Kasabian discuss why they’ve never ‘broken America’

'We're never going to get those years back'

Kasabian have discussed why they’ve never ‘broken’ the US market in the same way that they have in the UK and Europe.

Guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno and frontman Tom Meighan, who release their new album ‘For Crying Out Loud‘ tomorrow, were speaking to us for this week’s NME cover feature. While the band have topped the charts, headlined Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and can sell out stadiums and arenas in the UK, Europe and beyond, their success and popularity remains relatively modest in America.

“The thing about America is, we didn’t go for like five or six years,” Pizzorno told NME. “That’s catch-up. We’re never going to get those years back. We decided to go to the rest of the world. We were too big everywhere else and didn’t want to sit in a van for a few months. Now we’ll do like 4,000 seat places in the US – that’s the optimum place to see a band. Do we go and live there and tour constantly, or just go play New York and LA every now and again? That’s fine for me.”

He continued: “There’s just no point in chasing it. If we were 21 then great. But every time we play Coachella, we have a great time.”

Asked if America would ‘get’ their British themes and sensibilities, Pizzorno replied: “I think if we toured enough, then they’d listen. They understand us on stage. As a live thing, you can’t fuck with it. If we supported someone then people would understand. At this level with my two boys who I love, I can’t look at them and go ‘I’m off to tour America for six months’. Life’s too short. I want to be playing football in the garden with my lads.

“We’ve massively overshot anyway in the UK and Europe. We have absolutely no right to be as big as we are for what we do. I’m happy with that.”

Frontman Tom Meighan added: “I don’t regret anything, but America is what it is. We either go out and spend six solid months there and become U2, or we just stay as a cult band and play 5,000 cap venues in New York and LA. It’s great to go out and do that, it’s still big. Unless we tour with Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters or Red Hot Chili Peppers and do a circuit.

“I mean, we’re 36 man – we’re getting on. I think it took Led Zeppelin eight or ten years to break America.”

  • Check back soon for more of our interview with Kasabian

For more on this week’s NME magazine and where to get yours, visit here.

Kasabian release ‘For Crying Out Loud’ on 5 May. This summer sees them perform at BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend, TRNSMT Festival and Reading & Leeds.