It’s been a full 10 years since Enter Shikari first blended the worlds of post-hardcore and punk rock with keyboards and electronic music with Take to the Skies. Since then, numerous bands have mixed the two sounds, but back in 2007, it wasn’t exactly the most commonplace of fusions.
“In the years following that first album, there were a lot of bands that caught on to that sound of bringing electronics and dance music and everything into a more guitar-driven punk sound,” says lead singer and keyboardist Rou Reynolds. “It’s cool. We’re obviously happy to break down any sort of genre boundaries and keep music pushing forward. That’s very important to us.”
For one weekend, Reynolds and the rest of Enter Shikari will be bringing SoCal back a decade with full-album shows celebrating a decade of their debut record in Pomona, San Diego, and West Hollywood. But with so many bands are reuniting and celebrating the anniversaries of albums these days, the lasting impact of Take to the Skies on alternative music as a whole is what makes things special for the British quartet. After all, the international chart-toppers could easily release a fifth album that would likely be a hit in the U.K. and beyond, but it’s looking back on those early tracks that really gets the songwriter the most excited.
“There are certain songs I’m more looking forward to playing, and there are some songs we’ve never played live before, so I’m really looking forward to playing those,” Reynolds says. “I think a lot of it still feels relevant. We’ve brought some of the sounds into 2017. We’ve changed them around a bit, but the majority of it is still what was recorded all those years ago. It’s about looking back and appreciating that time period. Then we’ll look forward again after that tour.”
Of course, all four members are in pretty different places than they were back in 2007. From side projects and record labels to clothing lines and families, everyone in Enter Shikari has grown in their own ways during the last decade. But while the musicians have certainly done quite a bit of evolving as people over time, the band has never been one to grow stagnant musically. From one release to the next, Enter Shikari has constantly pushed new boundaries and experimented with new sounds while still staying relatively true to the electronic rock fundamentals that brought them success in the first place.
“With each album, we’ve built up more confidence and had more ambition and inspiration,” Reynolds says. “I think that’s reflected on each album as quite a big step forward. We’ve never made an album that sounds like the previous one, because I think releasing new music in itself is something that’s really important to us. With a band like that, it makes it all the more special that we’re still here today and still growing. We’re appreciative of the fan base even more today, because we know that the music isn’t really middle of the road easy listening.”
But even for the guys who wrote it, getting sucked back into the songs and vibes of their March 2007 debut can still seem a little surreal. For a band that never thought too far beyond the task at hand, having the next thing on their radar be the 10-year anniversary shows isn’t something they’d ever planned on. Once the tour is over, Reynolds and crew will go back to pushing their music toward the future, but for now, they’re happy to reminisce for the first time.
“It’s pretty crazy, to be honest, because I haven’t really listened to the album in about nine years,” Reynolds says. “It’s been very nostalgic to look back to it and prepare the set. It’s been a really sort of heartwarming time. We never expected to be making music 10 years on. It’s been lovely.”
Enter Shikari will be at the Glass House on 3/10, SOMA San Diego on 3/11, and the Roxy Theatre on 3/12. More info and tickets are available through the band’s website.
Josh Chesler used to play baseball for some pretty cool teams, but now he just writes about awesome stuff like tattoos, music, MMA and sneakers. He enjoys injuring himself by skateboarding, training for fights, and playing musical instruments in his off time.