Friends Like These: Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds and You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi

The two musicians discuss their formative years, collaborating and their new albums

Like most people, You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi was first introduced to Enter Shikari via the hectic music video for their 2007 breakout track ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’.

The house party was filmed at guitarist Chris Batten’s home while his parents were away for a weekend. Of course they hadn’t given the young band permission to throw an almighty rager and Enter Shikari would have got away with it, if it wasn’t for Rory Clewlow chipping the ceiling with his guitar.

With the British rock scene in such rude health, it wasn’t long before Franceschi had a band of his own, and the two groups quickly bonded during a stint on the gruelling, travelling music festival Warped Tour. Since then, Enter Shikari and You Me At Six have gone on to become mainstays of the scene, racking up Top Ten Albums, selling out venues like London’s Alexandra Palace and regularly appearing on the Main Stage of Reading & Leeds Festivals.


Rou Reynolds joins You Me At Six onstage at London’s Alexandra Palace. Credit: Glen Bollard

Speaking during their Friends Like These video chat for NME, Franceschi explains he’s always seen a lot of You Me At Six in Enter Shikari because of “how close [they] all are.”

“Sometimes you hang out with a band and it’s obvious ‘you guys don’t like each other much’. We move as a tribe in You Me At Six and I feel like that’s quite similar for [Enter Shikari] as well.”

After years of sharing backstage areas at festivals, the two bands finally collaborated last year when Enter Shikari vocalist Rou Reynolds hopped on You Me At Six track ‘No Future? Yeah Right’.

The collab started when Franceschi sent Reynolds a “rambling voice note” about working together and after hearing the demo, Reynolds instantly agreed because he thought the track was “sick”.

“It was one of those things where I immediately knew what I could bring to the track. It was already a banger, it was just how can I make this better,” he says.


Reynolds was in Chichester recording the upcoming Enter Shikari album ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’ at the time. In typical Shikari fashion though, he was way behind schedule but he “stayed up one night and wrote the lyrics and did those little synthy bits” for the song.

Franceschi has had “varied” experiences with asking people to collaborate in the past. “There was meant to be something on ‘Truth Decay’ that ended up being so difficult [to organise] that in the end, I didn’t even want them to be on our album. People either gloss over [the question] or give you a strong yes before you never hear from them again.”

“[Rou] was like, ‘mate, this song is going to be fucking jokes. I’ve got a lot going on but I’m going to do it’. That made me feel like it was the right thing to ask you.”

The song features on ‘Truth Decay’, a record which sees the band trying to create a “quintessential You Me At Six album,” reflects Franceschi, adding: “We looked back to go forward and it turns out we loved what our band used to sound like.”

By comparison, Enter Shikari’s new album ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’ was written “with such excitement and relief” after a period of complete creative dryness for Reynolds. “There’s no self-indulgent, six-minute prog rock songs. It’s short, sharp and sweet,” he explains.

“It’s upbeat, full of energy but there’s still a very broad palette,” says Reynolds before saying that instead of feeling like a previous record from their back catalogue, ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’ feels like “a new era”.

In their Friends Like These interview, the musicians also discuss toying with expectations, their formative years and their new albums. Watch the video in full above.

You Me At Six’s ‘Truth Decay’ is out now. Enter Shikari release ‘A Kiss for the Whole World’ on April 21.