Serge Pizzorno on taking center stage Kasabian after kicking out Tom Meghan


“It’s really exciting when a band has to prove themselves and I love being in that position,” says Kasabian lead Serge Pizzorno.

“I’ve always loved being the underdog—I’ve written a lot of songs about it—and that’s where Kasabian found himself.

Serge Pizzorno, 41, stepped down as Kasabian frontman in July 2020, after singer Tom Meghan was fired for attacking his now-wife Vicki Egger.

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Serge Pizzorno, 41, stepped down as Kasabian frontman in July 2020, after singer Tom Meghan was fired for attacking his now-wife Vicki Egger.credit: Neil Bedford
The band's new album, The Alchemist's Euphoria, will be Pizzorno's first since Meghan's departure

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The band’s new album, The Alchemist’s Euphoria, will be Pizzorno’s first since Meghan’s departurecredit: Neil Bedford
The band's original vocalist Tom Meghan was fired for assaulting his now-wife Vicki Agero

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The band’s original vocalist Tom Meghan was fired for assaulting his now-wife Vicki Agerocredit: PA: Press Association

“We knew what was riding on it and we deserved our shot. The ‘new’ shows we’ve played have been really special and this album has given us a lot of confidence.”

Pizzorno has a lot to say when we’re talking about his seventh album, The Alchemist’s Euphoria, which is the first without original singer Tom Meghan.

I sit with the musician in their publicist’s office to discuss what an emotional two years have been for the Leicester band.

Pizzorno, 41, stepped down as frontman in July 2020 after singer Tom Meghan was fired for attacking his wife, Vicky Egger.

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Meghan pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, but domestic abuse charities criticized the order as inadequate after it was revealed in court that Meghan repeatedly hit Egger, holding him by the throat and pulled him by the ankles.

However, fans were split over the decision to sack Meghan over the incident, and many fans took to social media to express their views that she should be given a second chance. “I knew about the chatter,” Pizzorno says.

“But no one knows what happened except us. To me the band is a sacred thing and we decided as a band that everything stays within the band. like for like? I’m not going there.

“Playing shows or making albums was the only way for me. I do my thing at gigs or on record. ,

Kasabian’s future was bleak. For 17 years the band was one of Britain’s biggest groups but Pizzorno, bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews did not know what happened next.

The songwriter admits that he had thought of a new frontman, but kept coming back to the fact that it was his songs.

“Those words are in my blood,” he tells me. “I know where I was when I wrote all those songs. It matters something on stage when the words come from within. So, I had to stand up and step up. I really have no choice.” was. “

Pizzorno says that his decision to become a vocalist and move on to the band was supported by his friends and family.

‘Absolutely crazy’

He says: “To Park Kasabian’s songs for the rest of my life just didn’t impress me. It affected Dibs (Chris) and Ian, our crew and families.

“What else were we going to do? Go and do something else? I have to pay off my mortgage and so we had to do what made us happy.

“We decided to work with him as a singer in a band. Tom knows we are there if he needs us. We talked to him and he knows. But later he moved on. He left alone before we even knew what we were going to do. ,

Taking on singing duties, Pizzorno insisted that he never wanted to be a frontman when he started the band as a teenager.

“I didn’t want to be a singer. That is not my calling. But now I am out of necessity,” he says.

“There hasn’t been that much time to think very deeply, which is good for me because I can think.

“I can go to those places when I’m on the couch, but when I’m on that level the attention goes absolutely crazy. I just move on with it. It’s like jumping out of a plane.”

“As long as you pack the parachute yourself, you’re fine. Once you’ve made a choice and stepped onto that stage, there’s no turning back. You’re free and I don’t worry about it until then.” can’t. .”

Pizzorno says he didn’t want to be “being a frontman to be a guitar player” and says he has drawn inspiration from artists such as Tyler, The Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger.

He says: “I want people to listen to the songs, come to the live gig and be a part of the moment – the experience and f***ing energy of our shows. I just want people to go crazy about our music.” And that’s what’s happening – the kids are going crazy in the mosh pit.”

‘A different animal’

Sipping a cup of tea, the singer and father of two children say: “However, being a frontman is a different animal.

