story by tim mcmahan
Lazy-i: May 26, 2005
w/ Madaction, Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers
May 29, 9p.m.
13th & Martha
$10 adv; $12 DOS
The critics, in all their wisdom, are saying Kasabian
is the new Oasis.
They're comparing the band to everyone from Primal Scream to Happy
Mondays to My Bloody Valentine. Kasabian's self-titled RCA debut
is a big hit across the water, selling nearly 500,000 copies since
its release there last fall. Sell-out arena shows throughout Europe
followed, as epitomized in a live video for their hit "Club
Foot," showing a throbbing crowd "going mental" as
if Mick, Keith and the boys were on stage.
But that's the U.K. Here, on the shores of these United States,
Kasabian is still just another underground rock act trying to break
through in the only market that really matters. They may be selling
out arenas in Manchester and Glasgow, but they'll be hard-pressed
to fill Sokol Underground on a Sunday night.
The return to club land is just another
challenge, said Kasabian keyboardist/guitarist and primary songwriter
Sergio Pizzorno. "It's good for the soul, man," said the
cheeky Brit after a sound check at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theater.
"You get used to playing these big venues and expect it. We
started in the clubs. We can play in front of 50 or 5 million and
it's exactly the same. It's the spirit of the band, man."
Pizzorno's distracted cadence and rushed cockney delivery give
the conversation an air of consequence. In short, it's how I imagine
it would be like interviewing someone important, like one of the
I mention that the CD's been compared to releases by The Stone
Roses and Happy Mondays, thanks to its funky, Manchester-style beats.
Regardless, Kasabian has been grouped with bands in the indie scene
over here, probably because their videos have received airplay on
MTV2's indie-flavored program "Subterranean." Fact is,
their music has more in common with hip-hop than indie.
"Thank you, man, that's a great compliment," Pizzorno
said. "The music is born out of being bored with indie and
rock music and doing something different."
Being bored appears to be the band's biggest motivation. Pizzorno
described his sleepy hometown of Leicester, U.K., as being filled
with honest, hard-working people getting on in life. "There's
beauty in that," he said. "But the boredom makes you want
to get out and make music to escape. When you're an artist, you
need more. You need to travel and play your guitar. We've somehow
been chosen to make music and be on this path, man."
"The music is born out of being bored
with indie and rock music and doing something different."
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"Creativity is overrated, integrity
It's a path that comes with directions
in the form of the band's heady manifesto filled with earnest platitudes
that was included in their press kit. Among the jewels of wisdom:
"The Kasabian Movement is you, the fifth member of Kasabian.
Together we can make something special."
"It doesn't matter what you believe in as long as you believe
it. Creativity is overrated, integrity is everything."
"It's not about bullshit New York or wanky Hoxton. You can
live the rock and roll lifestyle but there's no point if you hit
the button and it sounds like shit. Cut out the bull and irrelevance
to find the real life."
Heavy stuff, man. And there's more, with headlines like "Personal
Revolution" and "Live It for Real." Though it probably
seemed like a good idea at the time, Pizzorno sounds a little embarrassed
by the manifesto these days. "We had a lot of red wine making
that thing," he said. "We needed something to give the
press. So you have a few beers and speak out loud and write it down.
It was one of those moments in life. We don't regret it, as yet."
Kasabian, he says, is more than just a manifesto. It's about "giving
the people a reason to go mental" and "bringing togetherness"
at their impromptu dance parties. They just want to share love.
"If people in Omaha bought our album, they deserve to see
us on stage," he said. "We're having a great time in America,
just trying to stay alive."
Published in The Omaha Reader May 25, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.