Here are some of the influences on Enter Shikari's new album, from Blur and Bowie to Grime
Frontman Rou Reynolds delves into his sources of inspiration.
Published: 9:01 am, September 22, 2017
Enter Shikari have always been a mixing pot of influences, from their nu-rave drenched debut - branded finger lights and all - to current full-length 'The Spark', which has nods to everything from Britpop to Grime. Frontman Rou Reynolds talks through some of the places he looked to for inspiration for their latest effort.
I love Depeche Mode for their diverse and ever progressing back catalogue of great pop music. Vintage modular synths played a big part in the instrumentation for this album and Depeche were one of the first outfits to put that technology to widely accessible music. They are also great (along with others of the time like The Sound and Joy Division) at putting lyrics that are really quite sombre and dark, to upbeat sprightly melodies, creating a wonderful dichotomy.
Another diverse artist with an incredible catalogue. He has a great ability to create outstanding texture and atmosphere as a producer and is brilliant at crafting real emotional weight to the music too. Shinrin-Yoku and other soundscape moments throughout our music is often influenced by him.
A favourite to listen to help wind down after a recording session, or just any tiring day really! I fell in love with organic mic-ing techniques (i.e. getting all the creaks and natural sounds when playing a piano rather than trying to make it sound as slick as possible), and Nils is one of the best at this. He cemented the notion in my mind that there is so much visceral power in the delicate too.
Their songwriting, their diversity, Graham Coxon's guitar tones and their bold Britishness all influenced this album. I was a huge fan of them growing up, somehow dodging the Blur/Oasis divide and loving both. But I delved back in last year, perhaps somewhat at a loss with a lot of modern guitar-led music.
Sam & Dave
Motown and Northern Soul has always been a huge - and perhaps the most surprising - influence on my songwriting since day one. My dad was a DJ and had an extensive record collection that I was fascinated with as a kid. Sam & Dave have some great tunes but also as performers, they captivated me from a young age and have stuck with me.
A lot of our tracks are Drum & Bass tempo, high-energy music is something I’ll always love. And in terms of high-energy electronic music production, these guys have always been top of the game. An endless influence. Not just there meticulous crafting of sounds and textures but their determination not to be trapped within the normal defining confines of Drum & Bass as a genre.
Classical music has always been a big influence on me and Elgar is one of Britain's finest ever classical composers. The emotional response to his music is always very powerful, his beautiful harmonies and chord sequences and his masterful control over texture are all things I’ve looked to to help progress my own composing.
Well if diversity is becoming a recurring theme, then we all know Bowie is the king here. His death, (as artist’s deaths normally do) really inspired me to delve into his output in full and celebrate and revel in his music. His fearlessness and honesty is all over this record. His large vocal range was also helpful for me, studying that gave me the confidence to increase mine on this record.
I couldn’t pick one artist here, so have just labelled the genre. It’s unavoidable to be influenced by grime at the moment; it’s such a powerful part of mainstream culture in the UK now. Like Dubstep, as it was born in London, I had the luck of being able to watch it grow from its early beginnings. Boy In Da Corner came out the same summer we formed Enter Shikari, and since then BBK, Roll Deep, Ghetts, President T and many others have always been on my playlist.
Another big influence when it came to synths on this album. Always so simple and playable, but so effective. I also love his aesthetic and his unfashionable and endearing “fuck you; I want to be a pop star” outlook. The 'less is more' notion is really perfected in his earlier tracks and not going overboard with layering and overdoing it was something that was on our minds during recording this album.
Enter Shikari's album 'The Spark' is out now.
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