Enter Shikari are Rou (Vocals / Electronics), Rob (Drums), Rory (Guitar) and Chris (Bass / Vocals). They're a band that have been snapped up by current trends with their catchy electro-hardcore, even though they're all only just 20 years old. We caught up with Rou, Rory and Chris on tour in Birmingham.
Rory: I'd probably be making glasses in an opticians.
Rou: I dunno, the only jobs I've done are a paper round, and cleaning stuff. (laughs)
Rou: Oh yeah, telesales. They're probably the three worst jobs there are, so I have no idea. Probably, well, still at uni, hopefully. That's what I'd be doing.
Chris: Yeah, I think I would've either been at Woolworths. I was at Woolworths for quite a while. I made coffee at Safeways. It was the best...they told me I was the best coffee maker they'd ever seen. So I expect I'd be going somewhere along those lines. If not, yeah, probably uni, to be honest.
What do your parents think about you being in the band?
Chris: They've all been really really supportive actually. Really really good. I mean, years ago they would have driven us around to gigs, get us all our equipment in the cars, like two cars, and we'd go up to, like, Norwich, or somewhere up to Scunthorpe to play for, like, two people or something like that. They were always really supportive, they never even said, when we had a really bad show, that they can't be bothered with it, sort of thing. What about you guys?
Rory: Yeah, same really. My parents have just been always behind me. I mean, they've never really...I dunno, driven up to any gigs or anything, but they've...they're pretty supportive I guess.
Is it hard for you to be away from your friends and families when you're on tour?
Rory: Family...is not such a problem. I mean, I just give my mum a call every few days. I dunno, it's harder with friends and girlfriends and stuff like that. You never really get to see them that often.
Chris: The toughest bit about it is, like, a lot of people like friends and stuff don't really understand like how serious you have to take everything. Like, if there's a night out that everyone really wants to go to, and it's like, "Shit, I'm sorry guys, I can't go, I've got to go up here, I've got to play a gig". Everyone's just like, "Fuck that, you're always playing gigs". They're the hardest things, I think.
Rou: Yeah, but I mean, we're all really good friends anyway, so it's just like being on tour with friends anyway, so yeah, it's really good.
More and more people are following a band because of their image and hype, rather than for the music. How do you feel about that?
Rou: I guess it sucks really. But I personally would only want people to listen to our music for the music. I don't think we follow a particular image or trend.
Chris: I think it's a common like misconception with us to think we have this image, and then a lot of people come to shows, and they're like, "Oh hang on a minute, I expected them to have long hair and tight jeans", it's like, we don't really.
Rou: We get lumped in with the whole scene screamo sort of stuff. But not that we've got anything against that scene, you know, kids can listen to whatever they want to listen to, dress how they wanna dress. But, it's not really us. We don't want to be a part of any scene. Never strived to really, at all.
You're a band that's been adopted by the scene. Do you think you'll be finding yourselves looking for a new scene when this one dies?
Rory: We just pretty much do what we wanna do, and we don't aim for any particular audience. I guess it's not something we think about really.
Chris: I think as well, we've always been quite aware that like the scene's gonna change. So kind of like you said, we've been adopted into the scene. We've always been aware that the scene's changing, so we've...for example, on the album, we've written a couple of...a lot more acoustic-y...like very different styles of what we normally come out with. So it's a bit free like that. A bit of proof that there is more to our tune. Just as well, for when the scene does change, we wanna have a couple of different routes so we can go off on...whatever takes us really. Whatever takes our fancy.
What do you dislike the most about the music industry?
Rou: We're told so many different things like "Oh, the music industry is full of shit and horrible people and people that just wanna make money out of you" and stuff, but the limited amount of people we have met and sort of dealt with in the industry have been really nice and supportive.
Chris: I dunno. I think people are putting a lot of money into a band, they're gonna wanna see themselves make that money back. I don't really see why it's acceptable to make some areas but not in others, and stuff like that. If someone puts a lot of money behind us, I'd want them to make their money back, because they've been good to us.