“I’ve always been good at it that once the suitcase comes home, I’ve left the guy on tour and he doesn’t come home, but it’s also about taking care of myself before a gig.

“You have to dress up for a gig, be on top and take care of your throat. It’s almost happening at the athlete level — and I’m embracing it.”

Kasabian returned to play live in October 2021 with a tour of the UK including two nights at Brixton Academy in London. He also headlined the Isle of Wight festival and supported Liam Gallagher at Knebworth in June, and the rave reviews were his best.

“Those shows at Knebworth were incredible. I love Liam and thank him for giving us the trust and support to run those shows.”

Joined live with new guitarist Tim Carter and by The Music’s Rob Harvey as multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist, Pizzorno says: “There’s a new energy to our show.

“A new generation of people are also coming to us for the first time. With the closure for two years it means there is a need for live music.

“We’ve always been about the new. We’ve never been nostalgic. We’ve never made albums that sound like the last time. And that’s why this new chapter is working so well.”

I didn’t want to be a singer. This is not my calling. But out of necessity, I am now

Serge Pizzorno, Kasabian

Pizzorno put out a solo album, The SLP, in 2019, which also inspired the new record, but now he says: “My whole focus is on Kasabian.”

He says: “I had the idea for The Alchemist because I love the idea of ​​a guy in the studio pulling different genres together to create something new. The excitement is a bit of creating something special — where you get to see that incredible get the feeling.”

The Alchemist’s Euphoria, which was produced by Pizzorno and Fraser T. Smith, is an album that combines the composer’s love of hip-hop, dance beats, and expansive Italian film scores.

“It’s a new chapter, but it comes from where all the other albums have come from. I see this as the next step,” says Pizzorno.

The album contains some of the best songs of the band’s career. Chemicals and Scriptwray are already huge, while new single The Wall played up the Lionesses’ victory in the Euro finals on Sunday.

Rocket Fuel is inspired by comments by critics about the band and TUE (The Ultraview Effect) being dreamy psychedelic escapism.

‘Grief takes some time’

Pizzorno says: “And in terms of the idea and the vision of the record, the Ultraview influence is central. That song, basically three songs together – almost a folk intro, then it moves into electronica and then into Italian cinema. It’s exciting.

“The idea of ​​the whole album was to capture as much information as possible in a very short amount of time. The focus is on who they are – mine is bad.

“This album will always be an interesting record. Even if you come back to it in the years to come.”

Stargazr is another standout, a psychedelic club anthem that Pizzorno says: “will appeal to different generations and relate to for different reasons. To some it will remind them of The Hacienda, to others it will be The Board of Canada and 2000″. Sounds like early ’90s music. Others will relate to it because of The Chemical Brothers, whereas now it’s like Bicep. It just depends on where you are.”

He calls that album closer to Letting Go: “The perfect feeling for everything. Just let it all go, man. Don’t hold onto things and don’t go over things again and again. We are reborn every minute of the day and on reflection, writing this record has been like therapy.

“Ultimately, Tom made his decision. And then we had to make our decision. And it’s as simple as that. We have to move on and it takes time to do that but grief takes a while, right?”

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Pizzorno says that now Kasabian is just looking forward and has begun work on an arena tour in October.

“It has been tough but we are back and at our best. This music is my expression. I think so.”

  • The Alchemist’s Euphoria is on August 12th
The Alchemist's Euphoria, which was produced by Pizzorno and Fraser T. Smith, is an album that combines their love of hip-hop, dance beats and huge Italian film scores.

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The Alchemist’s Euphoria, which was produced by Pizzorno and Fraser T. Smith, is an album that combines their love of hip-hop, dance beats and huge Italian film scores.credit: PA: Press Association
Pizzorno admits that he had thought of a new frontman, but kept coming back to the fact that these were his songs.

6

Pizzorno admits that he had thought of a new frontman, but kept coming back to the fact that these were his songs.credit: Neil Bedford

Kasabiani

alchemist’s euphoria

The Alchemist's Euphoria is on August 12th

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The Alchemist’s Euphoria is on August 12th





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