Later this month, Enter Shikari are taking part in charity event, Get Loud: a one-night-only series of gigs that will take place all over the country on 26th September, raising money for Nordoff Robbins, the UK's largest independent music therapy charity. Frontman Rou Reynolds stops by for a chat about the band's year so far, their mammoth upcoming headline tour, and why they've got involved.
Hey Rou, how’s it going? Busy summer? You guys smashed 2000trees the other month.
Thank you, yeah 2000trees was incredible, what a wonderful festival that is. I want to go next year just as a punter I think. But yeh summer has been great, played a ton of festivals.
It was great to see ‘The Spark’ go Top 5 last year, has it offered up any new opportunities? How do you keep band life exciting after so many records?
Oh man, it will never not be exciting I’m sure of that! Writing music is what I live for, nothing makes me happier. But then everything from the excitement of playing shows to travelling to crazy new places, being stuck for 24 hours at borders, meeting Russians who offer us a fight with a bear. It never ends.
Your December - February run of shows is nuts. Where did the idea come from to do your longest ever tour?
The initial idea was for us to do a thorough tour of the UK. After the last two tours being Arena sized places and only doing the major cities we felt it was time to get back in the van proper. After that got booked, everything else just kept coming and being piled on. It’s beginning to look pretty mammoth innit? I can’t wait.
Are you at all apprehensive about spending so long on the road?
I’m single, so all I have to worry about is missing my cat. But she is Siberian, so I might take her on our extensive Russian tour so she can meet her ancestors.
You’ve teamed up with music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins for a show this September, is it a charity you’ve worked with previously? How did the collab come about?
Yeah really looking forward to the show and working with them. Our promoter Steve Homer did the intro, he’s been working with them for a while.
Do you use music as a form of therapy yourself?
Yes, we all do, whether knowingly or not. Whether playing, creating or listening it can be a great form of escapism, meditation, relaxation, confidence enhancement or mood enhancement. Of which I use it for all.
What is it about music that means it can affect people so profoundly, do you think?
This is one of my favourite questions in the world. And one I have thought about a lot. I’ve studied biomusicology a fair bit as a result, and it seems to be that music affects us so profoundly because it hacks its way into our most intense brain states. When you get down into the details, there isn’t really a definitive agreed answer to this question yet, but basically, music can trigger the same neurochemicals as having sex or eating amazing food (or doing drugs). Drugs are obviously a complete hack, but the other two examples are of evolutionary driven behaviours, i.e. the need to procreate and the need to eat. Does that mean music played a role in the survival of our species? I could talk about this for days, but I’ll stop here for now!
How would you like Enter Shikari’s music to make people feel?
Making people feel is enough, to be honest. Holding someone’s attention is hard enough these days so being able to cause an emotional response in someone who is just simply listening to some pitched rhymes or noise you crafted is a great achievement.
What else are you lot up to at the mo?
Just finishing the addendum to my Dear Future Historians book. It’s basically an explanatory essay for each song on The Spark. Should be out in time for Christmas! (Cheeky early plug there.)
Enter below to win a pair of tickets to see Enter Shikari at Brighton's Concorde 2 on 26th September, and find the full Get Loud billing after the jump.
26 BRIGHTON Komedia (All Saints)
26 BRIGHTON Concorde 2 (Enter Shikari)
26 LONDON Garage (Everything Everything)
26 LONDON Omeara (Nina Nesbitt)
26 BRISTOL Fleece (The Darkness)
26 LONDON Birthdays (The Skints)
26 SOUTHAMPTON Joiners (Hot Dub Time Machine)
26 LONDON Borderline (Katie Melua)
26 MANCHESTER Matt & Phreds (Lisa Stansfield)
26 SOUTHAMPTON Engine Room (The Beat)
26 GLASGOW Cottiers Theatre (Gilbert O'Sullivan)
Tickets for the individual shows cost £10 via GetLoud.org.uk.