Enter Shikari

After the ripping tour Enter Shikari gave us last year, many thought it would be a little longer before we saw the band back in Australia. Alas, that opinion has proved misguided. But something tells us no one is complaining, as it only means more of the band’s high-octane live sets for our Aussie eyes and ears. Enter Shikari’s Rory Clewlow was kind enough to lend us some of his time to chat about their constant touring schedule, Game Of Thrones and the importance of social media.

After seeing footage of your US shows, the energy between the band and the crowd doesn’t seem to be any less for these smaller shows in the US, than if you played in an arena in the UK.

Yeah, and I personally really enjoy playing shows. I don’t really mind how many people may be watching, I will still get a buzz from it. It’s a bit of addiction it feels like. Some people love days off work, but I dread days off, as there’s no focus for the day [and] you end up bumming around the hotel all day. I just really want to play a show.

Well, it’s good to hear that even after 13 years in the band, you still have such a strong passion for it.

You know, I think it’s the same with any drug – after 13 years of heroin you don’t get tired of it…or maybe you do get bored of it? [Laughs].

[Laughs] I wouldn’t know, man. As you’ve said, you still love playing shows, so what’s the longest set you’ve ever played?

I’d say about 90 minutes; on this tour we’re doing an hour and twenty or so. Like the other day, the keyboard broke after the second song so we had a five-minute jam/banter session with the crowd. So, it depends on things like that.

Have you ever considered doing a Bruce Springsteen and play for well upwards of two hours? I could see you guys doing that.

I would definitely be up for that, but our music is quite energetic. So, if you compare it to exercising, our [music] is a sprint and Springsteen’s is a jog, so he can do it for longer, I suppose. I think if we tried to sustain it, it may fizzle out so we never try to do more than an hour and a half.

Yeah, good point man. This upcoming Australian tour in September is pretty close after your Japanese tour with Crossfaith, will you guys be going straight into this tour or are you going home for some quick R&R?

We are flying back home, actually, as I’ve got my daughter’s third birthday in between those two tours. So it will be pretty busy.

Oh, cool. Is your daughter at the age where she understands what you do, or is there still a few more years to go?

Well, she says, ‘Daddy plays guitar’, ‘Daddy lives on a bus’. Her speech hasn’t developed fully yet but maybe she understands more than I give her [credit for]…

I think kids understand a little bit more than we think. And maybe she just thinks you like to travel heaps, which I’m sure is true.

Yeah true, and like with this tour, I’ll talk to her on the phone and she’ll say, ‘Daddy come home!’ and I can’t just yet – I’ve got to live on this bus for a little bit [laughs].

Aw man, must be hard. With having that family back home and with so much touring, are you guys ever feeling burnt out …or have I just offended you by implying you’re too old? 

[Laughs] No, no, you’re all good. I did start to feel that burnout about six years ago, but I got over it. I don’t know what happened. I mean, I haven’t gotten any more fit but I just really enjoy it now. Maybe it’s just part of growing up and worrying less. I actually feel more energised, more ambitious

Well, that’s what you want after doing it for this long.

Yeah, and one of our biggest live musical influences is The Dillinger Escape Plan, [have] you ever see them live?

Sure have, I love that band. Their live set is an experience and a half.

For sure, and we’re not like them musically, but they are a good five, six years ahead of us and their live set is my inspiration. They are just the best performers in my opinion, and that it’s more to do with what you’ve got rather than how long you’ve been doing it.

Exactly, man. Now, I think it’s cool you guys are on most social platforms, from Snapchat and Vine to Instagram and what not. While it may not exclusively be for the band or about doing weird, comedic things, I think it’s a very healthy way for to engage with the fans. Would that be your take on it as well?

I think that it is completely essential. Not just for reaching out and connecting with our fans, but also on a business level. For any business, it’s vital. It’s the future of marketing, really.

Yeah exactly, and word of mouth is still so powerful. I’m curious… are the entire band vegan or is it just Rou?

It’s just Rou right now. I was vegetarian for a few years, but I just started eating meat again a couple of years ago. It was just laziness, really, and I’m all for it but I was just weak and lazy [laughs].

I agree. Does that ever create little issues with finding places to eat while on the road? As petty as that may sound.

No, it hasn’t created any issues so far. I think it’s pretty difficult for him sometimes but he’s [Rou’s] got an app on his phone that tells him where the closest vegan place is.

Also, our bus isn’t that big, but he seems to always have some sneaky stash around it. Like, he’ll have some vegan carrot cake in one draw, or a salad in one cupboard, and he’ll just pull it out randomly, and we’re all like, ‘Where’d that come from?’ He’s gotten pretty good at it too, he’s like a…mammal, stashing his nuts for the winter. [Laughs].

Ha, that’s a great way to put it, actually. I know you guys are big Game Of Thrones fan, and if HBO gave you guys the chance to write the Game of Thrones soundtrack or provide an Enter Shikari song for it…would you do it?

Oh, we would stop whatever we were doing at that moment and focus on that entirely!

[Laughs] I thought so. And hey, I would think that ‘Today Won’t Go Down In History’ would be perfect.  

Oh yeah! That song could really work.

I know, right. Well look, thank you for your time today Rory, it’s been real. Have a good day.

Hey, no worries, cheers Alex.

Catch Enter Shikari on tour, with Hacktivist and Stories, this September. Details via: www.livenation.com.au.

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