I’ve heard people get nicer the further north you go. Rockness is pretty north – are you expecting a nice reception from the crowd?
(Chris Batten, bass): Yeah I’ve heard that too, still waiting to experience it though. Nah, we always receive a real warm welcome whenever we play anywhere in Scotland. We used to play a fair bit in Inverness and we haven’t been back near there for quite a while. We’ve always been warmly welcomed in most places in the UK but one thing I can say I’ve noticed is the crowds get more rowdy and intense the further north you go. People are always up for having a great time and we really feed off the crowd’s energy when we’re onstage. So that’s all we’re really expecting… a banging crowd ready to get sweaty with us.
Is Scotland a place you know and love well?
Yeh, for sure! We played lots of shows in Scotland even in the early days, when we were driving ourselves around in our Post Office van. Ever since those days we’ve always enjoyed and looked forward to our Scottish shows. It always calls for a bit of a party as we have lots of friends from bands we’ve toured with who always come hang out with us.
It’s now festival season – is Enter Shikari a festival band?
Absolutely! We love playing festivals. During our last two record cycles we’ve been lucky enough to play a number of international festivals. It’s a season all bands look forward to over the summer. The change play in lots of different countries, with tonnes of other bands, in the sunshine or knee deep in mud. There’s just always lots going on and a great vibe to enjoy. There’s something we love about being chucked on stage with no time to test our equipment or how things sound, which makes things feel real exciting, makes it feel like we’re just being chucked in at the deep end. It’s somewhere you’re out of your comfort zone and that’s something we really thrive on.
You’re playing under Pendulum at Rockness. With the band sharing a sort-of mutal rock/electronica nature, are they a band you respect?
Yeah, they are. We’ve played with Pendulum many times in the past and we have a few shows with them coming up too. They always put on a great show and I’m sure with us and them closing the night at Rockness, people are gonna be in for a fast paced finish to their evening. It’s gonna be intense.
You’ve got your own record label which you release your music through in the UK. How imporant is the independence the band gets by doing this?
Well I think it was real important when we were releasing our first album ‘Take To The Skies’. At that time people found it strange that a band would release music on their own label rather than using a major label. To us, it just seemed the right thing to do as we’d been doing everything ourselves anyway, and we were ready to put the album out. It gave people something to get behind, something real and natural to support. We’ve always had a lot of control in everything we do, and this way we were able to keep all the control and independence we needed.
How hard did you find it to get off your feet in the early days?
Very hard. You have to do everything for yourselves in the early stages. We booked our own shows, recorded our own CDs, made our own merch, bought and fitted out our own van, played hundreds of shows in youth clubs and town halls all over the UK. The thing that kept us going was the reaction people had when they saw us live. It was a reaction we knew was genuine and a reaction we knew we wanted to see more of. People genuinely seemed impressed and shocked by our performances and our sound. Once we started to see more and more people turning up to shows we knew we were doing something right. It kept growing from there.
And finally, you were nominated in the Kerrang Awards 2009 for Best Live Band. Why didn’t you win?
Er, cos we didn’t get as many votes as Slipknot. Must have been rigged…Slipknot have more members than us. They must have all voted for themselves. We couldn’t compete, we’re just a four-piece.