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Enter Shikari likes to push, experiment
On any of its four albums, Britain's Enter Shikari has followed just one rule according to bassist Chris Batten.
"The only real boundaries we've ever set ourselves is to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and try to write some music we find exciting and fresh," Batten, 28, says. "Really, that's the only focus we had. And hopefully that's something we get better with through practice, through writing four different albums now."
The hard-rocking, politically minded quartet certainly followed that edict on its latest release, "The Mindsweep."
Released in January and produced by the band and regular cohort Dan Weller, "The Mindsweep" brings a variety of new elements, both organic and synthetic, into Enter Shikari's sound this time. "We knew we wanted to expand on the instrumentation a lot more," Batten says. "We used live bras, live strings. That was a really great experience. We think that really added to the album."
The group, he says, came into "The Mindsweep" with "so many ideas. I think we were working on about 50 different songs at one point." But that, Batten maintains, helped the dozen tracks that ultimately made the album -- as well as bonus tracks for various other editions -- that much better.
"It's just the confidence to experiment, I think," Batten says. "We felt very confident going into this record. We had the same group of guys that we used on (2012's) 'A Flash Flood of Colour,' and that album gave us confidence to go in and not be afraid to try new things. So going into this album we felt more confident knowing we had this same team around us."
And, Batten adds, Enter Shikari even feels confident about what it will do next thanks to all those ideas it had for "The Mindsweep" that didn't make it into the album.
"We've still got them," he says, "and next time we go into the studio we always use them as a starting point to write the next record, to see what we were thinking. Sometimes it's hard to just start on a blank piece of paper, so we use the older songs, the older ideas to star and from that comes new ideas and new records.
"Some of the ideas will be transformed into new songs, others will just be stimulants to get us writing again. But they always serve some purpose. We're not very wasteful in that way."
Enter Shikari, Stray From The Path, A Lot Like Birds and I The Mighty
Thursday, April 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.
Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show.
Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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