Enter Shikari announced a new album “A Kiss For The World”, released a new single “(Pls) Set Me On Fire” and confirmed their presence in five UK cities. Find out all the details below, as well as our interview with frontman Rowe Reynolds.
“A Kiss for the Whole World” is coming out in April and, according to Reynolds, “looks like the second coming of Enter Shikari.” The first song written for the record was the lead single “(Pls) Set Me On Fire”.
“It was an explosive thing,” Reynolds told NME. “This song includes the experience of the last few years. It is the pursuit of transcendence, creativity and the ability to communicate with people.
“There is an intensity to it. He has full verses of screaming or high-pitched screaming. It’s one of the most heartbreaking songs we’ve ever done. In fact, he has that original essence of Shikari in him.”
The band’s previous album “Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible” was released a few weeks after the first quarantine, and Enter Shikari had to wait over a year to play any of the songs live. At the same time, Reynolds was experiencing a painful attack of writer’s stupor.
“I can’t put into words how disorienting and scary that time was,” he told NME. “My brain basically said, “What’s the point of writing music if you can’t share it live with others?” My sense of purpose has disappeared. It was very surreal because we were basically witnessing the death of the band and there was nothing we could do about it.”
Fortunately, everything changed after the group headed the Download Pilot test event in the summer of 2021. “It was just a cocktail of emotions,” said Reynolds, who soon after began writing music for the first time in more than 20 months.
The resulting album “A Kiss For The Whole World” reflects the “jubilation and euphoria” that came from re-performing live. “There’s a lot of high—end stuff on the record,” Reynolds said.
In early 2022, the band rented a dilapidated farmhouse to set up a temporary studio to record what would become a new album. “It was all powered by solar power,” Reynolds said. “It was just us and our engineer George Perks, no full-time engineers, assistant producers and no established way of doing things. It was like making music in Chris [Batten’s] garage as a kid. He had the same feeling of naive, sweet excitement.”
He continued: “There was a real sense of urgency. There was never a moment when we sat down and really discussed what the album was going to be about, and there was no sense of organization. It was just manic.”
The result was an album “as diverse as ever,” according to Reynolds. “It’s probably more intense than anything we’ve done before,” he continued. “I hope people can hear the irritation and glee. I think the best thing is that it was all just natural. It’s not refined, it’s quite raw.
“The only thing we talked about among all the disorganized ideas was that we wanted to make an energetic album of hits. Millennials and Generation Z — we don’t like to wait for anything. We want dessert before the main course. We’re not interested in delayed gratification, but as a band we can be pretty advanced whenever we want; but there’s no six-minute song telling some wild story on this album as it goes through different genres. It’s much more purposeful.”
“A Kiss For The Whole World” is Enter Shikari’s seventh album, and all the previous four albums have reached the top ten of the UK Albums chart. “Usually when people reach this stage of their career, big—name songwriters and producers come to help you get to the next level,” Reynolds said. “It’s the pressure to get a number one album and play at big venues. You lose all reasoning about why you started making music in the first place.”
He continued: “I’ve always said that this band is a hobby that got out of control. We have never had ambitions to be what we should be. Of course, I don’t want to crumble in the back of people’s minds or be forgotten, but at the same time; I don’t want to be drawn into this rat race when I need to become bigger in order to become bigger.”
“After listening to Download Pilot, I really realized that human connection is what makes me happy, and I just want to increase it with this album. I crave sweat, tears and everything that comes from live performances.”
While their first few albums were disturbing and aggressive, on the last recordings the band switched to something more uplifting, and “A Kiss For The Whole World” is no different. The album’s title track was even inspired by Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.
“We have to celebrate moments of joy now more than ever because they seem so fragile and it doesn’t look like things are going to get any easier,” Reynolds said. “There is a lot of introspection on the record and, of course, a lot of dark topics, to use a very broad term. You can’t be an activist all the time because you’ll burn out, but I also don’t want our music to be a cheap sedative. It may not be a positive album, but it’s an active one.”
He added: “I like to think that our music is energizing. Having something that motivates is very important, especially in a world where everyone is constantly surrounded by tribalism, hatred and rudeness. It’s really difficult there, so you need a reminder that you’re not alone.”
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Before the release of “A Kiss For The Whole World”, Enter Shikari “will become a local band in five UK cities” with residencies. Starting in February, the band will play concerts in London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and Wolverhampton. They will return in March and again in April.
“Basically we wanted to do something different,” Reynolds said. “This is a return to that rough feeling of what Shikari was in the beginning. We didn’t tour, we just performed all the time. There’s something sweet about constantly coming back to the same city and watching shows change and evolve.”
He continued: “We also wanted to catch up. As for “Nothing Is True”, we couldn’t play these songs for over a year. At these shows, we’re going to release a new song a week before the start of each race, and then play it live almost immediately. We really pamper ourselves.”
In addition, Enter Shikari will headline the Slam Dunk Festival 2023 together with The Offspring.
“Slam Dunk is bigger than when we last headlined, so it seems like there’s ambition,” Reynolds said. “When you don’t really feel comfortable on any score or in any scene, there’s always a sense of having to constantly prove that we are. That’s why we spend all our money on production. There is a feeling of impostor syndrome, and you want to make sure everyone knows that you are grateful. You put a lot of pressure on yourself, but I think Slam Dunk is going to be the best show we’ve ever put on.”
Regarding Pendulum’s remix of “Sorry, You’re Not A Winner”, which debuted at Reading Festival 2022, Reynolds said that the recording of the release is still in development. “At one point we were going to release it as a Christmas thing, but we just didn’t have time to finish it in time,” he said. — In general, we were both too busy.
“However, we will get to that, and hopefully something else. I’m just grateful that we properly touched and communicated after all these years when we missed each other at festivals.”
“A Kiss for the Whole World” is released on April 21.
Enter the dates of the upcoming Shikari tour below. Tickets for the show will go on sale on January 26 and will be available here.
15 – HERE at Outernet, London
16 – New Century Hall, Manchester,
17 – KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
19 – SWX, Bristol
20 – St Luke’s, Glasgow
14 – New Century Hall, Manchester,
15 – St Luke’s, Glasgow
16 – KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
17 – HERE at Outernet, London
18 – SWX, Bristol
13 – St Luke’s, Glasgow
14 – New Century Hall, Manchester,
15 – KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
16 – SWX, Bristol
17 – HERE at Outernet, London