With the success of Enter Shikari’s third full-length A Flash Flood Of Colour, released earlier this year, Britain’s finest genre-melting rockers have taken the entire world by storm this year. Vocalist Rou Reynolds took a few minutes to chat with AP about Thailand, the success and messages behind the record and anti-politics as they were wrapping up their mainland European tour before they head over to the US with letlive. and At The Skylines.
Interview: Matthew Colwell
You guys recorded A Flash Flood Of Colour all the way over in Bang Saray, Thailand last year. What was behind the choice to go all the way across the world? I know you worked with Dan Weller again who did guitar work on the last record, so why the location?We basically got offered a really good deal because the studio is really new and they’re trying to get a lot more western bands over there. They offered us a deal that we couldn’t refuse. We got pictures of the place and we just felt like we had the best of luck. We went over and spent about a month over there. It was incredible. It was an awesome studio with awesome people running [it]—it was a very relaxed experience.
Studio time can be long and arduous, but did you guys get out at all? How was hanging out in Thailand?
We were actually literally right in the middle of a jungle. It was like a two-hour drive to Bangkok. The nearest village was a little fishing village that was completely untouched by tourism and western influence—it was incredible. It was a really picturesque, quaint village, so that was amazing to see. Apart from that, though, we didn’t really adventure out from the studio. Normally we’re quite adventurous and inquisitive, but we’re so excited by the tunes and the studio, so we pretty much just spent 20 hours a day in the studio recording.
Now that A Flash Flood Of Colour has been out for a few months, how are the songs and reception feeling to you? Are they going over the way you’d hope live?
It’s really great. We just started playing them live—we did Soundwave [in Australia] and that was the first big test. The reception for the new stuff was far more energetic than the other stuff. I think if kids are still going the most crazy for the tracks off the first record, it can be a little disheartening, but all of the new tracks were really going off [amazingly], so that was great to see. It’s such a morale boost playing fresh material when you’ve been touring the world for several years playing the same old stuff over and over again. It was exciting. We were just itching to get back out again.
The reception definitely seems to be positive and your audience is expanding rapidly. You’ve said in the past that Enter Shikari was just a hobby that got out of hand and here you are with a record that charts at number 4 in the UK and 5 on the US Hard Rock charts. How are you utilizing the success that comes with being a fairly successful rock band nowadays?
It’s quite a foreign experience to anyone having people come up to you with varying degrees of emotions. Some people will come up and be like, “The tunes helped me through this” and say that we’re sort of a voice for them. It’s a crazy thing to have to take in. We never expected or even aspired to be that and we’ve just fell into this position of responsibility. There are few too many bands out there not really saying anything.
We’ve always thought of art as having certain responsibilities because there’s no exterior motive. There are no underlying things that could lead to a corrupt message. Art is out there fighting for its own sake. It should be sincere and honest and I think that’s what’s made us responsive to use this position that we’ve created with art to hopefully share positivity and inject a bit of empowerment into people’s lives.