British rock band Enter Shikari have undoubtedly experienced a meteoric rise to fame. Their musical style is often described as post-hardcore electronic rock, with drum and bass, dubstep, techno, trance and punk influences. Their lyrics often address political issues, and in a interview with Kerrang! this year, frontman Rou Reynolds asserted that he’s baffled by bands “labelling themselves as punk that aren’t speaking about anything of importance… if you take out of social commentary, it’s not punk, it’s just noisy pop”. Enter Shikari have previously named their influences as the Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine, the Beatles, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Refused.
In 1999, Rou Reynolds, Chris Batten and Rob Rolfe came together in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, to form Hybryd. They released the EP Commit No Nuisance in 2002, and by 2003 had formed Enter Shikari with the addition of guitarist Liam ‘Rory’ Clewlow. Between 2003 and 2002, the band released three demo EPs (Nodding Acquaintance, Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour, and Sorry You’re Not a Winner) that featured original versions of some tracks that would appear on their debut album, Take To The Skies. In August 2006, Enter Shikari released the video for their single Mothership and the track went on to be the single of the week on the iTunes Store.
Mothership was followed by Sorry You’re Not a Winner/OK Time for Plan B, which was featured on the EA Sports video games titles NHL 08 and Madden 08. The band secured a place on the Gibson/MySpace stage at the 2006 Download Festival and became the second ever unsigned band to sell out London Astoria. NME named them on the ‘New Noise 2007’ list as one of the bands most likely to achieve commercial success in the coming year, joining Arcade Fire, Hot Chip and Bloc Party who previously made the list.
In March 2007, their debut album Take To The Skies was released, reaching number 4 on the UK Official Album Chart. In the same month, Enter Shikari announced that they would be playing Download Festival, Reading and Leeds, Give it a Name, Glastonbury, Oxegen in Ireland, and Rock am Ring in Germany. 2007 saw the band perform over 500 times and start the first of four North American tours. Take To The Skies did extraordinarily well and was certified Gold in the UK after becoming one of the first albums to achieve significant chart success outside of the traditional label system.
Enter Shikari’s second album Common Dreads was released through Ambush Reality in June 2009, after the first single Juggernauts was played on Radio 1 as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Track in the World’. In December 2009, the band hosted two Christmas party shows at The Forum in Hatfield, with support slots from guests Rolo Tomassi, Don Broco, The Quemists, and Young Guns,Dark Stares.
In June 2011, the band signed to Hopeless Records in the US before embarking on their second Vans Warped Tour. Their third album A Flash Flood of Colour, released in January 2012, reached number four in the UK album charts. Enter Shikari began another year of touring and festivals, hitting the US, Japan, South Africa, Europe, Sonisphere, Reading and Leeds, FM4 Frequency Festival, T in the Park and many more. They scooped ‘Best Live Band’ for the second time in the summer 2012 Kerrang! Awards, and Rou Reynolds also won ‘Hero of the Year’. Winter 2012 saw the band launch their own beer ‘Sssnakepit’ in Manchester, a 5% lager in conjunction with Signature Brew, which was sold on their Christmas tour in various venues across Britain. Their 2013 EP Rat Race was well-received, and the single Radiate was first played on Radio 1 as Zane Lowe’s ‘Single of the Week’.
The Mindsweep and Upcoming Tour
From the very beginning, Enter Shikari haven’t rested on their laurels for a minute. They’ve never stopped recording, releasing and touring their music, despite their early success. In January of this year, they released their fourth studio album The Mindsweep, and it received almost unanimously positive reviews from critics. The warm reception included maximum ratings from Alternative Press and Kerrang!.
The Mindsweep Tour will come to Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on Thursday 26th February 2016 and tickets are available here.