For his lat­est col­umn Martin Cooper looks at the style of Le­ices­ter’s Kasabian, pur­vey­ors of finely-crafted songs in the clas­sic Britrock vein.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Cooper in­ves­ti­gates the mod­ern Britrock style of Le­ices­ter sons Kasabian.

Le­ices­ter band Kasabian formed in 1997. They have since scored five chart­top­ping al­bums and played dozens of sold-out tours. Com­pris­ing Tom Meighan (vo­cals), Ser­gio Piz­zorno (gui­tar), Ian Matthews (drums) and Chris Ed­wards (bass), they blend clas­sic rock, psychedelia and Brit­pop styles. Pre­vi­ous gui­tarist Chris Karloff quit the line-up in 2006. The group has also won the Best Band In The World To­day award from Q Mag­a­zine, Best Live Band from NME, and head­lined Glas­ton­bury.

Ini­tially launch­ing their ca­reer un­der the name Sara­cuse the quar­tet started record­ing at Bedrock Stu­dios in Le­ices­ter, where bas­sist Ed­wards was one of the en­gi­neers. Af­ter chang­ing the group name, record­ing an ini­tial EP and get­ting out on the live cir­cuit, they signed to BMG Records. With the re­lease of their epony­mous 2005 de­but al­bum, Meighan, Piz­zorno and co were booked to play on the Other Stage at Glas­ton­bury, af­ter which they be­gan to gain an ar­dent fol­low­ing. The third sin­gle Club Foot from the de­but al­bum, put them firmly on the UK map and the song has been a sta­ple of their live set ever since.

Kasabian have con­tin­ued to be ex­tremely pop­u­lar, do­ing par­tic­u­larly well on home ter­ri­tory, but have also main­tained a mas­sive fol­low­ing on the live cir­cuit. In­deed, they seem to be the dar­lings of the fes­ti­vals in­clud­ing the Isle Of Wight, the Ed­in­burgh Sum­mer Ses­sions, and Genoa in Italy - where many of the gui­tarist’s fam­ily still re­side.

Ser­gio Piz­zorno’s style is firmly rooted in the ‘less is more’ Brit-rock style and he’s happy to cite Noel Gal­lagher as an in­flu­ence. Piz­zorno is some­thing of a gui­tar anti-hero and plays sim­ple parts that serve the band’s songs, of­ten leav­ing space re­ally well and play­ing one sim­ple part in­stead of lay­er­ing up many gui­tar tex­tures.

Our track this month is sim­ple from a tech­ni­cal point of view, but high­lights some of the ways that Kasabian’s gui­tar parts and mo­tifs back up the bass and the drums and play around chord tones and har­mony. There’s a real les­son to be learnt from this, as rock is not al­ways ‘pedal to the metal’.

Bb- We’re in the key of Dm (D-E-F-G-A- C), al­though the track ends with an A ma­jor chord (A-C#-E) which points to­wards A Phry­gian


Dom­i­nant (A- C#-D-E-F-G), es­sen­tially mak­ing the V chord from D mi­nor (Am) ma­jor (A), by play­ing C# in­stead of C.

NEXT MONTH Martin delves into the bluesy-rock style of GN’R and Vel­vet Re­volver’s Slash

Ser­gio Piz­zorno al ways plays si mple parts that ser ve the song rat her than his ego

Kasabian’s Ser­gio Piz­zorno play­ing a matt black Epi­phone Casino

Ser­gio Piz­zorno uses a col­lec­tion of vin­tage style in­stru­ments in­clud­ing a Rick­en­backer 480 and 481, an Epi­phone Casino and a Fender Jaguar. He of­ten uses a Vox AC30 amp and ef­fects such as the Elec­tro Har­monix POG and Mi­crosynth. Go for a clas­sic rock sound, us­ing tra­di­tional tones and medium gain, adding such ef­fects as suit the song.

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