injection of energy and empowerment and all the idea we can offer with the lyrics and the music.
The artwork for the record was so striking. Opening up the booklet and seeing such beautiful photos was a nice touch, so much so that it’s been my desktop background since I saw it. The neon triangle as well on the front was something that has caught everyone’s attention. Is that something that you’d like to give some meaning behind and use as a symbol driving forward?
Yeah! Again we were trying to think of something quite simple that would work as a symbol for the album. A lot of the themes on the album lend themselves for really looking deeply at the way that we structure our lives in society and the way that we still build these hierarchical pyramid structures of society. What we’re trying to do as a whole album is trying to get people to start stepping back from society and get them thinking about “Is this really the best that we can do? Is this really the best thing of sustaining all the best parts of human nature”? Once you really look into it an analyze it, it really isn’t sustainable and it really isn’t sustaining the best parts of human nature.
The themes aren’t really anything new for you guys and certainly not for Enter Shikari fans as it started to get some momentum on “Common Dreads” but this album just seems to have amplified beyond anything that you’ve done before. Would you say that this is your attempt to get people to understand the urgency of these issues?
Yeah, I think so. Always with us, there’s an inner battle between making music that’s fun. That’s always what we’ve tried to do and I think it always will be. I think with the next album if we were to be writing it in a kind of post-apocalyptic bunker or something, it’ll still be fun! Why else wouldn’t you be doing this? This is what we do with our lives. I think that at the same time you can’t cram too much into the lyrics because it can make the song sound completely soulless and mind-numbing. We’re just trying to do our little bit by re-addressing everything that we’re passionate about.
Well I have to say that the tracks on this album are the complete opposite of “soulless and mind-numbing”, especially “Gandhi mate, Gandhi”. The first time that I heard that track it just completely… I’m actually not too sure what it did to me but the music was just so heavy and the lyrics were so to the point and abrupt. Would you say that this is the most brutal song – not only musically – but also message-wise that you’ve created to date?
Yeah definitely! We’ve never – like you said – been that blunt before. I’m sure that will get up a lot of peoples noses for people who like that sort of direct and frank obnoxious nature. I think that now it’s at the point where we really don’t care!
I think that the track is amazing. It’s one that I’m really looking forward to hopefully seeing live. Do you have a favorite track from the record?
It changes every day really. We did a tiny, tiny show the other day, just kind of a warm-up show. We were playing a lot of stuff of the new album for the first time and I really enjoyed playing “Meltdown”. It was obviously always going to be a live favorite, but the raw energy of playing that live was just great. I’m loving playing that one at the moment.
We’re pretty lucky that we don’t have to wait too long to hear the new songs here in Australia as Soundwave is now days away which is horribly exciting. How are you guys feeling about coming back to Australia?
We can’t wait! We’ll be like every other British band with our pasty white skin! The line-up is incredible! There’s a lot of our friends on it like letlive, Your Demise, The Dillinger Escape Plan and we can’t wait to see them again. The thing with Australia is that we haven’t been over there that much… maybe three times? I can’t remember right now but the response has always been totally awesome. It’s really humbling. We’re looking forward to being able to play all of the new stuff now.
I think that thing that I’m looking most forward to is your sideshow in Melbourne with letlive. Both bands have such a strong and passionate message in their music that’s so empowering, and I can only image how people are going to be reacting to it in a confined space!
In typical Enter Shikari fashion we’ve kind of left all of the planning to the last minute. We’ve been getting emails about it every day so we’re trying to get stuff sorted for something pretty special! It should be good. letlive and Your Demise is the exact same lineup as a tour that we did in Europe last year so it worked every well and we’re really looking forward to it.
I just have one more question for you today. The best thing about your music is how powerful and how blunt and how honest it is. It really resonates with the listener and gets people thinking about things outside of the music, which I think is such an amazing and important thing in the current climate. How have you found that situation? The fact that while people love the music, there is another aspect that they are enjoying and appreciating at the same time.
We always just started the band as a hobby and it got out of hand. It was very much music for music’s sake and art for art’s sake. That was all it was for us, a bit of an outlet. Very quickly as we built up this fan base and we really did feel a sense of responsibly so as you said we started seeing things out there that we really felt strongly about. For us, that’s what real hardcore is about, that’s what real punk is. If you’re running around on stage like a headless chicken every night then it has to be about something that you’re passionate about otherwise it takes away the whole point of hardcore. If people can perhaps take away something more than just enjoying the music and they can come away feeling empowered – like we get so many people coming up to us and thanking us about doing the things that we do. They say that we give them a voice or whatever other cliché there is, so it’s always amazing. It always makes us feel great.
ENTER SHIKARI – ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour‘ CD/DVD instores now.
[Buy Online Here] w/ Free Postage.
Catch Enter Shikari playing Soundwave Festival nationally.
2nd – Showgrounds, Melbourne [AA] SOLD OUT
3rd – Bonython Park, Adelaide [AA]
5th – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth [AA]
—> Full details at www.soundwavefestival.com
Also playing Sidewaves with LETLIVE. and YOUR DEMISE
28th – Billboard The Venue, Melbourne [18+]
29th – Metro Theatre, Sydney [Lic/AA]