Kasabian Talks "Velociraptor!", Storytelling, and "The Professional"
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 07:16:59
Kasabian show their teeth on Velociraptor!.
The British outfit sounds simply fierce on the melodic groove and roar of their fourth full-length offering. They channel the gods, nodding to Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, while completely giving birth to their own beast. Velociraptor! claws its way through the senses with irresistible hooks and infectious riffs. In other words, it's everything that rock 'n' roll should be and a whole lot more. Coldplay better watch out because there's a new contender for the UK rock god crown…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno discusses Velociraptor!, storytelling, The Professional and so much more.
Did you approach Velociraptor! with one vision from the outset?
The last record was a real journey into madness. This time, I wanted it to be really direct and melodic. It's a nice album just to have on. Out of all the albums we've made, this is the nicest to listen to. It takes you there. That was thing. It was a very quick, nice, and easy album to make. It took six months. Everything about it was great.
It sounds very natural.
Exactly! I've always loved Beatles records. They're so varied, but they all make sense. From one song to the next, Velociraptor! is an insane combination. As long as the tunes are good, then it doesn't really matter. I love The White Album because The Beatles did exactly what they wanted. The one thing in common is really good songs, and it works.
How do you begin a song typically?
With me, a song can begin anywhere. I'm desperate to find the sparks. I can get that from a drum loop, a bass line, or a little melody that's going around in my head. I'm not really a traditional songwriter in the sense that it all gets written on an acoustic. I produce as I go along. The tunes can be formed from really strange beginnings. There are some songs that may be were acoustic. That's the good old fashioned way of doing it, but I find they can start anywhere, really. For instance "Days Are Forgotten" started with a little riff whereas "Goodbye Kiss" began properly sitting with an acoustic and the melody came. I don't really have a plan. It just happens.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Most definitely, I'm really inspired by cinema and the movies. I want the listener to go on little journeys. Our music has worked really well to visuals. There's a great escape inside of them all. Your mind floats away with it.
What fosters that visual sensibility?
I suppose my taste in movies in quite similar to my musical taste. It's pretty varied. I really like Ghostbusters, Jaws, and things like that. Then I also like world cinema and people like Gaspar Noé. Something has always attracted to me soundtracks and opening credits of films or great scenes where the music is such a big part of it. I've always liked trying to put that into pop music. When you've got your headphones on, I want the music to make you feel like you've been transported to another place. You don't really know where that is, but it's an amazing thing you can do. "Whole Lotta Love", for instance, is really a great two-minute pop song, but they put that middle break in it. That's my favorite bit. In a lot of ways, rock 'n' roll forgot that. Give them a great riff, but then you've bought yourself a bit of time so why not go insane in the middle of the song? I love those little minutes in a tune where they go, "Wow, what is this bit?"
What's the story behind "Neon Noon"?
I was in New York and riding in a taxi cab. All of a sudden, "Wish You Were Here" came on. It was one of those moments. I thought it was the perfect time for a Pink Floyd song to come on. It was amazing. I was thinking a great way to end this record would be with a song like that, but try to do the modern version. I thought of Boards of Canada and tried to make a beautiful electro tune that has that late '60s early '70s melody. It's a great way to close the album.
Where were you coming from lyrically?
Lyrically, you're with the person you love the most and you drive out to the desert. You look at the sky together, and it's your last moments on this earth basically. You go out to pasture in the desert and see the sky come down on both of your skeletons so you'll always remain there together.
What would be the cinematic equivalent of Velociraptor! ?
What a great question! I suppose it would be The Professional with Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman. It's a really beautiful, well-made film with incredible character actors. The performances are quite stunning. The music is delicate and beautiful in places, and then it's quite intense and aggressive.
Have you heard Velociraptor! yet?