Kasabian are an English indie rock band that formed in Leicester, Leicestershire in 1999. Originally comprising vocalist Tom Meighan, guitarist and keyboardist Christopher Karloff, guitarist and backing vocalist Sergio Pizzorno, bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ash Hannis, the band have released three studio albums ? Kasabian (2004), Empire (2006) and West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009). The band currently features Meighan, Pizzorno, Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews, who replaced Hannis in 2004. The Madchester scene was a big influence on the band's performance.
Early years (1999?2002)
The band was formerly called Saracuse and started recording at Bedrock Studios in Leicester where Chris Edwards worked as an engineer. The influence of The Stone Roses can be heard in their first jams. The first demo EP was produced by Scott Gilbert and handed to the band late on 24 December 1999. Their first public appearance was at the Vipers Rugby Club to celebrate Chris' 18th birthday with family and friends. The band was soon spotted and changed its name to Kasabian, after Linda Kasabian, a member of the Charles Manson cult (aka the Manson "family") famous for serving as his getaway driver. In an interview with Ukula, bassist Chris Edwards explained how the former guitarist Chris Karloff picked the name. Reading up on Charles Manson, the Kasabian name stuck with Karloff. "He just thought the word was cool, it literally took about a minute after the rest of us heard it... so it was decided,? says Edwards.
In the early days Tom Meighan used to post on the Libertines.org forum for short notice gigs and to promote his band. The band then got their first airplay as a demo version on XFM's The Remix with Eddy Temple-Morris around this time.
Debut album (2003?2005)
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Their eponymous debut album was released in the UK in September 2004. During the recording, the band lived in a farmhouse at Rutland Water, so as not to be disturbed.
Despite having two prior single releases with debut single Processed Beats and lead single Reason Is Treason, it was their third single release "Club Foot" that finally gave Kasabian success in the singles charts. The song, which was written in the early years of Kasabian, went on to enjoy both critical and commercial success, becoming one of the band's best loved songs, and being performed at nearly every Kasabian live performance since its release.The song went on to be the theme for the skate game Tony Hawk's Project 8 and Pro Evolution Soccer 5, as well as being featured in the movie, The Guardian (2006 film) as well as Goal!
Reason is Treason was featured in the game Gran Turismo 4 on the Playstation 2. L.S.F (Lost Souls Forever) was featured in the game FIFA 2004 also on the Playstation 2.
The album was released on the 13 September 2004 to good sales and generally positive reviews. Kasabian featured at Glastonbury Festival 2005 on the 'Other Stage'
During the recording of Kasabian's second album, Empire, Christopher Karloff, one of the band's chief songwriters, had "artistic and creative differences" and was asked to leave the band, according to the band's website, although there is evidence to suggest that Christopher Karloff left due to personal circumstances. He had contributed his writing skills to three of the songs on Empire, including the title track, which went on to be the first single released from the album. The album itself was released in the UK on . The band recruited once temporary drummer, Ian Matthews, as a permanent member of the band. In October 2006, Kasabian recorded a live session for Live from Abbey Road at the famed studios. The song "Empire", a self-described 'call to arms' and the first single from the album of the same name, reached Number 9 on the UK charts, based on downloads sales alone, and with only six days airplay. It stayed in the top 10 for 4 weeks. It was exclusively played on BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe show in July 2006 and immediately made available for internet download.
The album seems to focus on the horrors of war, and the problems of waging it. "Shoot the Runner" reached Number 17 in the British charts. A third single, "Me Plus One", was released on .
Kasabian won the Best Live Act award at the 2007 NME Awards. After receiving the award, Meighan had said: "This is the first award we've ever won, so about fucking time! Thank you NME!"
The band finished touring supporting the new album, playing at many festivals, including Isle of Wight Festival in June 2007, and second from top on the Pyramid Stage of Glastonbury Festival. On Kasabian performed as part of the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London. The following night the band headlined the NME stage at the T in the Park festival in Kinross, Scotland. The band ended 2007 by playing a 1 hour set at Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party. Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher joined the band on stage to play guitar on the last 3 songs of the set.
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2008?present)
The band released an EP titled Fast Fuse in late 2007 which featured the songs "Fast Fuse" and "Thick As Thieves" however the EP was not given any promotion or advertisement. Both tracks are featured in their third album. "Fast Fuse" was also included in the soundtrack to the video game FIFA 09, and was the official theme song of a WWE pay-per-view event, Cyber Sunday 2007.
Kasabian started work on their third album in late 2007. Prior to release, the band said that their third album would contain an early Pink Floyd-influenced song that "sounds like Syd Barrett." During the making of their third album, they recruited live replacement Jay Mehler as a permanent member of Kasabian. For this album the band recruited American hip hop and electronica producer Dan The Automator, who is best known for his work on the first Gorillaz album. On 5 March 2009, albumvote.co.uk revealed that the album title would be West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum with the release date set for 8 June 2009. Where did All the love go features nomadic drummer Andy Trapp-Knott from north east based band Sista Suzi (un-credited). The opening track of the album will be "Underdog".
They played a number of intimate warm-up gigs where they previewed songs off their new album starting in Margate on 23 March, Preston on 24 March and Leeds on 25 March, before their Teenage Cancer Trust performance at the Royal Albert Hall, on 27 March 2009. On 20 April, it was announced that Kasabian would play The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2009 before headliner Bruce Springsteen, as his special guests. This will be the second time they have sub headlined the event in 3 years. It was announced that Kasabian cancelled their Irish date at Live At The Marquee in Cork scheduled for 21 June due to "promotional commitments".
On 25 March 2009, it was revealed on Kasabian's website that the song Vlad the Impaler would be available for free download for a period of 4 days beginning 31 March. However, the album's first official physical single was the track Fire, to be released on 1 June 2009. The promo video for "Vlad the Impaler" stars Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh fame playing a vampire. and will be directed by Richard Ayoade. Underdog was featured along with Kak?, in Sony's Bravia MotionFlow television commercial.
Sunday 7 June 2009, saw "Fire" being the highest new entry reaching number 3 on the UK Top 40.
On 11 June 2009, it was reported that the band wanted to film a concert for a DVD release, and they would like acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino to direct it. The band worked with Rosario Dawson on their third album, and said they asked her to ask Tarantino if it would be possible for him to do so.
On Sunday 14 June 2009, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum reached number one in the UK top 40 charts. The album spent a second week at number one in the UK a week later.
Serge has mentioned that if he were to get put into some sort of mental asylum, it would be for "setting up a tent in Buckingham Palace, the Queen's house."
The band made history on 15 August 2009 when it was featured alongside The All-American Rejects, Hoobastank, Raygun, Boys Like Girls and Pixie Lott as one of the live acts at Asia's very first MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia concert that was held in Malaysia.
Tom Meighan ? lead vocals (1999?present)
Sergio Pizzorno ? guitar, backing vocals (1999?present)
Chris Edwards ? bass (1999?present)
Ian Matthews ? drums (2004?present)
Christopher Karloff ? guitar, keyboards (1999?2006)
Ash Hannis ? drums (1999?2004)
Jay Mehler ? guitar (2006?present)
Ben Kealey ? keyboard (2009?present)