“Expectations are weird because its never how you think it is going to pan out” Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson, tells MN. With their smash hit debut “Employment” now 11 years old, Kaiser Chiefs, are now one of the last bands left from the great indie rock revolution of the mid-noughties. With five albums under their belt and another on the way, Ricky Wilson, and bassist, Simon Rix, joined Music-News before their show at Boardmasters festival.The fivesome have announced their sixth album “Stay Together” which be released on the 7th October with first single, Parachutes, already impressing the fans. “We think we’ve made a really good record and we tried to make it a bit different. Different production styles, different people in the mix and the album itself is quite diverse. We worked with producer, Brian Higgins, and he was great at taking pieces of magic and turning them into songs” longhaired bassist, Simon Rix tells Music-News.
“We’ve tried to make our poppiest record but we’ve actually made our most experimental record. All the songs work as pop songs but in a very weird and roundabout way.” Ricky continued. “Much like on the first record, we didn’t really have an audience so we didn’t know who we were making it for. So we were making future hits about things that we shouldn’t be writing about if we wanted to have hits.”
The first single from the forthcoming album is proof of their new direction. “Parachutes” explores new production techniques and introduces heavy influences of electro pop in its crowd pleasing synth driven chorus. “You hear so many bands saying they’ve changed when they’ve really not so this time we’ve done something different” Ricky explained.
“What we’ve discovered is when we said we’re changing in the past we didn’t really change that much. So this time we’ve really had to push ourselves. This is totally outside our comfort zone and listening back we feel like we’ve finally managed it. Simon knowledgably clarified.
“We’re looking forward to everyone hearing it. I know they’ll like it, if they don’t they’re lying” Ricky cheekily added with the arrogance of a now experienced frontman.
Delving into discussing the album further MN could tell that the band are just excited as for their now sixth album as they were for their earlier releases. With “Parachutes” received with widely positive reviews the next single is “Hole In My Soul.”
“I don’t know how singles work now, they’re not in shops any more there is just a date where they are “available”” Ricky added. The track has since been released as their second single alongside an announcement of a UK arena tour for next spring.
The duo further delves into Simon’s favourite track “Press Rewind” which was said to have a strong 90s dance feel to it and one producer, Brian Higgins, sprinkled his magic on. Simon explained the production side of it to MN: “Usually when we made tracks we’d be finish it and think that’s that. But Brian wanted more and we had nothing left so we went away and came back and he brought in MNEK to write a bit.
“Instead of being egotists and saying it can’t go on because we didn’t write it we asked ourselves a question- “Does it make it better?” Of course it was yes so we let it in. MNEK is in the Kaiser Chiefs now”
Eagerly looking forward to playing in the picture perfect surroundings of the Cornwall coastline at, Boardmasters, Ricky listed the number of festivals the band have covered this summer. “It doesn’t really matter, as long as people are having fun and the weather is nice I’m happy playing anywhere” he modestly added.
Conversing stories over the band’s youth where they met at school in Leeds the pair both went to the early days of the now legendary Leeds festival: “You could risk going without a ticket and you’d get in. I don’t recommend it but it was the good ole days. I remember watching Foo Fighters from the side of the stage one year. I stole some insulation tape from the roadie’s case. Years later I apologised when we supported them” Ricky said with a mischievous smirk.
A band who still hold a solid grip of the mainstream charts whenever they release music with four top 3 albums already released and “Stay Together” expected to follow suit. When asked for their three dream headliners the classic, Pink Floyd, was included but also, Major Laser, headlining one and a trio of Jay Z, Beyoncé, and, Coldplay, headlining the other. Ricky also confessed to preferring to second headline festivals- a place they played at, Boardmasters, before EDM head honcho, Deadmau5
While the other members live quiet lives away from the public eye all with families and getting close to 40, Ricky Wilson, seems to relish in it with spots judging on, The Voice, and DJing on Radio X. “I love being on the Radio X, tell you what these radio DJs have been getting away with it for far too long. I sit on the tube going into work in the morning and just make a list of stuff I’ve done that week and talk about them” he continued to MN in the baking Cornish heat.
Now in their 16th year as a group the fivesome have been through the small beginnings to big successes- opening up Live 8 in Philadelphia, winning three BRIT awards along the way and selling over 3 million albums in the UK.
“You just don’t think you’re going to win three so we didn’t write a speech. We just went up and drunkenly cheered. Can I tell you a story about not remembering the Brits?” Ricky waxed lyrical about the band’s 2006 BRIT success. “They used to show the following night on the TV and I said to my girlfriend that the one regret I had was not meeting Madonna because I would have loved to. The opening shot of the Brits on TV was me with my arm around Madonna. She was holding me up!”
It’s clear that the band enjoy being in a band 16 years down the line just as much as they enjoyed being one in the early days. Jokily and simply summarising themselves as “very very tall” when asked to describe the band in three words. However, with all this joy and success and seemingly with an upcoming renaissance for the Kaiser Chiefs, Ricky, still remains level headed and honest when asked what advice he would give his younger self putting it simply: “Enjoy it, remember it and don’t take it for granted.”
The Kaiser Chiefs sixth album “Stay Together” is released on October 7th with an UK arena tour scheduled for early next year.