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On a wet and windy Friday in the glorious city of Manchester, I set out to interview British Rock sensations the Kaiser Chiefs. After being extremely hyped up for this really unique opportunity that had been presented to me, a slight bit of disappointment struck as I was only in the end able to interview the keyboardist. However, the topics discussed were entertaining and it was great to gain an insight into a famous band’s lifestyle and how they felt about their music and fans. After making my way through the backstage doors of Manchester Academy, I sat down with master of the keys Peanut to share some thoughts.
You’ve played in some huge arenas before, such as the MEN. Do you prefer larger venues to smaller ones?
Well, it’s hard to say, it’s a different experience. Large Arenas are fun because of course you’ve got lots of people and a huge stage and big lights. You enjoy that kind of unique experience, but different people come to smaller gigs. They’re always closer so you feel the energy more. I love how every front row is different.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s tour?
The fact that we go round the world and get to play our songs to everyone from all sorts of places. We played a big part in last year festivals in the summer. Soon we’re going to be travelling to the States and Dubai. Never played Dubai before and Australia is coming up as well. World tours are a really special opportunity for bands that manage to sell a lot of records and it feels great when you get that experience.
I was intrigued by your 4th album “The Future Is Medieval” which you created through fans picking the tracks that they’d like to hear. Why did you choose to give it that theme?
Well it was a new idea that Ricky came up with. We were generally frustrated with how the CD process usually works; it’s all the bands choice usually. We were just tempted to try something different. Writing 20 songs and letting the fans choose 10 was something no one else has really done before. It’s like finding something fun to do at work.
You’ve got a new album coming out in March, “Start the Revolution Without Me”, what’s the story behind this album and do you feel it’s going to be big?
It’s the US version of “The Future Is Medieval”. We played about with track listing and we had some taken out and added a new track called “On the Run” which we’re playing live at the moment. Essentially though it’s “The Future Is Medieval” for the US audience.
Do you think that anything will ever live up to the success of “Employment”?
You’ve got to hope for it! In terms of sales and songs yes but I don’t think you could have the same experience again, usually a band only breaks once. You can still go on big tours and sell records, but we were just huge at that time and we can still enjoy our time whilst we change our style and outlook. We enjoyed the excitement of breaking and everyone finding out who we were; I don’t think you could equal that again.
Who are your main inspirations and have these changed over time?
… inspirations come through from when you were younger. I loved the Beach Boys and early surf sort of stuff. Even nursery rhymes give me some inspiration because I heard them so much. Also people like Guns N Roses, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, The Kinks, Pink Floyd. All the traditional British stuff. From them doing big stadium shows and being successful live, I got to know how I wanted our gigs to sound and look.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
I don’t know, last night? *laughter* There’s too many to choose from. Of course there’s experiences that really stand out like Glastonbury where the crowd were unbelievable and Live 8 and Hyde Park and huge places like that will never happen again probably. We have so many good gigs though, we are always determined that each one is good. As long as the crowd are up for it, so are we.