Has it been a quiet year for Enter Shikari? Has. It. Fuck.
With a year ending UK tour starting tonight (dates here) now seems like a good time to look back at 2012 with Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds. Scroll down to read about the year that was for the band and pick up the new issue of Rock Sound for more words of wisdom from the vocalist. Now, about that face fella...
On New Year's Eve 2011 what were your resolutions? Did you have any hopes for the new record 'A Flash Flood Of Colour' at that point?
"I think it was the normal stuff, stop biting my nail (failed), stop eating shite food (failed) and get regular exercise (failed). In terms of the album, like with anything in this band, we didn't get too distracted by any aspirations or ambitions. I think as our beginnings were shaped through such a slow-building process without any definitive aims or goals but to simply play music, we continue with that process with that same quiet desire to this day. Just to have another album recorded that we were all extra proud of was exciting us. I think anytime time a conversation about how it would be received came up, it would usually dissolve into jokes and 'it'd be funny if...' scenarios."
When did you first get wind that a high chart debut might have be possible? How did you feel?
"It was pretty exhilarating regardless of our normal disinterested stance on the charts. To have this entity consistently pedalling pop music all year round and then to see our name come up was just bewildering to the point of hilarity!"
You said in previous interviews that you enjoyed ribbing your tour manage a lot that week with diva-ish demands, was that a way of defusing the tension of the situation or just laughing at how absurdly high the album was placed in the chart at that point?
"I think a bit a both. Once you get an album in the top five of the midweek chart you obviously want to stay there for the official charts at the end of the week. So there was a quiet longing for the ridiculousness to persevere. I think most happenings in our band, disastrous or favourable, always end up as things to mock and joke about. Not that we want to demean any of our success, it's just purely a tried and tested way of staying sane within this surreal 'rockstar' world we find ourselves in! Without sounding too 'David Brent-ish', if it all ends tomorrow, we had a good laugh you know?"
Has that first week chart position opened any doors that were closed to the band before Jan 2012? If not, why do you think?
"I don't think it did. And I would hope not to be honest. Anyone that wasn't receptive to our music before shouldn't now fake it or feel pressured to include us just because we rolled with the big boys for a short while! There's definitely still a strong and immediate disregard to any music containing aggression or too big a dose of unfamiliarity. The mainstream wants tried and tested melodies over tried and tested chord sequences. Since we find that creative method aggravatingly tedious, I doubt we're ever going to open too many new doors, as more often than not they are securely and stubbornly locked to bands like us. I reckon our chart position was a clear representation of the amount of people now interested enough in underground music to buy it. But other than that it served no purpose. If only they still made Top Of The Pops though, I would have loved smashing that place up."
What was the most gratifying thing about the album's success and what has been most frustrating?
"The sheer amount of people that obviously cared enough about our music to buy it, without having it shoved down their throats is extremely gratifying. Some of the haggard, out of touch, conceited broadsheet reviews of the album were frustratingly pompous, but again, that just turned into more ammo for humour rather than turning into a grudge."
How has the year developed since that moment, it seems like everything you've done has been golden, is that true?
"It's been chugging along nicely yeah! To be honest once more, not much has changed. We're still lucky enough to be able to take our music all around the world and play to enthusiastic people. If I was an arsehole American pop singer who thought that 1) there is a God and 2) God was blessing me with such great opportunity whilst relentlessly impoverishing and killing Africans, then I would say that 'I feel blessed'. Luckily I'm not such an utter twat, so I'm not saying that. We've simply worked hard and been very lucky."
Looking back on the year now, what will your resolutions be this new years?
"Stop biting nails. Stop eating shite food. And get regular exercise."