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It doesn't seem like it's only been six years since Enter Shikari burst onto the scene, spawning gossip about "New Rave" music and aliens coming to attack planet earth- on both accounts something the world didn't seem ready for. Songs such as "Sorry, you're not a winner", "Mothership" and "Return To Energiser" have been house party favourites for years now, with their fanbase peaking with their first few releases of hardcore/electro carnage. Then in 2009 the release of their second record "Common Dreads" sparked a bit of controversy among the troop- or "lions" as they were now known. It seemed that the band had strong political connotations, which they had decided to implement into their music and this seemed to cause some people to feel as if opinions were being forced upon them. The fact that the band were still producing incredible music didn't seem to satisfy many fans of the "Take To The Skies" era, but this did not make the fabulous four stumble. And damn right there. Now with their third album "A Flash Flood Of Colour" on the horizon for release this month, Shikari have recorded an album which goes deeper and deeper than anything they have produced before. To the haters- they have found their sound, the first album was a triumph but everything since has been produced with the same amount of quality and passion, and the fact being that what Rou spits out in his political passages is correct makes it all the more reasonable to do so. Here is an interview with bassist Chris, discussing the creation of the new album, touring and more:
CALLUM: So you've recently been recording your third full-length album in Thailand, how was that process? Any different from the first or second efforts?

CHRIS: Yeh, it was an incredible experience! We were totally relaxed and had everything we needed at our disposal. State of the art studio, beautiful scenery, amazing weather. We woke up at the studio every day and ate there also, we had nothing to distract us, it made focusing on the album totally relaxing and all the more exciting! I guess the main difference between this album and the last two is that we were not rushed in the slightest. For the first time we gave ourselves plenty of time to write and record the album. When we arrived in Thailand we already had all the songs written so we could really focus on creating the right sounds and tones. It was amazing to have such freedom.

CALLUM: The first single from the album "sssnakepit" was released on the 20th of September, how has the reaction been from the fanbase so far?

CHRIS: It's been better than we ever could have expected! It's a heavy track so to have so many people pick up on it, including radio etc, is amazing. Something we weren't really expecting. All we knew was that we thought it was a great song to introduce the new album, it was hard hitting, a statement of sorts. 

CALLUM: How did the title of your latest and third album “A Flash flood of Colour” come about?

CHRIS: It's one of the lyrics from a song called "Warm Smiles", we thought it really covered the themes of the album and fitted the overall message and feel of the album. 

CALLUM: How would you say your sound has changed for this third record?

CHRIS: Well we've always wanted to progress as a band, it's something we've never been afraid of attempting. We find we make our most interesting music when we push ourselves out of our own boundaries. So really this album is more extreme in every way. It's got some of the heaviest stuff we've ever written, some of the most melodic, layered and beautiful soundscape type stuff, as well as some very outspoken lyrics for people to think about. 

CALLUM: As a live band you've got a great reputation for being one of the best out there and you've also had a few years performing.  What has been your either your favourite or standout live performance?

CHRIS: Well we always have great shows at reading festival. IT was the festival we all went to growing up, so to be able to play the main stage, and the tent will always stay high in our memories as one of our greatest achievements. Seeing such a huge crowd feels incredible.  

CALLUM: You've probably been asked twenty five million times before but who influenced you in the beginning?

CHRIS: Actually in the early days we took a lot of influence from our local scene. It was a very competitive and thriving scene. We live close to London so we were lucky enough to have all kinds of music right on our doorstep. It was all of this that started moulding our sound. From then on we just always listened to music that inspired us and music that we found exciting.

CALLUM: What is your favourite venue/festival to play?

CHRIS: We've played so many that it's really hard to say. If I had to say I'd say Reading festival, just cos it has such nostalgia for us. 

CALLUM: What are your favourite songs to play live?

CHRIS: I think like most bands we enjoy playing the newer songs live. They are more exciting for us as the are fresher. It's always interesting seeing the new songs take shape and the effect they have on the audience. We can't wait to unleash the songs from the new album onto the live stage. 

CALLUM: Who has been your favourite band to play shows with over the years?

CHRIS: The Prodigy was a dream come true! We have toured with so many great bands that we're happy to call our friends. Twin Atlantic, King blues, Your Demise, The Qemists, to name a few.

CALLUM: If you could revive one dead musical artist from the dead, who would it be?

CHRIS: I'd love to see Refused reform and see them play. Also, I’m gutted I never saw At the drive in live.

The latest single "Arguing With Thermometers" received it's debut radio airing on Thursday 5th Jan from Zane Lowe who sits in for Chris Moyles this week on Radio 1. The new album from Enter Shikari “A Flash Flood of Colour” is released on January 16th.

Interview by Callum Barnes
Live photos by Melanie Smith - promo shot provided by [PIAS]

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