Enter Shikari are no strangers to Australian shores and will soon be brining their high energy live show to Good Things festival in December. We caught up with Enter Shikari vocalist Rou Reynolds as he shares his love of touring Australia.

SCENEzine
Firstly how has 2019 been for you so far?
 
Rou Reynolds
It’s been a blur really. Loads of touring finishing the era of our last album. Going to places we never thought we would set foot on, throughout Russia and we went super far east. One of the shows was on the border of Mongolia, all these places you remember from geography class but you never thought you’d actually see. It’s been an amazing but busy year for us we just finished touring in America and now I just have time to catch my breath.
 
SCENEzine
I’m guessing playing Reading & Leeds was bit of a highlight of the year?
 
Rou Reynolds
Oh for sure that was the festival I went to as a kid and I’ve been to almost every year since I was 15 either playing or just as a punter. It always feels like a bit of a homecoming I get extra butterflies before the show when we play that one. The show itself was amazing, we hadn’t played it in five years. We actually did five sets over the weekend playing twice in Leeds, once on the main stage and then headlined one of the smaller stages. Then we did the same in Reading and we also did an acoustic set as well so it was a busy weekend and one of the hottest weekends of the year. It was about 33 degrees so for us feeble Englishmen it was a slog doing five shows in that heat.
 
SCENEzine
We are huge fans of your song “stop the clocks”. How did that one come about in the writing process?
 
Rou Reynolds
That was an odd one really. We have a track of our second album called “no sleep tonight”. There’s a middle eight in that song, when we played it live I started doing this ad lib melody. Which then basically started “stop the clocks” because the bridge is the same chord sequence. We are not really a jamming band we very rarely write like that. Usually the way we write is in a dark room by myself, it’s a very solitary process. But this is one that we jammed out because it blossomed from another song so it’s the sister song of “no sleep tonight”. It was quite an organic process, the song itself progressed over two years. It took a long time to get this one right because it’s such a positive upbeat song, sometimes they are the hardest to get right. When you expressing positive emotions it’s very easy for us as humans to question if it comes across as contrived or to obvious. We’ve been playing it live now for about 8 months and it’s such a fun song to perform.

SCENEzine
Are you looking forward to playing Good Things festival in Australia soon since you’ve never played it before?
 
Rou Reynolds
Oh yeah I can’t wait. There’s been so many amazing touring festivals in Australia that have come and gone. The last few times that we’ve been to Australia we have just done club shows so to be able to come over and do a touring festival again we are buzzing about it. I wasn’t ready for summer to end this year we did so many amazing festivals, so I’m very happy that we are going to experience a little bit more in December. There’s going to be quite a few friends bands playing that we are looking forward to catching up with. It should be a really good time.  
 
SCENEzine
Since you haven’t been to Australia for a little while does that change how you approach the set list?
 
Rou Reynolds
We are not sure what we are going to do. It’s basically the first time we’ve been to Australia since we released our last album The Spark. So I feel like the set list will slightly be weighted in favour of that album but at the same time it is a festival show. We always want to play music that spans everything that we’ve done encapsulating what Enter Shikari does. Making set lists is one of the hardest things about being in a band, especially when you’ve got five albums.
 
SCENEzine
Do you have any memories of your first Australian tour?
 
Rou Reynolds
I think the first tour would have been Big Day Out festival about ten years ago. I remember it feeling almost like another world but then so similar in so many ways. I remember my nan going there when I was a kid she came back and brought me stamps, a boomerang and a stuffed koala (laughs). It felt like this amazing other place that I possibly would never get to see. I didn’t grow up in the wealthiest situation so going places like Australia reminds me of how lucky I am. I feel grateful we get to travel the world, play music and hopefully spark community, bringing a sense of unity to people.
 
SCENEzine
Is there any secret to how you’ve been able to keep the same four band members all these years?
 
Rou Reynolds
It’s difficult to elucidate because we’ve not really known anything different. For us it just feels totally normal and for me it would feel scary if I had to be in a band with other people. We know each other so well now, me and Chris have been friends since we were five. The others we met when we were fifteen and since then we’ve been in a band together. So it feels like that’s our normal. I would be reluctant to do it with anyone else really. We are quite lucky in the fact that all our personalities get on, none of us have a big ego. We are all fairly laid back people with a similar thriving to keep the music progressing. We got lucky and lots of planets aligned when we started Enter Shikari now it’s like we are brothers.
 
SCENEzine
Is it crazy to think being 2019 that Common Dreads album is now ten years old?
 
Rou Reynolds
Yeah we just repressed the vinyl for it which I think many people have been waiting a few years for. It was amazing revisiting the album over the Summer delving back playing tracks we haven’t played in years. It’s a really special album for us we smashed the difficult second album thing. It was such a big step and from that point onwards it was obvious that every album was going to sound different to push us forward.
 
SCENEzine
Do you still get a kick out of playing “Juggernauts” live?
 
Rou Reynolds   
Yeah that’s one of the songs that really took us to new levels. One of my best memories of that song is at Reading festival we broke the record for crowd surfers back in 2009 the year the album came out. When we played “Juggernauts” it was absolute mayhem, the whole field was a dust bowl with bodies coming over the barrier. It’s the kind of sight I will never forget, so that song not only made us record holders but did really well in getting our band to more people. It’s such an energetic, passionate song and still fun to play today.   

(interview by Christian Ross)

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