Enter Shikari

words by Joe Cortez

Passionate and defiant, Enter Shikari has carved a distinct niche for itself among their fans and punk/metal devotees with a more diverse palette than their brethren. Currently on the road in the US in support of their most recent release, "The Mindsweep," (available now via Hopless Records/Ambush Reality), I caught up with Enter Shikari vocalist Rou Reynolds via email to chat about life on the road, their fans and more.

For more on Enter Shikari and to check out upcoming tour dates, be sure to head over to entershikari.com and be sure to check out my coverage of the band's stop at Soma in San Diego last weekend on the site.

Photo by John Curtis Hughes

Photo by John Curtis Hughes

Celluloid Annoyed: So you've been touring the states for a little over a week now, how's the road been treating the band so far? Any advice for fellow musicians from the UK who are planning on giving a tour of the US a go?

Rou Reynolds: It’s been alright yeh. No breakdowns - automobile or human - so far. Well all I would say is don’t have any delusions about making it big in the U.S. heh. This is our 21st trip stateside and we’re still playing the same venues as on our first trip haha. It is good fun though and the people that come to shows are really nice and super enthusiastic.

CA: You have an incredible connection with your fans here in the US, what do you attribute that too? What do you think they're getting from your music? Do you think US fans are responding to or picking up on different things in your music than UK fans?

RR: I think many U.S. folks like the fact that we’re a bit different and enjoy the diversity. More people are beginning to tire of the average american metal core outfit. Hearing the same songs over and over again. Birds do that you know? The thing is, human brains are a little more complex than the brain of a bird, I’m sure you’d agree. Birds tweet the same songs over and over there whole lives. People are bored of banal breakdowns and whiney chorus’.

But I’ll stop being a cocky facetious prick for a moment and say that a strong connection with the people who enjoy our music is paramount for us. I think in a way, because our music so diverse and esoteric it requires real effort on the part of the listener. So if people get it, they’ve put the time in in order to ‘get it’, if that makes sense! Therefor it really feels like already we have a strong bond as we both appreciate the same passionate ideas of musical expression. 

Photo by John Curtis Hughes

Photo by John Curtis Hughes

CA: Your most recent album, The Mindsweep, was released in early 2015. Has your approach to playing any of the tracks live changed at all in the time since release and your current dates?

RR: Well we had the whole album remixed by some of our favourite drum & bass artists, so we’ve added a few of those remixes in live which keeps things fresh and keeps the audience on their toes! Other than that there’s some tracks we held off playing until this year like The One True Colour, so it’s great to be able to finally play them.

CA: What's next for Enter Shikari after the current tour wraps up? Taking some time off or is it right back to prepping for the next album?

RR: We have a load of summer festivals back in Europe. And then we’re looking at ‘popping over’ to Japan and Australia. So we’ll be back in the studio at the end of this year I reckon. And that will be Shikari Mach II. I’m really excited.