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Interview: Baby Godzilla On Touring With Enter Shikari

12 June 13 interview: Tom Hadfield
photos: Carla Mundy

"If you really like our band there is probably something a little bit wrong with you. Because it is horrible, horrible noise"

How was the Shikari tour?
Paul: It was incredible. I’m a massive fan of theirs anyway. We did eight dates with them; seven gigs over nine days, then we went off to do our own tour of Ireland and came back for the last night at The Kasbah in Coventry. We really went for that one, we rocked the Kasbah.

What’s life like on tour?
Matt: It’s a lovely idea to think that you’re going to all these new cities and you’re partying hard every night, but the reality is if you want to play a good show then you just can’t get wasted all the time.
Paul: We learnt that lesson on the Wildhearts tour. Every night we went large and by the fourth day we all felt terrible. 

What are the annoying things about being on tour?
Matt: It’s hard to eat decent food. This is the third day in a row I’ve had fish and chips.
Paul: Unless you get given a good rider, it’s really difficult to try and eat healthily.
Matt: We don’t have any money so we usually have to go for the lowest cheapest option. In Leeds there’s a fish and chip shop near The Cockpit. They have the entire menu on the wall and then to the right they have the entire menu again but with the word “buttie” after every item. We don’t do too badly though, we’ve started going to the salad bar in Morrisons quite a lot. 

Your tour was threatened by the van breaking down on the way to Lincoln?
Matt: Yes. But a lot of people went out of their way to sort us out and made sure we got the show back on the road. One guy we’ve never even met just sent us a £100 from America to help us cover the costs. He said he didn’t want any of our merch or anything he just wanted to make sure the tour wasn’t ruined.

Have you noticed an increase in fans?
Paul: Our Twitter has gone mad. I’d say at least every hour since the tour began my phone vibrates saying we’ve got eighteen new mentions on Twitter. The kids love Twitter!
Matt: We’ve also got fan girls now as well which is new. You’ve gotta be careful though because they are Enter Shikari fans and a lot of them were born around 1998, which definitely isn’t legal. 

So now you’re playing these bigger venues are you still managing to get involved with the crowds?
Matt: If they put a barrier in our way that makes it more of a challenge.
Paul: When we were up in Scotland we were presented with this contract before the gig with a list of things we couldn’t do, like going into the crowd and stuff.

Did your reputation precede you?

Paul: Unfortunately, yes. We’d played in Glasgow two weeks before and a stagehand who was present at the gig mentioned to this promoter just how mental the gig had been. This promoter then went out of his way to make sure we couldn’t do the show as we wanted. He basically said we couldn’t leave the stage at all. We made a mutal decision as a band not to inform Matt of these rules, so obviously the usual chaos ensued at the gig.
Matt: This guy was clearly just exercising his superiority. He just wanted to make a point that he was in charge. When actually he wasn’t. He pursued this personal vendetta against us after, telling other promoters. He sent round an email with the intent of getting us kicked off the tour, it became that personal. It made us think if people like this exist in the music industry then we don’t want anything to do with it.

You’ve been described as “the most intense live band on the planet”...
Matt: When I’m in the heat of a gig this red mist comes down and I have no idea what I’m doing or where I am going. The Music just takes over. It’s important not to have any preconceptions before gigs. It would be a lot harder to run up to someone at a gig and scream in their face if I was worried about what they were thinking.

You certainly put a lot of energy into your shows...
Matt: You can’t just stand still and play. That’s for the weaker minded. I think if you’re enjoying yourself on stage then you should show that and go for it. The audience don’t owe us anything and we owe the audience everything. That’s the way I look at it. If you really like our band there is probably something a little bit wrong with you. Because it is horrible, horrible noise. 

But if you do get on board, then it becomes fantastic. Have fans ever got injured?
Matt: There have been a few occasions when people have left our gigs bleeding. Luckily they have always been sound about it and of the mindset where they are like, “I’m bleeding from the head... awesome!”
Paul: We will never go and seek out people at gigs who don’t want to be involved. The people who want to be involve naturally move to the front and the people who don’t naturally move to the back. The good news is that Baby Godzilla now have public liability insurance, just in case.

What’s your next release?
Matt: Our new EP is a bit of an experiment. We’ve already released the first track A Good Idea Realised on our website. For the last four tracks we’ve got this four-gig residency down at The Black Heart in Camden. So every night we are going to play a
brand new song, which is going to be on the EP, grab everyone’s emails and send them the first track.

For people not able to make it to Camden how can they get their paws on the EP?
Paul: About a month after the Camden gigs we will launch it. I think we’re just going to let people pay what they want for the EP. It allows people to sample your music for free but it also gives them the option to make a contribution if they can.
Matt: I’m not really that bothered about people paying for our music. I think there has been a bit of a shift in the way that music is consumed. Obviously the fans are still consumers
but it’s not so much about the money for us. At least they are listening to your music.

What was the first gig you ever went to?
Paul: My first gig was Green Day. It was awesome.
Matt: My first gig was the Spice Girls in 1998. It was 2 May, which is David Beckham’s birthday and I remember Victoria wishing him a Happy Birthday during the set. That’s going to get printed now isn’t it?

Yes.

Baby Godzilla on Bandcamp

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