Rou: Probably...it's not really in the music industry, but, when kids start complaining about stuff and they've got absolutely no idea. Like on message boards and stuff, kids are ranting on about how bands shouldn't be getting paid this and they shouldn't be doing that. They just come across as really...unaware. And they're all going on about their ethics. They've got no idea how much goes into it, and how much more they don't know, I guess.
Chris: There is a lot of costs that need to be covered, like accommodation costs, support costs, food, petrol, van hire, driver hire. I think a lot of people think we just drive around in cars and play a venue and then go home, all we need is our petrol money. It does work out a little bit harder than that, unfortunately.
Rou: Sad as it is, the music industry is a business, so, there's gonna be money issues and stuff.
Chris: It would be nice if we could just turn round and be able to go everywhere and just play without any worries or anything like that. We'd do it if we could.
Do you find it easy to write songs or does that depend on personal events at that time?
Rou: Not really. I dunno. We seem to write in batches, I think. I dunno.
Chris: Ideas crop up a few months down the line.
Rou: Like, three sort of wicked songs will come along at once, and then we'll be off on tour or doing something for a month, and obviously you're not gonna get much time to write. But, I don't think we write about particular individual event. I quite like to have people take a song and get their own meaning from it, not have the lyrics too obvious. So it's more personal to the listener I guess.
Chris: If you've written it about your own experiences and stuff then it's like, "Yeah, it's personal to you, but we want it to be personal to other people as well". So other people can relate to it as well.
What's the most interesting experience you've had as a band so far?
Rory: On tour, when we were in Scotland, we were driving past Loch Ness. It was probably last year. Like, February, I think? Might have been. It was in the middle of winter. And we thought it'd be a good idea to go for a swim in Loch Ness. Roughton chickened out, but me and Chris and Rob and another guy we were touring with...instead of paddling in, we jumped off the end of the pier, and I swear, we almost had like, heart attacks. It was like, your heart almost stops and your body just goes into a spasm, doing like, doggy paddle. That was quite an interesting experience.
Rou: Their bollocks were like peanuts. (laughs)
Rory: We did it in the nude as well, so... (laughs)
What are your plans for 2007?
Rory: Well, basically, we've got the album coming out in...February? March? Early March, around that time. And then, I guess, just touring really.
Chris: There'll be a couple of singles as well.
Rory: Oh yeah, there'll be a couple of singles. Maybe hoping to see if we can get over to Texas, there's a big festival going on there sometime in the summer.
Chris: We've been doing the UK for like, three years now. Not that it's not amazing and great fun. We'd really like to get over and see what it's like playing gigs over in like, France, Germany, America. We're really up for that. So hopefully we can get abroad.
Who are your heroes?
Chris: Roughton's my hero. (laughs)
Rou: Chris is my hero as well. (laughs)
Chris: I've always been a massive Brian May fan. Just because he made a good guitar. And he makes it look so easy. (laughs) We all grew up, I guess, on The Beatles. I mean, John Lennon and Paul McCartney are obvious heroes for us definitely.
Rou: I don't really have any heroes, to be honest. I don't really strive to be like anyone else. Obviously when you've got people like The Beatles...but I dunno. No one really springs to mind. Who's that guy, the rock star that's also a pilot?
Rory: I dunno, is that John Travolta?
Chris: John Travolta's got his own private jet and runway though.
Rou: That's pretty good though. (laughs)
Chris: Yeah, he's our new hero. John Travolta. Him and...erm...what's his name? Nature boy.
Rory: Nature boy. (laughs) Ray Mears.
Chris: Ray Mears.
Rory: Ray Mears is definitely a massive influence.
Which question do you wish someone would ask you, and how would you answer it?
(They all sit in silence and look thoughtful for about 30 seconds)
Rory: I don't know. (laughs)
(Rory leans over and mumbles something to Rou)
Rou: Go for it! (laughs)
Rory: Erm...I guess..."Are you well hung?". And "Yes". (laughs) Absolutely. That might just be more personal to me. (laughs) I can't speak for the whole band.