Kasabian’s Sergio Pizzorno Talks Dubstep, Death Grips, & Tripping Out
Although Kasabian started only six years after Oasis, Kasabian’s career trajectory has been markedly more difficult. While U.K. audiences and critics from all over the world have lauded Kasabian, the band is just starting to get their mainstream footing in the States with Velociraptor!
Main songwriter and guitarist Sergio Pizzorno said in an exclusive interview with KROQ/Los Angeles that it’s a lot easier to get heard in England because the country is so small and there are only a few key stations. A spin on the radio is heard by everyone and it accelerates the process.
“Small things can suddenly rise a lot faster. Whereas in America, it’s hard work,” Pizzorno explained, alluding to the vast geographic scope of the United States. “You play a great gig in Seattle, and then you go to Portland, which is close, and it won’t be anywhere as good and you can’t really work out what’s happened in a few hundred miles. There’s just more of everything.”
More of everything including rock bands, which Pizzorno said there’s a “barren patch” of in the United Kingdom despite Kasabian’s own “amalgamation of late 60’s garage with an electronic element.”
At Coachella, Kasabian was wedged in the middle of a veritable rave tent and some druggy hip-hop; Pizzorno thought that was perfect given that he’s always been into an electronic sound. Although he “loves the Rolling Stones,” the songwriter grew up listening to bands like Tangerine Dream, Can, Neu!, and Krautrock, saying that Boards of Canada was his “biggest influence on that kind of level.”
“I’m trying to merge the two somehow,” Pizzorno continued, talking about the how “powerful” dance music is. “Especially like dubstep. It’s kind of huge. When it hits, it’s like Rage Against the Machine power. This music drops, and it’s like f**king heavy metal but really heavy metal. You get this weird combination of mosh pit and dance heads. It’s sort of amazing, actually.”
Perceptions be damned; the hard-rocking Kasabian has always had a foot in the electronic and hip-hop scene. Dan the Automator worked on Velociraptor! and Pizzorno confessed that some of the modern music that’s currently inspiring him includes experimental hip-hop project Death Grips whom he said are “so grimy that some it just hurts.”
“I’ve heard this tune by Death Grips called ‘Guillotine’ and it’s just like torn me in bits. I’d never heard anything quite like it,” said Pizzorno excitedly, admitting that he’s “loosely” working on new music. “As soon as I heard it, I wanted to get in the studio. Whether that’ll come across in the new tunes, I don’t know. I’m just listening to that and going ‘Wow, what is that?.’ It’s incredible when you get those moments.”
Pizzorno also said that Azealia Banks’ flow on her smash hit “212” totally “bends his head.” “I try and work out the melody on that and I don’t know where to start,” Pizzorno confided. “I can’t get near it, it’s just great.”
Both Death Grips and Azealia Banks are known for their “trippy” vibe, something that Kasabian has mastered themselves over the last decade.
“I think naturally that’s where my head’s at. I’ve always like trippiness,” said Pizzorno. “I’m attracted to that. I think I like the idea of losing your mind. That’s always been where my head’s at. I’ve always kind of loved music that’s tripped me out. I’m also into powerful, direct music, but there’s certainly for the most part I like to just sort of float around.”
Which makes sense because when asked what his preferred political climate would be, Pizzorno quipped, “mushroom taker.”
“I’m definitely into the more spiritual side of life. Let’s all have a few mushrooms, have a little campfire, and we’re done really. Then again, that’s not going to work is it? It would be great for like a week but then it would get messy.”
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles