- Kaiser Chiefs
Kaiser Chiefs Background information Origin Leeds, England, United Kingdom Genres Indie rock, post-punk revival, new wave Years active 1996–present Labels MCA Music, Inc., B-Unique, Polydor, Drowned in Sound, Liberator Website kaiserchiefs.co.uk Members Ricky Wilson
Andrew 'Whitey' White
Nick 'Peanut' Baines
Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rock band from Leeds who formed in 1996. They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs. The group's debut album, Employment, was released in 2005. It was primarily inspired by New Wave and punk rock music of the late 1970s and 1980s, and enjoyed international success with over three million copies sold. In 2005, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Kaiser Chiefs' second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), yielded "Ruby", a number one single in the United Kingdom. They released their third album, Off with Their Heads, in October 2008. After a three-year hiatus, they released The Future Is Medieval in June 2011.
Formation and early years (1996–2003)
When they were around eleven years old, Nick Hodgson, Nick Baines and Simon Rix met in the same class at St. Mary's School, Menston, Leeds. After leaving school, Rix and Baines left for university in 1996 whereas Hodgson remained in the Leeds area, meeting both Andrew White and Ricky Wilson. Hodgson, White and Wilson formed the band Runston Parva, its name a deliberate misspelling of a small East Yorkshire hamlet called Ruston Parva. After Runston Parva failed to secure a record deal, the group would re-form as Parva upon the return of Rix and Baines from university. Parva's career would go beyond the boundaries of Leeds, and the band was able to obtain both a record and publishing deal. However, after Beggars Banquet closed the Mantra label, Parva were dropped and left desolate and without any direction after the release of an album (22) and three singles ("Heavy", "Good Bad Right Wrong" and "Hessles").
According to manager James Sandom in an interview with HitQuarters, as a dropped band they had become damaged goods, "No one would touch them because they had a history. A lot of people used their history against them." The band decided that they would aim for a longer term record deal and started afresh with new songs and a new name: Kaiser Chiefs. The new name was taken from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs.
Manager James Sandom was tipped off about the band by Drowned in Sound founder Sean Adams for the Drowned in Sound label and persuaded him to go and see them live. Sandom said: "I went to see a couple of shows and you were just bombarded by a series of potential hit singles." Soon after Sandom became their manager, Kaiser Chiefs signed to B-Unique Records. Atlantic Records had also made an offer for the band.
One of the major factors in the band's breakthrough in 2005 was their involvement in the NME Awards Tour at the beginning of the year. The band had been awarded the Philip Hall Radar at that year's NME awards ceremony Like Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand before them, their position as opening act proved an influential one, attracting a lot of positive media attention.
The group's debut album Employment was released in March 2005, being primarily inspired by new wave and punk rock music of late 1970s. The album was well received by music critics, described as "thrilling from beginning to end" and "quintessentially British, without pretension and most importantly, a whole lot of fun". It reached number two on the UK albums chart, and was certified five times platinum. In 2005, Employment was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, an annual music prize awarded for the best British or Irish album from the previous year. Bookmakers made it favourite to win the award, but they eventually lost out to Antony and the Johnsons. In 2006, Employment won the Ivor Novello award for 'Best Album'
The first single released from the album was "Oh My God" in 2004, which reached number six on the UK singles chart when it was reissued in February 2005. In 2007, the song was covered by Mark Ronson and Lily Allen for Ronson's album Version. "I Predict a Riot" soon followed as the album's second release. In 2007, the song was ranked number thirty-six on the NME "Greatest Indie Anthems Ever" countdown. The top twenty singles "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" and "Modern Way" followed in late 2005. The band opened and performed several of their singles at the Philadelphia Live Eight concert in 2005. The song "Saturday Night" was featured in a pre-release video for the Xbox 360 gaming console. It was posted on the official Xbox 360 page before its launch.
In August 2006, the band released a book entitled A Record Of Employment, which along with photos by Peter Hill, documented the band's rise from being unsigned to their triumph at the Brit Awards that year, where the band won awards for 'Best British Band','Best Rock Act' and 'Best New Artist'. Later a DVD entitled Enjoyment, which documented concerts from the first album era was released, this showed members of the band hypothetically interviewed when 'jaded rock stars'. In 2006, the band received NME awards for 'Best Album' for Employment and 'Best Dressed' for Ricky Wilson.
Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)
Kaiser Chiefs' second album Yours Truly, Angry Mob was released in February 2007. The group recorded the album throughout the September and October 2006 at Hook End Studio in Oxfordshire, England. The group took inspiration from Led Zeppelin and American rock music, and recorded over twenty-two songs.
Yours Truly, Angry Mob reached number one on the UK albums chart and number forty-five on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Unlike Employment, the album received mixed reviews from critics who found it to be both "an album full of jukebox hits" and "predictable."
"Ruby", the album's lead single, became Kaiser Chiefs' first UK number one single and received the 2007 'Q Award' for 'Best Video'. "Everything Is Average Nowadays" was released as the album's second single, and reached #19 in the UK. The album's third single "The Angry Mob", described by The Sun as a "clever, accessible pop" song, peaked at number twenty-two in the UK. The fourth single, "Love's Not a Competition (But I'm Winning)", was released on 12 November as a collector's edition 7" only single via their website.
Off with Their Heads (2008–2009)
On 4 August 2008, the band confirmed the name of their third album as Off with Their Heads. It was released on 20 October 2008. The first single "Never Miss a Beat" was released on 6 October 2008.
The band also released a DVD of their live performance at Elland Road from May 24 where they played to a sold out capacity crowd of 40,000 people. The DVD contains the full set from the home of Leeds United as well as Kaiser Chiefs performance for the 2007 BBC Electric Proms.
Kaiser Chiefs set out on a UK tour in October 2008 with Castle Donington band Late of the Pier and The Hair. The tour started at Leeds Academy, a new venue where they were the first headlining band to play. Other dates included Manchester Academy, Southampton Guildhall, Reading Rivermead, Glasgow Barrowlands, Leicester De Montfort Hall and London Forum.
Kaiser Chiefs headed out on a UK Arena tour between February and March 2009, kicking off in Nottingham and ending in London. The tour visited Sheffield, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Dublin. This was the new album tour to promote Off with Their Heads. The band featured on several shows over Christmas 2008 including performing "Never Miss a Beat" with Girls Aloud on their TV Special and playing the same song on the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops.
On 16 July 2009, they played at Marés Vivas in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal as headliners on that day. They, along with Republic of Loose, opened for U2 in Croke Park in Dublin on 25 July 2009. They then opened for Green Day from 27 July to 7 August 2009, and performed at Reading and Leeds Festival 2009.
The Future Is Medieval (2010-)
Following a long hiatus (since 2008), Kaiser Chiefs announced that they expect to release their fourth studio album in mid-2011. The album was recorded over a period of eighteen months at various locations including drummer Nick Hodgson's self-built east-London studio. The album's producers included Tony Visconti, Ethan Johns and Owen Morris, in addition to Nick Hodgson himself.
The band have been confirmed to play at Germany's Hurricane and Southside Festivals in June, Switzerland's Gurten Festival, Pinkpop in The Netherlands, Belgium's Rock Werchter, Portuguese festival Optimus Alive! in July, V Festival in August, Hard Rock Calling in June, the Isle of Wight Festival in June and at Terres Rouges Festival in Luxembourg in September. They recently confirmed they will be playing at Tennants Vital in Bangor, Ireland and in September they will play two sold out home town shows at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds. They will also be playing in October in Festa das Latas, Coimbra - Portugal.
Kaiser Chiefs have also established their own record label, entitled Chewing Gum Records. Their first signing was The Neat, a band from Kingston upon Hull, who were featured on the BBC6 Music Playlist.
On 30 May 2011, Ricky Wilson appeared on BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe show and announced a new song which was called "Little Shocks". It was played on the show and was streamed on the band's official website.
On 3 June 2011, Kaiser Chiefs launched their new album from their website. However, instead of simply allowing fans to download the pre-made album, the band instead employed a new policy of allowing fans to "create their own albums". Using this technique, fans are able to choose 10 out of 20 songs to create "their album" for £7.50; the band provides streams of roughly one minute to preview each track before selection. Furthermore, after the creation of some albums, by early customers, later customers could be able to select an already created album if they desired, with the original creator being reimbursed one pound for each copy of their album downloaded/sold. Many celebrities including, Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, The Guardian Newspaper, and frontman Ricky Wilson, created their own version of the album, donating the £1 reimbursement for each copy sold to the Alzheimer's Society.
On 27 June 2011, Kaiser Chiefs released an official tracklisting for the album, featuring 12 of the 20 available tracks and including a previously unheard track 'Kinda Girl You Are' which did not make the initial launch as it was not ready in time.
- Ricky Wilson – lead vocals, percussion
- Nick Hodgson – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals (on Boxing Champ, Remember You're A Girl, Man On Mars and If You Will Have Me)
- Andrew "Whitey" White – guitar
- Simon Rix – bass
- Nick "Peanut" Baines – keyboards, percussion (on You Want History)
- 22 (2003)
As Kaiser Chiefs
- Employment (2005)
- Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)
- Off with Their Heads (2008)
- The Future Is Medieval (2011)
- ^ a b "BBC - Seven Ages of Rock "What the World Is Waiting For"". Seven Ages of Rock. 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/sevenages/programmes/what-the-world-is-waiting-for. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
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- ^ BBC South Yorkshire, Kaiser Chiefs Interview
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- ^ "Employment by Kaiser Chiefs". MetaCritic.com. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
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- ^ British platinum certification for Employment. British Phonographic Industry. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- ^ NME NEWS. "Ivor Novello". NME IVORS NEWS. http://www.nme.com/news/kaiser-chiefs/23163. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
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- ^ "Yours Truly, Angry Mob by Kaiser Chiefs". MetaCritic.com. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- ^ Q Magazine. "Q Awards 2007". Kaiser Chiefs Best Video. IPC. http://www2.qawards.co.uk/2007/10/kaiser_chiefs_best_video.html. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "Everything Is Average Nowadays Music Charts: Kaiser Chiefs". aCharts.us. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
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- ^ "The Angry Mob Music Charts: Kaiser Chiefs". aCharts.us. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- ^ Click Music News. "Kaiser Chiefs add second London date". Click Music News- Kaiser Chiefs add second London date. http://www.clickmusic.com/news/article/Kaiser-Chiefs-Add-Second-London-Date. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ Earl's Court Public Event. "ECO Public Event Space". ECO Public Event Space. http://www.eco.co.uk/p/public-event-space/157. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "Kaisers reveal Off W ith Their Heads LP". Digital Spy. 4 August 2008. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a118969/kaisers-reveal-off-with-their-heads-lp.html. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- ^ Amazon. "Live At Elland Road". Kaiser Chiefs Live At Elland Road. Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kaiser-Chiefs-Live-Elland-Road/dp/B001IBCY36. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "R.E.M, Kaiser Chiefs, C:Real & Gabriella Cilmi". MTVGreece.gr. http://www.mtvgreece.gr/article.php?id=2399&category_id=28. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- ^ "Home - Leeds Festival 2011". Leedsfestival.com. http://www.leedsfestival.com/. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- ^ Peter, Paphides. "Kaiser Chiefs But Under Your Control". Kaiser Chiefs The Future Is Medieval. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com). http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/03/kaiser-chiefs-the-future-is-medieval. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "The Kaiser Chiefs Self-Release 'The Future Is Medieval'". The Sentamentalist Magazine. The Sentamentalist Magazine. http://www.sentimentalistmag.com/2011/06/04/the-kaiser-chiefs-self-release-the-future-is-medieval/. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "Kaiser Chiefs support Alzheimer's Society with the launch of their new album". Kaiser Chiefs support Alzheimer's Society with the launch of their new album. Alzheimer's Society. http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=982. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- ^ "Kaiser Chiefs New". Kaiser Chiefs Band News. Kaiser Chiefs.com. http://www.kaiserchiefs.com/home/BandNews. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
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