Interview with Serge : “I want the perfect dance psychedelic record, I want to make people move and groove. I’ve always wanted to do that.”
- by Delphine VAN BRACKEL and Rabbit on Ecstasy, photography : Delphine VAN BRACKEL -
(a first version of this interview was published in French on LillelaNuit.com. This is the complete version.)
Kasabian is giving a concert at the Aéronef, in Lille, in the middle of their second European tour for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. A good opportunity to meet Sergio “Serge” Pizzorno, Kasabian guitarist, songwriter and composer (but if you’re reading this website, you already know that, don’t you ?). The band is finishing their soundcheck when we arrive. After a while, we take the stairs, meet Tom who answers a few questions before doing his own soundcheck and go to a little lounge, where we meet Serge. A rather relaxed discussion where hide hither and thither the Mighty Boosh, W.I.Z., Nirvana and some future plans.
Delphine (Kasabian’s Paradise) – Kasabian’s touring for more than 10 years now, and you’re in the middle of your most successful tour in Europe. Have you ever consider making a live DVD ?
Serge – We’re actually making one now. It was filmed at the last show we did in Dublin on the last tour. So we filmed that and the first things I’ve seen of it were great. Yeah, so of course we’re doing one at the moment. It will probably get out after this tour I imagine, not too distant future, we’ll see..
“We’re making a DVD now. It was filmed in Dublin.”
Rabbit on Ecstasy (Kasabian’s Paradise) – Last year, before the Luna Boys tour, you did a cover of The Source and Candi Staton’s You Got The Love and it was really appreciated by the fans and we know you don’t play it anymore. Is there a chance to see the whole song on a support one day, maybe for download or something ?
Serge – Well, we’ve been doing it for quite a while and then and Florence and the Machine has started it and they released it as a single, so it can of feels a bit weird. We were there first on I’ve got to say. But it just wouldn’t be right now, doing anything else. We’ll think of something better.
D – If you could organize the perfect festival or gig for you, who would you see in it and where would it take place ?
Serge – (thinking intensively) It would take place in… in a shop.
RoE – Really ?
Serge – Yeah, in a shop, in the center of Paris. A tiny shop in three levels and there’d be bands on each level. You start at the bottom, each band on different floor and you finally get to the top. That’s where we could play. So you kinda get the bill…
D – Which bands would play ?
Serge – Tame Impala, a new band, got to mention it, they’re incredible, the Mighty Boosh there as well, The Hours, put them on and DJ Shadow. That’d be good, that’s all we need.
RoE – Last time you came in France, Chris said to a French magazine [ndlr : Rock & Folk] that “things take more time here (in France), that’s why we will come back more often“. Is this kind of plan still relevant today ?
Serge – We just always say that we go where people want us, so of course, if things just get getting bigger, we’ll be coming more yeah, of course. It’s going really well in France, it’s great.
Hélène – and you always seem happy to be here.
Serge – Yeah, I do. I think the crowd appreciations… I think they understand better than most bases what we’re about, and they don’t necessarily read the non sense, they just listen to the music, and I think it’s great.
“I think (in France) they understand better than most bases what we’re about, and they don’t necessarily read the non sense, they just listen to the music, and I think it’s great.”
D – On a visual aspect, you worked with several people, including Julie Verhoeren, but you seem to have a special relation with W.i.z., as we can see on several videos taken backstage in November. How do you work with him? And how this work contributes to your image ?
Serge – Well, I think he’s just a special person. He’s a phenomenal director, the best out there. And I think he just bear in mind the spirit of music and passion. And there aren’t many left out there, so you’re kind of attracted to each other because of this. And we worked together so well on the album cover and I always thought of bringing it alive, I really liked the idea. It’s a shame we couldn’t do it around the world but we’re not U2 yet. It’s nice to bring it live and to make this kind of show you know… being about the album and the characters from the album, it’s different. And W.i.z. being involved on every step, what he came with, it’s a beautiful idea. It’s great. W.i.z. is more “toolman” than just doing the videos. He has to really enjoy the song. A lot of directors – you can’t blame them, they need to put food on the table – they just do it for the sake of doing it for a release. They may have ideas and they might just go for that and work for that. Wiz just comes with something fresh and new, just for more inspiration he gets from the track. That’s why he’s so good.
