Aside from supergroups, whose members have proven track records, few bands know what to expect their first time out.
Kasabian, one of Britain’s hottest new groups, is no exception.
“You never know, really,” lead guitarist-keyboardist Sergio Pizzorno said recently. “You just put on the outfit and see what happens.”
Lucky for him, Tom Meighan (vocals), Chris Edwards (bass) and Christopher Karloff (guitar, keyboards), their first venture is a smash. Their self-titled RCA debut album, released last year in the U.K., has spawned a pair of Top 10 singles and has sold more than 400,000 copies.
Now they’re bringing their brand of fiery sonic-rock to the United States. The band’s rousing first single, “Club Foot” (Hear here via iTunes), is making its mark on P&P’s Picks chart, ahead of the album’s March 8 release.
Through it all, Pizzorno remains astounded that four lads from Leichester, England, weaned on Oasis and the Stone Roses, are getting heard around the world.
“It blows me away, actually,” he said. “We’re selling out venues. When you’ve got an album out in Britain, people buy it and show up at your shows, but when you go to another country, you really see how far you’ve come. We did six shows in Japan, and the kids were waiting for us at the hotels. It was amazing.
“I think back to when we first started and how we’d sit around and talk about the future. You’re naive, but we actually knew what we wanted to do. We weren’t just going to be a band, we were going to be the best band and play the best music. It just goes to show that if you’ve got the beliefs, you can pretty much do anything.”
The group, named after Linda Kasabian (the Manson family’s pregnant getaway driver), set lofty goals when it convened at a farmhouse in Rutland, 30 miles outisde Leichester, and created a studio.
“We did it on our own, and said ‘We’ll be back in a few months and we’ll give you an album,’ ” Pizzorno said. “It was perfect because there was no one else around; we could knock around on songs for as long as we wanted.
“We wanted to get the perfect balance between DJ Shadow’s ‘Entroducing’ and the Beatles’ ‘Revolver.’ They were the two perfect albums, and we wanted a bit of both. Right there, you can see we set the bar high.
“We’re loudmouths. There’s all these quotes from us saying we wanted to kick British music in the ass. But every band should want to do that; you should want to get people excited and kick up a fuss. It inspires people. I’m sick and tired of music being boring. Just take it by the fuckin’ horns and do it.”
America has chewed up British bands and spit them out. Kasabian isn’t intimidated.
“We know America’s a huge piece of land, so it’s going to take a while. But we’re ready for that. It’s a great job, playing in a band. Loads of women, loads of music. It’s great, man.”
They’re not resting on their laurels, either. Pizzorno says they’ve already started on their second album.
“Hopefully fans who’ve come along with us on the first one will stick around for this next one, because it’s a natural progression. It’s more mature,” he said.
Until then, they’re enjoying the ride.
“We’ve been making music for a while, and we just got better and better at it,” Pizzorno said. “The beautiful thing about the band is that we’re all friends, and we’ve never been in other bands before. We were so frightened of having to get a proper job, we needed to be in a band.”
THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “George Harrison’s ‘Cloud Nine’ album, and the second one was ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson. Those aren’t too bad for being my first two albums.”
THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “Oasis and The Verve at Earl’s Court. It blew my mind. There were like 80,000 people, and my mate and I didn’t know what to expect because we had never been to a gig before. When they first kicked in, the whole crowd was bouncing. It was a rush. I thought, man, ‘I want to do that. I want to do the same thing.’ “
THE WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: “I used to pack bottles of tea into boxes. It was horrible and tedious. As you can imagine, the people who do those kinds of jobs are insane because it drives them insane. Some of the conversations were fantastic, but I loved it for that because you got pure character. It was almost like a little comedy.”
ON THE WEB: rcarecords.com/kasabian/.
BWF (before we forget): Upcoming tour dates – (with The Music) March 7, Seattle, Neumo’s; March 8, Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom; March 9, Portland, Ore., Crystal Ballroom; March 11, San Francisco, Slim’s; March 12, Los Angeles, Music Box at the Fonda; March 13, San Diego, Canes; March 15, Tempe, Marquee Theater; March 17, Dallas, Gypsy Tea Room; March 18, Houston, Meridian; (on their own) April 22-23, Glasgow, Carling Glasgow Academy; April 25-26, Manchester, U.K., Carling Apollo Manchester; April 28, London, Alexandra Place; April 29, Brighton, U.K., Brighton Centre; April 30, Nottingham, U.K., Nottingham Arena; May 1, Indio, Calif., Empire Polo Field, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival; July 10, Kinross, U.K., Balado, T in the Park.
More updates: Joe Henry, Marcus King, Lily Kershaw, Poliça, Sarah Brightman, Jerry Leger, Simple Minds, Grateful Dead, etc