Two years on from the release of 'The Mindsweep', we look at a classic Enter Shikari interview from the eve of the album's release.
2015 IS LOOKING LIKE A BIG YEAR FOR YOU GUYS, HOW ARE YOU BEARING UP?
Says vocalist Rou Reynolds: “I’m full of excited anxiety, and can’t wait to get ‘The Mindsweep’ out. We’ve pushed ourselves again on a number of levels. This time we wanted to employ a variety of techniques and sounds, and concentrate more on texture.
"Obviously melody and rhythm remain huge parts of what we do, but there’s a wider range of instrumentation. Each track is its own separate entity. We didn’t worry about how each song would fit with the others at all, so fortunately they all fell together pretty well!”
IT’S A DIVERSE RECORD TO SAY THE LEAST...
“This really is the heaviest, angriest record we’ve ever produced, but there’s also a sense of delicacy. On a dynamic level, we’re influenced a lot by dance and pop music, classical and neoclassical, and we’ve really grasped onto those elements.
"I often think that Stravinsky was the first punk! There’s a section in his piece ‘The Rite Of Spring’ which I genuinely believe is history’s first breakdown, so it’s a cool inspiration. It’s about a sense of light and shade.
"This time there’s a mix of softer, emotional moments, and times where I’m spitting the most vehement fury at the microphone. At the end of ‘Never Let Go Of The Microscope’ I’m talking about the disgraceful traditions that still permeate our world – it’s heavy.”
WHAT WAS YOUR MISSION STATEMENT THIS TIME AROUND?
“We’ve never fallen into the trap of writing the music that we think people will like, attempting to stay current. Our audience would see right through that. We don’t want to rein ourselves in.
"There are ground rules in the studio though. For example, we ban all talk of playing live. Once you start thinking, ‘Hang on lads, how are we going to do this onstage?’ you immediately begin to limit your creativity.
"But there are certainly points when you’re working on something, come back the next day, and go, ‘Were we really that sleep-deprived?’ Some of the ideas we came up with over our time recording in Lincoln were just ridiculous.”
HOW DID THE LYRICS COME TOGETHER?
“On previous albums, the songs were written towards an overall theme. It was about being the voice of the voiceless, standing up for the oppressed. With this one, I’ve consciously tried to not just speak about British society, but explore a more global scope. The music lends itself to that, because it is so varied. The biggest problems that humanity faces are universal.”
IS THIS ALBUM AN ATTEMPT TO BROADEN YOUR LISTENERS’ HORIZONS?
“People are simmering. There’s so much discontent, and we want a different world. If you gave most ordinary people a chance with this one planet, this spaceship-rock that’s hurtling through space, and said, ‘How would you design a society?’, no one would come up with the current dog-eat-dog, market-based way of living.
"With this album, I want to embolden those same folks, bring them to the boil.”
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT MUSIC CAN STILL DO THAT?
“With bands like Rage Against The Machine and At The Drive-In – as a 15-year-old I had no idea what they were really saying – there was a certain amount of indignation, and it got through to me.
"That’s what I wanted to capture on this album, but with a degree of metaphor and lyricism. Some of it is about the importance of our scientific method.
"If there’s one great thing that we’ve achieved as a species, it’s that – the powerhouse of our progression. It’s building upon the same stuff I was saying on ‘Destabilise’ years ago, that you should question tradition.”
This feature is taken from issue 196 of Rock Sound.
'The Mindsweep' is out now, and Enter Shikari headline this year's Slam Dunk Festival!