RoE – Apparently, you’re going to do more shows in Europe in May, in the Nederlands for example, so we wonder if there will more in May.
Serge – I don’t know absolutely yet, you probably know more than me. (chuckles) Yes, probably, I’m sure, there will be… I’ve got to start writing for the album that we’ll probably start in March, and see what happens.
“ want the perfect dance psychedelic record, I want to make people move and groove. I’ve always wanted to do that.”
D – You’ve already spoken about Nirvana and African beats as influences for the new album, but we’d like to know if you can tell us more about it, maybe ideas about the direction you want to take for this album, the atmosphere you’d like to create for it.
Serge – Well, we’ve got a few songs. One of which is a sort of an odyssey, which is huge, it’s about eight minutes long. It’s got a kind of somehow… messing around but it’s a huge song and I don’t really know what it sounds like, it’s pretty wild… There is one else, I suppose you could say Nirvana, the riff is quite grungie, it’s quite aggressive. But I suppose the direction *pause* at the moment my brain changes every second away. I really like listening soul sound you know, soul music… But it won’t be sort of retro or anything. It’s completely different from the last. It won’t sound anything like the other three. Probably an evolution. I want the perfect dance psychedelic record, I want to make people move and groove. I’ve always wanted to do that. I want them to be astounded as well. So, if I can eventually someday get the perfect combination of both. But yeah, the few things I’ve got for the moment are great. Nice.
In this second part, we’re asking Serge question given to us by fans (some are serious, some are more fun).
RoE – We asked some of your fans if they had a question for you. We choose a few of them for you. Someone intends to visit Leicester during the summer and asks : “Do you know where he can find a nice place to have a drink ?“
Serge – There’s a bar called The Orange Tree and there’s a bar called Café Bruxelles they’re quite close, I’d start there you know and see what happens.
(nota bene : very nice indeed, and we also advice you to visit the Firebug and the pubs behind The Lanes)
“What weird kind of venue would you love to play that you haven’t played yet ?”
Serge – I’d like to play the Coliseum in Verona, huge place. Not the one in Roma ‘cause you never get the permission, but the one in Verona. It would be nice coz we’ve only played in Italy for three or four times. But the tickets’ sold out in a day, really fast. And it’s kinda cool because the atmosphere will be amazing. It’s a shame we’ve not been a lot but it’s also kinda nice because it’s new for us.
“I have to share my room with my brother and it really pisses me off. How did you manage to live together for so long in the Farm**** ?”
Serge – (laughs a little) I got have no idea. I just had very good weed I suppose, to be honest. We just had weed and do really mad use in the room.
We did live two years at The Farm. We were probably only in one room for about a year… we arrange to earn more money so we could rent more of the house, but we could only afford to rent three rooms.
“I hope my children will join Greenpeace, that’s what I hope. The peace call..”
“If you had children would you teach them your craft or encourage them into the music business ?” (ndlr : I swear, we didn’t know xD)
Serge – I’ll just gonna let them do whatever they want. There’s gonna be music around, so I think naturally they will be interested in it… If they choose the path, then that’s great. I’ll help them of course, but I won’t force the path upon them. You need your own way. I hope they’ll join Greenpeace, that’s what I hope. The peace call. Rock and roll is non sense. Do something seriously good.
**** an isolated farm where the album was recorded at most.
After that, we had a few moments where we talked about leopard print and pictures and, as we had time, we asked for pictures : here are the pictures from the interview with Sergio Pizzorno !
The Kasabian’s Paradise team thanks a lot Serge, the Alias Production team, lthe band manager, and Sony BMG, for giving us time and kindness.
© Kasabian’s Paradise – Please do not put these pictures and text on your own website, make a link to this page, thank you :).