Enter Shikari

Hello Scarlett, nice to ‘meet’ you!

Questions by

Scarlett, age 22

Since we last interviewed you in 2012, have there been any significant changes influencing the band’s identity or ambitions?

Christ, that requires recalling what I thought our identity and ambitions were back then! But to be honest I don’t think our identity has changed a whole lot, the central ideas and themes behind who we are have been rather consistent. We still care about making diverse, dynamic and passionate art as we have always done and we still care about fighting division and segregation in any form, as we have always done.
I think now, after our recent UK arena headline tour we are a little more ambitious. We’ve realised what Shikari can grow into, we’ve now proved we can take our live show to the biggest of venues and keep it a genuinely exciting experience.

Speaking of change, your recent surprise single “Redshift” is a drastic shift in style compared to your other music. What does this shift represent and should we expect more of this sound to follow?

As always with Shikari, we’ll head off in different directions musically and push ourselves as musicians. I’m very fidgety when it comes to music, progress is as important as any other musical component to songwriting. We’re consistently inconsistent. I think given the cosmic nature of the lyrical content, Redshift simply had to be this grand, vast, melodious sounding track. But regarding what Shikari will sound like moving forward I’m sure that will always contain a variety of directions.

Have there been times that you considered giving up on music as a career?

Yeh a few times. I don’t particularly like being away from home for long periods of time. And I actually prefer the rush of creating music, to touring the finish product. So perhaps not seriously giving up music, but certainly coming off the road. The only thing that often keeps me going is the passion from the people we meet all around the world on tour.

The cliche question: Do you have any music idols or inspirations?

I suppose the artists who have stayed with me the longest and been an inspiration from day one to this day are Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Roots Manuva, The Beatles, Igor Stravinsky, Noisia.

You mentioned in the “Sound Story” interview that creating music is a form of catharsis, are there ever times when working on your music is causing you too much stress and you need to step back from it?

No, it’s definitely a way to release the emotions, not a way of dwelling or drowning in them, so to speak. I’d encourage anyone to play one instrument, it doesn’t matter if you’re hopeless at it, playing music (and at best, playing music with others) is a great stress relief. And being creative is such an intrinsic act for humans.

If this does happen, or just generally speaking, what other activities, hobbies, or strategies do you turn to for coping with stress?

I have a few tools in my arsenal. Yoga and mindfulness meditation are two things i’ve really got into the last few years. I have a introduction to mindfulness meditation on my podcast if anyone is interested. Other than that just classic things like trying to exercise regularly and reading a good book.