Back in February, Enter Shikari took over a bunch of Very Large venues for their Mindsweep Tour. Packing a boatload of production, a quadrophonic sound system and a remixed version of what the band could do, it was a stunning showing of just how far Enter Shikari have come and where they could go next.
The band, alongside Alexey Makhov, have made a documentary of the whole experience which you can check out below. There’s also the full audio of the show, sat somewhere fully mixed and mastered so stay tuned.
While at Slam Dunk, we grabbed Enter Shikari and made them answer some questions. We’re big fans of sharing, so enjoy.
Hello Enter Shikari. How was that arena tour for you?
Chris: “We thoroughly enjoyed it. We put a lot of effort into those shows. It took more planning and production than we’ve ever needed before, so it took a lot of time but we loved every second of it. Doing the quadrophonic sound was a new challenge for us, Rou did all of the video content and made sure it was all in sync. It was a big undertaking but it was one we really enjoyed and hope people appreciated.”
Was all that hard work worth it?
Rou: “I think the fact we put in so much effort made the payoff even sweeter. The emotional payoff, obviously, because we didn’t make much money. The financial payoff was shit. I spent three months in front of a laptop and I got not much money for it but emotionally, it was great.”
Rory: “It was weird; in a way it was one of the most DIY tours we’ve done. In the past we’ve paid people to do the screens for us and it’s always been so expensive and it’s never been quite on point. They’re always out of sync with the music and it’s so frustrating so this time we figured if Rou does it, it’ll just be an extension of the creativity and an extension of the music because it’s all coming from the same creative person, for want of a better way of putting it.”
Where do you take it from there?
Chris: “That’s a good question. We’d love to be able to have another shot at doing it again. Half the battle this time was figuring out how to do it. Now we know we can do and we’re a lot more confident with it, that’s just going to open more doors creatively. Just having the confidence to do it will give us far more ideas.”
Do you think, after playing to rooms this size, it’ll impact on future material?
Rou: “I never quite get, well I get what people are talking about when they say they wrote for arena crowds. It doesn’t vex me or piss me off but I just feel you shouldn’t be writing for an amount of personage. You should be writing music for other reasons instead of calculating it for a certain amount of people. So, I guess, no.”
One of the most striking things from those arena shows was just how far Enter Shikari reach. Were you aware your fanbase was so diverse?
Rory: “It’s something I’ve noticed over the years. When other bands ask what kind of crowd we have, there isn’t a specific kind of person. They’ve got to be open minded but people who are open minded can come from any walk of life so they’re not necessarily going to have a certain look or age.”
Rou: “There’s one of those wiki sites, How To Be An Enter Shikari Fan, from 2004. It’s so funny because it’s your typical scene kid from that era and now, it couldn’t be more wrong. As you say, it’s such a diverse range of people from all walks of life, all different backgrounds and I love that.”
Chris: “I think music in general has become less scene-driven. It’s being done so much more, having different influences. People aren’t sticking to bands of one genre and it’s becoming more and more acceptable. I think that’s starting to show in the audiences that are coming to the shows as well.”
Rou: “Growing up, music seemed very cliquey and that’s frustrated us. There was the metal heads, the skaters, the punks, then the hip-hop kids and the grime kids. Now, everyone is just mates. People are just interested in music and I think that’s amazing.”
After this touring cycle, what’s next for Enter Shikari?
Rory: “Probably just writing and recording and then touring again”
Exciting. How far along is the new material?
Rou: “We got some stuff. It’s going to be really different. It feels like it’s going to be Shikari Mark 2. We won’t be going into the studio until January next year but we’re getting ahead of the game.”