Expect the Kaiser Chiefs to mess up the lyrics and play the wrong chords as they hit the stage in Victoria this month.
“It’s our first gig in about two months, so we might get some of the chords wrong – Ricky will definitely get some of the words wrong,” jokes bassist Simon Rix with a laugh.
Rix, frontman Ricky Wilson, drummer Vijay Mistry, guitarist Andrew White and keyboardist Nick Baines are all currently on hiatus after a tour of South America and the UK where they continue to fill arenas and stadiums.
“We did two weeks in South America supporting the Foo Fighters in various stadiums, which was great and two weeks in England doing arenas which was really, really nice as well, it was really, really good month,” says Rix, on the phone from his London home.
The indie rock band has been around for more than a decade and haven’t let setbacks, such as the 2012 departure of founding member drummer Nick Hodgson slow them down.
“In our career we made this album under the (band) name Parva, which didn’t even get released and then the next album we made was Employment which is still our biggest selling album,” says Rix. “I think part of the reason we were totally going for it and you can feel the energy on Employment is because of the disappointment and things that happened in the previous band. All of that pent up aggression and excitement of all that stuff, it came out in Employment and we were just absolutely going for it.”
Employment earned critical and commercial success with more than three million copies sold. It won the band numerous awards, and also unleashed I Predict A Riot, the group’s most well-known song, along with Ruby, from their second release Yours Truly, Angry Mob.
“I think every record we made is the right one at that time, even the Parva one, we didn’t really know what we were doing,” says Rix. “I mean, we got signed and we were quite lazy and didn’t really do anything. I think it taught us a lot of lessons. Just when you get a record deal that doesn’t mean you’ve made it, in fact it means the hard work’s just starting. By the time we got to Employment, we knew all that so we worked very hard.”
Fast forward a few years and four records, and the Kaiser Chiefs are on the road touring their 2014 release Education, Education, Education & War.
“I think it’s an album that’s really coherent and makes sense … all the songs fit together. We recorded it in Atlanta with a producer called Ben H. Allen III. We did it in one block of time and it was quite an old-school way of doing it,” Rix says.
After Hodgeson’s departure, band members rallied to write and record Education, Education, Education & War with a new passion.
“I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had,” says Rix. “In the beginning, it’s like a roller coaster, you don’t know what the fuck’s going on, you’re just sort of on a ride and you don’t know where it’s going. Especially our first album, a lot of bands never get past that stage and then we got a bit complacent and a bit lazy and now … I always think Nick leaving did us a favour, because it was a wake up call. We could lose this thing we love doing. It could disappear from underneath us and we could have quit. I think we could have just called it a day when Nick left, but I think the other four of us who are left – and now Vijay who joined – we love doing it and we want to keep doing it as long as possible, we love making music. I think we’re even better than we’ve ever been.” Hear tracks from their latest album at kaiserchiefs.com.