Rob Rolfe (Enter Shikari): Adrenalin is the answer, a syringe of it straight to the heart.
An: Hello Rob, I am so excited to have this interview just before your show in Mixtape 5. I still remember your great live performances during Spirit of Burgas and SZIGET last year. How do you get so much energy ?
Rob: Thanks, I’m glad you liked the shows. Adrenalin is the answer, a syringe of it straight to the heart. When we get out on stage and the audience is shouting in our faces it’s impossible not to get excited, we definitely feed off the energy of the audience.
And the audience is mad about your unique blend between electronic, post-hardcore, punk, ska, metal… Do you think there are some other bands that sound more or less like you?
Ha-ha, I don’t think so. Bands have been blending different styles of music for a long time, we’re certainly not the first, maybe it just seems like we’re doing something new because we blend modern styles that have only emerged recently. When writing our music we constantly try to push our own and music’s boundaries.
Pushing the boundaries, give us your own metaphor of your style of music?
Our music is like Mogwai in Gremlins 2 when he’s dressed as Rambo, a soft soul with a lot of heart but tough as fuck on the outside.
You succeeded so quick, your debut album was at top 5 at Official UK Album Chart. Are you considering yourselves winners? 🙂
We certainly do but not because of any chart rating we’ve got. The fact that we have fantastic fans around the world allowing us to carry on creating the music we love as a career makes us winners. We’re very appreciative of how far we’ve come and the people that have helped us get here.
I can’t go around the fact that your lyrics contain a lot of social topics. Moreover the message that you bring doesn’t seem to fade away during the years. Rumor has it that a huge part of your audience accepts you as their spiritual teacher. Do you think that your fans manage to see through your texts and pay the meaning forward?
The topics of our songs are something that we are very passionate about. We would never want to be leaders for people’s thinking but would love it if we inspired people to be able to think for themselves and be in charge of their own futures.
Since 2003 you have had like… over hundreds of tour dates and gigs all over the globe. How do you manage to work on your new stuff, create music etc.? Where is the most inspiring place you have ever been?
Thousands in fact! We get inspired by everything we are surrounded by no matter what country we are in. I think being able to travel the world has given us a greater vision of how the world works. It’s shown us just how big the world is but also how we all share the same fundamental beliefs and needs as a race.
At the same time Rou is the real creative drive being the band and I swear he never stops. We took 6 months off at the beginning of the year to write and record the album ‘The Mindsweep’, when we started there was an arsenal of ideas, riff and grooves that we have built up over the years and never formed into proper songs.
Obviously you are really into art – we’ve seen the specific light show that you give, your logo, your gig artwork, and we know that Rou has his own line of clothing… Can we say that today Enter Shikari is something more than just a band, but a fully completed and a living art-project?
Ha, I suppose so. We are all quite artistic people in every aspect and have an appreciation for ever medium. The art work surrounding our releases helps people have a rounded solid picture is / says / believes / tries to inspire.
In 2007 Ambush Reality was born. This is your label and you practically produce yourselves. Would it be correct if we assume that this is your way to screw the “system” and go your own way? Why didn’t you just sign one of the big US labels, for example?
Actually we did, for the second album we licensed it through Atlantic but didn’t have the greatest experience. We found it difficult to get anything creative done, it was far too much of a bureaucratic system / machine we felt we were getting pushed through. We started our own label in the beginning because no one else wanted to sign us. Now, we have found it is the best way for us to stay independent and free to express ourselves the way we want.