One of GENRE IS DEAD! Magazine’s most featured bands this year was Enter Shikari. Rory Clewlow, Chris Batten, Rou Reynolds and Rob Rolfe had a terrific 2017: they celebrated the 10 years anniversary of Enter Shikari’s debut album Take To The Skies with an elaborate tour in spring, headlined Slam Dunk Festival and released their fifth studio album The Spark in September just to head out on another massive UK and EU Tour with Astroid Boys and Lower Than Atlantis at the end of the year. The best thing though: with a US tour already announced, it looks like 2018 won’t be much different.
Most importantly, the band has reached a new level of musicianship with The Spark. Going through an incredibly chaotic time personally, songwriter Rou Reynolds has touched on new subjects in his songwriting such as anxiety, loss and what it means to start from scratch after an emotional breakdown. Musically, the band has abandoned the heavier sounds in favor of more harmonic instrumentation and vocals. So to say that Enter Shikari created one of the top albums in 2017 isn’t enough. They started a new era in the history of the band.
It is with great pleasure that we end the year 2017 with a long video interview with two fourth of Enter Shikari: Rob Rolfe and Rou Reynolds. We talked about their tour production, their busy schedule during the tour and the infamous quadrophonic sound, but we also touched on subjects such as speaking up about mental health, keeping the Shikari sound fresh, their top records in 2017…and my scarf. Just watch the interview below:
Transcript Part 1
How has the tour been so far?
Rob: It’s been good. It’s been really good. Yeah, the audience has been always a lot of fun no matter what size they are, how many people there are, there’s always a lot of energy in the room and excitement and intensity. The shows have been going really well. At the beginning of any tour there’s always a few problems, but that went ages ago, so now we are on a good steady run, where the set flows nicely and everyone seems to go home happy at the end of it.
Yeah, I thought Amsterdam was pretty epic, I mean, that was like one of the best shows I’ve been to, I think.
Rou: It was so packed though. I feel like I wouldn’t have enjoyed it if I was in the crowd.
Yeah, I was up on the balcony.
Rou: In safety.
Yes, in safety. But I was scared that I would fall down because there was not enough space to move. I was dancing a lot and I was always holding onto the barrier, because I was worried that I would get too caught up in the dancing and fall down.
Rob: Well, we’re glad that that didn’t happen!
Rou: You would have had a soft landing at least.
So your schedule this week was really crazy. You’ve been from one show to the other, from Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Berlin, Paris, now you’re here in Cologne.
Rob: Well, we were going to have a day off, but then this Berlin live show happened very last minute and that was going to be our day off, so we’ve had a run of 5 shows. It isn’t too bad. We were talking to our lighting guy who said he once did a tour with a Blues guy who did 28 days in a row, because he didn’t like days off, so he did just the whole thing. An entire month. That would be killer. I don’t know how we’d get through that.
Rou: Being in a blues band he’d probably get away with just [shows unmotivated guitar playing].
Rob [laughing]: Yeah, he’s sitting down the whole time, isn’t he?
But his crew is the one suffering, right?
Rob and Rou: Yeah!
So, your production for the tour is absolutely breathtaking.
Rou: Thank you.
I personally really love the circular screen, and of course you brought the quadrophonic sound back. Today it’s the first time in Europe I think?
Rob: Yeah, the room is big enough to hold it tonight, lucky enough, so I think most of the German ones are going to be in quadrophonic. Don’t quote me on that though [laughing].
Haha, we will totally do that!
Is there a band or artist who have inspired you when it comes to big tour productions, stage design, etc.?
Rou: Well, quadrophonic sound was basically influenced by seeing Roger Waters at Coachella about 10 years ago. We saw it and we were like “We’re gonna do that one day!” and we finally did!
Rob: Yeah, it’s amazing. We were standing in the audience watching and most of it was coming from out front. Then all of a sudden there was a saxophone solo that just came out from right next to us and we were like “Whoa, what the hell!”. That was pretty wild. So that was definitely a direct influence on that. As far as lighting production goes, we were lucky enough a while ago to tour with The Prodigy and we saw this moving rig they had going, and the huge wall of lights and everything. They put on an incredible show, so getting to not just play in front of that audience, but be able to watch them every night was really inspirational. That’s what we got to reach for.
Stay tuned for Part 2.