AS Reading Festival kicks off its three day extravaganza today, we speak to Reading regulars Enter Shikari about their gig on the main stage.
Here Chris Batten from the Herts band, which started their early days playing shows at High Wycombe’s White Horse, speak to Victoria Birch about celebrating ten years of success, and their new album.
Last year marked ten years of Enter Shikari – did you do anything as a band to celebrate that occasion?
Yeh, we actually organised a tour focusing on all the smaller towns and cities around the UK. When we first started touring we didn’t have the contacts or the fan base to play the bigger cities so we always played smaller clubs in surrounding areas. We thought it would be nice to do a back to basics tour for all the towns that don’t get the more established bands coming through often. It was really good fun.
Do you think back to playing the small gigs, including at The White Horse in High Wycombe, when starting out and realise how far you’ve come? How does that feel?
Yeh of course! We still play small shows fairly regularly. We’re not as popular in other places around the world, so playing smaller shows keeps us grounded (hopefully). They are different types of shows, they are a lot more intimate and u don’t have all the lighting and production in your corner to make the show good. It’s good to do these shows as it really helps us with working on our interaction with the crowd. We’ve done so many shows now that we often look back and it’s crazy to think where our journey as a band has taken us. We’re very grateful.
Why do you think you have gained so much success in that time?
It’s hard to say really. I guess we’ve always had a good attitude towards getting out there and playing as many shows as we can. We just always worked hard on our live show and at the really put the effort in gigging wise. We’ve also always tried to sound different and fresh. We’ve never seen the point in not progressing musically, we want to evolve and push our own boundaries so I guess that played a bit part too.
You seem to be regulars at Reading Festival now - do you make sure it is scheduled in every year?
Haha yeh we seem to have become the house band almost. It’s not something we plan on doing every year, but we have so much fun doing it, and the organisers like having us on the bill so we’re always thrilled to play. It’s always one of the highlights of the year for sure.
What do you love most about playing Reading Festival?
The crowd has just always been so kind to us. We always feel so welcomed any time we play. That and Reading festival was the first festival we ever went to as teenagers, so it hold a special place for us.
Is there anything special planned for this year at the Reading show?
We’re just starting to think properly about it now. We’ll be bringing in a few extra lighting toys and things like that, but that’s about all I can tell you right now.
What essential item do you take with you when you’re out on tour?
Laptop, headphones. lucky blanket.
You’re currently recording a new album. How would you describe it?
It’s always hard to sum it up when you’ve been so involved in every process of writing through to the recording. One thing we always try to do is push our boundaries musically. So the album kind of sounds more extreme in every way. We’ve always had a big love for melody so there’s a lot of big choruses as well as some of the heaviest and different stuff we’ve ever written. We really focused a lot on production for this album also.
When will the new album be released?
We’re hoping for a release early 2015. Nothing solid yet though i’m afraid.