Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds caught up with NME backstage at Reading 2022, telling us about Pendulum’s remix of their 2007 song ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ and giving an update on new music. Watch our video with Reynolds above.
Earlier over the weekend (Saturday August 27), Reynolds joined Pendulum on-stage during their secret set at Reading. Ahead of the show, the frontman told NME how the collaboration came about.
“Gareth [McGrillen] and Rob [Swire] just got in touch and basically said that they’re thinking about doing a remix of ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’, and I was like ‘okay sick!’, what a surreal message to get,” Reynolds explained. “They sent it over, and there’s a lot of different demo changes in that track so I was like ‘this is so interesting, what are they going to do with it?’ And it’s so good. It’s killer.”
Speaking about rehearsing the tune together, Reynolds added: “Because sub-bass works better at certain frequencies they’ve had to raise the key of track. And you know, this track came out in 2007, I wrote it in 2003, so I could perhaps reach those high notes a little better, and they’ve raised it another tone, tone and a half, so it’s up there.
“So I’m hoping I have some vocal chords left after our own set to destroy with Pendulum.”
Reynolds needn’t have worried, though, as his on-stage moment with the band was electrifying.
He also gave NME an update on new Enter Shikari music. Last month, the band released their first single in almost three years in the form of Wargasm collaboration ‘The Void Stares Back‘.
“We’ve been writing all summer, just trying to get things done and sort out a schedule on how we’re going to move forward, but this is the first new track for a good few years,” Reynolds explained. “I couldn’t write over the lockdown at all, so this is the first offering since that whole period.”
It was performing at the Download Pilot event in 2021, and regaining the human connection that comes with performing live, that helped creative ideas come back into fruition.
Discussing what we can expect lyrically from new material, Reynolds said: “Lyrics I’m finding more difficult these days as there’s so much to write about. You just feel like if you’re trying to craft an album [you’re like] ‘oh I need to talk about this, but oh I need to address this’…so it’s just fitting the personal and the political in and trying to do it in a way that actually flows and feels natural.”
Meanwhile, musically fans can expect “wall to wall bangers”.
“We’re a band that prides ourselves on musical agility, so that’s something that’ll always be with us,” said Reynolds. But I think the tracks we’re writing at the moment are all quite high energy, there’s a lot of bangers, straight up bangers.”
He continued: “On every album there’s usually quite a few tracks where we go like not really prog, but certainly quite experimental. Whereas this album seems to be coming together as wall-to-wall bangers.”
Watch our full video with Reynolds above, where he also discusses working with Wargasm, and the band’s history with Reading and Leeds festival.
Meanwhile, Shikari’s main stage Reading set over the weekend was cut short due to a power failure, despite rumours of censorship.
The power outage occurred just after Reynolds made an impassioned speech about polluting water companies including Thames Water, leading many fans on social media to claim that the band were removed from the stage on purpose, rather than because of a genuine power cut.
Taking to Twitter, Reynolds quote tweeted a fan who called the incident “political censorship right in front of our eyes” and alleged that the festival had “cut the power” to the band for “speaking the truth about sewage pollution in our waters and Tory greed”.
Clarifying the situation, Reynolds wrote: “Just to clarify everyone – it wasn’t an act of censorship, it was a power outage at front-of-house. Immense bad luck, and of course bad timing.”
“We then had our set cut as the power cut pushed our set over our allotted time slot. Frustrating as hell but the festival has to keep to the timetable understandably, to stop stampedes in between stages. We had a fucking blast though. Big up everyone at [Reading]. Love only.”
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