The return of the Kaiser Chiefs
Their smash hit debut album '˜Employment' was released over a decade ago (I don't know about you, but that makes me feel old), and the Kaiser Chiefs are one of the last bands to survive the aftermath of the great indie explosion that hit in the mid-noughties.
With five albums now tucked firmly under their belts and another on the way, I caught up with frontman Ricky Wilson to chat about the release of ‘Stay Together’ and their new tour.
“We feel that we have made a really good record,” Ricky said. “We’ve tried to make our poppiest record and it’s actually turned out to be one of our most experimental.
“We didn’t really have an audience for the album – much like when we recorded ‘Employment’.
“For the last ten years, I was always under the belief that to write a song that appeals to everybody, you had to talk about big topics like love and relationships, but we’ve never really written love songs.
“When we wrote our first record, all we wanted to do was to play festivals where everyone remembered us. To do that, we had to write what sounded to us like instant hits – catchy songs that people could sing along to.
“But then we’ve started to realise that it’s the personal issues that actually hit closer to home.
“So it’s more of what people care about, which is what’s going on inside.”
Ricky states that the nerves have kicked in about the upcoming release.
“I’m so nervous about it! I really am!” he laughed. “We’ve tried something different this time around, so it will be interesting to hear how it goes down. I heard our new single ‘Parachutes’ on the radio in the car the other day and I was shaking – literally shaking – with nerves wondering how people would react to it.
“I think somewhere along the way of our career we forgot this is what we love doing,” Ricky continued. “So on this record we’ve gone back to writing songs that when people hear them for the first time they go, ‘I know this and I am enjoying it. It’s by the Kaiser Chiefs? Oh, I don’t care! It’s still a great song!’”
He added cheekily: “If people say they don’t like our new stuff, then they are obviously just lying! What’s not to like?”
The band have fun together – the reason why they are still going strong, as Ricky explains.
“We just enjoy it and have a good time together,” he said. “And we’re lucky that nothing completely catastrophic has happened to us as a band – we’ve survived relatively unscathed over the years. We’ve done all right and we’re still here and we’ll just see what comes next.”
The Kaisers are nothing if not a band of the people and, when their fans speak, they listen. When they announced their arena tour for next year with Scotland missed out, fans were dismayed to see that they weren’t getting a visit from Ricky and co.
The band heard these cries and have changed their plans to pay a visit up north as soon as possible – there might have been a riot otherwise!
Ricky said: “We found out that our Scottish supporters were pretty unhappy when we missed the whole of their country off our upcoming UK tour.
“So we’ll bring it to you four months earlier. We’re up for it if you are? Come and see us – we won’t let you down.”
‘Stay Together’ is out now and the band play Glasgow on Tuesday (October 11).
For tickets, visit www.kaiserchiefs.com.