"This isn't Kasabian. It's a completely different sport"
Last month, the guitarist and songwriter surprised fans last when he shared his debut solo track ‘Favourites’ – a collaboration with Little Simz. The rave-inspired ‘Nobody Else‘ followed, before a full album and UK/European tour was announced today – also featuring special guest slowthai.
“I’ve been describing the album as an updated self-portrait,” Pizzorno told NME at a playback of the record, following a Q&A between himself and comedian Noel Fielding. “There are three tracks following this ‘meanwhile’ concept in the beginning, middle and end. The tunes in between kind of make up the story. It’s always fascinated me that during the ‘meanwhile’ you can be here, but somewhere completely different. I tuned into that then filled in the gaps.
“I was delving into my personality, then dialling it up.”
So what does the album tell us about the real Serge Pizzorno in 2019?
“I’m feeding into the media, I’m feeding into myself, and I’m feeding into everything that’s around me,” he replied. “It’s what is coming into my brain. It feels like Britain, it feels like me, it feels like where I started, where I am and where I’m going. I’m on this journey – we all are.”
As for the sound, Pizzorno drew on a number of genres – from dance music, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, indie and “skits on hip-hop records”.
“This time I ditched instruments and just made sounds with my voice, nicked sounds off the telly, nicked sounds off the net and just made stuff,” Pizzorno continued. “I was just recording the underground, recording tables and just finding sonics to strip away the layers and have a new sound.”
The inspiration behind ‘Favourites’ was also borrowed, after he heard two girls discussing dating apps while on a bus.
“This online persona is in the way of the real you,” Pizzorno told NME of the track. “They’re screaming out inside you but you can’t be that person. You have to be the perfect version of yourself, and none of us are.
“Behind closed doors we’re all as ridiculous, beautiful and crazy as everyone else. But to the world you have to show this performance. It takes us even further away from who we really are.”
Would it be fair to say that The S.L.P is the most exaggerated version of Pizzorno himself?
“Yes, it’s true! Exactly, exactly, exactly.”
After admitting that he’s already in the process of writing the next Kasabian album, Pizzorno said that he feels so invigorated by the process of making his solo record that the energy is bound to feed back into the band.
“What’s exciting for me is that I’ve been completely reborn,” Pizzorno says. “It’s reminded me of why I wanted to be an artist. Why does anybody want to make anything? It’s that first moment when you can be anything you want. You’re not weighed down by expectation or what it should or needs to be. All of the other forces in your world slip away. When you’re sat there as a five-year-old kid, you get a bit of paper and you just draw, or you just pick up a guitar and you just draw. You don’t care what any of it’s about, you don’t care if it means anything, you just do it.”
He continued: “This has jogged my memory back to that.”
As for the upcoming tour dates, Pizzorno said that fans should expect the unexpected.
“Bullet point one is that the photo from the pit can not look like the band I’m in,” he added. “The band I’m in are pretty amazing at what we do, so why would I want to do anything like that? This is a different sport. I’m in a different game.
“Once you start clearing the tables, it gets pretty exciting. You start thinking ‘What can it be?’ Then your mind starts to race. Then you start to think, ‘Fuck, this could be exciting’. You’re gonna come to see it and think, ‘Fuck, I was not expecting that’. I will be like nothing I’ve done previously.”
The S.L.P.’s upcoming UK and European tour dates are below.
5 – SWG3, Glasgow
6 – Albert Hall, Manchester
7– O2 Institute, Birmingham
9 – EartH, London
10 – EartH, London
12 – Circo Magnolia, Milan
13 – Gretchen, Berlin
16 – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam
The S.L.P. is released on August 30.