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Kaiser Chiefs’ Nick Hodgson puts aside footballing differences to discuss new Chiefs album The Future Is Medieval with Craig Fitzpatrick.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 08 Sep 2011
“It was a shock,” Nick intones quietly. “We were in Russia when we heard. We met her a few times, we weren’t pals. But anyone who’s only 27, in the same biz, a famous singer you’ve actually met… and then is dead… it’s a real shaker.”
Has he spoken to Mark since?
“No, I sent him a message. There’s nothing you can say in that situation. I don’t go on Twitter and say ‘RIP’. I don’t know why people do that. Who’s that for, really?”
Some things can’t be summed up in 140 characters. Several years ago the band had a chance to collaborate with Winehouse, but plumped for Lily Allen, as she was more reliable.
“It’s definitely a shame we didn’t work together. Although she hadn’t put out a new album in a long time. That’s what she really needed to do, wasn’t it?”
On a lighter note, there was talk of another missed collaboration with David Bowie on the Kaisers’ fourth album, The Future Is Medieval. Nick initially claimed that the band hadn’t used Bowie’s lyric suggestions, but now Tony Visconti, who worked with them, says that there was never any communication between the parties.
“He was backtracking!” Nick smiles. “We had this line with two blanks in it which we needed to fill. So I asked Tony to email Bowie about it. He didn’t say, ‘Will you write this thing?’, he just sent this email with this incomplete line. Anyway, we got the thing back… Tony was dead excited, so he’s backtracking big time!
“But we didn’t use it. Bowie’s one of my biggest heroes, if we’ve gone down in his estimation because someone’s backtracking…” Hodgson looks worried, so we assure him that we think the one-time Ziggy Stardust has been around long enough not to bear any silly grudges over such trivial things. “I hope so.”
In truth, the new record never really needed a Bowie co-write. Possibly their finest work to date, The Future Is Medieval was released this summer in an innovative new way. Essentially – 20 tracks, you pick the ten you want to purchase. The press were quick to state that this format was perfect for ‘the quintessential singles band’. Ironically, however, the material might be their most cohesive yet, all of uniform quality. Any regrets?