Outspoken frontman Tom Meighan tells Ric Stockfis about growing up, the making of Velociraptor and living forever.
You’ve gone from obscure psychedelic titles [previous release West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum] to dinosaur names. What’s going on?
It just sounds good, you know. I could have used the word “triceratops”! It’s just that I’m obsessed with Latin words and prehistoric things. Well, not obsessed but I like the way they sound.
You seem to have calmed down a bit since you started out. Are you a different band now?
We’re all the same guys, we’re just a bit older and we have families now, which is crazy. Listen, we were going to be one of those bands that either didn’t do it or did; and we did. And I’m glad we did.
How has that change in your personal lives affected the songs you write?
Some of the songs on Velociraptor are very intimate and deep and caring. Songs like “Goodbye Kiss” are about relationships and things we’ve been through together. But there’s ballads on West Ryder too, man. Most of our songs have been playing with words for a long time, and mixing and matching them. Creating different, diverse lyrics. And that’s what our songs have always been. And this album was just more about our lives. With West Ryder, we set out to make our crazy record. Every band should have one. And it got massive, which is even weirder.
How do you avoid getting stale?
We’re always going to change our ideas and be inventive as much as we can. For our next record, Serge [Pizzorno, co-conspirator in the band] was saying he’s going to put nine songs and make them all two minutes each and fuck everyone off big time! Make it like the dirtiest thing we’ve ever recorded. We’re not an indie rock band, we’re a rock and roll band and we’ve never been part of a scene. There’s no point being in a category. We’ve not done a blues record yet. We might just do an electronic record with no guitars on. Imagine that! Or, I don’t know, a record with loads of choir singers on it…
What’s this acting gig of yours [Walk Like a Panther] we hear about?
Well, when that comes it’ll come. I’d been on to a friend of our manager’s, when I was under the influence, about how good of an actor I was. Then he comes up to me with a script, saying, “you’re in it.” He put me in the fucking thing! It’s about wrestlers reforming, based in the north of England, and it’s got a load of amazing actors and actresses in it.
Who else are you listening to at the moment?
They’re hot at the minute, but the Black Keys are great. I thought The Horrors have got a great album. I’ve been listening to the Travelling Wilburys, actually – I’d forgotten how amazing Roy Orbison was. And I’ve rediscovered Motown again; how fucking fantastic that music is. And Peter, Paul and Mary with “Puff, the Magic Dragon”.
Is Kasabian for life?
I hope so. The Who did it. Unless there’s any egos that start getting bigger than they should; then I think we’ll be alright. I want to live forever with the band, and go forever. I hope I’m doing it when I’m grey.