Five minutes into my interview with Kaiser Chief main singer Ricky, Joyzine gets an exclusive (well it would be if this were printed 5 minutes later!). Ricky has just been told that they have been confirmed for the NME tour in February/March with The Killers, Futureheads and Bloc Party. Already excited about appearing the last night of Frieze Art (tonight it’s been curated by Franz Ferdinand and they have been hand picked by the Glasgow boys to do a set) this could send him over the edge!
So if you have never heard of the Kaiser Chiefs before here is some basic information. They all hail from Leeds and they consist of Ricky, Nick (drummer and main songwriter), Simon and Andrew. They all got together last year and have done extremely well in this short space of time. So where did they get the name from? Ricky explains “We were in other bands, so we thought let’s start a new. We wanted something really positive and really strong and it also happens to be the name of a South African football team” Even though not a fan of said football team they did meet their star player once who now plays for Leeds.
Positive energy seems to drive the Kaiser Chiefs both in their attitude and in their music. After signing to a previous label (they are now with Drowned in Sound) which went bust they went through a low point “so we decided to do something positive, so many things can go wrong in a band, I’ve heard so many stories of people of used to be in a band saying “I supported Texas”. I don’t want to be 40 years old and to remind people that I was in a band once. I want people to go “hey you used to be in a band once!”
They released their first single 'Oh My God' back in May, which is a big song!
“It’s about that feeling of being far away from home and really wanting to be at home” which they should really know about. They have been on the road for most this year supporting the likes of Dogs Die in Hot Cars and The Ordinary Boys and also playing to 10,000 people in Russia. “They’d never heard of us” Ricky cheekily explains “They (the Russians) enjoy everything, anyone who makes an effort to go and play there. Because lots of our songs have lots of oohhs and aaahhhs they were all singing along by the second chorus!” As for the Ordinary Boys, they were chosen to support them in Leeds and they got on so well that they asked them back.
They have not got a day off until December but they realise that they have to work hard if they want the same similar rise to success like Franz Ferdinand, who are Dj-ing tonight and who last year had a supporting role like them at this festival. Although getting publicity through the recent trend of guerrilla gigs like Embrace and the Open is not on their agenda. “It’s a bit silly really” says Ricky who would much rather have proper sound checks and have something nice to stand!
As for Festivals, the only ones they have played at are Reading and Leeds this year and surprisingly they preferred playing Reading and kept themselves to themselves and spent the entire day being star struck! What about next years Festivals, which ones would they like to play? “All of them, Every single one!”
With load more headlining shows to come this year, they are hoping to bring the Cribs along on tour with them because “they really go for it, and we’ll have to follow them!”
So in this wave of great British bands who stands out for them “The Cribs of course, they have the songs and Edwyn Collins is producing their album” What about other recent successes? The Zutons? “Abbey is the coolest person in the world and mesmerising” Keane? “Keane are pants but people love it, it’s the kind of music that brought them together with their girlfriends”.
And what about downloading and file sharing? “It’s wrong but right at the same time, as long as musicians can survive” He believes that people will always buy records.
With success inevitable for the Kaiser Chiefs what will he be demanding in his dressing room apart from crate loads of beer? “Dishwasher tablets with the pearl in the middle” he laughs “because they are so expensive!”
Carrying on the humorous tone, when asked if they are likely to cover anyone else’s songs, Ricky tells me that they have been practising the Rocky theme “Eye of the Tiger” but have now decided on “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John. I can’t wait to hear that, I wonder if they will get kitted out with leotards and leg warmers too?!
The second single, out on Nov 1st, is called “I Predict a Riot” and is there anything that they would incite a riot for? “yes, if we never got this NME tour, there would have been one!”
Interview by Sonia Pagliari