'I would never compete with the band I’m in': Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno talks ahead of solo Birmingham show
He’s used to playing to colossal crowds in stadiums, at festivals and arenas. But Kasabian mastermind Serge Pizzorno is going back to square one after announcing his debut solo album.
The Leicester singer/songwriter releases his debut solo album, The SLP, on August 30 and will hit the Midlands soon after, headlining Birmingham’s O2 Institute on September 7.
Recorded and produced by Serge at his Leicester studio The Sergery, The SLP is an 11-track trip across hip-hop influence, richly melodic moments, psychedelic-funk, new-wave and euphoric scenes.
Second single Nobody Else, a piano ballad turned sun soaked house banger, follows first taste Favourites, featuring Little Simz. Other album highlights include Meanwhile... At The Welcome Break – a collaboration with man of the moment slowthai, the euphoric Trance, and psychedelic funk outs The Wu and The Youngest Gary.
Serge enjoyed those collaborations and doesn’t rule out more. “Moving forward, I’d like to collaborate more and open that door more. The SLP project will become this sort of place I can go and just do whatever. It’s so important to have that.
“My life in the band and my boys, that’s part of me that will be there forever, but then there’s something else. I have to get that out or I won’t be able to move forward.”
The SLP isn’t intended to become Serge’s main focus – that will always be Kasabian. In truth, it came about because he had time to fit it in with his band’s other commitments.
“It was necessity. We had a year off and it was literally now or never. I had these three bits of orchestrated music called ‘meanwhile’. Meanwhile, back in the Batcave, or meanwhile, back in the lab…
“These three bits of music were just sitting in my hard drive and they’d have stayed there for 20 years if I hadn’t put them out. So I just joined the gaps between those three songs. There were no boundaries. I woke up every day deciding what to do. If it felt right in the speakers, I’d go for it.”
Making a solo record was a whole different ballgame to recording with Kasabian. “There is an element – and there has to be – of Kasabian. But it was quite liberating because I could go wherever I wanted. So there was no pressure. It was made for myself, I followed the art. It was really liberating. Having completed this, I’ve got a whole new perspective on my own work. I’m an explorer at heart and I wanted to go off and find some new treasures. It wasn’t like in the back of my mind I had a great ambition and there was just a gap in the diary, which gave me time to pursue it. Music defines me. If I’m not making stuff, I don’t know what to do. It’s as simple as that.”
Serge isn’t hoping for world domination with his new record. He’s simply glad he got the opportunity to create his own music and put it out there for others to hear. He’s excited at the prospect of going on tour and hopes Kasabian fans and new recruits will go and see him.
“I’m proud of the music and I’m excited about the live show. To explain it properly, I’ll give you the story. If you can imagine, it’s 4am and you’ve been on a night out and you’re walking home with your crew and you see this little glowing light from a doorway. You can hear a rumbling of music and you want to go in. The guy on the door says you can’t come in unless s you’ve got the password. Then one of the girls at the back says she knows the password so you go in. And then you’re transported into another world with this rave, party, art installation thing – that’s what I want to try and do with the live shows.
“I would never compete with the band I’m in. What we do we do as well as anyone else in the world. This whole new experience will be totally different. I wouldn’t want to sell the gig too high. It will be something different though. I want it to be a real party with good vibes, man. I want everyone to have a good time. Everyone is welcome.”