The swaggering frontman of English rockers Kasabian will never play second-fiddle to a leather- clad Bono again, writes Neala Johnson
Q. Kasabian’s previous album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, was huge in the UK. Can you feel it on the streets?
A. Yeah. I mean, you’re only as famous as the person that recognises you. It’s all good though. You get noticed a lot more and people get their camera phones out, but everything’s OK. Q. Some UK press say you give off a ‘‘ can’t-believe-my-luck’’ vibe. But you always seemed pretty sure of yourselves.
A. We’ve never said we can’t believe our luck. Where’d that come from? We’ve made it on our own, we’ve done really well. I’m humble in my life I live, it’s amazing, but I’m not humble for our success, no way. I’m not gonna apologise. Q. You recorded your new album
Velociraptor! in San Francisco. Did all that sun have an impact? A. All that walking! I went walking with our manager, John. We’d walk all around the pier and back. That’s how I learnt my songs . . . I called it speed-walking. [ Laughs] Q. Goodbye Kiss is your most beautiful song.
A. Oh beautiful, yeah. Did you like that song? Nice one. Did it break your heart? [ Laughs] We’ve always wanted to do a song with a Motown feel or a Roy Orbison love song. It was one of those moments, it just happened. We’ve been rehearsing it live and it’s a heartbreak moment, it really is. I tell ya, that could change a lot of things in this band.
Q. Did you believe you could sing a delicate song?
A. I was brought up on Motown music, soul music. My mum used to be a singer, so it’s always been in me, that kind of thing. Our band, we can be as diverse as we want. I can do punk, I can sing a love song – when you’ve got that power, you can take it anywhere.
Q. Rumour has it you’ll be heading our way for Big Day Out? A. Ahhh, we might be, yeah, heheheh. I’m not allowed to say. Q. You’ve played it twice . . .
A. Yeah, we won’t be playing at 2 in the afternoon again, I can guarantee you that. [ Laughs] Q. Surely it’s headliners or nothing for you nowadays?
A. In England we’re headliners or nothing, but Australia’s different. We’re nearly breaking Australia. Q. Did you learn much supporting U2 on their giant 360 tour?
A. Nah mate, I didn’t take in anything supporting them, them gigs were horrible. Worst ever. U2 fans are cardboard cut-outs. I didn’t learn anything . . . It was amazing to watch and meet them, but I didn’t learn anything. Q. Did you feel like you were playing to an empty stadium? A. That’s how it felt to us. We were the support, so it is what it is. I hate supporting bands . . . that’s never gonna happen again. Q. Did you get any words of wisdom from Bono? A. He told me about this Irish poet guy, I can’t remember his name. ’ Cos my dad’s Irish as well. He’s like, ‘‘ Look at this guy on YouTube’’ or whatever. That’s all he said to me. Q. You never Googled it, did you? A. No, I never looked it up. As soon as he said his name, I forgot it. [ Laughs] Q. Some people would kill for that opportunity. A. Well, it ain’t really as big as you think it is. I forgot what he said straight away, I was just looking at him going, ‘‘ Wow, what a legend. You’ve got leather trousers on. Legend’’.